The South Park Review 10.8.08: The China Probrem
Posted by DC Perry on 10.08.2008
Welcome back, South Park. With a title like "The China Probrem," I expect the second half of season 12 to be in no way racist or culturally insensitive. Cartman will certainly not act in an offensive manner or pull anyone into a crazy scheme. Let's watch.
We kick things off this week with Cartman having nightmares about the Chinese. Man, were the Olympics that recent? Seems like forever ago. The drummers at the opening ceremony are coordinated and numerous, so Cartman naturally assumes this means they are planning to invade the United States. He wakes up in a cold sweat and heads to the bus stop to meet Stan, Kyle, and Kenny. Cartman starts telling them his theory about Chinese invasion, but Kyle suddenly announces he can’t do this any more and walks away. Stan follows. He tells Kyle that he knows he’s upset, but he has to let it go and move on with his life. Kyle shouts back that their friend was raped. How can he just let that go? Every time he closes his eyes, he sees him being raped over and over again, and because they did nothing, they got away with it. Stan pleads with him to put it behind him like he and the others have. Kyle says he’s glad the others can do that, but he doesn’t think he can.
Since he got nowhere with Stan, Kyle, and Kenny, Cartman turns to his most reliably gullible sidekick: Butters. He convinces Butters that the Chinese will invade the country and kill his parents unless he joins Cartman’s American Liberation Front. Butters doesn’t want his parents dead, so of course he joins up. Now to get to the bottom of the Chinese plot. They will be the brave little boys who fought back.
Kyle’s having his own nightmares, tossing and turning in bed, but his aren’t about the Chinese. No! They’re raping him! Somebody do something! They’re raping Indiana Jones! Man, was this movie that recent? That seems like even more forever ago than the Olympics. Cut to a fish-eye lens Saving Private Ryan style dream sequence as the boys run out of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, crying and vomiting all over the sidewalk (except Butters, who kinda liked it). How could Spielberg and Lucas do this to Indiana Jones? Why were aliens in an Indiana Jones movie? Why?!
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Matt and Trey did not enjoy the new Indiana Jones movie.
Meanwhile, Cartman and Butters prepare to discover the Chinese plot by infiltrating P.F. Chang’s. Cartman has a pair of foolproof disguises – basically, a straw hat (a fez for Butters), fake buck teeth, and lots of squinting. He tells Butters to just say “herro” and “prease” and they’ll be all set. That’s our Cartman! Inside, he is horrified to learn that the Chinese takeover has already begun. The hostess is American. She’s working for the Chinese! They spot a Chinese family enjoying dinner and Cartman casually asks when the American invasion begins – he forgot. This plan is foolproof. When the family calls the waitress to remove the nuisance, Cartman, in his normally subdued style, pulls a gun, hands it to Butters, and announces that they are here to stop the Chinese invasion. A customer tries to leave, and Cartman screams at Butters to shoot him. He does. Right in the dick. Cartman can’t believe it. Dude. Butters. That is not cool.
Stan goes to Jimmy, who’s skipping rocks at Stark’s Pond and looking into the teen angsty middle distance, for advice on how to help Kyle get over what happened. Jimmy isn’t sure he’s over it, either. Or that any of them are. Who could be, after what they saw. Why was Indy in a refrigerator anyway? Kyle goes to see a lawyer about testifying against Spielberg and Lucas, and the rest of the boys join him. The lawyer tries to throw them out, but when the boys ask if he saw the movie, he has a flashback (The Accused style, with Indy right on the pinball machine) and agrees to help.
The police arrive at P.F. Chang’s, and Cartman goes out to make his demands. But the conspiracy goes higher than he thought. One of the cops is … Chinese! He orders Butters to fire a warning shot at the officers, and he does. And hits one. Right in the dick. Dude! Butters! What the hell is wrong with you. You don’t shoot a guy in the dick! Cartman storms off, leaving Butters to be sad.
The boys’ lawyer takes their statements to the police. Of course, the police chief calls this ridiculous. They beg him to remember how he felt when you saw that movie! He didn’t see it. He doesn't think anybody saw it. Jimmy is incredulous. But one of the officers did see it, and now it's his turn for a flashback. It’s Deliverance this time. Squeal like a pig, boy! Get them britches down! They swear out the warrant on Spielberg and Lucas. They raid their mansion, and find them in the middle of raping a Stormtrooper. They also found the dead, raped bodies of Yoda and Short Round in the basement. Those sick bastards are going away for a long, long time.
Cartman is in P.F. Chang’s on the phone with the police. Butters fends off an attempt by one of the cops to come through the roof and take their gun. By shooting him. Right in the dick. Cartman is done. He didn’t sign up for this. Better to be taken over by the Chinese than become a nation of unethical dick shooters. He walks out on Butters, surrendering himself to the police. Just as the cops prepare to storm the restaurant, news arrives about Lucas and Spielberg’s arrests. Everyone breaks down crying. It’s over. They’ll never hurt anyone again. Butters and Cartman ditch their disguises and bail. Butters still kinda liked that movie.
The 411: Overall, pretty solid episode. The material felt dated, especially with South Park's track record for timeliness, but it was funny as far as it went. Cartman's a fun little racist again, and it's kind of fun to see a line even he won't cross. Not a classic, but good for a few laughs. The Lucas/Spielberg/Indy rape flashbacks were gold. Yeah, i just typed that.