Saturday, July 6, 2013

Season 1, Episode 5: “High Octane” – Originally Aired 2-23-1979

In which the Dukes attempt to solve the 1970s energy crisis, and very nearly succeed…

Bo and Luke arrive at the courthouse, meeting Uncle Jesse, as they are late for their quarterly probation meeting. On the way in, Luke notices a poster for a contest offering a $20,000 prize if you can come up with an alternative to fossil fuel. Bo suggests that they enter, and Luke’s all like “screw you, Bo, we can’t come up with anything, especially you! Dingus.”

When they get upstairs, they are informed that their usual officer, Agent Roach, has been promoted out of Hazzard, and that Roxanne Huntley has taken his place. She’s a real no-nonsense sort, and is shocked to learn that the ATF has made a deal with the Dukes: if they all stopped making moonshine, the boys would get probation. This seems fairly simplistic:
BO AND LUKE: Oh please, mister revenuer, we PROMISE to stop making ‘shine! Don’t send us off to prison!
REVENUER: Ohhh, I suppose so! But you’ll be getting a harsh probation! No firearms, OR leaving the county! Now run along before I change my mind!
Anyway, Agent Huntley says she never would have made the deal, and the Dukes leave. Rosco comes in and discusses with Agent Huntley that he can’t believe the Dukes are not making moonshine any more, but Huntley wants to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Outside, Jesse comes upon Cooter, fixing the General Lee’s taillight while wearing a coat that is covered in autographs, which is really strange, but no one mentions it.
Rosco and Agent Huntley (you know what, screw it, I’m just gonna call her Huntley from here on out) see that Bo has bought a rather large amount of copper tubing. Rosco seems certain that it’s for hooking up to a still, but again, Huntley remains unconvinced. He goes on about it some more, and she finally gets suspicious.

At the Boar’s Nest, which apparently has a gas station in front of it, Uncle Jesse gets so pissed that he’s limited to 3 gallons of gas due to the shortage that he threatens to beat the ass of the poor pump jockey. Calm down, old man, everyone’s gotta cut back in these trying times of the late 1970s.
Boss Hogg comes out and reminisces with Jesse about the time back in the day when they ran out of gas on a moonshine run, and out of desperation, put some of Jesse’s famous moonshine in the gas tank, and the car ran on it. Boss suggests Jesse brew up a batch and enter it in the contest. Jesse says he has no need for $20,000, which is crazy. Boss says he isn’t either, but is more interested in the royalties that they would be paid, Boss saying he’d get a part because it was his idea. Bo and Luke convince Jesse that it’d be for the good of the country, and he relents, but tells Boss to go fuck himself regarding partnership. Jesse and the boys (and Cooter!) go up to the woods and uncover the still.

Rosco hears the Dukes firing up the still, and makes to run and bust them. Boss tells him to back the fuck off and let them make their damn moonshine, but when they go to transport it, then he can bust them, so Boss can take the moonshine and enter it in the contest himself.

After some Cooter-instigated moonshine hijinks, we see a woman walking through the woods, who trips one of their alarms.

They all take turns scaring the crap out of her, and she tells them that she’s just fishing. She smells the smoke from the still and goes to investigate. She bends down and sniffs at the spigot, getting a face full of moonshine fumes, which causes her to pass out. They pull of her wig and glasses, and, surprise, it’s Huntley! Bo gives her CPR, and she wakes up, telling him he’s under arrest. The Balladeer pops up and says “Maybe it’s his technique!” and then there’s a commercial break. When the show returns, Bo restates “I’m under arrest?” and then Luke says “Maybe it’s your technique!” STOP PREDICTING THE FUTURE, WAYLON JENNINGS!
Anyway, she makes to arrest everyone, but Jesse and Cooter have dumped the batch of mash into the river, so there’s no evidence. Seems she should be able to arrest them based on them having a freshly-operated still and paraphernalia (jugs, a crapload of corn and sugar, etc.) but they explain about the fuel contest, and propose a 24 hour truce so they can enter the contest, and if she catches them making it, they’ll go peaceably. They even offer to let her stay with them so she can watch their every move. She reluctantly agrees, and they head off.

Huntley ends up bathing in the Dukes’ kitchen, and wonders how the fuck she got into this situation, and I wonder why they haven’t put indoor plumbing in that house yet. Daisy tells her not to worry about it, and explains that the Dukes always get along great with whatever revenuer assigned to the area. They don’t feel like they should be assholes to someone just for trying to bust them; they’re just doing their job, after all.

Bo takes Huntley out dancing (called “juking” in the episode, but that’s stupid) and gets her drunk on moonshine, so Uncle Jesse and Cooter can slip off to make a batch of moonshine undisturbed. Enos gets a huge boner for Huntley, and says that if Luke hooks him up, he’ll reveal Boss Hogg’s plan to arrest the Dukes for transporting moonshine. Luke agrees, and Enos spills.

Next morning, Bo and Luke help Jesse get his old shine-running car, Sweet Tillie, out of storage, and he reveals that he’s going to make the run himself, knowing Rosco will spot the car immediately. Luke asks how Jesse is going to hide the shine, and is told that it’s quite a trick. Bo and Luke are loading full jugs into the General Lee when Huntley appears, none worse for the wear after passing out the night before.

Rosco and Enos are waiting to make the bust when the boys drive up with Huntley in tow. He tries to bust them, but Huntley informs him it’s a federal arrest, and points her gun at him. He gets all pissed and takes her gun away and places them all under arrest, thinking that she's in cahoots with the Dukes. Enos drives off with them, and Rosco grabs two jugs from the General’s trunk, taking them to Boss, who is conveniently parked on the other side of the tree line.

At the jail, Enos puts Huntley into a cell, and Bo smashes a jug of moonshine to the floor and lights a match, meaning to throw it into the puddle on the floor, lighting the whole place on fire. (Collateral Damage Plan in Effect!) Then they lock Enos and Huntley into the cell, and Huntley says “what about our deal, assholes? If I arrested your fair and square, you’d go peaceably!” In response, Bo drops the match, making Enos and Huntley shit their pants in fear. Turns out that she arrested Bo and Luke for transporting water, and then she figures out that they were running a front for Jesse to run the actual shine to the contest. Bo and Luke steal Enos’ car and take off.

Rosco pulls over  Sweet Tillie and proceeds to tear it apart while Jesse stands there calmly. Bo and Luke are passed through the road block as they are driving a police car. Rosco can’t find anything in the car, and Jesse demands the car be put back together or he will sue the county. Hey, if he wins, he can install indoor plumbing at the farm! Rosco relents and has the cops put the car back together.
Boss arrives at the contest, jugs in hand, and waits his turn. We see a guy claiming to have made a way an engine can run on horse manure, and proceeds to explode the damn thing, presumably sending horse shit particles everywhere.

Boss has his assistant fill the engine up and starts it, and it doesn’t do anything, as it turns out to be full of water. Jesse arrives, with the REAL moonshine, and fills an engine up, and it runs! The judge is amazed, and even drinks some.

Huntley bursts in and tries to arrest the Dukes and confiscate the whiskey, but the judge isn’t having any of it. Jesse asks for his prize money, and is informed that there is still feasibility testing to be done to see if it’s viable. He gets super pissed off and just walks out, forever dooming his family to pooping outside and bathing in the kitchen.

Boss sends Rosco after them to arrest them for transporting moonshine in the gas tank of the car, and a chase ensues. They continue until Jesse’s car runs out of fuel, and thus, evidence. Huntley sniffs the gas tank and passes out, never to be seen after this. I guess the government didn’t find it feasible to use moonshine as fuel, because we never hear about the contest results.


Anonymous said...

Waylon Jennings has a "616" area code?

Never thought of him as a Grand Rapids man.....

Jay Duke said...

Heh, I never even thought of that. I actually picked that {nerd on} as a reference to the Marvel Comics Universe, the main one of which is designated 616, in honor of Doctor Strange, whose Eye of Agamotto adorns Waylon's chest in the picture. {/nerd off}