'South Park' Recap: Ebola, Gluten and A Guest Appearance by Lorde(?)
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched the episode yet and want to be surprised, don't read this article. Hopefully you realized what a "recap is" but we just wanted to be safe.
South Park seemed to throw everything at us last week—aside from a litany of NFL-based controversies, even ISIS managed to swing by—so what else was there to hit next but the Ebola outbreak ("oooooh," you say. "Too soon")? The only thing about this episode that even hints at Ebola however is the title, "Gluten Free Ebola."
Things get off to a unique start this week: Remember how the boys simply walked offscreen during the last episode, declaring that they had to go back to school when their Washington Redskins startup failed? This week picks up right where it left off, with the group walking down the hall and catching shade from all the students they pissed off with their condescending remarks that grade school was for losers.
"I though you had a startup company and said school was for douchebags?" notes Token.
The boys decide that the only way to get back on their classmates' good side is to throw an all-you-can-eat pizza party for the benefit of Scott Malkinson, ironic considering his juvenile diabetes (Editor's Note: As a diabetic ourselves, we know that pizza is carb city. Eat a few slices and take a heavy dose of insulin or suffer the consequences). Also, by some unexplained coincidence, Randy Marsh works with Lorde's uncle so the entertainment is covered.
There are dark happenings going on elsewhere of course. Mr. Mackey has started a gluten-free craze at the school, enveloping nearly everyone except Mr. Garrison (it's an opening reminiscent of when the Brovlovskis started the smug Prius campaign during Season 10). Citizens attend a seminar to learn the true risks of gluten, which the USDA believes to be harmless. When a representative drinks a shot of pure, unfiltered gluten however, he goes into spasms and his d--k flies off (up to that point "just a rumor").
In classic South Park form, the townspeople riot, burning all grain-based products. The Marshes think they're safe but Randy is taken away for quarantine at an abandoned Papa John's after drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The boys struggle to find an alternative to pizza while Cartman has hallucinogenic visions due to the lack of snacks. He runs into Aunt Jemima. who advises him to flip the food pyramid to find the answer. He does and the citizens of the world realize that they can become healthy again by eating more butter (like, frozen-butter-popsicles more butter) to counteract the gluten. And voila, the world is saved. And a special mustachioed Lorde appears at the boys rousing success of a party.
Sound like we skipped a few steps? We didn't...almost no logic is presented at all. Why do mens' d--ks go flying off whenever they eat bread? Why is this just starting now, after years of bread consumption? How is eating pure butter the solution?!? The contagion featured wasn't even a contagion...it wasn't contagious at all, unlike the title Ebola virus.
So what are Trey Parker and Matt Stone trying to get at here? We have two theories:
01) News networks are flipping out regarding Ebola and the possibility it may come to the United States. The South Park honchos might be mocking the paranoia and general ignorance displayed by panicking Americans. Ignorance is playing a huge role in the spread of the disease in Africa and this might be a subtle shot at that. Of course, Texas just got a confirmed case so hopefully Stone and Parker don't look stupid come next month (for the sake of the world).
2) Last week's episode unexpectedly ran into this week's episode...could it happen again? Perhaps the inevitable side effects of eating straight butter will play into next week's plot. Stay tuned. Either way, we refuse to believe that South Park would make as little sense as it seemed to have at first watch this week, especially after last week's tight and seamless master satire.
Our Favorite Quote: "Diabetes affects us all...but it especially affects Scott Malkinson." -Cartman, detailing the group's planned party in honor of Scott. Again, we're diabetic so this quote had us rolling on the ground.