South Park: Season 20 Episode 2 review – Skank Hunt
Last week we witnessed the beginnings of a fiendish creature, a damned soul self-named SkankHunt42. Well, SkankHunt42’s reign of terror is most definitely not over; in fact, it seems to have barely even started.
Continuing on from the premier, SkankHunt42 (revealed to be none other than Kyle’s dad, Gerald) is relentlessly tormenting the female population of the internet by leaving nasty messages, editing photos to become NSFW, and just generally being a dick to people. Luckily, we don’t actually have long to wait before we find out just why Gerald is doing this; Is he working for somebody? Has he been replaced with a malicious doppelganger? Or is there some other equally convoluted explanation that South Park has become known for? No, not at all, Gerald is doing this purely because it amuses him. It makes him feel good to rip the shit out of people anonymously online.
As usual, South Park references real life events, though instead of some of the more humourous news stories from across the US, this one actually deals with suicide caused by online bullying. I’m sure there will be many people out there that find themselves deeply offensive, but as South Park is known to do, it shits all over people’s personal feelings and just goes for it. Rather than having students kill themselves due to bullying, they merely commit ‘online suicide’ by deleting their presence on online media (specifically Twitter). It isn’t actually stated if Gerald is aware of the dark effects his activities are having on the young people of South Park, but from the looks of it, it merely appears that he thinks he’s just pissing people off; but despite what he does and does not know about the repercussions, it’s clear that his soul is deforming. His shadow cast upon the wall is no longer a silhouette of his physical body, but now a misshapen humanoid, obviously depicting his troll-like self.
Naturally, the person getting the blame for all the malevolent activities is Eric Cartman (because, c’mon, who else could it be?) but for once, Eric is innocent. Though before this becomes evident to the other boys of South Park Elementary, they do something drastic in order to stop Cartman from targeting the girls. They lure him out into the woods on the promise of playing Counter Strike at Stan’s uncle’s cabin, something that poor unsuspecting Cartman falls for hook, line, and sinker. Whatever they’re plan is, it’s obvious that it is something that they are struggling to live with already, but it must be done for the good of men everywhere. While Cartman’s back is turned, the boys unsheathe their various weapons and surround him. However, it is not Cartman’s life they want, they want to destroy his all of his stuff so he can no longer go online. Just imagine the weight of their guilt once they do actually find out the kid is innocent.
Not for a moment do I believe that Cartman is truly innocent here though. Maybe he isn’t behind the online-trolling, but he damn-well has some kind of motive behind his actions last week. It’s possible he genuinely does just want to prevent a gender war, but if we have learnt anything about Eric Cartman after twenty years, it’s that he is never so straightforward. Still, the lad is innocent of SkankHunt42’s crimes (why do I feel like I’m going to be eating these words by the end of the season?), and now he is without his precious internet, a pain I think many of us know all too well after all these years of having internet access. When I saw the boys destroy Cartman’s equipment, I could not help but be reminded of the season five episode “Scott Tenorman Must Die” and the lengths Cartman would go to in order to enact revenge upon somebody that has wronged him. I now fully expect that Cartman will actively work against his friends and destroy something they love.
Once more we get to see and hear more from the Memberberries introduced in their titular episode last week, though we don’t get to learn anything else about them, except that they’re being sold in the supermarket along with regular fruit. Noticeably absent from this episode is any of the outdated, offensive comments from the berries, but I still cannot help but feel like there’s something huge just waiting to be uncovered about these nostalgia-inducing berries. Considering they have received so little screen time despite being a focus of the previous episode, it just seems like there will be something big heading our way, as if they’re a part of some kind of conspiracy or something. We’ll just have to wait and see.
So, we’re two episodes through a season of ten, and so far I feel like while the season has been enjoyable so far, it hasn’t really been one of the best (but I do find these Memberberries hilarious). The episodes have been funny enough and worth watching for the most part, but just as I said last week, I don’t think this episode will become known as one of the more memorable episodes at all. That’s not to say it was a bad episode though, oh no, it is pretty good on the whole, just not anything special, really. On a more positive note, however, I think this episode definitely benefited from the omission of the presidential campaign storyline, something that I’m not particularly arsed about (though I have fully accepted that we will be seeing more from it as the weeks go on), and I am actually quite looking forward to seeing if Gerald has truly met his match in Denmark. One thing I can say for certain is that these little memberberries have become incredibly quotable.
And now it’s over to you, my fellow South Park fans. What did you think of Skank Hunt? Have you any theories regarding those oddly adorable berries? How do you feel Cartman will react over the next few episodes (as he surly will)? Let me know in the comments below, and I shall see you at the same time next week.
Image Credits: Comedy Central.