Warning: This review contains full spoilers from the episode.
South Park is a TV show that can be hit or miss at times; however, when it produces a phenomenal episode such as this one, it’s not hard to argue that the series is truly genius. Into its seventeenth season, the series has been excellent thus far with the episodes demonstrating why it is one of the best TV series running. This new episode is witty, comical, and hilarious, which will put anyone in tears of laughter.
“A Song of Ass and Fire” carries on from last week’s episode “Black Friday,” which centered around the release of the next-generation consoles, and of course, Black Friday. The episode opens up with Kenny, aka Lady McCormick, narrating the impending arrival of the new consoles. This is done through a female voice-over (not Emilia Clarke!) which is more Lord of the Rings than Game of Thrones (GOT). However, it is still hilarious. Furthermore, this follows into the opening theme which is backed with the GOT score. This was an enjoyable moment; one that I was not expecting, and not the first time that it’s been changed this season (e.g. “Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers”).
The episode takes us to the Microsoft HQ, where CEO Steve Ballmer refuses to “play into the joke” of the console war (“Guys, these are console wars, not some epic battle for a kingdom – I mean, come on”). This is a reverse switch that takes place – as last week we were at the Sony’s HQ looking into their response for the console war. The episode leads to the termination of Ballmer in a gruesome fashion by Bill Gates; the reason being, that Ballmer doesn’t get the console wars.
Arguably, the best moment of the episode lies in Cartman’s betrayal garden. The gag was brilliant in the first episode, but I worried that Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s return to it would wear down the novelty. However, I was so wrong and it left me appreciating how good the two individuals are. Cartman invites Butters into the garden – similar to Kenny in the first episode – and intends to back-stab him. The man who owns the garden returns, commenting every time Cartman brings someone new (“… how come every time you talk to someone it’s about betraying someone else?”). The joke is raised again when Cartman invites Kyle to the garden, replicating the exact speech and actions, which includes offering a flower to them. The funniest moment is when he returns for the final time and accompanied by Bill Gates, who, flips Cartman’s speech on him. This results with the man in the window returning (“Haha! Now who’s walking who through the betrayal garden”). The entire sequence continues to reiterate, why I consider South Park to be one of the best shows out there.
Matt and Trey continue to drop GOT references; which include the promiscuous relationship between the two news anchors: Tom and Tammy. Their opening news report even opens with (“It’s the morning news with Tom and Tammy Thompson, Colorado’s top-rated brother-sister news team.”) This is mimicking the incestuous relationship that the Lannister Siblings, Jamie and Cersei share.
Butters and Scott Malkinson – under the order of Cartman – arrive at the home of George R. R. Martin. They want Martin to explain what happens at the end of GOT but he proceeds to explain the story with “gay wiener” jokes. This also leads to him bringing out a wiener choir playing the GOT theme. This scene drops a major GOT spoiler in the upcoming series, masked in many red herrings. Be warned by this, I’ve read the books and it doesn’t take a genius to know which one they’re pointing out. Martin’s house even features the ‘penis statue’ from A Clockwork Orange. Matt and Trey’s pizza metaphor for this scene is superbly done. In this, Martin claims to have ordered pizza for the boys, but continues to change the quantity and time. This metaphor is a reference to A Song of Ice and Fire originally being a trilogy, before Martin decided to extend it to seven volumes. At the end of the episode, Martin delays Thanksgiving and Black Friday to December 4th – the same time that the next South Park episode will air. The ‘wiener’ joke is part of the grittier humor which South Park is known for; so I can understand if people don’t enjoy it. On the other hand, I thought it was brilliant.
Sony’s CEO realizes the threat that Microsoft poses, so he offers Kenny an amulet which resembles a Sailor Moon Transformation Brooch (and other Japanese-style amulets). This leads to Kenny transforming into a Japanese anime and offered a hilarious moment in the show. It was comedy at its finest.
The ending for the two episodes have been fantastic thus far, both nodding towards the final moments of each GOT season. The previous episode finished with the rat screeching, similar to Danny’s dragon in GOT season 1. This one ends with the horde of people marching on the mall, similar to the White Walkers in season 2. It is fantastic how crisp the endings have been, and the homage paid to GOT. Will the next episode finish in a ‘Red Wedding’ fashion? Hopefully, but I expect The Rains of Castamere to be played, if that is the case.
So far, this South Park season has delivered some excellent episodes. It continues to drive the series forward from the last season and “A Song of Ass and Fire” is excellent. I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode in this trilogy.