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South Park 21.7 Review – ‘Doubling Down’

November 9, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
South Park - Doubling Down
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South Park 21.7 Review – ‘Doubling Down’  

“Doubling Down” felt like the season premiere and a follow-up to how season 20 played out more than a stand-alone episode in season 21. Given that it is the anniversary of Donald Trump winning, it makes sense that they would bring back President Garrison in a larger capacity and give the member berries a cameo.

The real story of this episode was the latest chapter in Kyle vs. Cartman feud. It’s the greatest feud in show history and one of the best feuds in television history. And they finally took it in a different direction. Instead of Cartman plotting to destroy Kyle’s race or Cartman playing the devil to Kyle’s angel. Kyle ended up being the bad guy. He turned out to be exactly what Cartman always said he was. A sneaky jew. He stole Heidi from right out under Cartman without even knowing it. Everyone told him to stay out, but he just couldn’t help himself.

The break-up and get back together of Cartman and Heidi lost a little luster due to previous episodes. They had broken up before, with Cartman threatening to kill himself, and Cartman left her in the woods to die last episode. I appreciate that they keep finding new ways to tell different stories through the same premise, but it’s getting a little repetitive.

Cartman, not being able to help himself because he’s Cartman, seeking comfort from Token’s family and wanting to be angry with that was good for a laugh.

The best part was the scene where Cartman realized what happened. It was straight out of Fantasia and the animation was flawless.

In the end, Cartman still won. Because he’s still a master manipulator who typically finds a way to end up on top. He’s been manipulating Heidi since day one and it’s continued to work for him. At some point, I would assume that it won’t work. One day, Heidi is going to be hip to his tricks and I hope it leads to the most glorious ass-kicking in show history. Better than the ass-kicking Wendy gave Cartman.

Heidi remaining with Cartman and doubling down served as a backdrop to President Garrison continuing to do his President Trump impression. South Park didn’t really break new ground here, but it’s pretty tough to break new ground with Trump at this point. They did introduce Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence as themselves. They added a “real” feel to Garrison’s Trump. Plus, McConnell being a turtle who knows nothing was good for a laugh.

The symbolism was quite clear during the “Unfaithful” montage as it blended Heidi’s disappointment with her choice in boyfriend and citizens disappointment with their choice of President. Once again, the musical choice was on point in this episode.

I’m not sure how much more life Matt and Trey can get out of President Garrison. I thought his cameo last week was well done as he was less president, more sexual predator, used to wrap up their story. As the actual president, there’s very little he can do that’s going to trump Trump.

The end scene where he promises to fuck us all to death for three more years was certainly a painful reminder of what’s to come.

The final score: review Good
The 411
If this were the season premiere, it would have made perfect sense. As the seventh episode of the season, it still worked and there were plenty of laughs to be had (I'm getting some Beyond Wendy's tomorrow), but just felt out of place. It tried to blend the serial story with the ability to stand-alone and the mix came out weird due to prior episodes this season. Still, the plot of the episode was Cartman vs. Kyle and that always works.