Okay, so I know after Camp Camp Season 2 Episode 8 everyone is freaking out over Max and Mr.Honeynuts, cause it’s his comfort stuffed animal and Gwen bullies him with (newsflash, he’s 10 he’s bound to have a stuffed animal, and he deserved what Gwen did) - which I feel is shitty cause nobody really is noticing how big of an episode it is for Gwen and David’s development.
So, let me break down my favorite scene.
And that is this one.
It is so damn important.
Why’s that? It’s because it finally shows Gwen’s breaking point- the moment she realizes she’s never going to leave Camp Campbell and that her life has reached a rock-bottom. It’s the realization that a grown woman became a 10 year old’s bitch to get him a teddy bear to save her from losing a shitty job she doesn’t even want, which was all in vain cause David still found out.
But how does David approach it? Well, if this same situation had happened in season 1, I can give you a rough idea. He would appalled that Gwen would want to leave, not understanding her distaste for the camp and even being offended by it personally. Or, if it had been during episode 6, he probably wouldn’t even bat an eye because it’s one less counselor for competition. He was obsessed withbeing the best. More of this flaw was exploited masterfully by my garbage friend @ciphernetics which you can read here.
But no. What does he do? He builds her up. David sits there and floods her with compliments, explaining in great detail all she’s done for the camp, how she’s handled situations, how she’s dealt with others, etc. David does something selfless- which is putting her before him. I’ve never seen him do this before. He’s usually quite literally shoving her out of the picture, or waving her off as not important. Even in “Better Than You” he breaks out into song over how much more qualified he is than Daniel in an attempt to scare him away so he can remain the best counselor- and that’s pretty dick-ish, given that he was completely unaware of the circumstances of him being batshit insane.
(The look David is giving her is so pure)
But he values her help. David obviously looks up to her and appreciates everything she does, even if it comes off to Gwen in a threatening way that makes her afraid of quitting or letting him know that she’s searching for a different job. But he reassures her, dispels her anxiety even if it’s for a brief moment, and he focuses on making sure she’s comfortable.
And you know what Gwen does for once? She feels confident in herself for once. In her abilities as a counselor and for her qualification for another job. All this time she spent at Camp Campbell, she’s gotten shit for her degrees and wasted time attempting to help only to be called “the fucking worst”. That’s awful for anyone to endure, and I’m not surprised she lost it when she did. Being constantly underappreciated and overlooked wears down the psyche, especially when she’s shown to give a shit every once and a while. Although she’s absent-minded, she does show care where it needs to be shown. Even though it’s played as a joke that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the camp as shown when it reveals she was completely unaware of the Woodscouts invading- she was visibly concerned by it afterwards. She can’t help that she tunes things out- I would too if I was getting bombarded with insults 24/7. Gwen is the only one that tends to David when he’s hurt, and she rushes to check on the campers whenever something happens. David’s far from perfect, and if he didn’t spend most of the first season shutting her out, she could’ve easily been a better counselor than him.
(Look at this child with her newly instilled confidence in herself)
So, how does she approach things after David’s pep-talk. She get’s up and tries again. Even though her entire character was written out to be the polar opposite of David- not giving a shit and bailing if things get too hard, she actually goes out and tries again.
Even though she failed at the very end of the episode, I really hope that this scene allows Gwen to open up a bit more. In every episode she only has a few lines, most of which are quickly made fun of or shut down by other campers/David or just provided to be pessimistic.
I think Gwen will eventually learn to love Camp Campbell, not for the reasons David does, but for her own personal ones that she’d probably never admit to. I mean, let’s put it in perspective. During every single job interview she had in the episode nobody remembered her name. At least at Camp Campbell they know who she is and value her presence. Gwen would be guaranteed to be 10x more miserable at a place that treats her even worse than Camp Campbell does- plus I don’t think she has a choice in staying or not.
I’d love to see her and David working more as a team, and both being big roles in the show, not just having the spotlight on David all the time. Hopefully now that David is becoming more self-less and Gwen is being brought up rather than down, they’ll click better. But, I do say that this was some masterfully written character development on both ends.
[Bonus things I thought were cute]
Gwen… I know Max completely deserved it… But weren’t you the one defending Jermy Fartz to try and stop the campers from bullying him?
I’m speechless… SHE LEBRON’D HIM.
She was so focused on what David had to say she shoved Max away so he couldn’t interrupt him. This display is the most we’ve ever seen Gwen care about what David had to say- even after 20 episodes.
Gwen is also picking up some bad David tendencies (pushing, making fun of campers, etc) and it’s adorable.
I don’t think Max’s personality will change completely because to me he just is a sassy, sarcastic, little shit. He’s a good kid and he’s changing to be nicer, but he still is all those things.
But I do think the whole teddy bear thing will fuck him up a bit and knock him down a peg. He isn’t just the badass sarcastic boy anymore, he’s the boy with the teddy bear. And everyone laughed at him (even if it’s totally normal). I think he’ll be self conscious and more reserved bc of it. Especially bc Neil and Nikki laughed at him and David did nothing to stand up for him either.