SPOILER ALERT: This post contains details about the latest South Park: Post Covid event on Paramount+, The Return of Covid.
South Park: Post Covid returned to Paramount+ to take on the latest in pandemic conversation, from new variants to the craze around NFTs.
Picking up from the first South Park: Post Covid television movie event, The Return of Covid starts off revisiting the early phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before Kyle, Stan and the rest of gang begin what was supposed to be just a two-week pandemic-related break from school, they devise a plan to blackmail classmate Heather Williams, whose well-connected mother could get them tickets to the upcoming Clippers-Nuggets game. But the pandemic blocks their plans and the quarantine madness begins.
In the future, a grown Stan recalls the bleak days of the pandemic, including the deaths of his mother and sister. But with a new variant on the horizon, he says “the whole pandemic has started all over again.”
Kyle and Stan continue their efforts to wind the clock back to avoid the chaos of the long-lasting pandemic, which leads them to a supposed madman named Victor “Chous” Chaos, who’s really just Butters. An asylum doctor explains that Butters became an NFT-obsessed maniac after he was locked in his room for 16 years, following the initial pandemic lockdowns. As it turns out, Butters was one of Kenny’s lead investors before his fateful death. But instead of hoping to help his friends stop the pandemic, Butters seeks to chaotically and violently spread the word of the non-fungible tokens.
Butters escapes the asylum and runs into now-rabbi Eric Cartman, who’s creating an anti-time travel committee to stop Kyle and Stan from altering the timeline.
Meanwhile at the school, Wendy’s working to secure more power and resources from the government, who was willing to provide…until they learned that Clyde was unvaccinated. Shunned by Wendy and the rest of the crew, Clyde joins Cartman’s forces.
Kyle and Stan are disheartened in their search for Victor/Butters but get a call from an excited Wendy, only to hear her excitement about NFTs, meaning that Butters and Cartman have gotten to the school. The two snatch all the essential tech and Randy’s weed, now with the intention to travel back in time and kill Kyle.
The final showdown happens at the church were Cartman, Butters and Clyde get ready for their jump back in time. Kyle and Stan encounter Butters and use their just-as-talkative humanoid Amazon Alexas to fight nonsense tech-talk fire with fire. Cartman and Kyle engage in a fist-fight, but things slow down when the former’s wife asks him to reconsider. Convinced by his family, Cartman calls off the operation – but it’s too late.
“F**k you, Uncle Kyle,” his baby blurts out before pulling the time machine lever, which sends a determined Clyde back to 2020.
Clyde lands back in South Park amid mask-wearers and makes a beeline to his home, where he encounters his young self and grabs his father’s gun. Before leaving he imparts some questionable wisdom until young Clyde.
“Never get vaccinated,” he says.
Before Clyde can pull the trigger on a young Kyle, the future Stan and Kyle pull up, threatening to inject him with 100cc of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also entering the scene from the future is Cartman, who puts multiple shots through Clyde and pushes him over a bridge. After the damage is done, Kyle, Stan and Cartman reflect on how it’s impossible to stop the pandemic from ever happening. They instead realize how their reactions to global crisis can be the factor of change that keeps South Park from evolving into a dark dystopia.
To end the boys’ bickering, their future selves make good on blackmailing Heather Williams. Later, a helicopter descends to pick up young Stan, Kyle and the rest of the gang for the basketball game. Randy receives a special strain of his Tegridy weed, which inspires him to spread the mellow-ness and help other South Park residents relax amid the pandemic.
The special ends with a holiday party were Kyle, Stan, Randy, Butters and more reunite and celebrate getting past the global pandemic. Missing out on the festivities is a resentful and homeless Cartman, who’s on the outside looking in, literally.
Cartman, whose future looks bleak in relation to those of other characters, has South Park fans voicing their support or disdain for the series’ mainstay.
“Cartman deserved so much better,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I really don’t feel bad for Cartman,” said another. “Sorry not sorry.”
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