10 Thoughts On… South Park Episode 16-02: Tacos For Gold

After a subpar season opener, South Park is back for the second episode of season 16 titled Tacos For Gold

1. The episode begins with the Marsh family visiting Randy’s father in the old age home. When they are about to leave, Grandpa gives stan a piece of jewelry that he paid $6000 – a bolo tie made to look like King Henry 5.

2. Stan is forced to wear the bolo tie to school the next day and we get a classic bus stop scene with all four boys. Cartman starts out by sarcastically complimenting Stan on the bolo tie then tears into him. Finally Stan decides that he’d rather have the money than the bolo tie, and goes to sell it at a “Cash For Gold” store. Each of the store owners check out the tie, and offer super low amounts like $15.

3. One of the Cash For Gold stores is actually a Taco Bell – they slip in a Doritos taco reference – then the clerk at Taco Bell also checks out the tie. However they only offer a 6 layer burrito. This angers the boys who say they dont even have that – and the Taco Bell guy relents and offers a 7 layer burrito.

4. Cartman sees the scam and makes a formula that combines cash for gold and home shopping networks geared towards old people to turn nothing into gold. He goes on to start his own Cash For Gold business and then onto television jewelry sales.

5. Stan visits his grandfather again after noticing that the grandfather called in to buy another expensive piece of jewelry on TV. In a huge bummer moment, Grandpa talks about not being able to remember what his old dog Patches looked like. Stan vows to make it right.

6. Stan goes on the attack, calling into the TV jewelry sales show and goes on a tirade, insisting that the host kill himself. The boys also visit the smelting factoring to see where the jewelry is broken down, but the workers there say the jewelry itself is made in India. This leads them to India.

7. On his television sales show, Cartman is going way over the top on commentary, talking about getting f*cked by the callers on these deals. He then visits an Asian jewelry store where the older Asian woman uses the same sales technique on him and he realizes he is being scammed himself. This leads Cartman and Butters ALSO to India.

8. The last part of the show begins with a lengthy montage showing a necklace leave the factory in India, flying to the US to be sold on TV, then delivered to an old person. The old person gives the jewelry to someone as a give, who acts happy but then goes to sell it at Cash For Gold. That guy then sends it to be broken down and melted down into gold bars and separate jewels. Those supplies are then sent to India, the same factory, where they are fabricated. It went on a loop a few times then went faster and wackier.

9. Stan visits with his Grandpa telling him the story, then gives him a framed picture of Grandpa with Patches, which makes the Grandpa happy. He still calls him Billy, and also insults the bolo tie (forgetting he had bought it for him).

10. The last segment is another somewhat disturbing scene with the TV jewelry show taking call after call of old people asking him to kill himself – until he finally shoots himself in the head (offscreen, although blood spatters on the jewelry).

Overall: Awesome episode that told a cohesive story, had a ton of laugh out loud lines and exposed a pretty funny but sad issue. There were a couple of real “downer” scenes, but not on the scale of an episode of say Louie, and in the end there was some redemption with Stan and his grandfather. Overall a strong entry for season 16.