Muhammad never actually made an appearance in South Park episode ‘201’ (which is probably for the best), but Scott Tenorman was brought back for a shocking reveal. So is Jack Tenorman actually a player for the Denver Broncos? And was the big reveal of who Cartman’s father worth waiting nine years for?
First of all, let me recap what happened for those that missed the show. The celebrities and gingers continued to bicker over who would get possession of Muhammad, thought to have the incredible power of not being able to be made fun of. The guy in the bear suit that both sides thought was Muhammad (and that Islamic extremists were so pissed off over) turned out to be Santa Claus (a ploy devised by Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo), but the gingers did eventually manage to get the real Muhammad due to their threat to bomb the town. However, they were forced to team up with the celebrities to gain access to their goo machine in order to make Muhammad’s powers work for them (Tom Cruise was the first test subject). Mecha-Streisand was kept at bay by religious squad the Super Best Friends with a Neil Diamond duet (thanks in part to Jesus’ amazing carpentry powers that allowed him to build a stage that could support her massive weight).
As fun as the gingers vs. celebrities story and commentary on how ridiculous it is that showing a cartoon character version of Muhammad can incite so much rage and fear of retribution, who cares about that religious mumbo-jumbo? The main story here was that of Cartman and who his real father was. And so long time South Park fans got a real treat here: the return of Cartman’s redheaded arch-nemesis Scott Tenorman.
Scott Tenorman returned in the episode as the gingers’ boss after becoming one of the most memorable characters ever in ‘Scott Tenorman Must Die’, the most disturbing episode of South Park ever created. Cartman fed the bully a chili made from his parents, the end result of an intricate plan to get revenge for what started out as Scott Tenorman selling Cartman some pubic hair (Cartman was under the impression that having it in his possession made him cool). And so Scott Tenorman gets the ultimate revenge when he reveals to Cartman that the two of them share the same father, Denver Broncos player Jack Tenorman.
The town reveals that they kept the secret from Eric Cartman because the Denver Broncos were having such a great year and no one wanted to ruin Jack Tenorman’s career by letting it be known that the married man had an affair with Cartman’s mother. So is Jack Tenorman a real Denver Broncos player? As far as I can tell from searching the interwebs, the superstar that got turned into vengeful chili only exists in the twisted world of South Park.
And so after a bleeped-out speech involving Muhammad and what everyone learned today (I guess that no one is safe from being ridiculed, except by threat of violence?), we get to see just how much Cartman was devastated by the news that he got his own father killed and that Scott Tenorman (who escapes) is his half-brother that ate him…or so we thought. In a typical Cartman twist, he’s upset for all the wrong reasons: the only reason Cartman is crying is because he’s part ginger. But then Mitch Conner tells him that he’s also part Denver Bronco, making everything better for Cartman, who is now only convinced that he’s a little bit cooler.
And for the ending of the show, Tom Cruise finally gets to escape ridicule by being sent to the moon with Jambu, an Orca the boys sent there in episode ‘Free Willzyx’, thinking they were freeing him (although it was the end result of a practical joke).
So with Tom Cruise dead on the moon; Cartman related to Scott Tenorman; Muhammad safe from further ridicule; and celebrities still easy targets, I would say ‘201’ was a pretty epic win for the creators of ‘South Park’, and I’ve learned something today: CENSORED.