Here we are, the last episode of the first season of Kid Nation
. While we wait to hear if there will be a second season, I find myself surprised that I'm going to miss this show and these kids. I'll miss Sophia
's wisdom, Jared
's quirkiness, Greg
's toughness, Taylor
's selfishness, and even Anjay
's spineless practicality. But most of all, I'll miss all those kids who I've never seen before. Going through the cast list, I realize I have no idea who Maggie
are. There's another dozen or so I only recognize vaguely from one episode. What happened to Divad
? It looked like she was on the verge of becoming a major player, then she vanished. CBS needs to call in the team from Cold Case
or Without a Trace
on this one.
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is wandering the streets, reflecting on the fact that he'll never see these people again. He sees a huge fire, and the job board is ablaze. Mike is elated, and he runs to all the cabins to tell everyone to come out and see the fire. They get buckets of water to try to put out the inferno. Mike seems to think the destruction of the job board means the end of jobs and the Bonanza City class structure. That is stupid on so many levels it's not even worth discussing.
Host Jonathan shows up and tosses the Magic Journal into the fire as well, and informs them that there are no more buffalo nickels or jobs, and kids can do whatever they want to do. Madness ensues, as the kids storm the stores and take all the candy they can get their hands on. It's a disgusting display of he collapse of civilization as kids are pulling wagons pull of candy and soda. Zach
claims if people steal, everyone will steal and there will be chaos and society will come to an end.
At dinner, the Town Council addresses the kids and tells them they'll be rebuilding what they destroyed that day. While I don't support riots, the Town Council is nuts. They don't need to make this town thrive, because in two days, they're all leaving never to visit Bonanza City again, so why should they care?
The kids meet up not for a Showdown, but for a special reward. It's the last $20,000 Gold Star, and the Town Council must give it out right now. Jonathan promises bigger surprises ahead. Guylan
thinks Mike deserves it, while Laurel
correctly thinks Sophia deserves a second one for all her hard work. DK
complains this is one of the hardest decisions he's ever made in his life. What else is in the running: what kind of pajamas to wear? They give the Gold Star to...Zach. I started out liking him, but he really turned into a totally obnoxious, self-righteous kid.
Afterwards, Taylor and Leila
take their favorite chickens from the coop and bring them into the cabin to sleep with them. Emilie
wants to come over to the yellow team to spend the night, but the yellow girls turn her down because it's the last night, and yellow wants to have special bonding time. Emilie is turning into a violent little spitfire as she resents being left out, but in all fairness, I doubt it's the first time she's been kept out of a group, and it won't be the last. Migle
shows up to be a peacemaker.
On the morning of the final day in Kid Nation
, Jonathan shows the kids three giant Gold Stars, each worth $50,000, that are now up for grabs. Jared, Sophia and Greg are, in my mind, the three who most deserve those, based on their work throughout the entire season.
The kids are throwing the first annual Bonanza City Bonanza, a giant party. They must cook and clean, and there are three signs throughout the town, and for each task they complete in an hour, the Town Council wins one Giant Gold Star to give out as they see fit.
First up, they must make a lot of spaghetti and tomato sauce. It's the least appetizing thing I've ever seen. To get the sauce hot, they heat up mashed tomatoes in the microwave. Next, they have to build picnic tables. Mike tries to take charge, and my best friend constantly suggests Mike is like a young Ty Pennington, so now that makes sense. He's loud and annoying and only serves to distract from Greg and Michael
who are doing the real work. Finally, they have to take all the trash and go bury it. They finish, but they all have to get to the bell together. DK can't walk anymore, so Greg and Blaine carry him. The town wins the reward, so there are three new Giant Gold Stars to give out.
To make their party even more special, the kids' families show up. Aww, I may be a cynical 25-year-old, but seeing the kids and parents running to each other is enough to melt even the coldest heart. Laurel is crying like a little girl, and Sophia is stone-faced and matter-of-fact. Have I mentioned how much I absolutely adore Sophia lately? Because she could be the greatest kid in the history of kids. Also, I notice that DK's legs aren't so hurt now as he can sow up to greet his family.
The parents are disgusted by the bunks and the food. Jared's dad is totally awesome, drinking a "Bonanza Bomb" prepared by his son. Other parents haul water and use the outhouse. After the celebration, the kids and their parents head to the Kid Nation
Town Council meeting.
First, the Town Council has to go for a walk and think about who most deserves these Giant Gold Stars, and who best embodied Bonanza City. All the Town Council members are mentioned, which is a bit unfair, because they've had more responsibility thrust upon them, so they had more of a chance to shine.
The first Giant Gold Star goes to...SOPHIA! You go, girl! $70,000, and if anyone in Bonanza City deserved it, it's her. Sophia for President!
The second Giant Gold Star goes to...MORGAN! Awesome, another totally worthy person who really shined all season. She gets it for bringing people together and serving as a mother figure for the whole town. Morgan
's father thanks the Town Council, and they thank him for letting Morgan be apart of their community.
The third and final Giant Gold Star goes to...MIGLE! Girl power! Migle has been on the out-skirts of the show all season, but always seemed to be a good kid.
Way to go Town Council, you actually came through in the end and gave the Giant Gold Stars to three of the most deserving kids. My only complaint: Jared never got one. Mike's mom takes it upon herself to speak for all the parents. Now I see where he gets it from.
It's time for the kids to say goodbye to each other "for the last time ever." Wow, Jonathan, are you going to kill them? Those are pretty strong words, and I suspect at least some of these kids will see each other again. All the kids talk about how bright the future is because kids are so good.
Goodbye, Kid Nation
. I'll miss you, and I hope in 5 or 10 years some documentary crew follows up, because I'd love to see where some of these kids wind up.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)