South Park: “Gluten Free Ebola” Season 18 Episode 2 Review

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Gluten Free Ebola was the perfect episode to follow last week’s lukewarm premiere. While it didn’t stray too far from the formula per se, the humor felt inspired, giving way for a few gut-busting (or d*ck-busting) moments and a better paced episode.

The episode took on our societies tendencies to get trapped in diet fads, namely the recent explosion of gluten awareness sweeping eccentric, health-conscious eaters everywhere.

But one thing I want to point out from the opening is that Gluten Free Ebola acknowledged the events of Go Fund Yourself, with the boys’ arrogant claims about their start-up making them less popular and forcing them to throw the best party ever. With Lorde, of course.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mackey is on a gluten free diet and can’t stop telling people how good it has been for him. More South Park citizens start trying the diet, worried that their d*cks will fly off if they eat too much gluten. Their theory is hilariously proven right when a nutritionist tries to tell them gluten is safe (and that hooey and poppycock are the ingredients you should really watch out for) and eats pure gluten. His skin deteriorates, his pants fly open, and his member spins around a bit before rocketing off his body and flying around the room. Oh, South Park, thank you for that unforgettable image. I’ll be watching the inevitable gifs of it all day tomorrow.

So the adults throw out every food that contains gluten in town, designating Papa John’s as the quarantine zone. All while the boys are just trying to get Lorde to come play at their party.

Cartman, unable to handle a gluten free world, has a vision of Aunt Jemima, who tells him to look to the pyramids and that it should be upside down. He calls the government, who then flips the food group pyramid, making fats and oils the most important food group. This resolution wasn’t quite as uproarious or clever as the rest of the episode, but it did lead to Randy dressing up as Lorde for his son’s party.

Gluten Free Ebola was a much tighter episode than the premiere. It also featured a lot more big laughs. While the resolution wasn’t quite as satisfying as it could have been, it didn’t take away from the first great episode of Season 18. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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