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"Let Go, Let Gov"
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Episode no. Season 17
Episode 1
Production no. 1701
Original airdate September 25, 2013
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"Let Go, Let Gov" is the first episode of Season Seventeen, and the 238th overall episode of South Park. It aired on September 25, 2013.[1]


Cartman infiltrates the NSA and doesn't like what he finds in his personal file.[1]


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

Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick, and Kyle Broflovski are waiting for the bus when Kyle starts complaining about this "bitch" who is always talking on their cell phone with speakerphone. After he finishes, Cartman arrives talking to someone named Lawrence. Cartman is discussing how he twisted his ankle playing football but decided to play anyway because everyone needed him. This enrages Kyle who immediately calls him out for lying, leading to Cartman telling him to stop listening to his conversation. This tangent leads to Cartman telling Lawrence, again, about the NSA. Toby, Lawrence's friend, cuts into talk leading to a conversation where Cartman has to repeat himself and ask them to repeat themselves.

Later at lunch, Cartman is telling Lawrence about the NSA again, annoying Kyle to no end. Kyle throws his lunch away, with Cartman following. Cartman then makes a video blog about his rally to tell the government to stop gathering information on them.

At recess, Kenny and Kyle are playing tetherball as Cartman is annoyingly still talking to Lawrence on speakerphone. Kyle asks him nicely to take his rally conversation somewhere else, causing Cartman to freak out and tell everyone that they may have an NSA agent at their school and also that the government is watching them. This makes Butters Stotch wonder.

That evening, Butters "talks" to the government, similar to praying. He thanks the government and Barack Obama for watching over his friends and family and asks for a puppy before going to bed.

The next day, in the computer lab, Cartman is talking to Lawrence and details his plans to go into the NSA and put everything on Twitter. Lawrence says he should instead use a new product, endorsed by Alec Baldwin.

In the commercial for the new product, "Shitter", Alec Baldwin says that he sometimes posts homophobic things and that he does not think that way and his thumbs are the real culprit, so he chops them off. He then faces another problem, he does not have thumbs, so he uses Shitter, which sends what he thinks straight to the Internet.

At school, Cartman is broadcasting to Shitter that he is about to infiltrate the NSA, when other students, including Stan, Kyle and Clyde, begin to ask about Shitter. Cartman reveals that the only people using Shitter is himself and Alec Baldwin.

At the Department of Motor Vehicles, Butters confesses to the government that he yelled at a midget and took a picture of Jennifer Lawrence, cut the mouth out, and stuck his penis through the hole. The lady suggests that he sing "Living in America" 1000 times, to which he begins.

At the NSA headquarters, Cartman poses as Bill Clinton and when the said name is not on the list, Chief Joe the NSA head allows it and lets him in.

Meanwhile, at Butters' house, two Jehovah's Witnesses come by to persuade him, however, Butters persuades them to pray to the government and confess at the DMV.

At the NSA, Chief Joe tells Cartman about the surveillance. The workers tell him about nonchalant things which they see as important. One worker tells him about a pizza man who just tweeted that they are about to blow up the Lincoln Memorial. Chief Joe and Cartman go after the man and teach him about why the NSA should be able to spy on people.

Meanwhile, at Craig Tucker's house, Butters and the former Jehovah's Witnesses tell Craig about the government and the DMV.

At the NSA, Cartman starts asking about the profile of someone named "Eric Cartman", which the NSA deems as "fat and unimportant". Cartman immediately tries to convince them to change the profile, but they refuse.

At the DMV, Officer Barbrady confesses that he masturbated to Game of Thrones. All the other followers cheer him on while one DMV worker is mad that people are having fun at the DMV.

At the NSA, the NSA employee shows Cartman how they monitor everyone; they use Santa Claus, who is hooked up to a machine. Cartman reveals himself to the NSA and then puts the revelations on the Internet. The next day, however, Cartman is in his room crying because his plan did not work. He expected people to be mad at the government and to think Cartman is cool, but he realizes no one cares about "the truth". He now thinks that he has to hide in Russia when Butters comes to his house and tells him about the government and the DMV and tells Cartman to confess what he did. Cartman confesses and the DMV worker who was once mad is now hopeful, believing that the DMV could become a comforting place where people can get things off their chest.

On Channel 4 News, we learn that the DMV was shut down due to child molestation, so people will confess at the post office, which is then shut down due to child molestation, like DMV. The news anchor then says that the news is now in charge and that the news will be back in a young boy.

Critical Reception[]

AV Club gave "Let Go, Let Gov" a "C-" rating saying: "It doesn’t take long for the episode’s first big point—mocking the way we rail against invasion of privacy while simultaneously volunteering all sorts of personal information—to get hammered home, what with Cartman’s rally organization to protest the government. The question from there is whether or not the show can carry the point home without getting too lost along the way. It can’t: Instead of sharp satire, we get a limp A-story that wanders a bit with stale riffs and a lackadaisical payoff and a B-story that doesn’t evolve and, in both cases, plenty of wasted opportunity. The idea of what we consider to be our privacy and how we undermine it seems to be the theme the show would usually latch on to and mock everyone—especially us, the viewers, for—but that idea is dispatched after the first bit."[2]

IGN gave "Let Go, Let Gov" a "6.7" rating saying: "South Park's Season 17 premiere featured a relatively smart critique of the recent NSA scandal, as told through Cartman's Snowden-esque hijinks. Meanwhile, Butters' DMV confessionals and door-to-door sermons failed to bring anything new to the proceedings, comedic or otherwise. Generally speaking, the laughs were pretty slim this week, as "Let Go, Let Gov" succumbed to an overtly preachy message."[3]


  1701: "Let Go, Let Gov" edit
Story Elements

Department of Motor VehiclesShitter


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South Park: The Complete Seventeenth Season