by Jeremy Rogers
“Moss Piglets” is the latest installment of South Park’s 21st season. Last week’s “Doubling Down” saw the show bring out one of its smartest episodes in years, communicating a clear message that is not often heard in modern political discourse. Naturally, fans were eager to see if last week’s episode was a sign of a new trend of brilliance or if it was a fluke.
Less of a fluke and more of a sea bear. Sea creature puns aside, this episode was not the second coming that fans were hoping for. The special-ed science fair is coming up soon, and Nathan and Mimsy are trying to win so they can use their success to score some girls. All the while Cartman’s girlfriend Heidi is angry people are trying to hold her to her promise to judge the science fair on a Saturday. Heidi has changed drastically since fully embracing Cartman; she’s become fat, more belligerent, and much more outspoken about whatever displeases her.
Nathan and Mimsy’s baking soda and vinegar volcano looks like it won’t hold up to Jimmy and Timmy’s research into sea bears. They do their bit where Nathan tries to sabotage the sea bear experiment, but he ends up making their project even better. All the while Mimsy keeps spilling the beans about how they are up to no good. It’s a standard formula for South Park but not one that’s outworn its welcome.
The science fair takes an interesting turn when men in suits arrive at the school to help fund Jimmy and Timmy’s research. The kids are surprised to learn that the men are not from the government but from the NFL. They explain that they are interested in making sentient sea bears in an effort to recoup their losses from people boycotting the NFL over the anthem protests. There is some decent setup for some jokes and social commentary, but no payoff. The lack of anything to say about the NFL’s situation makes this entire A-plot feel empty and superficial.
Now that she has fully embraced Cartman’s influence, Heidi has become more menacing than her boyfriend in many respects. She can harness the anger of Cartman and actually apply effort and dedication to her plots unlike her boyfriend— never mind that Cartman has put in effort and followed through on many plots over the years. Short memories aside, Heidi continues to unravel as Cartman stops supporting her. There doesn’t seem to be any deeper meaning here. The allegory for Trump supporters has been left behind after the end of the last episode. This episode ends feeling more like filler and a set up for future episodes instead of a memorable addition to the series.
Featured image from South Park Archives
South Park Season 21, Episode 8: "Moss Piglets"
“Moss Piglets” is a relatively inoffensive entry to the series, but it will not be remembered except as a set up for future episodes if those are any good. There are some good foundations for jokes, but none of the set-ups are executed on.