Love how the scooters appeared out of nowhere. And we still never get an explanation as to how they arrived. Love how serious business it was to be the ones to get the most candy using the scooters. And every kid thought they were the only ones who came up with the plan. Of course fun callback to the fact the Marshes still live on Tegridy Farms. Kenny as the one recalling the tale. The boys kicking Kenny out of their group since he'll 'slow them down' for being too poor to have a phone. Poor Kenny. Hilarious when Cartman asks Stan 'should we use your mom's credit card number or mine?' 'Hmm... probably should use your mom's.' Another funny callback to an older episode. Forgot which one but Stan proceeds to tell the guys he can buy something because he knows his mom's credit card number. Nice to see some things never change.
The police suggesting everyone be prepared to buy $6,000 worth of candy. Then the sure madness of everyone scooting around town like crazed people. Just how I pictured it would be. Whenever someone on the scooter hits Mackey's car- 'oops, sorry bro.' LOL The boys loaded down with so much candy they have to go back to refill their bags the only way they can, Cartman- eat as much candy as you can! Then Stan proceeds to vomit it back up.
Funny how a few years ago Kenny was able to afford an Iron Man costume when the boys went out as the Avengers but this year can't afford to dress up.
There were so many great things about this episode I'm sure I'll rediscover when I re-watch it again. 9/10. This season is shaping up to be very very good so far.
I ship: Stan/Cartman <3
Sharon: What is it honey? (gasp!) My baby's killed again!
Haa, I love that line.
It was also really good to see Kenny. I felt bad for him the whole time. The fact that he was so happy to have a lousy pumpkin bucket was telling. I’m glad it went well for him at the end. And yeah he probably would make a good counselor.
In the end, the rest of the gang didn't have to confront the fact that they were sh*tty friends to Kenny. Kenny getting to be with his friends didn't feel like enough. I wish they could've made it so Kenny takes down the cell tower earlier in the episode so he ends up cleaning house on the candy while everyone else is stranded outside of town trying to hit up folks like The Marshes.
Actually, what I was really expecting was for Kenny to get squished by the tower. I mean seriously, how did he survive that? Which, by the way, you don't have to knock it down; just cut the power to it.
Despite these weaknesses I really liked this one. I like the idea that some kids come up with what they think is a genius, unique idea only to discover everyone else already thought of it. It reminds me a lot of Tooth Fairy Tats. I'm always a fan of Kenny being the hero.
The mayhem of all those scooters zipping around with everyone in costume was quite the animation feat, too. They surely benefited from the extra week to get this one done.
The E-scooter thing is a genuine annoyance in many cities. They get people tossing them off of bridges and stuff constantly. And I don't think there is a single company operating those scooters profitably at present. It's just a mad rush to try and grab market share for something that could end up being a total bust. Meanwhile, sidewalks get cluttered with dumb scooters. They're trying to duplicate the bikeshare idea, but without the part where you return the bike to designated, city-approved locations.
Mr. Maki's attempt to rid the city of scooters by dumping them off a cliff was cribbed from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Another aside: they seriously remade that movie this year? Blasphemy!)
As for the boys' costumes, I maybe recognize Stan is Aquaman? The rest must be like Fortnite characters or something.
You read it! You can't unread it!
Also, that reference to Megyn Kelly was really funny. Stephen going trick or treating while he's an adult, not a kid, makes it work much better.
What's even worse is that he had a smartphone like all the other kids did two years ago, yet now he can't afford one (which is no excuse, really, as he could get a free phone from Colorado's LifeLine program. He probably had one of those two years ago. Had he one this year, one of the other three could have spotted him a ride)
Wait?! The voice of Dr. Cortex from the Crash games played Kenny? That's pretty cool.
You know, I almost guessed the episode would be about scooters from the title, but I'd only known of e-bikes, so I came just short of the necessary connection. I've been told by multiple people since air that these things are indeed everywhere, especially downtown, and even read about the aggressive practices with microtransport, but having not been previously familiar with them, I was caught a little off-guard... in the end though, can't hold that against the show.
I'm not really sure why this episode is about Mr. Mackey; it's certainly nice that it's not someone's dad, but he's such a passive and kindly character in a typical episode that it often strikes me odd when he's being used as angry which often seems to be his primary theme when used as a lead character. It feels like he could've been classic Garrison, Jimbo, Adler, Randy, Stephen or even Stuart here, to much the same effect. His "scoots" speech could apply to anyone. I don't want to complain, because I'm glad to see Mackey, but I kind of wish the connection felt a little more direct. It is a little funny that I remember saying last week, 'oh, they re-designed Mackey's House' and here it is. Still no first name.
A surprising amount of time goes into setting up this story, as one of Mackey's neighbors tells him about the new scooters, and we see his gradual annoyance with them, as well as his visit to the candy store and his efforts to get rid of the high amount of scooters. I think we might have a minute too many of Mackey rolling his eyes at people riding along on them; certainly I can see the satire, but not quite the humor. Nothing's wrong with it, but a sense that maybe it was decent to good instead of truly great.
One of the interesting wrinkles in this story is that Mackey twice visits the green building on Main Street, identified as the D-Mobile building in the games, here seems to be the new location for Lolly's Candy Factory, previously seen in season 6's "A Ladder to Heaven". He's lost weight and dressed differently, but Lolly himself is back looking aged the fifteen-some years since that episode aired. I may seem like a stickler for continuity, but I was fine with how this was done and welcome it over a new candy store and operator.
Return of the Kenny
Many of the show's previous Halloween episodes involved competitive elements, such as costume contents or a pumpkin carving contest, often with a big candy prize. Though SP has engaged in casual food humor, it's surprisingly rare that food is actually a chief motivator for the kids themselves, but it's a very kid thing to be motivated by candy, and that's at full play here, as the boys decide to use e-scooters to get candy on Halloween night... unfortunately, e-scooters require phones to use, and Kenny now lacks one. Despite Kyle's promise to "make it work", the boys end up quietly kicking Kenny out of their plans, exiling him to find other friends.
Kenny next turns to... Clyde, Token, Jimmy and Butters, who repeat the gag, but with a scale model of the town. It's an odd quartet, three of the four usual members of Craig and Those Guys and the boys' treasured Butters, especially when Clyde and Token shopped for costumes with Craig and Tweek two (three) weeks ago... and then in a more welcome change of pace, he tries the Girls, using a chirpy voice much like he used back in "Tweek Vs. Craig" in home ec... but before the Girls can even reject him, he finds out they, too, plan to use e-scooters and bails. Tweek and Craig are depicted with some unfamiliar kids.
Dejected, he turns to Mr. Mackey for help and while their motivations for disliking the scooters are different, they seem to form an odd friendship, just like Randy and Towelie two weeks ago and more dramatically, Fr. Maxi and Butters before that. It's satisfying after almost three years without a Kenny episode to have Mackey lampshade the show's tendency to "forget about [him]" and remind Kenny his value as someone compassionate and smart. It's also nice that, like with Maxi and Butters, the characters have a familiarity the show sometimes neglects.
Before we even hit the conclusion, I think this was the kind of episode Kenny has needed for years - an acknowledgement of his status as something of a forgotten misfit, not as close to the other three boys anymore as they are with each other, but not necessarily beloved or loathed to the rest of the kids either. It's a nice, simple exploration of Kenny's social place in the show and town, and in a subtle way, writes his quiet nature into the character for the future. You certainly feel bad he isn't better-liked, but it makes sense with how he's been used in recent years; he plays into it all very well.
Tricks and Treats
During the second act, the adults become increasingly worried about the candy situation, particularly after Detective Yates briefs them about how they will need thousands of dollars in candy. This alone could have been an intruguing plotline without the previous setup, but by halfway through the story, it's more the circumstances that raise the stakes for the third Act. They never make an obvious reference, but it kept reminding me of The Purge films; the panic over one night that seems impossible to control.
The Marshes are indeed still living on a Colorado farm and we see their panic over the ensuing trick-or-treaters, after being convinced they'll be fine living outside town, presumably past the closer cattle ranches. A small gem in here is Stephen and Linda's worry and the former's insistence he can maybe just trick or treat his way to more candy. In all of this, we get the unexpected but welcome return of Jimbo and Ned's House, not seen in twelve years, with a little touch-up, and we confirm Ned still lives with him, and he's referenced in dialogue, despite no lines for him. As a bonus, they get an amusing exchange with Stephen as he tries to bullsh*t them for candy. As long as M&T are bringing back minor characters, maybe these two can be next.
Among the actual trick-or-treaters, there's a lot of reused art assets; the Goth Kids wear their Viking outfits from South Park: The Stick of Truth, as does Annie her fairy outfit; but we can also see a Raisins Girl, and Nelly in her Danish outfit from "Douche and a Danish"; plenty of generic kids in costumes can also be seen from back in "A Nightmare on Face Time", especially Star Wars costumes, banans, and Finn from Adventure Time. The topical costumes are reserved for our main, visible kids.
Why the boys suddenly stop and insist they have to eat their candy now to make room for more, I'm not sure. I mentioned above the competitive history of these plots, but it's never indicated if there's a reason the boys want more candy than anyone else; maybe it's just a joke about the kids being so desperate to accumulate their candy wealth that they'll waste what they have to acquire more, but that feels too complex for the show's style?
Kenny and Mackey eventually talk through someone in a hyperdetailed Jason costume (a cool scene, and surprisingly no reused art from Imaginationland's classic version of the character; this is the Freddy vs. Jason version of the character) with a clever pun about Mackey's status as a counselor, and after knocking out the cell phone tower, Kenny resumes normal trick or treating with his friends, and we find out he's the narrator... and Mackey counsels Mr. Testaburger fo some reason? None of this explains why the e-scooters can't be back when the tower's fixed, but okay.
Mapping South Park
The recent games have gone to great lengths try to establish a set map for the town, and for the last five seasons or so, the main distant shot follows an earlier version produced for South Park: The Stick of Truth, which still includes neighbors by Token and the cut Perkins' Restaraunt (with revisions to exclude the Tower of Peace after ShiTpaTown began) but hasn't been updated to include any of the new locations from the second game. Many episodes have followed suit though, with the Church now shown behind the school and City Wok seemed to be next to Jimbo's Guns in-series before season 19 moved that area around to accomodate the 'food and arts district' point. (The right decision in the end.)
This episode serves as another reminder that the town's geography is always in flux based on convenience, however. Additional residences appear in distance shots, and Clyde's own map prop follows suit in showing many more houses and much fewer businesses. There are obviously a ton of shots, too, that show four-way intersections both of main street businesses as well as residences, neither of which makes much sense in the map supplied in game.
It's important to remember these games are welcome and well-crafted approximations of the town's layout and not necessarily an exact, locked arrangement.
What's in a Name?
This is a pretty rivial and skippable section, but I wanted to talk about something else.
Officer Barkley, first identifed in "Obama Wins!", has a different voice than his usual and is referred to as 'Officer Brown', a name previously used for Foley in way back in season 7's "Toilet Paper" as Policeman Brown. By all typical rules of nomenclature, we should be calling him 'Mitch Brown' now on; but whenever a character's name is changed casually to something that is already common, I'm always tempted to treat it as a goof/mistake. Ryan Valmer was 'Steven' for once, but there were already two fathers named Steven/Steve, and it was seasons before he was re-affirmed as Ryan. Annie's name was given as Nelson in "The Hobbit", but she's Knitts in the game released shortly before, and I still tried to hold with Knitts. Given that four or so policemen have been identified as 'Mitch' in addition to two or three further characters, I chose to disregard the former, and now the reuse of the generic 'Brown' tempts me to ignore it. Funnily enough, Foley was also Nelson at one point.
It's tricky that the show reuses some names like Kevin, Mitch, Pete, Steven, Nelson, Brown, Jarvis, and such so frequently; you don't want to set a precedent that fans can simply use any name they choose, or that names can be changed wildly, but it's a shame to see a unique identifier like 'Barkley', 'Ryan' or 'Knitts' be superceded by a name that's been applied elsewhere.
A Nightmare on the Scoots
I thought this episode makes for a curious comparison with season 16's special "A Nightmare on Face Time" as both deal with how a new form of technology that is seen as convenient by most characters changes the state of the holiday. Most characters in the older episode see it as old news that streaming is more convenient, while other characters suffer misfortune due to their perception that video rental is still a viable platform, with Randy being driven to homicical madness over his obsession with justifying his investment. In this episode, however, the characters praising the convenience of e-scooters seem to be absent-minded and selfish, while it's Mackey's warnings about not moving into the future too quickly that are more heroic.
In general, the series seemed to have an optimistic, pro-technology bent for a while, most notably in season eighteen, but in the last few years it seems to be taking a more cautious position, similar to earlier seasons, such as "Canada on Strike!" back a decade ago.
- Early in the episode, we catch another glimpse of Dr. Spooky's Pumpkin Patch, which was featured last season in "Sons a Witches". Cool to see this stick, while we haven't heard as much about the previous Halloween festivities, besides references to some kind of costume contest. We also glimpse the Halloween Outlet store from earlier this season.
- When see Gerald and then Richard Tweek handing out candy, the subs on my television showed Sheila saying "We're out of candy!" between Gerald's line and Richard's "Don't tell me we're out of candy!" [approx] response, suggesting this scene was changed late in production.
- A few characters say "tricks and treats" for some reason; think this has happened before. Do people do this? Never seen it here.
This isn't my best-written review, and it borders a little on summarization at points. I'm sorry. I actually really liked this episode and found it the very rare South Park story that picks up steam with a stronger second and third Act after a weaker first. It's great to see Kenny in action again and his social status explored and we get to have plenty of Halloween fun along the way. This season is going along great so far!
It's so fun to see Kenny in action again. Great character development since...forever, if you think about it. I just feel the whole Mysterion magic is still around! Loved the narration and the voice at the end, member' stephen king's stand by me?
And Butters was so f*cking cute in this episode, subtle details like his smile when the bell was about to ring, he can be so sweet and pure sometimes, he gets me everytime.
Mr. Mackey's revelation deserves to be mentioned too, he delivered really good scenes and lines, my favorite was the one up the hill, pushing the scooters, nice art.
Will watch again for all the costumes too, so much to see!
Mackey's role reminds me of the Grinch who Stole Christmas....he hates the scooters so much that he comes up with a diobolical way to rid of them.
Craig looked like a gingerbread man but someone else said the costumes have a lot to do with fortnite.
I also LOVED Mr. Stotch's part of dressing up as "Megan Kelly" (Blackface).
Mr Hankey's Christmas thing was cancelled and it was written in sh*t.
We also don't know if Kenny dies and then reincaranted himself after he destroys the cell tower.
I really do feel bad for Kenny because I was poor. I didn't have cable for a long time, was made fun of it (Long story....right now I don't have cable again! So it's tough to watch these live...or I have to wait til at least the next day :/ ) But yeah I can relate to being left out of things. Weird narration by an 'older' Kenny.
But yeah good ep overall. 8/10
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