Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp: Day is Done
August 10, 2015 1:41 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The Thrilling Conclusion!

The Not-So-Distant Horrible Past

Beth relives the events of the day, up to and especially including the final moments of Episode VI: Electro/City, while driving back to camp with Steve, who she really won't remember anything about after this. She sobs and wails and remembers Greg's last words: "Save the Can."

June 24th, 1981 - 11:36 pm.

Washington, DC, the Snakepit, Capital Hellhole. Call it what you will, it's no place for doing things halfway, as one man in the situation room learns when he tries to make sure his children will be safe from... President Reagan's incipient incineration of Camp Firewood and everything within a ten-mile radius! (Including Camp Tigerclaw, where that guys kids are. We care less about Camp Tiger Claw but, I mean, they're still just kids and all.)

The staff party remains a-ragin', with DJ Ski-Mask pulling up said ski-mask for just a moment to wipe his hot Bradley-Cooper-face off for the cameras, but we care more about Neil and Shari.

About Neil and Shari - He's still chasing her down after the vicious hazing she received in Episode VII: Staff Party. Nothing could make up for such traumatic and deeply wounding teasing, but Neil will try everything anyway. After a beautiful emotional speech about slaughtering pigs, the two are sucking face again.

Army Guys! In Camp Firewood! They look pretty bad-ass and black-ops-y, too! They're descending on the mess hall to retrieve the mutant can, and Gene is on alert. He flashes a towel in the darkness, shots fire, and when the light comes on, it is by the hand of Gene that it does so, the soldiers felled by their own fire ricocheting off of Gene's cast-iron cookware.

The Falcon is no such fool, however, and now it's on between him and Gene, the battle for all time, and for all the marbles, and also for the can. (NOTE! OH SHIT! I DIDN'T CATCH THIS THE FIRST TIME! I bitched about the fact that there's a phone in the mess hall back in my recap of Episode V: Dinner, when in the movie Beth says at some point that the only phones are in the Camp Director's Office and the Infirmary. Well, the opening blow of this amazing fight scene takes the mess hall phone out with it. Well done this round, Wain!)

Long story slightly shorter, Gene gets distracted by an excessively hump-worthy fridge, and Falcon gets the drop on him, taking the can back to Washington. Meanwhile, Neil and Shari are making up, and Neil sticks it in, though he needs to stop saying that. Back to the mess hall, Beth finds a dazed failure of a Gene - or does she?! Gene, it seems, pulled the ol' switcheroo, and Mitch is fine. Moreover, it turns out that Flacon was on their side all along. Beth has some questions about that, obviously, about why it was at all necessary to murder Pisspot and Greg, but Falcon has a thing to get to. Anyway... Gene mediates between the two before not going off to pour cherry juice on his pubic mound.

Elsewhere, Blake leads CTC on a bloody march to retrieve his Helen, who in this case is named Katie and not Helen. War is coming. Arty can smell it. The rest of us can see it as well. The two armies meet out in the yard. Blake says that Andy's dad cleans Blake's dad's pool, but as Andy reminds him, "He ain't cleanin' pools while he's suckin' on yo' mama's big ol' pancake titties." This anecdote does nothing to de-escalate this situation, nor does Coop's passionate call for reason and peace. J.J. Leroys his way in there, badminton-racquet in hand, and the two forces set to drown the other in viscera. There are oars, paddles, nunchucks, and in one particularly gruesome moment, a sterling silver oyster fork wielded and then subsequently retrieved by Courtney.

And then, in a moment celluloid can only sketch a pale imitation of on a cave wall, Eric appears. He strides the Roundhouse rooftop and declares his new song ready for performance. It's about Friendship. DJ Skimask leads his backing band, and the results are transcendent. "Higher and Higher bridges economic gaps, makes humans see their friends, enemies, and even themselves with compassion and forgiveness, and brings Camp Firewood and Camp Tigerclaw together as one. And that's real good because now the military is here and frisbees don't work as well against them.

Nor does Proto-Punk, as Eric finds out when he gets shot off the roof and brutally run over. Immediately afterwards, Lindsay shows up, dressed as a 24-year-old would be, and announces that she is a journalist. "I see two stories here," she pleads, "one about an inspiring camp and a rock god whose best days are still ahead of him, and one about a vast government conspiracy poisoning the environment and slaughtering the innocent. Which one would you like me to write about in the magazine?"

President Reagan reveals himself and admits that he can't fight the press. He asks one of his men to stay behind to clean up the sludge, and his aide Ron volunteers. He meets Gail, and they don't know what's happening there but they want to find out. J.J. thanks Lindsay for saving the camps, and states that while Lindsay the Reporter should go, Lindsay their friend can stay. HUGS!

June 25th, 1981 - 7:15 am.

The boys run from the girls' bunks to their own. Kevin comes in from a long night of wandering, and he and Coop share their troubles. Drew invites Kevin to play Yahtzee and admits that nothing happened between him and Amy, who isn't into Drew either. At the flagpole, Coop still can't play the Shofar, but he's over Donna, who is leaving camp with Yaron so the two of them can explore each other. Neil and Victor both lie about the outcomes of their sexual escapades, Gail and Ron are taking it slow, Nurse Nancy is always there for you with a diaphragm, and Abby appears to be a counselor now.

Mitch knows about Beth and Greg but is fine with it. He wants Beth to have a fulfilling life and grants her the Camp Director position so that she may bring it to greatness. Also he can suck his own dick. Beth looks over her shoulder and sees one Professor Henry Newman. There just might be something there.

Kids do camp things, and Summer is awesome. The campers built a shrine to Eric by the lake, even. But I done herd tell that just one week later, a mysterious stranger of mystery caught a hitch to New York City, and he might have had within him the screeching power of proto-punk. Shhh.
posted by Navelgazer (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe I missed it, but did they ever deal with the disgruntled parents or was the scarecrow more effective than predicted?
posted by ckape at 2:32 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think we can assume that the scarecrow kept the parents occupied at least until Falcon chased Beth and Greg off to Waterville.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:36 PM on August 10, 2015

I love that nothing wacky ever comes from the Kevin/Drew/Amy subplot. It's just a normal 80s summer camp movie plot. I spent four hours waiting for some joke payoff and nothing. Straight antihumor.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:33 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thank you so much for these really excellent recaps, Navelgazer!
posted by joan cusack the second at 9:59 PM on August 10, 2015 [10 favorites]

Beth has some questions about that, obviously, about why it was at all necessary to murder Pisspot and Greg, but Falcon has a thing to get to.

Beth: That man tried to kill me!
Gene: No, Falcon did exactly as he was ordered to do.
Falcon: But no military rank can trump brothers-in-arms.
Gene:That was one hell of a switch, brother.
Falcon: Just like the old days.
[both laughing]
Falcon: I was on your side the whole time.
Gene: Whole time.
Beth: If you were on my side, why would you try and kill me after the hypnotist show?
Falcon: Oh, that, yeah...
Gene: Well, that's a...
Beth: And why did you have to kill Greg and Jim Stansel?
Falcon: I'll admit, that part is pretty weird.
Beth: It feels more than weird. You killed two totally innocent people.
Falcon: Well, if you think about it...
Gene: Go.
Falcon: I think it makes sense, I promise.
Beth: I don't wanna beat a dead horse here, I just don't understand what's going on.
Falcon: I'm sorry, but I have gotta hit the road.
Gene: Do you got that thing?
Falcon: Yeah.
Beth: I just would like some clarity.
Gene: Okay, okay, okay.
Falcon: I'm hearing you.
Beth: Uh-huh.
Falcon: And what I'm hearing is that this is bothering you that many lives were lost. Now, I don't have...
Beth: Yeah.
Falcon: An answer that I feel is going to satisfy you. At this moment.
Beth: So, but here's my thing.
Falcon: I just have to go.
Gene: Have to go.
Falcon: And if I don't go now, I'm either gonna have to cancel, which I could...
Gene: Not again.
Beth: If we could just... beat by beat.
Falcon: I completely agree that there are a lot of elements to this that do not make sense.
Beth: Look, I'm not trying to belabor a point here.
Falcon: I'm sorry if I made you angry. I'm missing this thing.
Beth: [stammers] And I'm not mad at you.
Gene: Yeah.
Beth: I'm just frustrated as well.
Falcon: You're mad at the situation.
Beth: Yeah, exactly.
Falcon: So am I. So am I.
Beth: Now look, guys, I'm glad.
Falcon: I think we got to a starting place, and I think that's good enough for now.
Beth: I feel so... I feel...
Gene: Beth, let him go.
Falcon: Bye.
Gene: Now I'm gonna squirt some cherry juice on my pubic mound.
Beth: Wait. What did... Did you just say, "pubic mound"?
Gene: No... [stammers] I said... "Puget Sound."

[loudly] I'm gonna take the train caboose to the Puget Sound.

Leave me alone.

(I'm not 100% sure on who said what, because transcripts rarely have that information, but here it is, in all it's weird glory)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on August 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

AHHH I didn't notice the mess hall phone got destroyed. Gonna have to rewatch, darn.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:16 AM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

(And these recaps have been a delight. Thank you!!)
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:17 AM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you've never taken the train caboose to the Puget Sound, try it some time. It's worth the trip.
posted by isthmus at 10:42 PM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

This whole series was glorious and so much fun to watch, and I still can't quite believe it got made. I felt like the original movie did not quite score a direct hit on me when I finally saw it a couple of years ago, but I think I might like it more now (plus it will be fun to look for references). I think the high point was episodes 3-5 or so, with the last few understandably spending a little too much effort on actually tying everything together instead of just being amazingly random, but the whole thing made for a really happy week of evenings.
posted by dfan at 5:40 AM on August 13, 2015

So, David Hyde Pierce was never with the rest of them, right? He never interacts with any of the other characters, so I assume they went to wherever he was and filmed his stuff in one day.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:46 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

My first watching of this episode, when Eric started playing those long-beloved chords, I almost started crying as I laughed, I was so happy.


(Also, one of the best parts was when Ronald Reagan said "You're right, McKinley!" in response to the call for him to get off his duff and do something about it.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:37 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Jon Hamm's stunt double was so obvious I kind wish they had gone with someone who looked completely different but was just dressed the same.
posted by transient at 5:26 AM on August 17, 2015

Just had to post this extremely prescient comment from 2014 here:

...These days it would be like a miniseries on Netflix and the whole internet would go crazy over all the obscure references...

posted by lunasol at 5:08 PM on July 1, 2014
[1 favorite +]

posted by HoteDoge at 8:01 AM on August 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Beth, you'll bring so much new energy to the camp, everyone will be fifteen years younger by the end of the summer.
posted by dr_dank at 5:42 PM on September 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

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