December 12, 2007 07:59 PM by DA Southern
As we see the sunset starting to crown on the social experiment that was Kid Nation, we find ourselves quickly looking at the adult-less society that was as we looked at a quick retrospect of the season and how the kids came together to build the Kid Nation. And finally, we had a final look at last week’s episode and how the kids thrived and prospered under the direction of Sophia as Sheriff and friend to the town. Even when they returned, the boys were quick to forget the lesson from the Chieftains as they somehow forgot to be leaders, as we watched Greg toy with Zach’s emotions in the hunt for the Gold Star. In the end, we saw a circumspect Alex, our little genius Gold Star winner, contemplate the future of his grandkids as he pronounced the money the Gold Star represented as a “paradox”.
As we see the scene rise on the 38th day in Bonanza City, we see that they final two days will be interesting, if nothing else. The kids arise to notice a few changes in their beloved town and notice that the structure they had been so accustomed to for the past 37 days, was about to cease.
Mike opened the episode by walking through the town alone and saying that, even in all of the strife, he was going to miss the experience and the people. Just as he looked up, he saw the job board on fire and rushed to alert the rest of the town. The kids all raced out to se what could be done, most trying to get some type of water buckets to put it out. After vain attempts, DK finally announced that it was just the job board, not the town and the kids just watched as it burned, many no really knowing what to think.
The next day, Jonathan was holding the journal and telling the kids that the journal had given them all guidance but the kids implored Jonathan to burn the journal and he reluctantly did just that. He then announced that since the job board had burned, there were no more payments or job classes that would be responsible for the division of labor and that, if they chose to, they could do whatever they wanted.
Just when we thought the drunken stupor from the Arcade incident had subsided, what ensued was avarice on the grandest of scales. The kids went into a frenzy to deplete the town of all of its wares by literally ransacking the stores and taking everything in a spirit of greed. We even saw one of the town leaders, Blaine, carrying a case of soda for his very own. The only sane voices we heard were DK and Zach, who both seemed to abhor the carnage that was taking place. Zach and DK were discussing the ramifications of the other kids actions and trying to remain calm and wonder what Bonanza City would be like with no structure.
After the candy riot, there were many that started feeling bad about leaving the town in shambles. The council boys decided to take matter into their hands and implored the kids to wake up and clean the town so as to leave the town better than when they arrived. It seems that there was pride in them thar hills after all.
Day 39 dawned and we saw the mess that remained after the candy riot of ’07 and the kids slowly awoke to start the cleanup. Sophia said that she hoped that it was going to get better and Blaine said that he was ashamed of the way everyone had acted.
The kids, no longer classes, ran to greet Jonathan for the final showdown, or so they thought. Jonathan announced that there would be no showdown but, that there was immediate business to take care of. He announced that the council would have to choose the final Gold Star winner right now. Greg, Blaine, Michael and DK headed to talk it out and DK lamented that it was the hardest decision to make, being that it was the final Gold Star to be given out. The boys talked it over and threw out several names out, with one seemingly on the top of their minds. Jonathan asked the council when they returned for their decision and Greg redeemed himself from last week when he announced Zach as the final $20,000.00 Gold Star winner. Zach was shocked as he was fairly resigned to the fact that he was probably no longer a candidate and broke down as the other kids applauded him.
Jonathan told the council that they had a town to run and the kids ran back to prepare for their final night in Bonanza City. Taylor decided to let the chickens sleep with her in their bunk house and Emilie wanted to be involved with Taylor’s little click by sleeping over night with her BFF’s. Taylor sent Kelsey to tell Emilie that they would hang out tomorrow, but that tonight they just wanted to be together. Emilie was incensed that Taylor would do such a thing and a chick fight broke out…OK,, it wasn’t that bad, but the two little girls were definitely having words. Migle, who has really been an unsung hero stepped in and really brought peace to Bonanza City.
Day 40, the final day of Kid Nation, Jonathan had a final surprise for the kids. He told the kids that there was still gold in them thar hills as he pulled out 3 BIG Gold Stars worth a whopping $50,000. each. Jonathan announced that since there was going to be the final day of their stay, that in order for the kids to qualify for the Stars, they would have 60 minutes to get the town ready for the final party. The kids, working as a group, would have to first make dinner for the entire town. Second they would have to assemble tables for the feast and last, they were to dispose of the trash that had been accumulating in the city.
Jonathan sent them on their way, with the clock ticking and the kids raced through the task of making the pasta for the party which they dispatched in ten minutes. With forty minutes left, they took on the task of the tables which proved to be more of a challenge than they imagined. With a measly fifteen minutes left to do trash the kids raced to the trash heap and with noses turned towards heaven, they raced against the clock. With 2 minutes left, the kids seemed done with the trash and Jonathan announced that all of the trash had to be done. The kids raced against time and DK went down with a bad leg. As the kids raced to ring the bell to win the chance for the Stars, Jonathan said they all had to be at the bell. Several kids carried DK to the finish line as Jonathan raised his hand as the kids literally rang the bell…well, at the bell, winning the chance for three Pioneers to be awarded the Big Stars.
Jonathan said they had won and announced the most heart-wrenching surprise yet and asked the kids what kind of a party it would be without special guest and with that, the families of the kids crested the hill to greet them for what was a very emotional scene.
The kids showed their parents around and the parents all seemed to have the same look of, “I’m glad they were here instead of me.” In a very funny scene, I believe Leila was seen showing her Mom the latrine and saying, “City-slickers” with a whimsical look on her face. Taylor rang the bell to assemble the town and everybody enjoyed the feast the kids had made in the final showdown. Jonathan arrived as the meal was winding down and announced that the final Town Hall meeting was to tak place with the parents in attendance.
Jonathan had the final three Gold Stars and told the council that they had a huge decision to make. Jonathan told them that they were to award the stars to the Pioneers that embodied the Spirit of Bonanza City and sent the boys off for the final time.
The boys, Greg, Michael, Blaine and DK agonized over several of the names and a few that were somewhat of a surprise because they had been not so much standouts, but solid and consistent Pioneers.
Jonathan asked them their decision and Greg announced the first Gold Star winner was Sophia, probably the most solid performer in the entire Kid Nation. Sophia was humbled and shocked to be chosen, but truly was the obvious choice. Greg announced the second winner as 12 year old, Morgan, who was so humble when she said that she so did not deserve it because there were so many others who deserved it more. Morgan’s dad stood up and complimented the council and the maturity of their decision and the way that they had handled themselves. DK announced the final winner as Migle because of the kindness she had shown all since day one. Again, Migle was shocked and Jonathan announced that they were to prepare to leave and to say their goodbye’s. Mike’s mom stood up and were amazed at the kids and how they had come together, which garnered a standing ovation from the adults for the kids.
Jonathan told them as he sent them out that “we will miss you and to keep building a better world” as he sent them out to grab their bags to go. As the kids were saying their tearful goodbye’s, many of the kids reminisced on how they did indeed come together and truly did build a Kid Nation. In probably the most defining statement and a superb way to end the series, our double Gold Star winner, Sophia, probably said it best when she said, “After spending time here with these kids, I have a lot more confidence in the future of this country and in the world.”
After watching the show in its entirety, I can honestly say, “As do I Sophia, as do I.”