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City People "City People" "Back To The Cold War" "Help, My Teenager Hates Me!" Help, My Teenager Hates Me!
"Back To The Cold War"
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Episode no. Season 25
Episode 04
Production no. 2504
Original airdate March 2, 2022
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"Back To The Cold War" is the fourth episode of Season Twenty-Five, and the 313th overall episode of South Park. It aired on March 2, 2022.[1]


A lot is riding on Butter’s ability to crush the competition in the all-important dressage championship.[1]


SPW pic -- Spoiler Spoiler warning!
Plot details follow.

At South Park Elementary, Mr. Garrison sits down with the kids and mentions they may be feeling uncomfortable over current events, using as an example a recent fight he had with his boyfriend Rick, explaining that Rick was in the wrong. Wendy interjects that they are more concerned about Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, but Garrison does not understand. Mr. Mackey then arrives and interrupts class for a nuclear safety drill, drawing attention to an alarm and urging the kids not to panic, only to freak out and urge them all down the hall to the gymnasium so they could hide behind the bleachers while Mackey dances to 'appropriate' eighties music. Later that day, Butters Stotch is seen at a dressage competition with his pony Melancholy, while his parents, Stephen and Linda are criticizing from the side, worried that he will lose. Stephen and Linda express particular concern about Butters being beaten by Davey Solokov, a Russian child, as they believe his family to be communists who support the Russian government and hate Americans.

Back at the school, PC Principal arrives in Mackey's office and expresses concern about the extra drills, which have reached seven in only two days, but Mackey is adamant they are necessary and speaks Russian, quoting the film The Hunt for Red October, prompting PC Principal to tell him to stop. When he leaves, Mackey sneaks into the Principal's office and takes photos of PC Principal's files, expressing suspicions that he may have an ulterior motive. At the dressage competition, Butters is cautioned by his parents about Solokov, claiming the competition will be used for political purposes and warn him that if he cannot win, Melancholy will be sold to communists, slaughtered, and turned into skin cream. Butters, concerned for his pony's safety, tries to compete further, but Melancholy stops mid-stride and instead defecates on the ground, then gets a prominent erection, embarrassing him.

While Mackey is investigating PC Principal's history and speculating about his motivations in the Counselor's Office, Butters comes to his office to talk about his recent problems at home involving dressage. Mackey largely ignores him until Butters mentions he is competing with a Russian and that his family has referred to it as a matter of national security. Mackey then quickly asks for Butters to tell him everything he knows about dressage. At his next practice, Butters tries to explain to Melancholy that they need to focus and not go to the bathroom or do anything else while on the dressage course, comparing it to waiting until after school to use the bathroom, but Melancholy again stops at the first obstacle to defecate, gets an erection and then mounts another pony and begins to have sex with it despite the presence of both riders.

The Solokovs, meanwhile, spend much of their day practicing dressage, watching their son on his Russian horse and having a small meal. Mackey stalks them for the day and late at night makes an effort to sabotage their pony, only for Stephen and Linda show up armed, intending to sabotage it as well by giving it diarrhea using organic food from Erewhon. Both share an initial misunderstanding before realizing they are on the same side, with Mackey declaring PC Principal a Russian spy without evidence and believing that the Russians will use the dressage competition as an excuse to launch nuclear weapons. As the competition begins the next morning, Mackey returns to his childhood home, where his mother still lives, and uses an old DOS computer left untouched in his room to contact NORAD and warn them the Russians will use nuclear weapons, raising the nuclear alert level to DEFCON 3, leading the NORAD to watch the dressage competition.

In Moscow, Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and a lieutenant are concerned about how nostalgic President Putin has been behaving and inform him about the dressage competition, finding him dancing to 80s music shirtless in his office; he soon watches the competition with them. As both world governments watch the dressage competition, Mackey becomes frustrated at the lack of progress and seems intent to escalate the situation further. His mother comes back with a snack for him and he angrily tells her to leave, but she instead calmly reminds him he can talk to her about anything, including if he is afraid of getting old. Mackey mentions how life was easier when there was a good guy guy and a bad guy, and she responds that people were scared and died, and those times were not so good as remembered, mentions how his penis was not working, and how in that time men go back to playing war games in their rooms. Mackey is ashamed but she reassures him it just felt good because it was familiar.

Butters is disappointed on his impending defeat, reassuring Melancholy that they tried their best, but Melancholy manages an unexpected victory by mounting and violating the Solokovs' pony before it could complete its obstacle course, knocking Davey from the pony and disqualifying him. The crowd cheers at the win, while Mackey arrives and embraces Stephen, taking a flag over his shoulders, and delivering a speech:

You know, the past few days, I've been reliving the past, but during this tournament, I started to change... and I just want to say to the Russians -- that if I can change, then yous can change. I know how it is when you're gettin' old, you know, and and you start getting aggressive because your dick doesn't work the way it used to... but just because our dicks don't work doesn't mean we should go back to the way things were. In the immortal words of Sting, we all share the same biology regardless of ideology.

Putin nods along to Mackey's discussion, indicating that he has been acting aggressive and nostalgic because his own dick is not working how it is supposed to, as the crowd back in South Park cheers to the speech and celebrates. Closing narration wonders out loud if Russians get diarrhea from Erewhon, too.



  2504: "Back To The Cold War" edit
Story Elements

Mr. MackeyButters StotchMelancholyDavey Solokov • "Dance Hall Days" • "Games Without Frontiers" • Russian National Anthem • "Russians" • "Two Tribes"




South Park: The Complete Twenty-Fifth Season