“You shouldn’t do drugs, mmmkay? Drugs are bad.”
-Mr. Mackey, South Park S2E4: “Ike’s Wee Wee”
Brief Synopsis: Mr. Mackey gets fired from his job and begins doing drugs. Kyle decides to save Ike from his circumcision.
Title significance: The main plotline of the episode was Kyle worrying that Ike is going to have his “wee wee” cut off for his bris. This led to the revelation that Ike is not related to him by blood. It’s finally his decision to protect Ike when the moment comes that brings the brothers back together.
I think it’s interesting that the use the word “wee wee.” It’s a very childish name, something only a very young kid would call it. It’s a reminder that Ike is so little, and the other kids aren’t really all that much older. Cartman calls it a “fireman.” They are so young and they don’t know what’s going on, which causes the problems in the episode.
Social commentary: There’s a lot of commentary this episode about drugs. I’m a child of the 90’s and went through the DARE program, so I’m aware of the lies we were told about drugs. At the end of the episode, the rehab center forces Mr. Mackey back into a life they think he should have, ignoring the fact that he hasn’t done drugs in weeks. The best moment is when they blame drugs for him losing his job, when in reality, losing his job made him turn to drugs. In the end, he can’t say why drugs are bad, just that they are badIt really questions the cause and effect of drug use.
Another great bit of social commentary is the fact that Chef tells these kids everything. Kyle’s parents should have told him what a bris was, just as they should have spoken to him about countless other things in previous episodes. Chef ends up being the one to tell him about circumcision, and that ends in a huge misunderstanding because his parents didn’t do it.
Success of Social Commentary: For the most part, very well done.
What “Ike’s Wee Wee” does right:
- Ike – Ike is so adorable. Even though the viewer knows that his “wee wee” isn’t in any actual danger, we care because he’s just so darn cute. When Kyle decides to ignore him because he isn’t his real brother, Ike’s saddened face, bringing the photo album, and running to his brother to save him all combine to create this very precious moment. We care about their relationship. We care because Ike brings so much heart to the show.
- Mr. Mackey – I loved Mr. Mackey this episode. They did a very good job making us care about him and his emotional journey. We see him hit the bottom of the heap, and we feel bad for him. Then twist at the end, that he hadn’t done drugs for weeks, that he just really turned his life around, is easy to miss, but I think it really works to give this plotline the emotional depth needed to make it a tragedy. It’s also a cute touch to have him sitting in the child’s chair in the principal’s office.
- Chef – Chef isn’t really in this episode all that much, but the moment he is works perfectly. He sets off the entire plot by being the one to explain a bris to Kyle and co. instead of their parents, and I think that makes such a statement, and it really drives home how this role has been played by Chef in most of the episodes prior to this as well.
What “Ike’s Wee Wee” could have done better:
- The drugs – Eh. I wasn’t really all that interested in how the drugs physically affected Mr. Mackey, and I think it was done in an inconsistent manner with parts of it showing that drugs aren’t as bad as they say, and others showing an exaggerated version of the drugs like the programs say. The biggest example of this is Mr. Mackey getting high after one little puff of pot. I think it took away from the story.
- Hippies – Eh. I wasn’t all that interested in the people Mr. Mackey comes across in his journey as a drug user. There were the school drop-outs, who were proving a point about how people treat drug users being the actual problem, but they just didn’t really speak to me. It would have been more interesting if they showed more of an array of people as drug users instead of just the homeless and hippies.
- Not real brother – This portion of the episode didn’t really speak to me (besides Ike being adorable to win Kyle back). It happens too fast, and I think this lessens the potential emotional impact. I would have liked to see a wider range of emotions from Kyle regarding this revelation. As is, it just sort of happens and doesn’t add all the much to the episode.
Overall: I enjoyed this episode a lot.