WARNING: The following article article contains major spoilers for Episode 2 of South Park Season 23, "Band in China."
Randy Marsh has quickly become the focal point of South Park's 23rd season as he looks to take any and everyone out in order to protect his weed business, Tegridy Farms. However, when he decides to expand to China, as he transports weed over hoping to find potential investors, he ends up in prison there, abused and facing the possibility of death.
Luckily, a series of fortunate events comes his way in "Band in China," and Randy's given the opportunity to save his bread and butter, all by killing one of Disney's most iconic acquired characters: Winnie the Pooh.
Randy first meets Winnie in prison as the bear -- along with Piglet -- are there as enemies of China. Matt Stone and Trey Parker portray the duo as villains in China due to the real-world issue last year where authorities banned Disney's Christopher Robin in what many saw as a response to the Internet making fun of president Xi Jinping, comparing him to Winnie due to his similar figure. Piglet, of course, is nothing more than an accomplice by association, and South Park wades into this issue of censorship, while also riffing off of the idea that Hollywood studios nowadays will do anything to make sure its movies are seen by the Chinese audience. Movie-making is a business, after all, and this is how to ensure the box office gross internationally is as high as can be.
When Disney, using Mickey Mouse as a spokesperson, meet with a rescued Randy, the plot takes another twist because Disney's interested in buying Tegridy Farms. It's a play on how Disney loves buying up the competition, such as LucasFilm and Fox, but more so, Disney wants to appease China as much as possible. This leads to Mickey promising Randy he'll help take Tegridy to China, once Randy pulls off a hit for him and takes care of some longstanding business.
This turns out to be a hit on Winnie, as it'll please China who'll then allow Disney movies to be screened, making it a win-win for all involved. To top that off, Randy will see Tegridy hitting the Chinese market, ensuring his reward is quite hefty and one that keeps paying off on a monthly basis. And so, Randy sneaks up on Winnie and kills the former prisoner of war with a cord around his neck. It happens in front Piglet and Randy shows no remorse because to him, this assassination is all business.
This is the man who blew up members of South Park growing their own weed, all so they couldn't cut into his supply and profits, so this piece of bloodshed shouldn't come as a surprise. With Winnie dead and Piglet scared as heck, China's message is heard loud and clear, with Randy expanding his business and Disney getting its films in the market. Everyone rubs each other's back, basically.
It's a testament to the three parties involved as they're selfish individuals who can't see past the business line. They're all willing to use each other for something, too, so it remains to be seen if this will backfire. Randy killed an American icon, after all, and his loyalty to China could come into question according to how sales swing.
Interestingly enough, once America's army comes after him for Winnie's death, he'll either have to whistleblow or unleash his alter ego, the "Mexican Joker," to take his enemies out once and for all. That said, Randy's going all out to protect his passion project-turned-career and as we can see, there's no telling how far he'll go.
Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park Season 23 airs Wednesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on Comedy Central.
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