Beaver Falls Series 2, Episode 5 Recap

A publicity seeking nut job has predicted that the world will end, sending the campers (all five or so of them) into a panic and the oversexed counselors into a mad rush to do what it seems they spend most of their time already doing anyway in the fifth episode of Beaver Falls’ second season.

This end is nigh prediction that undergirds the episode sounds a lot like the one Harold Camping made for May 2011 and gives off the general feel of life ending as we know it at camp from the storyline in Wet Hot American Summer about the falling piece of the space station threatening the lives of the campers on the last day at Camp Firewood, circa 1981. Comparisons aside, the action itself is vulgar even for Beaver Falls standards as much of the dialogue centers around Barry saying he would want to have a threesome on his last day on earth and Kimberley reluctantly agreeing (just in case the prediction rings trut), A-rab and Rachael “finally” having crazy tangled-up-in-wires sex and Flynn dumping P.J. to avoid Bobby revealing his secret about how he didn’t rebut Pam’s sexual advances a summer ago.

Central to one of the salacious story lines is the return of the nails-on-chalkboard psycho jealous version of Hope, who upon discovering A-rab in Barry’s IT shack with Rachael, devices a plan to force A-rab to tell Rachael she’s bad in bed and that it meant nothing. She accomplishes this quite simply by driving him past the limit of his ankle bracelet and gets him to say mean things unknowingly to Rachael on the phone. His other option: get arrested and deported for breaking his probation. It’s a low blow, but not even close to Hope’s lowest moment of the episode. That comes earlier with her epically mean undressing of Thurston in a counseling session where she tells him that if the world doesn’t end he will end up a fat, single, steroid-addicted gay man living in a one-bedroom apartment. It’s the meanest thing by far Hope has ever done, but it’s so brilliantly cruel and well-delivered it almost justifies her inclusion as a character and further cements Thurston’s golden arrow as the show’s most beloved camper.

Thurston, as it turns out, is everything the recently outed “everyone’s gay friend” Mac wasn’t at his age but wanted to be (minus, perhaps, the weight). He’s a young overweight homosexual who despite being a target for ridicule has embodied the “It gets better” approach to his life. With his sexuality exposed, Mac begins to form a stronger bond with Thurston, producing one of the show’s few poignant counselor/camper moments in the whole series to date when Thurston sits next to Mac at movie night and bounces off Hope’s theory on Mac about how he’d be better off if the world ended. While their bonding moment commences and Mac assures Thurston that Hope is horribly wrong, the heterosexuals in their midst continue reveling in their triangular drama – Rachael blowing off A-rab for all the mean things he unknowingly said to her, Barry (whose shown several times in the episode with no clue two young females are making moves on each other behind him) going to the aid of his heartbroken mates while propping the door open wider for Jake’s hot pursuit of Kimberley and P.J. going to Flynn after figuring out that his breaking up with her might have had something to do with his ALS.

Things come to a pre-climax (we have to wait for next week for the rest) when the clock strikes midnight and the fuse blows on the movie (which appears to be 2012), sending everyone into a panic and a surprise Sadie Hawkins-style engagement projected onto the big screen instead of the movie with P.J. playing the part of Sadie. It was obvious from the beginning of the season that Bobby’s threats to Flynn about staying away from his daughter would be promptly ignored and that Bobby finding out would produce dialogue about how much he loves the 2nd Amendment, but P.J. proposing to Flynn was a surprise on par with how Rachael and Mac’s doomed-from-the-start marriage would end. The other shoe to drop still in that story line is the secret Pam references when trying to stop Bobby from telling P.J. about her and Flynn circa 2011 and P.J.’s inevitable discovery that surely is forthcoming in the season finale.

With only a week left in the summer and most likely on the show, next week should be quite the guilty pleasure.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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