A shredded, overzealous, and politically correct bro who’s the former principal of a small-town elementary school walks into a bar at the heart of a gentrified Russian village and summarily beats the absolute crap out of the patrons he deems to be “un-PC.”
That is how the South Park Season Finale kicked off. Just like the episode which supersedes it, this opening sequence is many things: action-packed, hilarious, messy, and, most of all, a prime example of what the show was, is, and will continue to be, capable of.
Much like last week’s episode, this one was once again chock-full of story. Essentially, it deals with the realization by the boys, Randy and his posse–Mr. Garrison, Caitlyn Jenner, and PC Principal’s forerunner, Principal Victoria–and basically the whole town that ads have now become sentient and are attempting to oust humanity from Earth by not only the gentrifying the planet via Whole Foods, but also by utilizing PC Culture–unbeknownst to those who practice it–as a form of verbal gentrification to ensure complete security in their plans to take the world from human beings.
That is the extremely short version. The Finale covered so much ground in story that it was nothing short of amazing in regards to how neatly most of the plotlines were wrapped up. Augmenting the wealth of story came, yet again, another bout of the acerbic and biting satire South Park is so well-known for. One of the plotlines in the episode involved the entire town–even the children–purchasing guns in order to protect themselves from those they cannot trust. Of course, this was a vehicle for countless jabs at the anti-gun control movement, though a few subtle pokes were made in the direction of the pro-gun control faction as well. Everything from how easy it is to acquire firearms in the United States to how Americans seem to worship guns in a fairly unnerving capacity–the entire town attends a gunshow in which proud gun owners display their wares in a Westminster Dog Show-esque ceremony–was all spoofed and critiqued in the ridiculous style that only South Park can deliver.
Nothing is perfect, however, and as fun as the Finale was, it had its flaws. Both this episode and the one before it felt stuffed and overloaded in terms of story to an almost overwhelming extent. While the show did conclude most of the major plotlines, some–which played significant roles in earlier episodes–were brought up as if to only show that the creators somewhat remembered them, such as Butters’ Canadian girlfriend. Others, like the ad-hating Newsmen, were simply abandoned. And while the Finale ended in a way that suggests this PC-centric story isn’t yet over, the episode as a whole felt both a little rushed and incomplete, contracting what one could call “Marvel Syndrome,” and existing merely to set up next Season’s story arc.
Regardless of shortcomings, the Season as a whole was not only enjoyable, but graciously welcome as a voice against the overprotective, grating, and helicopter parent-esque wave of political correctness that appears to have enveloped the nation in its own hypo-allergenic safety blanket. If anything, this Finale proves that despite its age, South Park’s still got it and, if this Season is any indication, the best stories from the weirdest small town in Colorado may have yet to be told.