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The Passion of Reverend Ruckus

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The Boondocks
Season 1, Episode 15
Tbd1.15
Air date March 19, 2006
Written by Yamar Taylor

Aaron McGruder

Directed by Sean Song
Production # 115
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"The Passion of Reverend Ruckus" is the fifteenth episode of Adult Swim's The Boondocks series. It originally aired on March 19, 2006. It is the final episode of the first season.


"Watch the episode" [1]

Episode

The episode starts in Uncle Ruckus' dream in which he goes to Heaven. He is met at the gate, not by St. Peter, but by Ronald Reagan. Reagan tells Ruckus that this is "White Heaven" and that there are several separate, but relatively equal Heavens, one for each type of person (although he seems to be hinting that White Heaven is the best). Ruckus, being a self-hating black man, asks what he has to do to come to White Heaven. Reagan tells him that spreading the message of White Heaven and White Jesus will earn Ruckus a place in White Heaven. Ruckus looks at his reflection in a nearby pool and sees that he has been transformed into a blond, blue-eyed white man. Ruckus awakes and sets out to spread the "good news."

Meanwhile, Huey and Jazmine are having a meeting to discuss plans to visit Huey's friend Shabazz K. Milton Berle, who is on death row. Shabazz had worked as an intern for the Black Panther Party in 1970 and had been doing some paperwork when he heard a gunshot outside his window. Shabazz then heard a man shout that he had committed a murder, identifying himself and dropping the weapon at the scene (with his fingerprints clearly marked in chocolate frosting from the donut he had been eating, and with the registration tag attached). A court stenographer happened to be there to record this oddly specific confession, as well as the dying man's last words, which also implicated the killer. An amateur home video of the act confirmed this as well. Despite all of the evidence that cleared Shabazz of any wrongdoing, the jury convicted him and sentenced him to death.

It's revealed that Huey has been corresponding with Shabazz, who is sentenced to die soon. Huey tells Shabazz that he sent a letter to the governor threatening to reveal his gay affair, reasoning that if 10% of the population is gay, and 50% cheat on their spouse, this plan has a 5% chance of success.

Ruckus, meanwhile, has started preaching. He will park his car in front of passers-by and tell them that if they are white, they will go to Heaven. Being that most of the population of the town are white, this message goes over quite well. Robert and Tom hear the message and ask Ruckus if he's feeling alright. Ruckus was diagnosed with a tumor on his back and doctors say that soon he will die, but in his remaining days he wants to spread the word about how black people can redeem themselves and gain admittance to White Heaven through hating their own blackness. Robert tells Ruckus to stop being stupid, but the message spreads and Ruckus gets on television and even gets his own revival meeting at the local sports coliseum.
The Passion of Ruckus - Huey praying

Huey is still working on what he calls "Operation Black Steel" (despite Jazmine's insistence that it should be called "Jazmine and Huey's plan to get his friend out of jail"). Huey expects to die in the attempt to free Shabazz, but feels that the cause is greater than his own life. He hugs his brother goodbye, (prompting Riley to comment, "Nigga, you gay.") and climbs down the stairs to meet with his destiny.

His plan is thwarted at the last minute when Robert tells him he can't give Huey a ride to the prison. Huey praying for Shabazz's life. This is also the only instance in the series in which Huey has been shown to cry.Huey ends up on a hillside and as a last resort, begins praying for Shabazz. At the governeror's office they learn news of 'Raoul' has leaked out. Ruckus, at his revival, states that if he is lying, may God strike him with lightning. "If any of my words don't come directly from the almighty God himself, then may I be struck by lightning right this very instant! Hallel-" and from on-high, the lightning does strike Ruckus. Most of the city is blacked out from the force of the blast, including the prison. Shabazz is saved at the last minute. As the lights come back on, the phone begins to ring. Shabazz calmly says, "Would somebody like to get that? I think it's for me."

Ruckus has lost his flock, no one willing to follow a man who God himself seems to have branded a liar. The lightning cured Ruckus' cancer as well. Huey says that doctors would find no remaining signs of his cancer. Also, Raoul is revealed to be the Homosexual lover of the Governor Huey had risked exposing.


Trivia

  • According to the commentary on the DVD Set, there was concern (by McGruder) Cartoon Network would not air the episode because of the obvious racial overtones throughout.
  • This is so far the only episode where we see Huey cry.

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