Corina’s Cartoon Cuts: South Park, Last of the Meheecans

After an unsobering first episode about Assburgers, the latest episode of South Park takes a look at the good old game of Texans vs. Mexicans… or as the U.S. calls it “Border Patrol”. Even Steven Segal’s been playing lately, and as a Canadian I always enjoy watching anti-immigration attitudes being shot down.

Of course Cartman is pitted against the Mexicans, but an unlikely hero emerges in this week’s show. Orgullo de Mantequilla, The Last of the Meheecans… LOL, crazy right? I mean, “We’ve heard of Mexican ice cream, but Mexican PATRIOTISM?”

[Spoilers Start Here]

So in case you’re not up on your Spanish (which I’m not, thank you Google)… Mantequlla means butter or peanut butter, and yes, Butters is this week’s star. Though he is a great Meheecan in his Mexico trucker hat and dirt-smudged face, he’s not really a leader of Mexico (yet).

Kyle is chosen to lead the Meheecan assault against Cartman’s backyard border patrol team. Classic. And of course Cartman is beaten brutally, with almost all the Mexicans successfully making it back over his makeshift fence.

What no one realizes is that the last Meheecan has been left behind. As Kyle celebrates a false victory over Cartman, the lone Mantequlla wanders through the snow, trying to find his amigos. Luckily, a nice Christian couple hit him with their car and, assuming he’s an “illegal”, they take him in to their home.

What follows is a great satire of the prototypical American attitude towards Mexicans, set to a jaunty little tune we’ll call “Work, Mexican, Work”. The couple shower the lucky Mantequilla with chores and constant work in an effort to keep him happy. They even buy him a shiny new leaf blower to show how much they care.

Of course Cartman soon notices one Mexican is missing and that the game is still on. The other boys search for Mantequilla desperately, spreading his notoriety and postering the town. Motivated by the chance to win the game, Cartman does everything he can to have Mantequlla shot or deported.

Back at the home of the generous Christians, they discover Mantequilla is unhappy and wants to return to his amigos. They have no choice but to take him back to his own kind, and drop him off at the closest El Pollo Loco (Crazy Chicken) mexican restaurant.

Luckily the name Mantequlla is already famous among the employees, and Butters (still playing the game) inadvertently convinces them all to leave their crappy American jobs, gather up their amigos, and return to glorious Mexico.

Igniting a wave of reverse immigration, this gives Cartman the chance to join the Border Patrol (the real one). Thanks to Orgullo de Mantequilla (Pride of Mantequilla), people are starting to recognize how much it sucks to live in the U.S. And it’s sort of true; with so much “Segal” devoted to keeping Mexicans out, the U.S. has sort of neglected to consider whether its even worth getting in.

In the meantime, Mantequilla has been brought safely to Mexico, revelling in a nation of patriotic followers. However Butters Mantequilla still only wants to come home to his true amigos (in the U.S.). This of course, requires him to cross the border at the exact place where Cartman is patrolling. Aaaaaaand…. Game on.

As Mantequilla approaches the border fence, the Patrol officers see it as a sign that the U.S. has regained prosperity, and quickly open up the gates to let him in. But Cartman hates to lose a game of Texans vs. Mexicans. Without going in to the glib details, it just wouldn’t be South Park if Cartman came out a winner. Basically Mantequilla uses a donkey and a pinata makes it over the border, and the Mexicans win the game.

If you were expecting any kind of grand conclusion, I’m afraid this isn’t the South Park you’re looking for. However I can tell you that Butters, though a great Meheecan, is not a leader of Mexicans.

One thing I do love about the episode is the reinforcement of Butters as a supporting character. If you’ve been watching the last few episodes, there was a concern that the cast was limiting the shows’ ability to brand out and broaden its analysis. On the contrary, what I love about the show is that in 15 years of consistent character development, they have (literally) a town’s worth of people to integrate in to their twisted plot lines.

And when they run out, they just invent a Mexican version.

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