South Park, Season 23, Episode 3, “SHOTS!!!” Review
It’s hard to believe that South Park has passed the 300-episode milestone, but here they are. I never saw the infamous “200” and “201” episodes, nor can I. Thankfully, last nights episode , “SHOTS!!!” made up for it by being the first South Park in a while to make me laugh my butt off. It does all this while juggling the Tegridy Farms story and jabbing at China once more.
The episode starts off in a meta joke, with Randy celebrating the three hundred… thousand dollars Tegridy Farms has made. He’s the only one who’s happy though, as everyone else in the family hates him. Sharon hates how he’s sold out to the Chinese, and Sharon and Stan hate living on the farm. That’s not the main focus of the episode, though.
Catch the Cartman!
The main focus of “SHOTS!!!” is with Liane trying to get Cartman a vaccination, something he’s terrified of. With any kid, this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but since this is Cartman, it’s almost impossible. No matter what she or the doctor do, Cartman starts squealing like a pig and running away. He goes so far as to strip down and grease himself to make him harder to catch.
This was one of the funniest things I’ve seen South Park do in years, and I had to restrain myself from laughing too hard. We all know how evil Cartman is, so seeing him genuinely scared is a treat. When the school has to order him to get a shot, though, he simply says he’s concerned with it making him “artistic”. He even has his mother recite “facts” about the dangers of vaccination at a PTA meeting.
The show could have stuck with a story about debunking the myths of shots, but they wisely decide not to. The adults of South Park know Liane doesn’t buy what she’s saying, and that those facts are untrue. The woman then snaps and says she can’t handle trying to get her son a shot, and dares everyone to do better. They try, with hilarious results.
So how does South Park top something that hilarious? With something even crazier! That pig wrangler convinces the town to have a rodeo so all non-vaccinated kids get shots, and Cartman’s the main event.
Take That, China!
Meanwhile, Liane got thrown out by Cartman over her stunt, so she ends up going to Tegridy Farms. Since Randy’s still dealing with his family’s disgust, they get high and talk their problems out. Randy realizes that he needs to make things right and get his Tegridy back, so he makes amends with his partner. I knew it’s implied he meant Sharon, but I knew it would be Towelie.
Towelie does end up coming back, but not before Randy vows to stop selling to the Chinese. He even makes Randy say “f**k the Chinese.” Under many circumstances, that would be racist as they come, but it’s made apparent he’s referring to the policies of the Chinese Government. Plus, it gives Matt and Trey a chance to pay China back for what they did.
SHOTS!!! Was Hilarious
So, the episode ends with Cartman getting out of another shot thanks to his mom. She blocks a shot he would have gotten, but makes it clear it’s so she can do it her way. In the end, Cartman willingly goes back to finally get a shot, but the episode has one last laugh for us. Remember that “artistic” joke? The shot made Liane into someone who wants to create art; an artist. Well played, South Park.
By a wide margin, this was the best episode of the season. In fact, it’s one of the funniest episodes South Park has done in years. I loved “SHOTS!!!”, and while not as ambitious as “200” and “201”, it brought us a lot of laughs. In the end, isn’t that what matters? Not to mention that it tackled an issue like vaccination by reminding us that it’s not an issue. Vaccinations are a good thing, and the odds they’re not are astronomical. If even South Park can say that with as close to a straight face as possible, then it has to be good.
I Give “SHOTS!!!” A 5/5. Happy 300th Episode, South Park!
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