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"Shinin" is the seventh episode of the second season of The Boondocks. It originally aired November 26, 2007.


After proving himself worthy, Riley is finally initiated into Thugnificent's Lethal Interjection Crew and given the crew's official chain. Unfortunately, a local bully jacks his ice, so Riley tries to retrieve it before the Lethal Interjection crew finds out.


The episode begins with an episode of Cribs being filmed in the house of Thugnificent (Carl Jones), where Thugnificent presents his opulent lifestyle. When the cameras leave, it becomes apparent that much of the opulence is more show than real. Nevertheless, Riley asks to join the Lethal Interjection Crew. After three tests, designed to test his affability, courage and intelligence, they let Riley join and Thugnificent gives him a silver and platinum chain. Immensely proud of finally belonging to a crew, Riley shows off the chain to Huey, bragging that it "gets n***as hatin'". Huey points out that valuing the ill will of others isn't a productive form of self esteem and eliciting envy is a good way to get into trouble, but Riley does not listen.


Riley shows off his new chain around Woodcrest. He proudly watches as passers-by are blinded by the medallion's glare, until he is abruptly knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant who steals his new chain. After waking up, Riley instantly knows he was robbed by Butch Magnus (Daryl Sabara), a local bully who menaces all children and even adults unfortunate enough to cross his path. Riley boldly fights his tormentor, Butch Magnus, but is unsuccessful.

Riley seeks advice from Huey, who tells Riley the chain was only worth what he was willing to give for it and tells him to let it go. Unsatisfied with this course of action, he asks Granddad, who encourages Riley to stand up to the bully. Riley boldly confronts Butch by the school, but is clearly outmatched by the behemoth. Riley is unable to hurt him at all, despite landing several punches, and Butch then gives him a brutal beating.

Riley then asks Ed Wuncler III to kidnap Butch Magnus and get the chain back. Unfortunately Ed grabs the wrong kid and tells Riley that he will have to pay him for a second kidnapping, despite the mistake. Butch then appears on the news saying he robbed a member of Lethal Interjection, which Thugnificent sees. He then tells Riley that he should have just told him when the chain had been stolen, as the point in being in a crew is that you never have to handle your own business like a man. Thugnificent then sends Flonominal with Riley to get the chain back. Flonominal and Riley find the bully at the local baseball field, where Flonominal aggressively confronts Butch about the theft. In response, Butch hits Flonominal's leg with a baseball bat. Flonominal's tough persona quickly evaporates as he collapses, cradling his injured leg and screaming in agony. Butch completely fed up with the whole situation of the chain and due to being annoyed by Riley's determination to get it back, then throws the chain on the ground, as a jeweler's appraisal discover it to be fake and thus worthless to the bully. Butch then storms off, leaving Riley and Flonominal at the field. Riley then picks up the chain and walks off proudly, once again an official member of the Lethal Interjection crew, ignoring Flo's cries for help.


Cultural references[]

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  • The opening scene in which Thugnificent describes his lavish lifestyle, and does a walkthrough of his house is a reference to MTV Cribs.
  • When Thugnificent berates Macktastic about his "hoes" being late, Mack replies that "Quinton just texted me. He say the Hoes is en route" His response is a reference to The Pharcyde skit/song Quinton's on his Way on which The Pharcyde crew calls up Quinton, their weed man. 
  • Butch Magnus' sneer is a similar, albeit exaggerated version, of the one typically shown by Sylvester Stallone.
  • There are many allusions to Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" throughout the episode. When Thugnificent is asking Riley how good he thinks the song is, he says "you got to really think it sounds good" to which Riley responds, "I do." Thugnificent asks, "How good?" and Riley responds, "real good". This is much like the conversation Brian has when trying to join the People's Front of Judea. Later Thugnificent grant's Riley a chain and states "there isn't a single member of the Lethal Interjection crew that isn't ready to die for his chain", though a voice from off screen quickly contradicts that statement. This closely parallels the scene in which Brian is inducted into the People's Front of Judea.
  • You can also hear the infamous crying sound effect of Baby Kate Read from Arthur in this episode.
  • When Riley asks Thugnificent to join the Lethal Interjection crew he says, "If this rap shit don't work we go and...", like 50 Cent does in his song "Your Life's On The Line" from his 1999 album, Power of the Dollar.
  • Lethal Interjection is reminiscent of Ice Cube's fourth solo album, Lethal Injection.
  • Granddad states that he fought a guy named Deebo, without a gun that he possessed, and Riley states that it was from the film "Friday." Granddad's voice actor, John Witherspoon, had played the father of Craig, the person who fought Deebo, in the movie "Friday."
  • When Ed Wuncler III plans on torturing the child he kidnapped, another reference is made to his spoofing of George W. Bush when he says "Don't swear to God! I talk to God all the time and he's the one who told me to torture yo' ass, you lyin', stealin' muthafucka!" Ed kidnapping and torturing the wrong kid instead of Butch Magnus is likely yet another reference to the Iraq War in relation to the 9/11 attacks and the War On Terror, as well as referencing the Bush Administration's eagerness to torture accused terrorists in detention camps such as Guantanamo Bay.