The Last of the Meheecans
||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (February 2012)|
|"The Last of the Meheecans"|
|South Park episode|
Butters in his adopted homeland
|Episode no.||Season 15
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||October 12, 2011|
"The Last of the Meheecans" is the ninth episode of the fifteenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 218th episode of the series overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 12, 2011. In the episode, what begins as an innocent game between the boys turns serious when Cartman joins the U.S. Border Patrol. Not surprisingly, Cartman turns out to be really good at stopping Mexicans.
The episode was written by series co-creator Trey Parker and is rated TV-MA L in the United States. The plot references illegal immigration to the United States across the Mexican border and the show Border Wars (TV series). The title is derived from Last of the Mohicans, complete with a title card with the same typeface.
The boys play "Texans vs. Mexicans" at a sleepover at Cartman's house, a game in which the "Mexicans" (led at first by Butters, and then Kyle due to Butters' poor leadership skills) attempt to elude the "border patrol" (led by Cartman) and cross the border into Texas (Cartman's backyard). All of the "Mexicans" do so, winning the game, much to Cartman's irritation. However, Butters is not among his teammates, having been lost, and when Cartman later realizes that Butters is not present, he realizes the game is not over. As Butters' teammates begin searching for him, Cartman's team resumes protecting the backyard.
As Butters tries to find his way back, he is struck by a passing car. The couple in the car, believing Butters to be a Mexican immigrant named "Mantequilla" (Spanish for "Butter"), take him to their home and employ him as a stereotypical Mexican servant, giving him menial jobs to perform such as cleaning windows and washing dishes. However, the couple eventually abandons Butters at an El Pollo Loco restaurant, believing that Butters needs to be with his "own kind" to be happy. Inside, Butters regales the staff with tales of his imaginary exploits. The staff recognize him from "missing" posters put up by his friends, and believing him to be someone famous, they start to question the value of their new lives in the United States. They misinterpret Butters' desire to "cross the border" and rejoin his friends as a desire to return to Mexico, and a mass exodus of Mexican emigrants soon begins. As more and more Mexicans leave, Americans realize they cannot keep up with their newfound menial labor tasks, creating a labor shortage and damaging the U.S. economy.
Cartman joins the United States Border Patrol as a volunteer, where he is instructed to stop Mexicans from crossing the border, regardless of the "semantics" of which direction they are traveling. Butters, as "Mantequilla", is hailed as a hero in Mexico, he is received in the Zocalo and is credited with instilling a sense of national pride in the Mexican people. However, he soon becomes homesick and attempts to return to the United States. While attempting to cross into the United States, Butters is spotted by border patrol agents, who are overjoyed in their belief a Mexican wants to enter the United States and make no attempt to stop him. Recognizing Butters, an enraged Cartman tries to prevent him from crossing the border. With the Border Patrol's help, Butters successfully eludes Cartman and re-enters the United States, winning the game. When the children are reunited at Cartman's house, Cartman once again pouts over his loss of the game, as the gang rejoices at Butters' return. When Butters suggests he be leader next time, Stan and Kyle suggest that while he is a great Mexican team player, he is not a great leader of Mexicans. In response, Butters stands up and gestures with his hands, causing Mexicans everywhere to chant in response, loudly enough for the boys to hear them. An exasperated Cartman begins a Baptist priest walking into a bar joke, and the episode ends.
Ryan McGhee of The A.V. Club graded the episode a B+, stating, "'The Last of the Meheecans' isn’t really about immigration reform so much as it's about the narcissistic viewpoint that America must be, as a point of irrefutable fact, the best place in the world to live. For some, that’s a fairly ballsy thing to say, but the way in which Parker/Stone say it bypasses political grandstanding and casts their gaze instead on our supposed understanding of those that have immigrated to America and currently live/work here".
- Butters getting hit by a car is a reference to the TC Boyle novel The Tortilla Curtain.
- Randy shouts, "NO!", in the voice of Darth Vader's in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
- After being runover by a car, Butters says "I am Mantequilla, the last of the Meheecans", in the same tone as Trey Parker says I am Moroni, the last of my kind at the Overture of "The Book of Mormon".
- The scene in which Butters stands naked on a balcony in front of a crowd is reminiscent of a scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
- In another scene, a Mexican merchant sells T-shirts and shirts with Butters version of the famous image of Argentine-Cuban revolutionary, the Che Guevara.
- The scene where Butters is being talked down to as an immigrant worker is reminiscent of the movie Sugar.
- The shows title is a reference to the book titled The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper.
- "The Last Of The Meheecans (Season 15, Episode 9)". South Park Studios. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- McGhee, Ryan (2011-10-12). "The Last of the Meheecans". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "The Last of the Meheecans" at South Park Studios.