|“||You two are wasting your time. Campbell is, was, and always will be, a garbage human being. People don't change.||”|
"Keep the Change" is the 1st episode of the fourth season of Camp Camp, making it the season premiere, and 41st episode overall. It premiered June 1st, 2019 on the the RT FIRST site, and June 8th, 2019 on the Rooster Teeth website.
|“||While Cameron Campbell struggles to adjust to his new life of community service at camp, Max is determined to prove to David that Campbell is incapable of changing.||”|
The episode begins with Nikki loudly declaring "FOOD FIGHT!" and getting hit on the side of the head with a stack of pancakes. A massive food fight immediately erupts, while Max, Neil, and Nikki take cover behind an overturned table. Preston attempts to throw a few eggs at Ered and misses, causing them break on the TV that Campbell is watching. Only then does he get up to scold the campers - not about starting a food fight, but instead about his "Quiet Corner" being a tomfoolery-free zone.
David and Gwen walk in, and Gwen immediately remarks that the mess hall is already destroyed. She asks why Campbell didn’t stop the food fight from happening, to which he replies his community service doesn’t start until 7 in the morning. Gwen informs him that it's currently 8:45am, then orders him to get dressed and start cleaning up the splattered food. She admonishes that all the job really entails is being a decent person, with Campbell remarking that that's the hard part. David happily says that he thinks Campbell can turn over a new leaf and offers to take care of cleanup, telling Campbell to go get dressed and help Quartermaster set up for the day's activities instead. Max chimes in to say "You two are wasting your time. Campbell is, was, and always will be, a garbage human being. People don't change." Neil and Nikki point out that what he's saying is hypocritical because Max has changed "the most" since camp started, and both David and Gwen agree that while he's still terrible, he's definitely lightened up a bit. Max is personally offended and insists he hasn't changed, dubbing himself the "cynical rebel, the one-man hell raiser!" He adds that he hates the world and everyone hates him, but David places a hand on his shoulder to say that he doesn't hate Max, and is in fact proud of how much he's grown this summer. Max slaps his hand away and yells, "bullshit!" Campbell returns, now fully dressed, to let them know he's going on break now, instead of helping Quartermaster set up as David had requested. Max declares that people are incapable of changing, and proving it will be easy.
Some time later, David arrives to check on Campbell, who was put in charge of supervising the morning activity of weaving dreamcatchers. Campbell informs him that not only did it go well, they've already moved on to making sweaters, and believes they can make a killing off selling them to the townsfolk. When asked for his approval, David is immediately horrified at the sight of all the kids gathered at the table sewing intently, and quietly declares this scene to be an instance of child labor. To this, Campbell groans and says, "I made a sweatshop again?!" Max informs Neil and Nikki of his plan to prove that people can’t change, which is to trick Campbell into his old habits. Nikki says that this sounds like something that "old Max" would do, and he adamantly declares there is no "old Max", there is "just Max."
While lighting the sweatshop sweaters on fire (rather than placing them in a conveniently-timed clothing donation bin), Campbell bemoans the fact that he just can't seem to catch a break. Max sidles up and tells Campbell that "being bad is just in your blood," and so decides to take Max's blood instead. David comes up to say that Max is wrong and encourages Campbell that change is all about small steps and not giving up. He then declares that the campers will all be helping with Campbell’s community service activities for the rest of the day, in hopes of getting them into the helping spirit as well. Max sees the opportunity to scheme further, but is interrupted by having to tell Quartermaster not to take his blood. Quartermaster is decidedly grumpy about being told no.
The scene cuts to the campers, along with Campbell and David, picking up trash on the side of the road. A poor beggar walks up to Campbell asking for food, to which he replies "get lost" while tossing his empty chips bag on the ground. David gets angry at this and explains the meaning of what Campbell is doing: being part of the Community Outreach Program (C.O.P.), thus doing good deeds to help the community. David asks if he's heard of the phrase, "treat others the way you'd want to be treated" but Campbell still doesn’t get this and says he wishes others would treat him to 20 dollars. Space Kid obliviously obliges, and David is quick to give him back his money. He then leaves to buy the beggar a sandwich and sassily instructs Campbell that he expects a full bag of garbage by the time he gets back. Campbell stalks off, pouting and expressing his selfishness by muttering that David never asked if HE wanted a sandwich. He passes by Nikki and Neil, who are compiling a list of all the "good" deeds Max has done over the summer to try and prove that he has changed. They reference a moment from "The Fun-Raiser" in which Max raised funds to save the camp by getting David and Gwen beat up, so they are unsure how to classify this event in terms of morality. Nikki declares that she's really "in the weeds about Max's morality these days."
While Campbell is begrudgingly cleaning up trash, Max tries to lure Campbell into taking the easy way out by telling him to just go into a store and offer to take out their trash to fill his bag, instead of picking it up off the streets. Campbell decides this is a smart idea and goes into Lester's 'Lectronics to find it in the middle of being robbed at gunpoint. He doesn’t quite understand the situation, thinking the robber is just trying to take out the trash as well and that he'd been beaten to it. The robber mistakes the C.O.P symbol on Campbell's vest as an indication of him being a policeman, so the two begin to fight. Max arrives with David, who protests he needs to deliver the sandwich to the beggar, but Max ignores this and opens the door, attempting to catch Campbell in the act of cheating to complete his task. Instead they arrive in the midst of Campbell wrestling a bag from the robber, and after declaring the three of them to be "crooked cops" he runs off promising revenge. Campbell recovers the almost-stolen money and is hailed as a hero by the community. As he and David walk down the street, Campbell shows off his rewards: 50 dollars and a key to the city. Campbell says that it felt good to do good deeds, and is going to do as many of them as possible so that everyone will know how good he is, such as feeding the homeless and attending Sunday School. David explains that the point of doing good deeds isn't about earning recognition, and Campbell doesn't understand this mentality at all. His watch then beeps to let him know his community service is over for the day, steals the sandwich David had bought for the beggar, and wanders off to Muffin Tops to grab a celebratory beverage. Max chimes in to let David know that Campbell hasn't changed, and is still only interested in doing good if he gets something for himself.
Back at the camp, Neil and Nikki have progressed to making charts to document Max's behavior, and Max comes by to knock them over in annoyance. He declares that he’s already proved his point: that Campbell's still the same rotten dirtbag he's always been, just like himself. David and Campbell come back to the camp, and David has to help a visibly intoxicated Campbell out of the car. In their banter it is revealed that David bought Campbell another sandwich on the way home, to which Campbell declares that David is "one of the good ones, just like I'll be," before promptly passing out.
Max challenges David to give up and admit that he was right, only to be interrupted by the robber from the store showing up with a gun and demanding 50 dollars, the same amount Campbell got earlier from the mayor. Panicked, Gwen says she doesn't have her wallet, and David laments "if only someone here had that exact amount of money to give away!" Campbell wakes up and David pleads with him to give his money to the robber, with a few of the kids wailing that they don't want to die. Campbell considers this to be a difficult decision, so David shrugs at the robber who then says he now only wants 25 dollars instead. Campbell thinks this is still too high, so the robber (sounding a bit flustered) then asks for a heartfelt apology. Campbell scoffs and asks, "heartfelt?" During this whole exchange, Max becomes increasingly suspicious of the robber trying to barter with them, and after Campbell wouldn't even give the apology, he advances on the robber and steals his gun. Max points it at David and declares that he has cheated, pulling the trigger to reveal it was only a bubble-blowing gun. He criticizes the possibility of a naturally occurring situation where Campbell would be the key to saving them as being far too unbeliveable to ever be true, and the robber agrees that Max "hit the nail on the head" and asks if he can just get his money and leave.
Gwen demands to know what David had done, who timidly explains he felt that Campbell just needed "a push in the right direction to help him grow and prove that people can change." The campers are shocked that his solution for this was to pay a man to come wave a gun around at a children's summer camp, and the robber points out that he has not yet been paid. Nerris says this is horrifically underhanded, Nurf points out the stupidity of the idea due to the country's current gun culture, and Space Kid gleefully announces he's traumatized. Nikki declares that David has changed, and that he was right earlier in saying that people can change; for better, or for worse. She concludes by saying that David has made a change for the worse, and because of the earlier point of Max having changed for the better, that the two are rubbing off on each other. Their response is a synchronized, "oh my god" and staring down at their own hands in disbelief. Campbell says he's disappointed that they were both using him to try and prove a point, but then wanders off while whistling and counting his money. Gwen and the campers declare they're going to bed.
Everyone leaves and the robber points a gun at David and Max, demanding that he be paid.
- Main article: Keep the Change/Gallery
- Apparently Cameron had made a sweatshop before the episode's events since he said he "made a sweatshop again!"
- This is the first episode in which Mr. Campbell addresses David by name, and never using his old childhood nickname "Davey", even when drunk. This could potentially imply some form of recognition of age, or personal respect.
- The loopy-sounding trumpet music that plays while Campbell is hauled out of the car and drunkenly rambles at David has the same tune as the theme song, only slowed down and made to sound more "tipsy".
- In the scene inside Lester's 'Lectronics, one can see a display in the background between Campbell and the Robber of a toy called Egg-Chan, which is meant to be a parody of the real-life Tamagotchi toy.
- Nurf admonishing David with the line "and in this country's current gun culture" is (unfortunately) referencing the United States' very serious problem with increased frequency of mass shootings in recent years, as well as political gun control debates.
- During the food fight, Campbell can be seen sitting on his chair watching the footage of "Camp Campbell Wants YOU!"
- This marks the first episode where Cameron Campbell has to take orders from David as part of his community service, which he was assigned to do in the previous episode "Camp Corp."
- In listing all the ways that Max has done good things, Neil and Nikki reference an earlier episode, "The Fun-Raiser" in which Max raised funds to save the camp from getting shut down by having David and Gwen publicly beaten up.
- Two previously used locations from "Into Town" return in this episode, Lester's 'Lectronics and Muffin Tops, though the latter is only mentioned.
- The events of this episode are directly followed up on in "Cameron Campbell Can't Handle the Truth Serum", "Panicked Room" and "Time Crapsules" for Campbell. He is initially overconfident and selfish in his reasons for wanting to change, and completely oblivious to Max's efforts to undermine his attempts at growth. He later admits that making self-improvements would mean actually putting in constant effort and he was too lazy to do so, but vowed to finally start trying from that point on. He seems to follow through on that in apologizing to Miss Priss and explaining his efforts to become a better person after they get locked in a room together.
- This episode, along with "Cameron Campbell Can't Handle the Truth Serum", show David being the only one to sympathize with Campbell and support his attempts to change. He also recognizes Campbell's speech in "Time Crapsules]" as being about his own reform, but is being expressed by personifying the camp.
- The events of this episode are directly followed up on in "Cameron Campbell Can't Handle the Truth Serum", "The Butterfinger Effect", and "Time Crapsules" for Max. In both this and the truth serum one, he was heavily resistant to the prospect of change (mostly for himself but also largely for Campbell), although he does relent in the third episode that he has improved, at least somewhat. In the fourth one, after a fallout with Gwen, he recognizes the effects of his bad behavior on Gwen, which isn't something he'd openly admit to in previous seasons. However, he does not make a genuine personal effort to make her feel better (until his apology at the burial ceremony); rather, he blatantly copies David's behavior in several interactions with her, especially in his opening lines of apology.
- If nothing else, at least he learned something in the way of positivity and conflict-solving skills from David, which is partially what has "rubbed off" on Max that Nikki mentions in this episode.
- David's personality changing for the worse, which is mentioned in this episode, is showcased in "St. Campbell's Day" when his Grinch-like tactics almost put a stop to the kids' festivities, and the latter episode even has Max point out how David would have typically behaved (ie: being happy and eager to participate) prior to the start of this episode.
- In both episodes, David stooped to pulling underhanded stunts that would publicly and irrefutably show a change in Campbell's behavior (hiring a criminal to threaten the camp and give Campbell a chance to save everyone, versus exposing his attempts to create a holiday as a scam to the media).