WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for South Park's Season 23 episode, "Tegridy Farms Halloween Special."
South Park's Halloween specials have usually been about the kids fending off ghosts and demons, and chasing down mysteries. However, Season 23 changes things up considerably. That's because this "Halloween Special" is actually a strain of weed created by Randy Marsh and Towelie to boost sales after they parted ways with China.
In the final act, however, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker turn the episode into an even more demented version of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, with a business-oriented twist.
This isn't the first time South Park has parodied Pet Sematary, of course: In a 2005 episode, Butters' parents believed he had returned from the dead after they buried what they thought was his body in an Indian Burial Ground. It even featured the Old Farmer as a stand-in for Jud Crandal, who offered frequent reminders that, "Sometimes dead is better."
The Old Farmer returns again in this episode, warning Butters about reviving a mummy in a Denver museum. Surprisingly, however, he doesn't figure into this new riff on King's horror novel. Instead, it's all about Randy's wild antics at Tegridy Farms, where he's created a new strain of marijuana. Sadly for him, though, his angry daughter Shelly creates a serum and douses the weed, which causes it to mutate. That doesn't prevent Randy from selling his "Halloween Special" at a party, where everyone who smokes it transforms into a zombie-like creature.
Randy flees the hot tub and meets Towelie, who's just as high and scared, in the field. The town has smoked up all of the mutant weed, and now the zombified residents want to eat Randy and Towelie. The kicker comes when a zombified Winnie the Pooh emerges from Randy's barn, ready to feast. If you recall, Randy murdered Pooh earlier this season to get into China's -- and Disney's -- good graces, as Pooh opposed their workforce policies. Now the tubby little cubby has returned from the dead, and he has an appetite.
It gets worse, however, because Pooh isn't the only resurrected animal who's come back to exact revenge. Randy and Towelie also slaughtered more than 1,000 cattle left behind by an angry farmer, because they were eating their marijuana crops. But, as is typically the case with South Park, there's a wist.
These attacks on the pot smokers are merely hallucinations caused by Shelly's poisoning of the strain. Randy, Towelie and everyone who smoked the special weed were seeing manifestations of their worst fears. It's a little off that Randy and Towelie experienced the same hallucination, but hey, that's South Park for you, bringing back dead animals as part of someone's guilty conscience over exploitation and murdering an innocent social justice warrior in Pooh. Randy and Towelie count themselves lucky by episode's end, but they know there are some unresolved issues over their animal slaughters this season.
Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park Season 23 airs Wednesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on Comedy Central.