By Ken Tucker
Updated May 31, 2010 at 02:46 PM EDT

Last night, The Boondocks offered an episode entitled “Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy,” which offered the show’s usual family-sized helping of socio-political criticism and humor. It also took full advantage of the series’ anime cartoon style by offering some very adroit martial-arts fight scenes… involving little Huey and some very old people.

Col. Stinkmeaner, who died in an earlier episode, sought to avenge his death from the grave by having his “crew” of senior citizens attack the family he deemed responsible for his demise: our heroes, the Freemans. What followed was not merely a lot of wild jokes and action sequences, but a complex take on black-on-black violence from creator-writer Aaron McGruder.

Much of the episode’s debate about the roles blacks are compelled to play in society used the n-word in a way I won’t repeat here, but that doesn’t diminish McGruder’s arguments about racial self-image, plus a very clear reminder that not all black people are fans of President Obama.

I come away from most episodes of The Boondocks (and I say most — I thought last week’s “The Story of Johnny Rebel” was clunker) thinking two things: How did McGruder get away with this? Also: Boy, am I glad he got away with that.

How do you think The Boondocks compares with other animated shows you watch? Did you watch last night’s episode?

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