Bunk’d returned on Friday night after a two-month hiatus with the fifth episode of the first season. Titled “The Ones That Got Away,” the episode can best be summarized by Tiffany’s corny “all about that bass” joke that lands just about as flat as the whole episode.
It’s the 97th annual fishing competition at Camp Kikiwaka, which gives the show yet another chance to pair off its main characters – Xander and Emma, Ravi and Lou, Tiffany and Zuri, Gladys and Murphy – and follow their zany antics.
Emma confuses the competition for a date and is disappointed when Xander is all business and no romance out on the boat while Ravi and Lou go after a catfish named Big Whiskers Lou’s been trying to catch for eight years and Tiffany lets Zuri talk her into cheating so she can put it on her Harvard application. “We have to win; Harvard is not interested in a runner up,” Tiffany says. “Like my mom says, second place is first loser.”
Gladys, meanwhile, tries to take advantage of the camp being empty to spend some alone time with camp cook Murphy, who resists her advances, saying at one point that he’s “seen lobster claws that are less clingy.”
Lou and Ravi prove to be the most entertaining of the pairs. Lou teaches Ravi her grandpa Clem’s method of hand-fishing – I believe the actual term is noodling – but they catch more junk (Ravi notes that they’ve caught enough stuff to have a small rummage sale) than they do catfish. Lou is her usual insane self, eating flies so she can better understand her enemy.
Xander and Emma’s boat ride goes sour when they start talking about their future plans and realize they want different things, which has Emma and Gladys, who once dated a guy who sold horse meat to camps, discussing their relationship troubles.
Zuri and Tiffany’s plan to cheat is pretty straightforward: they steal a large salmon from the kitchen Murphy was planning to cook for dinner and pretend to catch it when Gladys is looking. But they overlook the fact that the fish has already been partially prepared and when they collect their trophy, veggies that were stuffed inside the fish fall out. Instead of winning the trophy, Zuri and Tiffany end up having to fish spaghetti out of the recycling bin as part of their punishment.
In the end, the real winner is Gladys, who gets the guy after all when Murphy says he’d like to make their relationship less professional by dating. It’s nice to see Gladys finally get a win, but it will be interesting to see how her character changes when she isn’t complaining about how alone she is all the time.
“The Ones That Got Away” is one of the weakest of the five episodes so far in the series – not having Jorge in the episode at all may have had something to do with that – but a new character in Murphy and a slightly different outlook for the pessimistic camp director could lead to some stronger storylines in future episodes.