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Recap / South Park S 17 E 8 A Song Of Ass And Fire

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After a recap of the previous episode by "Lady McCormick" (Caitlin Gallogly doing her best Emilia Clarke impression), we see the Xbox One army training for the upcoming battle. Grand Wizard Cartman is not convinced of their chances, so he decides to call in the big guns: Microsoft Studios. However, CEO Steve Ballmer sees the battle for what it is: just the latest phase in the console wars, not an epic battle of life and death, and refuses to get involved. His refusal comes at a heavy price; Bill Gates comes to his office to discuss the situation, only to have an assassin stab Ballmer with a dagger while he is distracted, insisting that the only acceptable outcome is for Microsoft to crush their competition.

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Meanwhile, the Black Friday crowds outside South Park Mall are growing thanks to the discount being raised from 80% to 90%, and Randy reads a eulogy for another dead security guard before going outside and ordering the crowds to stay off mall property. They respond by walking toward it very slowly (in the style of White Walkers) so that they won't arrive until Black Friday.

The parodies of garden betrayal scenes in Game of Thrones continue as Cartman instructs Paladin Butters to take Scott Malkinson to New Mexico to personally ask George R. R. Martin about how the story of A Song of Ice and Fire introduces dragons and zombies as a potential source of strategies for their upcoming battle. Next, he takes Sir Kyle through the garden and tries to persuade him to betray Stan to his parents, informing him of Randy's temporary security guard job. Finally, once Bill Gates has pledged his assistance and supplied arms to the Xbox One camp, Cartman takes him through the garden to remind him that he's merely an advisor, and Cartman is the real leader of the army... and is confused when Gates uses the same speech he has given Kenny, Butters, and Kyle purporting to include only them in his purely self-serving schemes.

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But the Playstation 4 camp is getting outside aid as well; Channel 9 news reporter Niles Lawson, in a bid to stir up tensions in the console wars, tells the Sony president of the latest developments (after first having sex with him), and he travels to South Park to give Lady McCormick a brooch officially conferring princess powers on "her". At last, Kenny's dreams of being a princess are realised, complete with an Art Shift to an Animesque style.

With Butters being driven insane by Martin's obsession with male genitals and lack of details about dragons or zombies (while Scott is fading from consciousness due to low blood sugar), he finally gets through to him about the Black Friday console wars, and Martin decides to call in some favours. Back in South Park, we see the results of his phone calls: Black Friday has been postponed by a week and the discounts increased to 96%, to the horror of Randy and the mall security guards.

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This episode contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: When calling Microsoft, Cartman has to clarify what his title of "wizard king" means:
    Cartman: No, I'm not king of wizards, I'm a king that happens to be a wizard.
  • Art Shift: When Kenny is crowned a Japanese princess, the style shifts into the opening sequence of an anime show.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Anime Theme Song talks about killing Princess Kenny and how cute he is.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Tom and Tammy Thompson, the hosts of the South Park morning news (it wouldn't be a Game of Thrones parody without it).
  • The Chessmaster: The news reporter.
  • Cliffhanger: Black Friday gets moved from November 29th to December 6th to make way for the saga to continue two weeks later (there wasn't a new episode the following week so they can show "A History Channel Thanksgiving" for the holiday).
  • Continuity Nod: Kenny's loyalty to Sony's consoles goes back to "Best Friends Forever", where he once owned a Playstation Portable.
  • Empty Promise: Parodied with George R.R Martin, who constantly torments Butters and Scott with the promise of dragons in Game Of Thrones, and later can not even hold to the promise of delivering a simple pizza (which he similarly hypes vigorously).
  • Faux Affably Evil: This is not the Bill Gates from the movie.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cartman endlessly arguing with the old man listening in on his conversations about invasion of privacy...who is quick to point out he is trespassing on his garden.
    Cartman: Why don't you stay the fuck out of my business?!
    Old Man: Why don't you stay the fuck out of my yard?!
  • Lemony Narrator: Kenny's narration at the beginning of the episode, done in the voice of a woman due to his desire to be a princess.
  • Only Sane Man: Steve Ballmer, the current CEO of Microsoft. Unfortunately, this gets him killed by Bill Gates for being "too weak".
  • Previously On…: A recap of "Black Friday" appears at the beginning. The phrase is said by Kenny, muffled as usual.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Steve Ballmer seems to be one of the few sane adults in the world. He doesn't consider the console wars to be that serious and remains calm and collected despite what is happening. He gets killed by Bill Gates for not treating it like a real war.
  • Running Gag: Cartman talking about betrayal in the old man's garden, with a different companion each time.
  • Serious Business: Played straight concerning Black Friday, however Steve Ballmer subverts this regarding the console wars, not taking Cartman's melodrama seriously at all and wishing to maintain an adjusted impersonal business. This defiance of Serious Business gets him mortally wounded by Bill Gates.
  • Shout-Out: In addition to Game of Thrones, the episode throws in a dose of The Walking Dead for good measure.
  • Shown Their Work: During the "Wiener Chorus" scene, George R.R Martin mentions how Joffrey dies of poisoning, an event in the books that, at the time this episode first aired, had not yet taken place in the Game of Thrones TV series.
  • Special Edition Title: A slightly modified version of the opening sequence is shown, with the theme song replaced by an epic theme with the kids dressed in their medieval outfits.
  • Take That, Audience!: The anime version of Princess Kenny might be an exaggerated parody of the (often female) sector of the South Park fanbase that draws the characters in "kawaii" anime style. The crossdressing is just part of the whole package.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The episode is styled after Game of Thrones.
  • X Must Not Win: Bill Gates specifically states this concerning the console wars, believing a good natured run where no one necessarily loses is a sign of weakness and even kills Steve Ballmer for defying it.
  • Zombie Gait: Parodied when Randy informs the approaching Black Friday shoppers that they're not allowed on mall property yet, so the shoppers start walking like this.
    Randy: Smartasses.
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