|“||Hey, David? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE KOOL-AID!||”|
"Cult Camp" is the 1st episode of the second season of Camp Camp, making it the season premiere, and the 13th episode overall. It aired June 9th on the RT FIRST site, and June 16th, 2017 on both the Rooster Teeth Website, and YouTube.
|“||Gwen puts out an ad looking for a new camp counselor but is not happy with the results. Max suspects there is something off about the new hire.||”|
David is fast asleep when Gwen bursts in and wakes him up, knocking a couple of things off the wall. She tells him that she found a stash of cash, which she used to put out a Help Wanted ad in the newspaper. David is skeptical about the idea of hiring a new co-counselor (despite a "foul ball" grenade crashing through the window), but immediately changes his mind when, mere moments later, Daniel arrives. When Gwen greets him, her enthusiasm is immediately dampened as she realizes he looks and acts almost exactly like David. Taken in by his go-getter attitude, David hires Daniel on the spot. Gwen, who is severely creeped out, decides to use up her vacation days, and quickly speeds off in the camp mobile. Daniel drops a newspaper as David drags him inside, excited to have immediately found someone who seems to be such a great fit. The second page shows an article titled "enthusiastic cult leader leaves the entire compound dead", and the third page has a photo of Daniel with the caption "WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT HIRE THIS MAN!!" But perhaps the most incriminating of all is the final page of that newspaper, which has an advert for all-you-can-eat shrimp and steak for $5 at Muffin Topz. It may not pertain to the rest of the story, but it sounds suspiciously delicious.
Inside the Mess Hall, David concludes a presentation about what is, and is not, a baseball, using the aforementioned tossed grenade as an example. He asks if anyone has questions, and Max immediately points to Daniel and asks who the fuck he is. David introduces him to the group, and everyone seems to be reeling in shock, since the two men look so eerily similar (save for the cult leader outfit) - which Max is quick to point out. With a sinister accompanying tune, Daniel mentions he's heard all about Max, who doesn't quite know how to react. David apologizes for the kids' rude behavior, but it turns out Daniel had prepared some positive exercises to help cleanse them of their negative emotions, under the guise of an icebreaker game. David replies that the kids are in good hands, and leaves the campers alone with him to finish up the employment paperwork.
Daniel starts by asking if anyone has an interest in space, which Space Kid excitedly answers. He then explains his incorrect belief about negative emotions coming from space, being tied to "dark toxins" left over from the Big Bang bombarding humanity from the atmosphere. Of course, Neil is immediately skeptical, but Daniel assures him it's just "a side effect of the Millenia Wars started by Xemüg and the galactic confederacy." He spins Neil questioning him into wondering if he's truly happy with his life since the world is so scary. A couple of the campers are instantly swayed by this and offer to take up Daniel's offer of helping them to reach ascension. Of course, this is enough for Max, Nikki, and Neil to realize that Daniel is actually a batshit crazy cultist who is going to brainwash and kill the entire camp. They pound on the counselors cabin door, trying to convince David that Daniel is crazy, and although he remains skeptical, he returns to the Mess Hall with them to address their concerns.
By the time they return, all of the other campers have been brainwashed and Daniel has them preparing for an "ascension party". David, of course, is more focused on the party, the fact that the campers have been so helpful, and the construction of a sauna. Daniel then has Dolf escort the trio to the "purification sauna", where Neil mentions the fucked-up implications of being put into a gas chamber due to their heritage. Dolph clarifies that it uses high-pressured steam and subliminal messaging to deconstruct the individual's psyche and reform it in a way that pleases the "ancient ones", presumably of Daniel's weird religion, and Preston is used as a live example. Ered says that they're just in time to help prepare for the killer party, and they watch their fellow campers prepare a giant bowl of fruit punch laced with rat poison, which Daniel intends to have them drink. As Nerris is dumping out an entire poisonous box, Quartermaster takes a sip and mumbles "it was better in Jonestown" before shambling off. Daniel suddenly appears behind them and snatches Nikki and Neil, tossing them into the sauna after twisting Max's accusations of brainwashing into a scenario of wanting to ensure their safety by appealing to their emotions. He advances menacingly, asking if Max wants to feel safe too, and David appears, having apparently lost track of them and missing out on the entire situation. Despite Max's insistence that all the proof of Daniel's murderous intentions is right here in front of him, all David can see is happy faces and actually commends Daniel on a job well done. Daniel calls out for everyone to join him by the poisoned punch to prepare for ascension, leaving Max completely stunned. Having failed to get David to see the situation in a factual manner, he decides to take a page from Daniel's book and appeal to him emotionally.
Max uses a bit of reverse psychology to trick David into thinking he was only mean to Daniel because he was afraid the cultist would make David lose his job, as he was doing such a great job getting the campers all happy and working together. David starts to think of this as a possibility - despite the campers' happiness - and says he can't imagine a life without Camp Campbell. He tries to comfort himself by saying not everyone loves Daniel, only for Max to intentionally brainwash himself and openly proclaim his love for Daniel, too. Completely shocked by this sudden change of character, David finally realizes it's time to fire Daniel. Daniel refuses to be terminated however, claiming that he has successfully met every requirement for the position and that David has no legal right to let him go - unless there's an aspect of the job he had yet to uphold. David takes out his guitar, as no camp counselor is complete without camp songs, and Daniel gleefully takes out a fiddle to join him.
David strums his guitar and sings to Daniel about being Better Than You, and Daniel makes his own musical rebuttal that he is, in fact, superior. As they continue trying to one-up each other through the art of song, Daniel starts bragging about having infiltrated the camp and his intentions of sacrificing the children, but he gets too caught up in the moment and accidentally drinks his own toxic Kool-Aid. The song abruptly ends and Daniel is whisked away in an ambulance. Somehow, all of the brainwashing has been undone, and David obliviously assumes it was just a bad case of food poisoning. Gwen pulls up in the camp mobile with her own choice for a new camp counselor, a woman named Jen. Precisely on brand with the events from earlier, she is a blonde doppelganger of Gwen, who is as equally insane as Daniel, as she shows them a picture in a magazine where the models have been marred with gruesome imagery. The episode ends with Space Kid happily greeting Jen as the rest of the kids look on with shock and horror.
- Space Kid
- Preston Goodplay
- Jen (first appearance)
- Cameron Campbell (mentioned)
- Xemüg (mentioned)
- Daniel and Jen look exactly like David and Gwen, but both have lighter color palettes.
- During an RTX Panel, when asked if the animators got lazy in designing antagonists for the show, Miles simply replied that it just looked cool for a recolored David to be the villain.
- Daniel is shown to be skilled at playing the fiddle.
- Throughout the entire episode, albeit squinting a few times, Daniel is shown to not blink.
- It is never clarified how David managed to undo the brainwashing done by Daniel.
- The whereabouts of Jen are currently unknown, since she only appeared at the end of this episode.
- The 555- four random digits trope is referenced in the episode; it was shown as Gwen's phone number in their Help Wanted ad.
- Nikki mentions Kool-Aid before slapping David in the face.
- Both Nikki and Quartermaster reference the infamous events that took place in Jonestown throughout the episode. Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple cult, instructed his followers to ingest poisoned Grape Kool-Aid in order to kill themselves.
- By attempting to get the campers to do this, Daniel creates a direct reference to those events as well.
- Neil (who is Jewish) pointing out the implications of Dolph (who is German) putting him into a "gas chamber" is a direct reference to a procedure during the Holocaust where Germans would use them for mass killings of Jewish people.
- Max's stunned face in response to David's non-reaction about the brainwashed campers bears a strong resemblance to the "Blinking White Guy" meme.
- David's morning wood is later seen again in the episode "Dial M For Jasper".
- In the episode "Mascot", David has a sheet that says "Max + Positivity = Success" on his clipboard. It can be seen, briefly, hanging up on the wall before Gwen slams the door open, causing it to fall over and break. It is also seen again in "The Fun-Raiser" and "After Hours".
- A few continuity nods can be seen in the newspaper:
- An ad to join the Wood Scouts, referring to the ongoing joke of them still lacking recruits and being desperate to increase their numbers.
- Daniel's quirk of never blinking is later seen in his future appearances in "Arrival of the Torso Takers" and "Camp Loser Says What?".
- The wide-stance confident march that David does while approaching Nurf on the dock in "David Gets Hard" is seen again at the end of this episode, just before David attempts to fire Daniel.
- In "Camp Loser Says What?" Pikeman says that Daniel is great at playing the fiddle, so it's possible Daniel has played for the Wood Scouts, just as he did in his debut episode. However, his fiddle-playing skills were absent in that episode.
- In that same episode, Pikeman also tells the Wood Scouts there were only 4 of them that morning, implying that Daniel swooped in to become their leader that very day, just as he did in his initial appearance during this episode.
- The fake knife used by Tabii (as Juliette) in the episode "Romeo & Juliet II: Love Resurrected" looks similar to the real knife that Daniel almost uses on Dolph at the end of this episode. It is also seen again in Daniel's future appearances in "Arrival of the Torso Takers" and "Camp Loser Says What?".
- When Daniel answers Max after he questions Daniel's get-up, the rest of the campers that were originally behind Max disappears, aside from Preston and Neil. Although they all return to the next scene.
- The Counselors' Cabin door was a screen door when it was a wooden door in every other episode.
- It opens inward when Gwen greets David but it normally opens outwards.
- In one scene, Nurf's hair was facing the opposite direction.
- Just before their musical duel, Daniel takes out his fiddle and stands directly beside David. When the song cues up, David takes several large steps, showing them being incorrectly spaced apart.
- The transcript for "Cult Camp" may be edited here.
- [Newspaper flips to an article describing an overly enthusiastic cult leader at large who left an entire compound dead.]
- [Newspaper flips to another article warning not to hire anyone that looks like the man depicted in the picture.]
- [ Opening – "Camp Camp Song Song" ]
- Main article: Cult Camp/Gallery