Okay, you know all the interesting political stuff that South Park‘s been wrestling with recently? Well forget about that. This is the One Where Silly Things Happen. It has a lot in common with “Go God Go” where the future is controlled by warring atheist factions, one of whom is a race of highly intelligent sea otters who sound just adorable and “Pandemic” where pan flute bands are the only things protecting the human race from destruction by gigantic guinea pigs. And guinea bears and guinea rabbits and you should watch that episode, it’s the best.
Anyway, the fact that we’re used to the format doesn’t make it any less fun a ride. This week the boys have a history paper due, and rather than research using books, they watch the History Channel, “Where the truth… is History”, who speculate that extra-terrestrials were at the first Thanksgiving, and invented stuffing. This is certainly a more exciting way of writing a paper, and their crayon drawings of grey men and log cabins soon catch the attention of some very well-funded men in black suits. Spoilers: they’re the History Channel.
The fairly reasonable starting point – kids in grade school are given a lecture and a project about Native American history by David Running Horse Zuwicki – is quickly overrun by daft and wonderful ideas. After being granted degrees from (presumably) disreputable US universities (Kyle is henceforth referred to as Kyle of DeVry University) the boys appear on the History Channel, where Kyle tries to point out that just because it’s impossible to disprove something ridiculous doesn’t mean it is true. For example, you couldn’t prove that the pilgrims and the Native Americans weren’t themselves aliens.
Turns out… Miles Standish, the pilgrims and the Native Americans are all from outer space. They have their own planets which can be connected on an intergalactic space map by drawing around your hand to make a turkey-shape, and are locked in battle over control of the stuffing mines. A neat aside: one of the planets is marked as ‘Green Lantern Planet’: Mr History Channel dismisses it with “no one really pays attention to that one.” Even if you’ve seen every South Park episode set in space, you’ll still dig the intricate and absurd detail of the alien homeworlds, Plymouth and INDI. Also the pilgrims speak pidgin old English and pronounce Thanksgiving-themed curses: “I do not give three bowls of stuffing what sayeth you!”, “curses and cranberries!” Glorious.
The rest of the episode: Miles Standish is Thor from the hit movie, Thor. Natalie Portman is also in this episode, though much like in the film, no one is sure why. There’s a weak joke about Portman/portal-keeper and Kyle, increasingly irritated by how dumb these events are, must take Natalie on a date to get her to open her ‘worm-hole’ and allow Standish to return to his home planet and end the stuffing wars. I’ll agree that Natalie Portman’s cutesy shtick can be grating, but it’s still a weak ending to a fine, dumb episode.
Also, I was wrong. Next week is the season finale. Oops.
How do you think this series has matched up against previous ones? Let us know in the comments.