South Park season 1 episode 10 review

The new kid at school arrives in South Park, as our look back at season one continues...

10. Damien

The arrival of a new kid at school who wears all black and sets things on fire can mean only one thing: the son of the Devil has arrived in South Park!

Damien has come to deliver the message that Satan wishes to fight Jesus, a battle to the death to decide once and for all who will claim eternal glory: the forces of good, or evil? But first, the macabre little outcast must deal with the social pressures of conforming at school, fitting in, and dealing with bullies (particularly jibes from Cartman which include “Who cut your hair, Stevie Wonder?”).

With the ultimate fight taking the form of a boxing match, the locals hot tail it to the bookies to place their bets on Jesus – that is, until the weigh-in takes place and it’s revealed the Devil weighs almost three times as much as the lord and saviour.

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At once, everybody in the town changes their bet to back Satan – everybody except one person, the identity of whom remains a mystery for now.

Deflated, Jesus is about ready to give up, until the boys employ a little help from Chef to train him up in the ring.

Elsewhere, this episode sees Cartman celebrating his birthday, and dishing out specific instructions as to which presents people must buy for him (in a parody of Power Rangers, Cartman desires the red, blue and yellow Mega Man toys so that he can make Ultra Mega Mega Man).

When he learns that, in order to be liked, all he has to do is join in with the others and pick on Pip (a brilliant observation of children’s behaviour, I think), Damien decides to gatecrash the birthday party so that he can perform a special routine – summoning demons from Hell to toss Pip into the air, effectively exploding him. This goes down well with the boys, who immediately embrace Damien and welcome him into their fold.

The party ends thanks to a tantrum by Cartman just in time for everybody to make it over to the arena where Jesus and Satan are battling it out in the ring. Satan throws the punches while Jesus simply sways on the spot, beat up and dizzy (makes sense really, you wouldn’t expect the representation of all that is good to strike back). However, he does eventually throw a punch – a weak, puny, ineffective punch. All the same, Satan crumples to the floor and Jesus wins the fight.

This is when the revelation comes that the only person still betting on Jesus to win was Satan all along; he threw the fight so that he could win and claim a big wad of cash.

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The only bad thing to say about this episode is that, really, it doesn’t make any sense. Why would the Devil come to earth simply to screw a few people out of some money? Does the Prince of Darkness really need our Earth money? Can it be exchanged for goods and services in Hell?

This can be overlooked, though, thanks to the abundance of brilliant scenes, my favourite of which has to be Cartman’s total flip out at being given a game called Ants in the Pants at his birthday, instead of the toy he wanted.

Read our review of episode 9 here.