I’ve had to delete my first sentence many times in this review, because I simultaneously love this episode, and am left somewhat disappointed it. On one hand, this is one the funniest episodes of the year, with some of the best satire, but as a continuation of the last episode, it’s kind of a let down. I know people don’t always watch this show because of it’s continuing plot, but since it’s there, I have to comment on it.
There’s a lot that’s happening in this episode, so let’s just begin with Kyle. Ever since Kyle inadvertently caused the nuclear destruction in Toronto, killing millions of people, and thousands more in the fall out, Kyle’s been feeling down. Since Ike knows, he’s feeling a little miffed. Kyle tries to explain that he only did what he did so that he could stop the toxic television that’s been affecting South Park, to which Ike tells Kyle to stop being a victim, but more on that later.
The President has been hiding in the town of South Park, ever since nuking Canada. The kids of South Park have seen him, but in a very Pennywise sort of way. After Ike goes missing, after the Prime Minister of Canada asks for the Americans to turn the President over, the kids decide to help Kyle find Ike, go into the woods, and stop the evil that’s haunting the town, to some bad ass 80’s music!
Immediately, I love the “It” and “Stranger Things” parody of it all. Kids on bikes, creepy men creeping in the woods, and best of all, the 80’s music! The proof that not every 80’s song is bad ass. This might be the best part of the episode.
Heidi and Cartman go along with the kids, and during, Heidi sees things that remind her of her past, and who she use to be. Every landmark that she sees reminds her of a moment of when Cartman was there with her. She wonders how she became this way, and who was responsible for this, and how she became like this… but more on that later.
The adults also have a plan to capture the President, or at least get rid of him, and also find the kids. The town is told to lock their garbage cans, so the President can’t feed on the scraps. They also send search parties, and set FOX traps (Like setting up a fake FOX news set in the middle of the woods to lure him), but their every move keeps getting sabotaged by the White’s.
The White family (Particularly Bob) are your typical, republican, President apologist, “lock her up” type people. They feel like, even though they were around since the beginning, nobody listens to them, and that they are trying to take away everything that they love. More and more, they feel like the victim, but more on that later.
PC Principal and Strong Woman are definitely a thing now, you know it’s true because “If Loving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right” keeps playing in their head whenever they have a moment, and they have been hiding their love from everyone. As hard as they try, the town eventually finds out, and are so disgusted by the fact that co-workers are dating each other, they start vomiting everywhere! No one is safe, and everyone is a victim… but more on that later. I think this whole beat is super funny, but part of me still feels underwhelmed by this whole plot line. I like what they are trying to say, in the fact that two consenting adults should do whatever the hell they want, but it doesn’t feel like enough.
Eventually, Ike, proud Mountie that he is (makes me proud to be Canadian), captures the President, and brings him tied up into town. That’s when the White’s get a gun, and try to take him back by force! Telling everyone that Hilary would be worse, and that the President is trying to save Christmas. After being talked down, Heidi takes the gun and threatens to kill Cartman for what he did to her, for changing her. But then she realizes that she did this to herself by playing into the life of the victim. She realizes that when you think you are the victim, you give yourself permission to be an awful person, and this is when I realized that this is the point, not just of the episode, but of the whole season.
Pretty much the whole season has been about people playing victim. From Tweek fearing the President, to Kyle feeling as though he was being victimized because of Terrence and Phillip, to the Man Witches, to the NFL, and I really could go on. A continuing thing as well is that once these people start turning their own lives around, and stop blaming everyone else, they see results. This is a weirdly wonderful moral. While bad things will happen to you, you can wallow in being a victim of it, or you can be your own hero and do something about it. I’m also impressed that this moral was there the whole season, without making you aware of it until the end.
This is a super good episode, and a strong finish to the season. I do with that there would have been more effect to relationship between Kyle and Ike. I wish the PC Principal and Strong Woman relationship would have been strong. I wish there was more repercussions for America bombing Canada. For the rest of the season, I wish some other characters would have had time to shine. But that being said, the Heidi plot line is super satisfying, and I love how she stops being the victim, and finally breaks up with Cartman. At first, I wasn’t happy with where it started, but it turned itself around in such a great way.
I’m super impressed that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still as sharp as they are after 20 years of South Park. Hopefully they don’t fade out next season, but even if they do, it’s still an impressive run. Although, I would like to see them do something like Book of Mormon again, and do something original, but I’ll take whatever I could get from them.