South Park Season 18 Episode 3 recap & review
Continuing with the seasonal theme of one episode creating the next episode’s premise, “South Park” quickly jumped back to the gag of Randy Marsh being recording artist Lorde. The show has yet to hit the season premiere’s high marks, but Parker manages to revisit familiar funny territory this week when Eric Cartman grows hellbent on having his way just the way he wants it. The particular cherry on top is that Parker works both Randy and Cartman’s arcs together, however the Cartman plot gets discarded in favor of Randy’s as the episode progresses. Butters also jumped in to let us know he’s back.
The camera pans out from Cartman as he carries on an obvious, vengeful inner monologue. So obvious, in fact, that Stan visibly shifts his stance away from his tubby friend. Eric promises to unleash the surprise in his front pocket. It isn’t long before the evil fourth grader bequeaths his wrath on his school in the form of a pink bow in his front pocket. In a matter of convenient moments, Cartman becomes confused about his gender identity right when he is refused use of the boys’ restroom due to no vacancies during recess. A stall opens up in the girls’ restroom just in time for him.
Quickly becoming a discredit to transgendered folks, Cartman disgusts the girls in the restroom with his intense B.M. Principal Victoria becomes next victim to Cartman as she questions him in her office about his gender identity. His preparation exceeds hers by a great deal and she quickly appeases the tiny menace. Principal Victoria then consults with the mother of all gender identity problems in Mr. Garrison, who confirms all of Cartman’s uproarious new vocabulary.
A Spin magazine reporter dressed like a forties film noir P.I. questions every lead he can get toward the truth about singer Lorde. This gag played funny at first, but quickly got old after his third appearance. Sharon makes a far more shocking discovery while cleaning laundry for the Marsh clan that puts her on the same path as the reporter. As his lyrics clearly state, he is Lorde.
“Erica” Cartman keeps up the transgender charade to abuse his ability to use the girls’ restroom until the janitor’s closet becomes his private executive bathroom as a part of the principal’s appeasing him. He then breaks out the whip and punishes the toilet. In an act of perfect retaliation as only she could, Wendy attends school as “Wendell” and gets to share the transgender restroom with Erica. Cartman pitches a fit and appeals to Stan in order to get the bathroom back to his own. In his appeal, Cartman explains the scenario and manipulates the situation to his favor and ends up confusing Stan in the process.
Unfortunately, Stan seeks his father’s advice once more to find out if he can be someone else on the inside. Randy then confesses his deep, dark secret to his son. This confuses Stan only further as he finds no choice but use the transgender restroom at school the next day. Of course, Cartman is only more enraged and proceeds to form a hate group against Stan. All of this just for his own private executive restroom—classic Cartman.
After Lorde/ Randy is asked to use a transgender restroom at work because the women are uncomfortable, Sharon enters to motivate her husband just enough to write another hit song as Lorde. All is well and good with the world. Principal Victoria disbands the transgender bathroom and instead deems it for people uncomfortable for sharing a restroom with “all us normal people who don’t care.”
Once more, “South Park” takes a definite stance on a relevant topic and Cartman has a plan way too extreme for the ends to justify the means. No jokes are really that memorable as the Randy/ Lorde gag eclipses just about every joke like last week. At least it had an explanation.