On this week's South Park, Matt & Trey tackle the traditions of Easter and skewer away at the Catholic religion, focusing especially on Bill Donahue, the insane bigot who runs the Catholic League and supposedly speaks for Catholic Americans. As a Catholic American (non-practicing), I can say with certainty that he doesn't speak for me. And watching him get treated like a maniac by the South Park creators was pretty funny indeed.
There's not enough Cartman in the episode to my liking, but he does have an early scene where he visits the Easter Bunny at the mall and treats him like Santa Claus, asking for presents. He gets upset with the guy in the Easter Bunny suit thinks he's asking for too much.
- Cartman: "Listen, I'm a human, you're a rabbit. So if you don't give me what I want for Easter, I can fucking kill you." (the Bunny is in shock as Cartman smiles for a picture and walks away) "Bye, Easter Bunny!"
Stan is the focus of the episode, though, as he begins to doubt the reasons for Easter and what the bunnies and eggs have to do with Christianity.
- Stan: "Look, I"m just saying that somewhere between Jesus dying on the cross and a giant rabbit hiding eggs, there seems to be a gap of information."
South Park has an answer, of course. Apparently, Stan's dad and others who conveniently all live near their town, are in a secret society called "The Hare Club for Men," which protects the secret of Easter. Eventually they bring Stan to a meeting of the society to let him know the truth - only to get attacked by ninjas sent by the Pope in order to stifle the secret from being revealed to the world, and to steal "Snowball," a rabbit. Yes, this is one of the more bizarre plots in South Park history, and that's saying something.
Through some professor whose origins are never made clear, Stan - with Kyle in tow - finds out that in DaVinci's original Last Supper painting, the real Saint Peter was a rabbit ("Peter Rabbit"), covered up by the church. I never saw or read The Da Vinci Code, because cheesy potboilers rarely entertain me, but if I had, I'm sure the send-up here would have been funnier. The point is - Jesus intended to make the rabbit Saint Peter the first Pope, but his human followers wouldn't let a bunny be in charge and therefore stifled these truths. The Hare Club for Men holds onto the secret and were protecting Snowball, a direct descendant of Peter.
- "Look at the Pope's hat. It makes no sense. It was made for a rabbit."
Stan and Kyle end up going to the Vatican to try to exchange Snowball (who they saved from the ninjas) for Stan's dead, who is being held by the Pope and Bill Donahue as ransom. They make the exchange, but Bill Donahue double-crosses them and takes them all captive, planning to put them into a huge rabbit stew being made for the Easter vigil, in order to keep everyone quiet about the truth of the holiday and the rabbit. That's when Jesus shows up. But Bill Donahue has none of it.
- Bill Donahue: "Lock up these two Jews (Kyle and Jesus Christ). I'll deal with them later."
The Pope tries to stop him, but Donahue is a madman and leads Stan and his dad and his dad's friends out to the huge crowd gathered at the vigil to put them into the stew. Oh, and I think he also kills the Pope and takes over the position. I don't really remember. Jesus and Kyle are in a jail cell and are powerless to stop the mad Catholic, since Jesus's magical powers do not exist in human form, unless of course, they wanted to heal a leper or something. So Jesus asks Kyle to kill him so that he could resurrect outside of the jail cell and save everyone. Kyle has a slight problem with this request.
- Kyle: "Dude, you don't understand. I'm a Jew. I have a few hangups about killing Jesus."
Kyle eventually succumbs and stabs Jesus in the neck, which is followed by an extended gruesome death scene with blood spurting out of Jesus's neck, one that will probably draw protests from religious freaks, unless of course they thought they were watching a Mel Gibson movie. Jesus re-emerges just in time in the middle of the Easter vigil crowd and uses Chinese stars and other ninja weapons to take down Pope Donahue. Everyone is saved and Jesus installs Snowball into his proper position as the next Pope or leader of the Catholic religion.
- One of the bishops speaking to the rabbit: "Your holiness, what shall we tell the world about how they should run their lives?"
- A second bishop: "It isn't saying anything."
- The first bishop: "Yes... just as Jesus intended."
Exactly. Happy Easter.