BraceFace: S1, E22 “Camp Kookalah”

We’re at Episode 22 and we’re four episodes away from the start of season 2! Time really does fly. It seemed like only yesterday I started my BraceFace reviews, when I didn’t know how to screenshot and uploaded my reviews inconsistently. (sniffles) They grow up so fast. I’ve been itching to get to season 2 because it’s my favorite. I’m not going to tell you why I enjoy it because I would be giving you spoilers and that’s something I’ve been trying to avoid. When I give my overall thoughts on an episode, I’ll say that this issue will come up again or we’ll see “X” in future episodes. But enough rambling, let’s get right into this review.

Our favorite eight-graders are graduating middle school! Yay! It does seem a bit random, I kinda wish they would have hinted at it in a previous episode or two but whatever.


Can you pick out Sharon, Brock, and Alden’s family?

There’s Maria:


You know, I’m glad they’re not wearing caps and gowns. Why? In many TV shows, kids graduating from elementary/middle school are wearing caps and gowns. When I graduated from both, I never wore cap and gowns. They gave us a dress code on what we had to wear. For example, girls had to wear white dresses and black shoes. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to wear a cap and gown. I would seen wear one until I graduated high school and again when I graduated college. However I am annoyed that they’re being handed their diplomas on stage. That never happens. You usually get them after the ceremony.

And here’s Sharon and she looks gorgeous!


Aren’t those her mom’s earrings that she wore w/o permission and lost that one episode?

We get some post-graduation pics.

After graduation, they have a little graduation party at Sharon’s house. Connor is excited about going to space camp for two months, while the girls are excited about starting high school. I remember feeling like this when I graduated middle school. While high school was no picnic, it was definitely better than middle school. You couldn’t pay me to relive those days. Helen comes down stairs and shares her middle school yearbook with Sharon and Maria. Helen used to have a best friend that she was close to (like Sharon and Maria), but they grew apart once they got to high school. The girls are confident that that won’t happen to them, but their facial expressions say otherwise.


They change the subject to Camp Kookalah (weird name), where they’ll be spending their summer. The girls arrive at camp and the camp counselor assigns the girls to their cabins. Sharon asks her why her name wasn’t called because she’s supposed to be in the cabin with the older girls. The counselor explains to Sharon that one of their counselors in training (CIT) backed out at the last minute and need a replacement. Although Sharon isn’t qualified to be a CIT until next year, she’s first in line since her birthday is before the other girls. Sharon isn’t sure if she should accept the offer or not. Meanwhile, Maria and all of the other members of Cabin 8 get comfortable in their cabin and wonder who their counselor will be.

They’re start making fun of a counselor named Carol, who they hope they don’t get and surprise, surprise who did they get?


Introducing Carol.

Carol explains that counselors must mentor a CIT and just take a wild guess at who it is. Yep. Sharon.


Sharon and Maria are kayaking (I think that’s what that is). Maria is upset that she’s not a CIT like Sharon, but believes that they’ll still be spending time together. Then, some guys tip over their canoes.


During lunch, the girls angrily watched the guys laughing at them. One of the girls thinks that one of the guys likes her because of it. This is not something we should be teaching girls. Remember when you were 5 and some boy pulled on your ponytail and adults were telling you that means he likes you? Don’t buy it! A guy being a dick to you does not mean he likes you. This is why women end up dating guys who treat them like crap later on. Rant over, back to the review. Sharon walks by and Maria invites her to sit with them, but she can’t because she’s supposed to sit with the counselors.


You can see the hurt on Maria’s face.

Carol introduces Sharon to all of the other counselors and CITs. Carol tells Sharon about the Bald Eagle Award and that if she studies Carol closely, she might win since all of the CITs who she’s mentored in the past have won. Later, Carol shows the girls how to shoot an arrow. She asks Sharon to take over why she goes to the bathroom. Sharon attempts to do what Carol showed them, but Maria tries to tell Sharon how to do it. Sharon gets mad at Maria and ends up missing the arrow. While they’re playing tennis, Sharon tells Maria how she didn’t like that she “showed her up”. They get into an argument and Sharon tells Maria that she’s trying to win the award because she’s never won anything in her life. Maria is understanding and asks Sharon if she wants to hang out at their cabin. Sharon can’t go because they’ll be a counselors and CIT party going on and it’s after curfew.

At the party, one of the counselor’s makes fun of the girls in her cabin for being juvenile. Sharon, not wanting to feel left out, does the same thing. Cabin 8 is spying on their little party and Maria is complaining about having to be in the bed at 9. Hell, I’d complain too. When I was their age, I never went to bed at 9 not even on a school night. The boys at the camp come bursting in their cabin and raid the place.


The next day Carol is upset to hear about it, but she cares more about her clean record since this is her last year at Camp Kookalah and doesn’t want the girls to seek revenge. You thought the boys were done with their pranks on the girls? Think again.


Cabin 8 is at the lake plotting their revenge, but they stop talking once Sharon comes by. Maria tells them that Sharon is cool and she tells her their revenge plan on the boys. Sharon doesn’t think this is a good idea, but the girls are going to do it anyway. Later, Sharon is with the other CITs and counselors. One counselor says she would have no problem seeking revenge. Sharon tries to be on the campers’ side, but Carol tells Sharon she should stop trying to be friends with them and that they have to respect her. I kinda have to side with Carol on this one. When you’re the authority, you shouldn’t be concerned with being friends with everyone. You have to do your job. We cut to Cabin 8 and Maria wakes up her cabin mates so they can start the raid. Just as soon as they open the door, Carol is right there.


Carol: Going on a raid? Not on my watch!

Carol tells all of them to go back inside, but before Maria goes inside she hears Carol thanking Sharon for the tip. The next day, Sharon’s running trying to catch up to Maria but she’s not slowing down. Sharon catches up to Maria and apologizes, but Maria isn’t trying to hear any of it. Maria runs faster and Sharon tries to go after her, but she trips and falls.


Now that’s what I call falling on hard times (ba dum tss)

During Lunch, they even give Sharon deadly stares and one of them calls her a trader. Sharon sits with the counselors and CITs and Carol brags about Sharon snitching on her cabin. Carol tells Sharon that it’s her day off and she won’t be back until tomorrow morning. One of the counselors asks Sharon if she’s afraid they’ll seek revenge and Sharon denies it, but deep down she knows the truth. And let the pettiness began. Cabin 8 pours paint on Sharon, hits Sharon with numerous balls, and puts a huge rock in her backpack during the hiking trip. During dinner, Sharon sees that she’s been rated “Worst CIT” by the campers, but one of the counselors tells her not to take it seriously. Right before they all go to bed, Sharon tries to get on Cabin 8’s good side and they’ve planted a whoopee cushion in her bed.


How mature…

Sharon, wanting things to go back to the way they were, decides to win Cabin 8 back over by going on a raid to get revenge on the boys. They’re all excited about it except Maria, who tries to talk Sharon out of it but she won’t listen. They go to the storage shed and get vegetable dye and spaghetti. They sneak into the boys’ senior cabin and we don’t get to see what exactly they did. We’ll have to wait until later in the episode. The girls tell Sharon that she’s cool and Maria chimes in saying that they were mean to her, but Sharon says that she deserved it. (sighs) I’ll wait until the end to rant about this. Sharon and Maria kiss and make up. Sharon asks the girls which road they want to take to get back to their camp. They can either take the road or the woods. Maria is tired of the woods (shocking) so they decide to take the road. A bunch of 13 year old girls walking down the road late at night sounds totally safe. They start walking and Maria hears a car coming and guess who happens to be driving the car.


Sharon tells them to hide in the ditch and they do so, but Carol sees someone and her headlight lands on Sharon and her braces have to get some shine…no pun intended. Sharon assumes the worse and thinks she’s going to get kicked out of camp. Fortunately for her, they’re giving her a second chance. They were going to kick her out, but a “camper” put in a good word for her. Hmm…I wonder who that could be. Sharon and Maria have a sappy best friend moment and we couldn’t leave this episode without finding out what the girls did to the boys.


Yeah, I didn’t really like this episode. I appreciate the change of scenery and showing some new characters, but that’s about it. Okay, let’s get into my issues with this episode. I understand that Sharon felt conflicted between being an authority and wanting to be friends with everyone. We see this with parents. You have parents who want to be their child’s friend and who have the ones who are just trying to be a parent. Personally, I think they’re should be a balance when it comes to it. Children should be allowed to confide to their parents when something’s wrong. Sadly, I don’t have that type of relationship with my mom. I can’t talk to her about shit because she’s judgmental, close-minded, and has an ignorant way of thinking. However, parents should put their foot down when it comes to their kids and not allow them to do whatever they want. I didn’t like how Cabin 8 treated Sharon because she told on them and it annoyed me that Sharon thought that she deserved it. No, you didn’t deserve it. You were just doing your job and you wanted that award. I could see if it were one of those scenarios where Sharon had abused her authority, but that wasn’t the case. She said she never won anything in her life and I wish Maria understood that more. I get the whole “Nothing’s more important than friendship” message, but should you really give up pursuing an award (which would be very beneficial to you)? If Maria was a real friend, she would truly understand that Sharon was doing her job and not be pissed. I do think that it was a little unfair to not let Cabin 8 seek revenge on the boys. Carol was selfish and only cared about her image as a counselor at the camp.


About rosecoloredglassesreviewer

Just a 20-something year old who loves writing and critiquing 90s/early-2000s TV shows. NOTE: I don't hate the shows I review. I enjoyed them as a child and I still enjoy them as an adult. My issue is with people who are blinded by nostalgia and believe that the shows they grew up are the best of all time and who believe today's shows suck.
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