Mr. and Mrs. Pike return to the place where Mallory was conceived- Burning Man. They rent two RVs to drive the family to the Black Rock Desert, and bring Stacey and MaryAnne along as mother’s helpers. Kristy whines about not getting to go, so Watson brings the family, along with Claudia and Dawn. Kristy decides that they should all make a stop-motion animation documentary about their experience, using only ancient Latin. After some moaning and groaning, Kristy reminds them that the club was her idea and that her stepfather is an effing millionaire so stfu and do what she says or she will cut them all off and that means no more kid-kits. Kristy sure can be bossy sometimes!
Dawn is embarrassed about the way her friends are acting and tries at every turn to get away from their village. One night she has a terrible trip and can’t find her way back to her camp. She learns she is taking her friends for granted and that she was stupid for trying to make friends outside of the BSC.
MaryAnne is scared to leave the RV and spends the week driving everyone crazy trying to tidy up the RV and whining about missing Logan. Claire Pike teaches her the lesson that “if you don’t try something, you’ll never experience life.” They go on a naked bike ride together in the moonlight and MaryAnne is reminded that even children have something to teach adults (although she herself is still a child.)
Stacey meets Breegan, a cute older guy at a rave on the Esplanade. She is mesmerized by his white man dreads and his worldliness. Stacey tells the guy she is twenty-three and many hi-jinks ensue as she tries at length to keep up the lie, going so far as to pretend the Pike children are her own. Turns out that Breegan is really Arthur, an actuary from Livingston, New Jersey just trying to get away from his boring life by creating a new identity. Stacey learns that it’s best just to be herself because her fabulous, Manhattan-raised, sophisticated, permed self is better than enough.
Claudia annoys everyone by bringing five suitcases of costumes. To make matters worse, she has massive junk food withdrawal and is forced to scavenge their village for any sugar she can find. She’s mistaken for an ancient tribal deity by a neighboring camp and is showered with as the drugs she wants. After her five day bender, she learns that too much of a good thing “kan sumtimz be teo mmuch”
Kristy, upon seeing some kids run around camp without abandonment and partially clothed, get a Great Idea (natch) and opens a day camp for the kids at Burning Man and then demands sympathy from everyone when she complains how hard it is. They go on a field trip to the Burning Man, but Karen “accidentally” sets fire to the Burning Man early, much to the angry mob of Black Rock City dwellers. Karen eventually wins them over by doing an insult comic routine and has everyone laughing. She’s eventually forgiven and a float is made in her honor at the parade. Karen learns that being an annoying brat will get you lots of attention.
Meanwhile, the Pike triplets build a Burning Man vehicle out of an old tin barrel and some toothpicks, but won’t let Nicky participate because he’s their younger brother and a fucking idiot. Vanessa rhymes everything and drives everyone crazy. Margo gets sick by eating sand because she may actually be developmentally retarded. Mr. and Mrs. Pike and Mr. and Mrs. Brewer try out polyamory for the week and wake up from an orgy only to find Richard Spier and Dawn’s mom in the person pile next to them. What a small world!
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