The second episode South Park's season 16 takes on Cash for Gold stores and cable shopping networks, mapping out a ridiculous conspiracy in which gold is continuously made into jewelry, sold to old Americans, gifted to their children and grandchildren, sold for a few bucks at pawn shops, smelted down and then forged into jewelry again in a never ending cycle designed to rip off the elderly. Of course Stan sets out to solve the mystery and right the wrong while Cartman attempts to cash in on the scheme himself. The funniest moments from the episode came from the fictional J&G Shopping Network host James Bonanza. (Watch the full episode for free here courtesy of South Park Studios).
The episode opens on Stan and the Marsh family visit Grandpa, who always calls Stan by the wrong name and gives him a gold jewel-encrusted bolo-tie as a gift. The next day Stan wears it to school and his friends mock him before suggesting they sell it at a 'Cash for Gold' store, one of those places with a guy out front twirling around a cardboard arrow sign.
Inside the owner offers him a measly $15. The boys storm off to the store next door where they are offered just $9. Finally they try the Taco Bell which also has a sign spinner out-front. A cashier/jewelry expert offers them a seven layer burrito for the piece. The boys are completely dumbfounded.
Here the episode cuts to the J&G Shopping Network for the first time. The fictional cable channel features a man who continuously cons old people into wasting their money on jewelry marked up to absurd prices. The first piece we see him sell is a set of heart shaped earing that go to an elderly women who can't remember her last name but luckily remembers her credit card number.
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Cutting back to the boys, who are now watching James Bonanza at work, Stan realized his grandpa is about to buy another piece of jewelry, and rushes of to stop him. Stan learns that his grandpa is simply a sad old man who misses his dog.
Cut to Cartman in the schoolyard, where he is buying jewelry off his classmates for lower prices and even has Butters standing next to him attempting to twirl a cardboard arrow.
Back to James Bonanza, who sells a bracelet to an old women while she is lost and walking on the freeway.
Next he picks up a ring saying, alright let me set the stage for you. You're going to that seniors cocktail party. It's Bingo night you're looking for something to wear. How about a 13 Carat Panzoto-panzanite ring?
A potential buyer for the ring turns out to be Stan, who calls James Bonanza the definition of all evil and suggests he commit suicide. Bonanza defends himself with the old Hindu saying, Whoever smelt it dealt it.
It doesn't matter what price you put on anything, says Stan. Your only chance to right the wrongs you've done and repay all the elderly people whose lives you've destroyed is to kill yourselves.
Meanwhile Eric Cartman has launched his own shopping network, the Old People's Shopping Network. Cartman quickly sells a ring on his own show, Eric's Jewelry Cavalcade with Eric.
Stan shows up at the gold smelting station looking for justice, but learns that the actual Hindu saying is whoever denied it supplied it. The revelation leads the boys to blame the sign twirlers as the real ringleaders. One sign spinner reveals that the true Hindu saying is whoever made the rhyme did the crime, which points the blame to India where the jewelry is manufactured.
While the boys head of to India, Cartman visits a jewelery outlet to buy more pieces to sell, but quickly realizes that for a real bargain he'll have to travel to India himself. The boys all run into each other at an Indian sweatshop where the circle of Cash for Gold is revealed to them.
In the end Stand brings home a gift for his Grandpa, finally putting his conscience to rest. We then switch back to the J&G Shopping Networ, where James Bonanza receives one call from a another pressuring him to kill himself until he finally succumbs to the pressure and shoots himself off camera.