South Park Season 19 Episode 2 Review: “Where My Country Gone?”

South Park

Honestly, I have no idea how Trey Parker and Matt Stone keep South Park so continuously clever and funny each week. The show’s previous season was easily one of my favorites, which surprisingly happened because of the serialized plot that revealed Randy’s double-life as pop icon, Lorde. When I reflect on South Park, I always think about how much the show has progressed over the years; it starts with my mind jumping to my favorite individual episodes, then I remember how great the Imaginationland trilogy was, and finally I think, “Well, I really loved that season with Randy as Lorde.” It’s strange to be praising the show for a season-long storyline, but just like everything else South Park has attempted, it worked out pretty well. In last week’s Season 19 premiere, the town of South Park was invaded by the PC fraternity. The show tackled the question of whether or not the people promoting political correctness (or should I say, checking privilege?) have become just as bad, if not worse, than those against it. The episode was really well-executed, but this week we discover that the story will, to an extent, carry on with the story established last week.

The opening scene shows us that Kyle has actually been invited to the White House to receive an award for his speech about Caitlyn Jenner in the first episode. He never wanted to be in that position in the first place, which make his lack of enthusiasm amazing. Kyle’s visit to the White House sparks even more controversy in South Park, which now faces an immigration conflict as the Canadian population has rapidly increased overnight. Mr. Garrison is pretty upset by this and starts to exert his growing racism on the new Canadian students. More than anything, I was glad to see that PC Principal was still around (seriously, the best new character). Garrison is fired for standing up for his beliefs about having the right to be a racist, which sparks him to begin a Donald Trump-esque political campaign, to “take the country back.”

As I mentioned in my review last week, South Park is one of the few shows that knows how to walk the line of appropriateness. Not many shows can pull off a political plot or episode in such a clever way. “Where My Country Gone?” manages to approach the idea that our entire political system is messed up right now, and it’s a horrible cycle that probably won’t be broken anytime soon. South Park fairly pokes at each party; whether it’s Obama awarding Kyle a medal for being PC or people like Trump and Garrison; they are extreme personifications of the political spectrum.

Mr. Garrison is great in this episode. His willingness to go the distance to take the country back is amazing. The moment that he goes over Niagara Falls in a barrel and everyone immediately leaves thinking he’s dead is brilliant. Jokes like that are why I love the show, because South Park is clever enough to summarize the country’s eagerness to have an opinion on everything in a couple of seconds of episode time.

When Mr. Garrison finally makes it to Canada to find out why they would build a wall on the Canada/U.S border, it’s like the set of a zombie movie. Everyone is gone and the only person in sight jumps from a roof. In the side plot with Butters we simultaneously learned that the Canadians immigrated to the United States to get away from their Canadian President, Donald Trump. In this scene, Mr. Garrison literally rapes and kills Trump. He then returns to South Park where he preaches that he is going to run for president. This is where the episode makes its closing statements on what it’s trying to say. Kyle goes up on stage and gives a speech about how it’s a vicious cycle that won’t be fixed by saying and not doing; however, everyone stares him down and cheers for Mr. Garrison once more.

I think that South Park really scaled the ideas they put in place last week well and applied them to the absurdity of the political system in America, while also stringing together great jokes and political jabs with that strong message. I really love this serialized plot, and would be interested to see how Parker and Stone continue to expand it. South Park has been more than fair with the statements the show has made so far, and this season is looking like another winner.

Top Moments:

  • Caitlyn Jenner appearance! Yes! They even took it as far as having her commit a hit and run twice. That’s what I was looking for last week!
  • Randy is the best character. He was essentially not in this episode yet his quick early appearance doing PC patrol in the bar might have been my favorite of the week.
  • Butters love story plot was actually quite charming. The reasoning behind the relationship (that it will solve the problems between Canada and United States) was amazing, but it was also cute to see Butters in a relationship like that.
  • The Canadian alphabet.

[Photo via Comedy Central]

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