TV Club: South Park keeps its endgame in flux and its sight gags gross after a week-long hiatus
Before South Park started playing around with a more serialized format, each episode was somewhat self-contained, its ending capped with a final statement. Even if that statement was stubbornly about not making a statement at all, there was a sense of there being some kind of lesson. The image of Stan or Kyle stepping front and center to deliver some overwrought, beyond-their-years moralizing became another one of the series’ many running jokes.
Nowadays though, the show’s message is constantly morphing, never fully crystallizing until the very end of the season. And even then, it’s not always clear-cut. Every now and then, this results in narrative dragging or flat-out incoherence in some of the episodes leading up to the finale. But other times, the constant mutation tickles the brain, forcing you to mull over just what Parker and Stone are getting at.