I think we all just got Rick Rolled.
Spoilers for “Not Funny”
I know I have taken a break from South Park over the last couple episodes. Part of it was due to Election fatigue, part of it was due to the hectic nature of the Thanksgiving holiday for me. With only one episode left and a lot of strings left to tie up, I’m wondering what in the hell Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to do in the season finale next week?
My feelings for this season have been fairly up and down. While I did appreciate the idea of memberberries making the world less of an awesome place with their sweet memories of the past, along with Mr. Garrison and Caitlyn Jenner as stand-ins for Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the creators of the long-running satire seem to have bitten off more than they can chew. It doesn’t help that the election results most likely threw off the plan for the rest of the season. Parker and Stone have both admitted Trump winning forced them alter episode seven, “Oh, Jeez”, drastically (which was originally titled “The Very First Gentleman” until the morning of November 9th). It is still pretty evident they are course correcting, but last night’s episode was a good step in the right direction.
The memberberries were absent in “Not Funny” after their plight took an odd turn in last week’s “Member’s Only.” The Denmark/Troll Trace storyline was ramped up when it was revealed the Prime Minister of Denmark was actually a con artist pushing everyone’s buttons in order to troll the entire world. Who he really is hasn’t been revealed just yet, but it is still too late to hope for Crab People? This was a hilarious turn of events I did not see coming. The Prime Minister Rick Rolling the Trolls and workers of Troll Trace before disappearing had me laughing harder than I had for most of the season. After the Prime Ministers explanation to Gerald, I now half expect Donald Trump to pull the same stunt on the rest of us.
Parker and Stone don’t stop there with the unflattering Trump comparisons. Thru all of the chaos and uncertainty, Mr. Garrison is stuck in the war room with several leaders looking to him to make decisions regarding the global meltdown Troll Trace has created. He ignores them in favor of taking calls from Mr. Slave and Kyle. After a very meta pep talk from Kyle and Ike, the citizens of South Park decide they are not just going to pray and hope no one looks at their internet history, despite Detective Yates’ plea for everyone to use basic human decency and not feed into their desire to expose someone’s history. They instead decide to call upon Mr. Slave to manipulate his ex-boyfriend. The plan works like a charm and Garrison sends bombers to Denmark. That is until Kyle and Ike realize their father is in the Scandinavian country. Using the same technique of ridicule and reverse psychology, the two siblings get the President-Elect to stop the bombing of Denmark. Parker and Stone were on point with these scenes. Considering how the President-Elect has handled those who have opposed him on social media, it makes many of us wonder how he is going to react in a genuine crisis should one arise.
The kids are dealing with some problems of their own. Kyle and Ike have been epically grounded by their mother and have resorted to locking her in the pantry so they can use the computer. Eric convinces Heidi she can solve the problem of getting to Mars, which she does using Emoji analysis. Unfortunately, Butters has gotten under his skin and has made Cartman paranoid Heidi will soon dump him.
With so many threads in the air, I wouldn’t be surprised if several of them carry over into next season, much like Mr. Garrison’s campaign. Personally, I hope the memberberries are going to be around next season. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the finale was a 22-minute long Rick Roll.
A couple of gems revealed by the South Park live tweet of the previous episode before “Not Funny” aired: Ike has been voiced by Parker’s daughter this season, making the joke that he learned naughty language from his father much more hilarious. Also, Elon Musk voiced his animated alter ego this season.
What did you think of last night’s episode of South Park? Are you disappointed with this season? Do you think we are about to get Rick Rolled? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.