The two don’t like each other until far later (and even then, Kenji is mostly insufferable), but that bond of rule-breaking—and saving each other’s lives in dino encounters—starts forming the friendship and trust they’ll need when things get tough. It ends up being Kenji’s rightly-placed trust in Darius that helps Darius become the group’s leader. But it’s also the memory of Darius’s father, pledging that even when things fall apart, “we pick up the pieces and keep going,” that becomes Darius’s own inspirational speech—and one that the other campers quote back to him when he’s at his own moment of hopelessness. Their faith in him helps him realize that the memories of his father go with him everywhere, and when he tells them about his father’s death toward the end of the season, it’s less awkward for him than it is for the others, because they’ve helped him come to terms with it through their belief in him.
The Cattle Drive
The isolation of both Brooklynn and Yasmina is the focus of the third episode in the series: “The Cattle Drive,” as well as Sammy’s complete lack of understanding that people might prefer not to be surrounded by others. Sammy, daughter of ranchers, who has several siblings and extended family living around her, can’t fathom that a person might be a loner. When Kenji says, “You know how sometimes people just wanna be left alone?” She bursts into laughter, responding, “Kenji, you’re hilarious.” But Yasmina has no interest in being drawn out of her shell. As an athlete, she practices alone. Her hobbies are private. She has no interest in inviting the criticism of others, so she shuts everyone out.
Brooklynn, on the other hand, is the focus of thousands of viewers on her own social media channel. She’s constantly taking footage to share with her followers—and she’s constantly under the scrutiny of strangers, desperately craving their approval. “There’s a lot of pressure when your whole life is about being popular,” she confesses to Darius. She can’t fathom that anyone else in the group might just really want to be liked, even if it’s not on the same scale. And while she admits later on that she’s not great at “IRL friendships,” it doesn’t initially occur to her that maybe what she needs is for real friendships, rather than the adoration of strangers, to make her feel validated.
Sammy’s speech to a sinoceratops, showcasing her own bravery as she tries to befriend the huge dinosaur, hits Yasmina right where it counts: “It’s hard to trust strangers,” Sammy says, promising, “I’ll trust you if you trust me.” Suddenly, Yasmina realizes that giving someone her trust is exactly what she needs, and the two become fast friends.
Ultimately, it’s because that trust is betrayed that Yasmina is so crushed when Sammy reveals she’s been spying for Mantah Corp. Sammy is Yasmina’s first real friend. She defends Sammy when Brooklynn airs her suspicions that Sammy stole her phone. So when Sammy admits to her own lies—only after she’s been caught red handed—it totally undermines every ounce of faith she’d developed in others.