South Park: Season 20 Episode 5 review – Douche and a Danish
As the title for this episode would suggest, this week our main focus is on the presidential election and the Danish attempt to rid the world of trolls, and as you would expect, bugger-all goes right for anybody except for an elusive horde of creatures lurking in anonymity.
Douche and a Danish was a pretty standard episode, overall. There wasn’t really anything that stood out The season progresses, the storylines get fleshed out, and my overall enjoyment remains rock-steady. However, I cannot help but feel like the twentieth season of South Park is missing something. I just can’t put my finger on what it could be. Don’t get me wrong, season twenty is brilliant, it’s just not as exceptional as it could be. My favourite aspect of the season (as you may have guessed after four previous reviews) is the Memberberries, but for the last two episodes, they’ve kind of just been pushed to the side. Of course, we got a wee bit of plot development in terms of those nostalgic little berries this week, but nothing substantial. Having said that though, I get the feeling that something big is coming for the Memberberries and it’ll tie each of the storylines together, something that appears to have started in this episode.
Honestly, at the start of the season, the presidential election storyline was my least favourite slice of the season. I found it a bit dull, taking easy shots, and not really all that interesting in general. I would have preferred them to keep Garrison in South Park and have either an actual Trump character appear or, I don’t know, something (hey, I’m not a writer, okay! Wait… what?); but it has to be said that as the season continues the Garrison thread is growing on me while the Memberberry story is slightly loosing steam (the gender-war and the SkankHunt42 stories remain consistent). As we’re talking about the election, we may as well begin the actual episode review with Mr. Garrison’s story of the week.
There wasn’t a chance that Trey Parker and Matt Stone would miss the opportunity to rip into Donald Trump and his recently dropped bollock regarding that leaked audio-recording, so naturally we got to see Mr. Garrison up on stage really laying into the women-folk of the nation. Garrison took the opportunity to really fuck up his chances at becoming president but unfortunately for him, it worked a little too well. The crowd (mainly the women) immediately turned their backs on him and stormed out of the rally, while the men howled with laughter. At his rally, Mr. Garrison actually brings up a genuinely good point that can be applied to all those Trump supporters out there that supported the man even through all of his incredibly offensive comments, yet found the line in the sand when he started saying equally offensive comments about women. I …I just don’t understand the people of the world.
Anyway, I am skating on dangerous ground mentioning the current presidential debate, so I think I best move on quickly. After he loses all of his support, Mr. Garrison is hunted down by an angry horde of Republicans. He eventually finds solace in the South Park community centre where Randy Marsh happens to be hosting another recovery meeting for Memberberry addicts. There was something oddly soothing about Randy’s voice when he was trying to comfort Mr. Garrison. Perhaps ‘soothing’ is the wrong word, but it was rather comforting either way. I found it so strange to see Mr. Garrison so beaten down as he hid away in the community centre; we’ve seen the man go crazy and live as a hermit to avoid his homosexuality, we’ve seen him become a woman, and we’ve seen him return to being a man. Hell, we’ve even seen him as David Hasslehoff, but not once do I ever recall seeing him look so defeated and upset. I genuinely felt sorry for him at this moment, and I hoped he’d be okay and return to his regular life in South Park.
As you read earlier in this review, I lamented the lack of progression regarding the Memberberry storyline; but to be fair we were given a wee bit of information regarding these weirdly popular critters. I don’t even know if critters is the right word for these things. I mean, they’re alive but they’re …not? Fucked if I know. You lot decide on that and let me know. Anyhoo, it turns out that Memberberries are not a new type of fruit at all, but have in fact been around since, at the very least, the Roman era. So one can only assume that they are a sentient force that aim to destroy a civilisation (ooh, hey, that game comes out tonight!) once said civilisation (the game I refer to is Civ VI, if you’re wondering) becomes too complacent. See, if I said that in a review of almost any other show, I’d be talking a load of bollocks, but with South Park, that could be a genuine possible outcome. All we know for sure is that J. J. Abrams has something to do with them. Is he merely an agent of the berries, or does he hold a more substantial role? We’ll surely find out within the next five episodes. Douche and a Danish actually did a really good job when it came to adding a sinister feel to the Memberberries, and by extension – J. J. Abrams as it was shown that these may have been the leading cause of Mr. Garrison running for president. Unfortunately, this is all we really get when it comes to Memberberries this week, so let’s take a look at one of the other story-threads of the week – the South Park Elementary gender war.
Last week I stated how sweet it was that Cartman and Heidi have fallen for each other, but this week it became sickening. The two are just so happy together, and it isn’t on! You two be miserable like the rest of us! I honestly have no idea what to think anymore in regards to either Cartman or Heidi. Obviously, these past weeks I’ve been believing that Cartman has an alternative agenda and may be the person stirring up so much shit, but now I’m starting to think that Heidi may be in on it, perhaps even the mastermind behind whatever the fuck is going on. I know Heidi has been a character on South Park for a good many years now, but this season she suddenly became a central character. Now, while this isn’t out of the ordinary for characters (just take a look at Butters), you just cannot help but remember that this is South Park, and anything can happen. There isn’t even any point in theorising why Heidi would push a gender war – I mean, you could come up with many theories that would make sense, but then you’d discover that the actual plan was to unleash Crab-People / Human hybrids upon the world or something.
I don’t want to be harsh on Cartman, but how likely is it that Heidi, a girl that has always somewhat despised Cartman, would want to enter into a relationship with him? I’m willing to admit I was a suspicious prat if it turns out she’s completely innocent of any wrong-doing, but I can’t help but suspect her. I don’t think I even really suspect Cartman anymore, which is odd. I must be stupid for letting my guard down when it comes to him and his desire for revenge and scheming. But it is time to stop pointing fingers. Finger pointing gets us nowhere, Steve! Overall, the gender wars storyline was a little stale; it mainly served to show off the ‘lovey-dovey’ relationship of Heidi and Cartman (I love that Heidi is now also wearing a “Token’s Life Matters” shirt), but other than that nothing terribly interesting happened. They decided to help out the Danish by raising funds for trolltrace.com via the sale of danishes. Working together to create a huge stock of the foodstuff, the boys and girls form an uneasy truce, although this does not last long as cracks begin to appear and it soon descends once more into bickering between the genders.
You will remember from last time that the whole point of trolltrace.com is to unmask anybody who thinks it is a good use of their time to go online and needlessly insult people “for the lulz”. By starting work on this endeavour, the Danish have formally declared war on “troll-culture”, something which has not been taken lightly by Gerald and his new colleagues. Working together, the trolls are out to strike a nation down; not with weapons, not with revolts, but merely hurtful comments designed to drag in the social justice warriors of the world that will in turn attract anti-SJWs into the argument. It’s a never-ending-cycle. This particular storyline is what actually produced the more audible laughs from myself – Firstly, when the trolls first go online to strike at Denmark, there’s a nice little reference to Star Wars, which I’m sure everybody caught, right? Secondly, I thought it was hilarious when Gerald tried (badly) not to laugh as Dildo Swaggins poured his heart out to him about his past, his parents, and why he does what he does.
I do feel like there was another missed opportunity here though. One of the things that South Park, as a show, excels at is showing how an absurd plot unfolds. If it spent slightly less time with the gender war and Heidi / Cartman’s inaudible whispering to one another we could have seen a great scene of the trolls going on the offensive to protect their lifestyle. Instead we simply get a defeated Denmark. Considering how determined they were to take on the trolls, Denmark gave up very bloody easily, don’t you think? All it took was a short smear campaign for them to surrender. I have to say though that I am very intrigued by the plan proposed by Heidi and Cartman. They have an idea on how to unearth the source of the trolling? Surely not. They’re either going to frame somebody, thus revealing their master-plan, or …jeez, I don’t even know. We’re just going to have to wait and find out next week.
All in all, I think Douche and a Danish was a good episode that had plenty of laughs, for the most part, but nothing that really stood out. I’m sure the scene that will be referenced / talked about most will be Garrison’s sexist rant at his Republican rally, but that kind of goes without saying considering how infamous Trump’s leaked tape has become, and I hope next week’s episode actually brings more lore into the fold regarding the Memberberries, or at least some significant plot development for them.
Soooo, yeah, that’s me done. It’s time to say goodbye to you lovely people for one more week. I don’t know about you lot, but I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out in the final five episodes of the season. There are so many questions that need answering; but I’m sure many of you have already developed a staggering range of theories already. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. What do you think is going to go down between now and the end of the season? If you have any thoughts regarding the episode or the article, you should let me know in the comment section below. I for one cannot wait to see what the frig is going on with those bloody berries!