This episode more than lived up to expectations. An episode that is, on the surface, a very funny parody of "24" - but as the episode continues, you realize exactly why this episode was saved for the season finale as more and more bits of awesome come flying at you with reckless abandon and all this awesome becomes even greater when all the pieces form a pretty impressive plot loaded with laughs, thrills, and guest stars!
To go into detail about the plot of this episode would be unjust to any true Boondocks fan who hasn't seen it because just like "24", you have to see it to believe it. All I can say is that Huey is hunted down by a an agent of CTA (Central Terrorism Agency), named Jack Flowers, after terrorists target Woodcrest for an attack. The episode is full of cleverly veiled political satire, Huey has a badass sword, Ruckus gets to kick a little ass, Louis Lombardi(Edgar from seasons 4 and 5 of "24") plays a hilarious parody of Joe The Plumber. Ed III, Gin Rummy, Ed Wuncler, and the always awesome White Shadow get some great moments as guest stars. Lots of nuts are kicked, girlfriends exploded, agents named Jack going rogue and clocks randomly stopping on 4:20. Will Woodcrest be destroyed? Will anyone survive? Is Huey responsible for this attack? Can an iPhone really stop a speeding bullet? You'll find out the answers to this and many more questions in the epic season finale of the The Boondocks! While it isn't the best finale as far as story and growth goes (that honor still belongs to the first season finale and the lightning storm), this was easily the funnest finale the show could have possibly delivered and it ended on a great moment where all of the Freeman family reunite and Riley praises Huey for being so gangster on TV, while Granddad has a brief moment of clarity and wonders if he should listen to Huey more often. The ultimate feel good cap off to an incredible episode that makes it far more worthy of being the finale than "The Fried Chicken Flu" would've been. a perfect 10/10
Now to look back on the season as a whole:
Season 3 stands as my favorite season thus far of this most excellent of all animated satire. From the brilliant and controversial season premiere, "It's A Black President, Huey Freeman", the 3rd season set a tone completely unique from the previous 2 seasons and had an edge to it that was unrelenting and ready to draw blood. From there, "B*tches To Rags" (which is given a very unfair score on this site) lost a little steam but made up for it by clearing up the last remaining storyline of season 2, Thugnificent. By introducing Obama as a target for political ineptitude, and putting Thugnificent in the position of working for UPS, "The Boondocks" was truly ready to enter into it's new chapter and show off some of its originality - and it did so in grand fashion with "The Red Ball" a tribute to all things karate/anime related that happened to be another incredible Huey episode and featured almost all the recurring characters in one setting with the whole town's future resting on a kickball game. Truly one of the best episodes of the entire series now and forever. The biggest dip in quality came right after this with the 4th episode of the season, "The Story Of Jimmy Rebel". This episode introduced a highly controversial concept of trying to explore racism. It got high scores for bravery and a well thought out title character, but lost more points for it's blatant racism-related jokes, far too little of The Freemans, and far too much Ruckus - a character I used to love before they made his hatred almost completely unrelatable or meaningful. However this low point in the season is followed by the most positive upswing in the show since season 1 - a streak of 6 absolutely brilliant epiosdes. The 5th episode of the season - and dramatic/hysterical conclusion to the Stinkmeaner saga - "Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy" kicks the season into high gear with kung-fu and comedy galore and features the return of Bushido Brown! "Smokin' With Cigarettes" seems to have gone over the heads of the fans on this site. While not one of the funniest episodes of the series, it had great parodies of Juice, Halloween, and the real life story of Latarion Milton. Plus Riley wins a fight, and McGruder points out the fact that cigarettes are the worst gateway we have to making bad decisons. And it also had one of my favorite lines - "You've got to understand, he really likes that chicken!" The end of the first half of the season is marked by "The Fund-Raiser", Riley's funniest episode yet about his attempt to run a fake fundraiser and rake in the profit. If you haven't seen it, you've missed one of the outright funniest episodes of The Boondocks ever made. "Pause" is the kick-off to the second half of the season, which adds the elements of emotion and character growth back into the mix for the first time since the first season. The center of these episodes is Granddad. "Pause" gained quite a bit of notoriety after it aired for it's lampooning of Tyler Perry. The episode itself is absolutely hilarious as Granddad becomes the new leading man in the Winston Jerome play "Ma Dukes Finds A Man". Just as Winston Jerome is an obvious parody of Tyler Perry, Ma Dukes is a spoof of Madea. And Just as Perry plays Madea, Winston Jerome plays Ma Dukes, which means Granddad is forced to kiss a man. This leads Riley to introduce Granddad to the concept of "no homo and sets up all the jokes attacking Perry's sexual orientation. All of these jokes are funny as hell - especially if you're like me and hate Tyler Perry and his horribly formulaic movies, which also get properly attacked. "A Date With The Booty Warrior" briefly takes the focus off Granddad to center on Tom and his battle with his phobia of anal rape as Tom takes the boys to a "scared stiff" program at the local prison and ends up involved in a prison riot. Hunted down by The Booty Warrior - a send-up of real-life convict Fleece Johnson, who gained notoriety due to his philosophies involving the anal rape of other inmates - Tom gets a chance to show some backbone while tons of funny jokes about prison fly all over the place. The emotional heart of the season lies in the 10th episode, "The Story Of Lando Freeman" wherein Granddad hires a new landscaper who could possibly be Granddad's biological son. Combine a heart-felt, thought provoking story with "The Steve Wilkos Show" and the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Gin Rummy, and you have an episode that needs to be nominated for an emmy. The only other slight dip in the overall quality of the season comes from "The Lovely Ebony Brown" an episode that had all the right elements and would have been more memorable with a different name. The episode is about Granddad falling in love with a woman named Ebony Brown who is absolutely perfect for Granddad in every way - which is the problem with the episode. The title character creates no surreal conflicts. The first half is great as Granddad and everyone around him tries to find flaws in her, but when none are found the episode stalls out to become too much like a typical sitcom as Granddad's unwillingness to be himself drives Ebony Brown away. Not the worst episode ever (especially some cool moments from Ebony Brown herself that sorta kinda breaks the 4th wall) but far from the greatness of this season. "Mr. Medicinal" puts the ship back on track as Granddad's stress starts to get the better of him and Thugnificent turns Granddad on to marijuana. The mostly honest depiction of the effects of marijuana and the surprisingly relatable story of how Granddad uses it to cope with a life that hasn't always been fair to him elevates the comedy in this one to the same levels of season one. Same story with "The Fried Chicken Flu", a Huey-Centric episode that tackled everything from H1N1 to KFC's shortage of Kentucky Grilled Chicken and featured every major recurring character in The Boondocks. This episode had everything that makes "The Boondocks" what it is and would have been my favorite episode of the season - had the ending not been a little lacking. But regardless of the ending, this is one of the better episodes ever made (and its overall score on this site is the biggest injustice against this roller-coaster season). The other shot at the emmys is "The Color Ruckus". An episode that managed to reveal the tragic origins of Uncle Ruckus, introduce his entire dysfunctional family, and redeem a character who had become nearly unwatchable. This episode could have easily gone horribly wrong, but the tight story, voice acting, and comedy spoofing tragedy turned this into one of the best episodes story wise that "The Boondocks" has ever done. Then the season ended with "It's Goin Down", the funnest way to end the season that there could possibly be! Far from a perfect season, but it's the imperfections that make this one stand out. It's lows are pretty low, but it's highs are dizzying. Several of the episodes even eclipse the majority of the quality of season one.
The continuity for this season is pretty cool and subtle: references and guest-stars from "Star Wars". Obama. Huey's "retirement". Thugnificent and his UPS job. The phrase "pause". Wikipedia. etc. The animation and music score are impeccable. Aaron McGruder takes the reins for the majority of the season and the results are usually very good. In fact the only ones his writing partner Rodney Barnes had a hand in co-writing were "Pause" (a highlight of the season) and "The Lovely Ebony Brown" (a low point of the season) the latter of the two was actually written by Rodney Barnes with McGruder taking the co-writing credit for the first time in the show's history. I would not be against another mainly written by Barnes because he does have good comedy chops. I just hope he tightens up his game a little bit and doesn't rush the story too quick to flesh out the characters and jokes. Hopefully if season 4 sees the light of day, they will continue to let McGruder hold the majority of the writing reins and we get another season of unflinching, unapologetic and totally badass satire! And hopefully season 4 will focus more on Huey.
Season One will always be a perfect 10/10.
Season Two dipped in story quality but amped up the action to earn itself a 9.6/10.
Season Three combined the best of both seasons to make a unique experience that's a little rough around the edges but holds more charm and ingenuity hidden inside its core. 9.9/10 and my favorite season to date. Find out why for yourself...