When we last saw the Camp Cretaceous kids at the end of Season 2, they had had enough of waiting for aid to arrive to save them from Isla Nublar. Indeed, the campers are perhaps the finest humans to live on a dinosaur-infested island after building their own shelter and living for months on their own.
The season two climax left no question in viewers’ minds that this group would make it off Isla Nublar without assistance. However, viewers knew it wouldn’t be an easy solution, and Season 3 demonstrates how many obstacles stand in the path of even the most determined bunch of teenagers. The odds are still stacked against them, no matter how determined they are to survive—and prosper. They don’t have much, and the third season begins with what appears to be the latest in a series of failed escape attempts.
Ben is particularly worried about his bond with Bumpy—as well as his own self-awareness, considering his dramatic development over the series. The campers are also starting to irritate one other, which is fair considering their close quarters with such a tiny group of humans for an unknown amount of time with no solution in sight. The story’s basic themes of soul-searching and relationship conflicts remain, and hanging strands from previous seasons (what is E750, the mystery project Brooklynn found and that viewers know escaped from its tank during the events of season 2) are finally revealed.
Kenji finally gets his big chance to show off the more magnificent bits of the island that still exist after two seasons of bragging about his penthouse. And Ben’s newly acquired pyromania is the focus of numerous lighthearted scenes.
However, one of the fascinating elements of Season 3 is how closely it adheres to the original Jurassic Park mythos. The campers find up in the old park’s visitor center in numerous episodes, and the music swells with the original John Williams theme, bringing back memories for parents (like myself) who watched the original film in theaters when their children were the same age.
Viewers of the franchise (including those who are more familiar with the LEGO versions of the characters) will be delighted to see several new appearances, but certain first-season characters that viewers may have expected to return do not (yet). Despite the presence of malevolent dinosaurs in this season, the tale builds on previous events to demonstrate that dinosaurs are considerably less horrible than the people who are implicated in their stories.
Season three strikes a mix between quieter, lighter moments—such as a teen party with bikinis presumably stolen from what remains of Main Street shops—and heart-pounding action, as well as genuine anxiety that cherished people could perish. Parents can rely on Dreamworks and Netflix to minimize danger levels and tensions from rising too high for young viewers—at least so far. Older fans (including those without children) will appreciate the extra time spent exploring Isla Nublar in the intervals between the films and will be just as curious as the kids to see if the last teasers at the conclusion of the finale imply another season is (hopefully) on the way.