"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review

(S1412) Much like The Dark Knight was an improvement over Batman Begins (though I'm of the thinking that The Dark Knight is quite overrated), so was "Mysterion Rises" an improvement over "Coon 2."  And, interestingly enough, it would seem that the title "Mysterion Rises" is a play on the title of the next Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises," which is, if you were unaware, a terrible title for a movie.  

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"Mysterion Rises" had a pretty clever twist and that's saying something for some recent seasons of South Park. While they are always good for a great many laughs, it's hard to give Trey Parker and Matt Stone too much credit for, well, trying.  They've even admitted in interviews that it's really hard to come up with great stories, and it would seem based on a lot of episodes, they don't let this fact bog them down too much.  Here, they seemed to actually give a damn and the results pay off rather nicely.

The big twist (spoiler alert) is that Mysterion is actually Kenny and that his reincarnation ability is an actual superpower.  Whenever he dies, he simply wakes up the next morning in his same clothes from the day before and nobody remembers his death.  (Of course this is in direct conflict with the ending of "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" which proposed that Kenny's parents somehow have a new baby that they name Kenny moments after each time that Kenny dies.  But, this is stupid, so I'm not going to care.)  When Captain Hindsight (who has a breakdown when the "Courtney Love" pictures are sent to him) complains about his own powers tarnishing his legacy, Kenny/Mysterion responds: "You want to whine about curses, Hindsight?  You're talking to the wrong f--king cowboy."

As troubling as Kenny's power may be, he's going to need it to stop Cartman and his new alliance with the Dark Lord Cthulhu.  Using his raccoon-like powers of "being adorable" (in a stomach-scratching scene that, frankly, went on way too long), Cartman/Coon forges a bond with Cthulhu and uses the evil god-beast to destroy all of his enemies: hippies, Jewish people, and the City of San Francisco.

Also, ushering in Cthulhu's destruction of Earth is a cult back in South Park that includes the Goth Kids as members.  Near the end of the episode, they kill Kenny, but of course his powers bring him right back.  Their introduction and the beginning of Cthulhu's alliance with The Coon is mostly in place to set up the epic final part to the trilogy next week when Coon and Friends (still called that because it pisses Cartman off) take on all the forces of evil.

But the aspect of this episode that everyone will be talking about is its parody of the recent "What Should I Do?" LeBron James Nike commercial -- with Tony Hayward and other taking on the LeBron role.  One of South Park's biggest strengths is its ability to produce episodes ten times quicker than most animated shows.  That LeBron commercial is like two weeks old.  To create such a cunning satire of it so quickly is awesome, plain and simple.

Lingering thoughts about "Mysterion Rises":

  • As I mention above how quickly South Park is animated, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how impressed I am by the Cthulhu creature design.  I doubt they got that done in two weeks.
  • I like how it is implied that Kenny used his Mysterion persona to bully his parents into treating him better and giving him an allowance.  Also: that they smoke meth.
  • So to clarify some identities: Mysterion = Kenny.  Coon = Cartman.  Tool Shed = Stan.  Human Kite = Kyle.  Tupperware = Token.  Timmy = Timmy.  Mosquito = Clyde.  Still unknown, though, is the identity of Mint Berry Crunch.
  • Captain Hindsight acquired his powers through the interference of a "retroactive" spider.
  • "Unfortunately we have just been informed that the dark lord Cthulhu has shat on the runway at the New Orleans airport." - Airline Clerk
  • "Oh man, these are really good lemon bars." - Cult Guy
  • "Dude, Kenny, chill out." - Human Kite
  • By Mike Proper

    About the author

    I work hard.  And I play hard.  

    Actually, I don't work that hard.

    Also I Tweet. Twitter.com/MikeProper

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    On: Thursday, November 4, 2010
    DonTV said:

    Mint Berry Crunch is Bradley. Close to the end of the last episode, we see a kid in the line up that has the same hair as min berry crunch. That there is Bradley.

    On: Thursday, November 4, 2010
    Mike Proper said:

    I didn't even know who Bradley was, but thanks for the insight.

    On: Thursday, November 4, 2010
    Jay said:

    The stomach-scratching scene was in reference to Totoro. It had me and my friends laughing our heads off, so there is a target audience for it. :) I hadn't seen the Nike advert so I didn't really get the joke till after, but on the whole I loved this episode. Then again I'm a die-hard fan of South Park. :D I'm so glad Mysterion is Kenny.

    On: Thursday, December 6, 2018
    Loves2Splooge said:
    Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation in the Coon and Friends Trilogy. Kenny's soul is inexorably tied to Carol McCormick's womb and has the power to eject other souls out of any fetus she may be carrying in the event of his death. If Carol had not been pregnant at the time, Kenny would have been born in the same ritualistic fashion as seen in "Coon vs. Coon and Friends". However, given her already pregnant state in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", Kenny's soul was injected into the host body and Kenny's would-be brother's soul was ejected into the cosmic aether. Hail Cthulhu.

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