South Park: Ginger Cow, Review

The Jews, Christians and Muslims have united and the result is a rocking Van Halen concert in Israel. Who would of thought a cow was the cause of this?

South Park added another religious-centered episode to its library with last night’s “Ginger Cow.” After Cartman dresses up a cow to look like a ginger, the story goes viral and soon the small mountain town in Colorado is overrun with religious zealots who believe the cow is a sign that the world is going to end. It becomes a heated debate between the Jews, Christians and Muslims, who gather in the Airport Hilton to voice their differing opinions on how exactly a world war will break out. Hinduism is the religion where cattle are best known to be sacred, but South Park surprisingly only incorporates Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It’s a lighthearted take on religion compared to South Park’s previous digs on Scientology, Mormonism and of course the handful of episodes that ridicule Catholicism and Judaism. 

In South Park, progress usually comes out of the ballroom of the Airport Hilton. It’s where the Ginger Kids rallied, Jimmy Buffett sung for AIDS awareness and both NAMBLA organizations assembled. The notion that the religions can’t even agree on ending the world is quickly overshadowed by the realization that the cow is a prophecy agreed upon by all religious leaders. Matt and Trey highlight the unity with a hilariously over-the-top performance by Van Halen in Israel, using real shots of secular crowds to amplify the intensity of rock anthem “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.”

I think longtime South Park fans would agree that we’re at the point in our relationship with Cartman where we understand that he’s a boy who, to borrow a line from The Dark Knight, just likes to watch the world burn. Rather than let the religions be at peace, he decides he should admit that the cow is a false prophet. But Kyle, Mr. Righteous, couldn’t let that happen. He becomes a hero by putting the weight of the world on his little shoulders and stomaching the vile flatulence of Eric Cartman.

The running joke in last night’s episode is Stan’s insistence that Kyle is being a dick for acting high and mighty. Stan’s point is that Gandhi wasn’t saying to his people “dude I’m so fucking awesome for starving myself check it out.” It’s a valid point. I think we can all assume that Gandhi went about his civil-disobedience business with a reserved determination. Sure Kyle embraces his role in saving the world, but who wouldn’t? 

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The episode builds to the revealing of the actual prophecy, where the religions foretold that a fat kid with a small dick paints a cow orange. It’s typical South Park to portray something as mysterious and earthshattering, only to reveal it’s a simplistic solution, like they did earlier in the season with Santa held captive by the NSA. Where that episode could have used more buildup or backstory, it’s hard to be disappointed in Matt and Trey flipping the entire cow plot in the final minutes. 

In my mind, this episode sparks a worthy debate. What would you do for world peace?

Some have tried to write a song that will bring the world together. Some have fasted, accepted jail time and given their life in pursuit of peace. But others are willing to take a punishment harsher than death if it means global salvation.

Put yourself in Kyle Broflovski’s shoes. Would you suck down Cartman’s yummy, yummy farts if the world could finally set its religious turmoil aside?

I have to think I would. If it means that Jews, Christians and Muslims could unite, ushering in ten years of Van Halen, then keep the farts coming. 

Prediction for Next Week: 

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There are quite a few characters overdue for some attention. Randy Marsh, because of the frequency in which he’s appeared over the last few years, comes to mind. Mr. Garrison has been overlooked for a while now, after being a huge influence in the show’s earlier seasons. Beyond that, it’s getting closer to the release of PS4/Xbox One. Don’t be surprised if Cartman freezes himself again. 


3.5 out of 5