The cast of WHAS: First Day Of Camp

It seems redundant to detail the events of “Day Is Done” considering Gerald “Coop” Cooperberg does such a fine, succinct job of summarizing the episode, and most of the season, in a heart-to-heart talk with Kevin:

I had to break up with Donna after Yaron tried to make us have a threesome. And then Tigerclaw showed up because Andy stole Katie away from Blake and they tried to destroy the camp. And then, well right after that, President Reagan and the U.S. military also tried to destroy the camp, but that was after they also shot Eric, the hermit who lived at camp and turned out to be a musical legend. And then that new counselor Lindsay? Well she saved us all because she was secretly a rock magazine journalist. And then Gail blew off Jonas at their wedding, and his name is actually Gene and he fought in Vietnam. And Gene also got beaten up by an assassin named Falcon, who tried to kill Beth and did kill Greg and this guy Jim Stansel, but then he turned out to be good the whole time, which I acknowledge doesn’t really make any sense, and he was only here to protect Mitch, who was turned into a can of vegetables. And then also Ben and McKinley are dating, Susie hooked up with Claude, Neil got laid, Victor didn’t get laid, and Abby got her period. So, it was a hard day.

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‘Twas a hard day indeed at Camp Firewood, which following the cruel, cruel events of “Day Is Done” is now officially to summer camps as Electro-City is to cities. Even without Coop’s very helpful TL;DW summary, “Day Is Done” is a neat encapsulation of everything that’s great about Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp. It has the absurdist humor, triumphant music, and weirdly high stakes that made the movie a cult classic. It’s likely the last we’ll ever see of the Camp Firewood gang, considering it’s kind of a miracle Michael Showalter and David Wain were able to get the band back together in the first place. If “Day Is Done” is indeed the last new story set in the WHAS universe, it’s a terrific final chapter.

The forces of evil bear down on Camp Firewood, and there are a hell of a lot of them. The government, led by President Ronald Reagan himself, leads an army into the camp to destroy it and capture Mitch, lest the truth of the Xenstar conspiracy come to light. (Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for a toxic waste spill, but no one tells The Gipper how to do his job anymore than they would try to tell him what chewy confections to eat by the handful.)

The military siege leads to one of the show’s most hilarious sequences—a balletic, cookware-heavy fight between Gene and The Falcon. That fight scene might be my favorite scene of the series because of how well it it’s choreographed and shot. Gene and The Falcon have impressive fighting styles, and they make such good use of the kitchen environment, the scene could easily fit in a Bourne movie with some slight alterations. (Specifically, fewer pots, less appliance humping, and a slightly less perceptible stunt double.) In a Bourne movie there also wouldn’t be a nonsensical “man on the inside” twist as there is here. Beth wants answers from The Falcon, which is reasonable what with the assassinations of Greg and Jim Stansel. Unfortunately, The Falcon really has a thing he needs to get to.

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As if that weren’t enough to deal with, the preppy savages of Camp Tigerclaw lead their own siege on the camp after being spurred into action by a spurned Blake. Say what you will about the Tigerclaw campers, but there’s no denying their stylish weaponry choices, which include a fraternity paddle and a jai alai basket.

In another one of my favorite moments of the season, Coop tries to reason with the warring factions, which have apparently been in a state of detente since the 1978 Accord of Lake Winnisuki. Coop is understandably concerned about the ramifications of disrupting the peace, but the war is already in motion and no voice of reason can stop them. No speaking voice, anyway, but Eric’s dulcet singing voice does the trick, and he’s martyred for his troubles. Fortunately this is WHAS, where canned goods can auto-fellate, people can hold conversations with bullets lodged in their heads, and even a crushed skull can’t keep a musical genius down. If only the real world worked like Camp Firewood, then another season of this wouldn’t be such a crazy thing to hope for.

Stray observations:

  • Blake: “This loser’s dad cleans my family’s pool.” Andy: “He isn’t cleaning your pool when he’s sucking on your mama’s big ol’ pancake titties.” To be fair, it’s conceivable that someone could be sucking on pancake titties and cleaning a pool simultaneously, but it seems unlikely.
  • “He’s latticing my face!” - Guy Who Got His Face Latticed
  • Everyone took Eric’s death pretty hard, though Lindsay seemed to get over it pretty quickly after learning her camp friends had forgiven her. Eric did, indeed, save friendship with his song.
  • Wikipedia has an exhaustively researched, credibly sourced article about the 1978 Accord of Lake Winnisuki in case anyone’s interested.
  • Andy to Katie, his new girlfriend: “Oh shut up, you’re egregious.”
  • Yaron and Donna are leaving to explore each other in a yurt. So…
  • Nurse Nancy: “Let me know if you need a diaphragm. For your pussy.”
  • Drew and Kevin quickly reconciled, then bonded over Yahtzee, which is somehow even sweeter an ending than if Amy had returned.
  • Give it up for McKinley on bass and DJ Ski Mask on drums! Now that’s what I call a rhythm section. (That might be a sexual innuendo of some kind but I haven’t worked it out yet.)
  • I love the Switch Ops tattoo:

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