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South Park Review 19.7 – “Naughty Ninjas”

November 12, 2015 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
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South Park Review 19.7 – “Naughty Ninjas”  

South Park continues this season’s storyline, taking on the incendiary topic of police violence. Craig and Token decide to become ninjas and set up a sweet ninja fort in Sodo Sopa. Note: I’ve been writing the plural of “ninja” without an S for all my life. It seems though, that this is another bit of grammar that so many people screw up—that it’s now considered correct even though the Japanese don’t use Ss to denote plurality. Therefore, I shall bow to the majority. But dammit, “literal” still doesn’t mean “not literal.” Spoilers for “Naughty Ninjas” follow.

“Naughty Ninjas” begins with the cops being called to South Park elementary. In fact, it looks like all the cops. They don’t know why they’re there, or what’s happening. Turns out, PC Principal has called them because perennial troublemaker Leslie was talking during an assembly. Obviously a commentary on cops being called to schools for innocuous things like homemade clocks or refusing to leave a class that’s under an hour long. In the confusion, Officer Barbrady thinks he’s being threatened and ends up shooting a child. He is unceremoniously dismissed.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t care for the portrayal of a cop shooting a child as a silly, barbrady-esque whoopsie. But it’s South Park. That’s how they roll. We see the long time South Park cop stripped of his sunglasses and sent home alone to care for his sick doggie. Sad times. Let’s not forget that Officer Barbrady has always been stupid and awful. Let’s not also forget that the town fires him because they think they’re too progressive for his shenanigans. They’re not.

When the McCormick family calls the remaining cops for help with encroaching homeless and addicted folks—the cops refuse to do anything about it. Again, this mirrors real-life situations where cops think they shouldn’t have to go out and do their jobs if there’s going to be a big to-do every time they beat the hell out of and/or murder people who weren’t posing a threat to them. If South Park’s goal was to enrage everyone on all sides of the issue (which it probably was), they did a swell job with “Naughty Ninjas”. Besides, does anybody really know what “farm to table” means? 😉

The ninja fortress build by Kenny, David (da-VEED), Token, and Craig is indeed, pretty sweet. Better still, their ninja antics do seem to be frightening interlopers away. Watch for arguments about whether or not ninjas are gay or if Jews should be allowed to be ninjas. It doesn’t take long for us to realize that these ninjas bear a striking resemblance to ISIS. Nor does it take long for South Park’s usual suspects to stage an anti-cop protest where “F*ck Da Police” plays at top volume. “No to Pigs, Yes to Free Range Pork” indeed.

Of course, the “progressive” set in South Park is not pleased with all the icky homeless people being dirty and homeless in their town. Who’s to blame? ISIS—duh! This leads to a beautiful scene where Jimmy’s parents question him about his newfound beliefs. Downtown, Randy leads a group of townspeople to the police station, pleading with the cops to do something about the ISIS children. The cops are engaged in Hawaiian party planning, but still seem to be getting cop salaries for some reason. Not that it should have to be said—but it’s entirely possible to have respect for the police while still wanting the violent ones removed from duty. Anti-cop sentiment doesn’t just stem from violent incidents, but from other cops who swarm in to protect those who were clearly out of line.

The boys are thrilled but confused when the real ISIS offers them funding. Eric is extra pleased when ISIS agrees that Jews can’t be “ninjas”. The town invites Barbrady, now homeless himself, to shoot the ISIS kids and get rid of the homeless in Sodo Sopa. Really? Yeah, South Park needs him. How can they go to Whole Foods when there’s something unpleasant just outside?!? Randy, the Mayor, everyone convinces him that he is valued and needed. Reluctantly, the former cop agrees. It ends up pretty much how you’d expect—with David being shot (but not seriously hurt) and Barbrady getting re-fired.

It’s not until the final moments of “Naughty Ninjas” that we learn that there’s a plan to take South Park down from within. Who is responsible? What dastardly person could hatch such a plan? Ostensibly, it’s Leslie. We’re shown a photo of Leslie being pushed on a swing by…PC Principal. WHAT?!? Mind-bending, right?

“Naughty Ninjas” was a pretty funny episode, though I didn’t laugh as much as I did in Ep 6. I loved the juxtaposition of Cartman and Randy both pretending that they didn’t say something we all watched them say. The issue with police violence was handled in a largely cop-friendly way. Not surprising if Trey and Matt want to avoid what Quentin Tarrantino has been dealing with of late. The bombshell revelation at the end of this episode makes me wonder where they’re going with this—and if PC Principal is due for a major comeuppance.

See you’s next week!

The final score: review Good
The 411
"Naughty Ninjas" deals with the issue of police violence with a decidedly #NotAllPolice vibe. Out on a call, Barbrady accidentally injures a South Park student, while the town deals with an influx of homeless people in the recently gentrified Sodo Sopa. The McCormick's fail to secure the help they need, while Randy is disgusted at the sad people he's forced to look at whenever he goes to Whole Foods. The boys join forces to keep interlopers out of their sweet ninja fortress while the real ISIS keeps an eye on them. We learn that people are really freaked out by ninjas, see yet another South Park protest, and discover that Leslie is causing still more trouble.