Sunday, June 1, 2014

Season 2, Episode 6, “The Ghost of General Lee”

In which the reports of death are greatly exaggerated…

We open, like most times, with Rosco chasing Bo and Luke. Bo remarks that they didn’t even do anything, they’re just testing out the General Lee’s new camshaft. Rosco radios Enos the Dukes’ location, and his reply is garbled, due to what seems to be a faulty radio.
Luke bets Bo that he can fool Rosco into losing them using his Enos impression over the radio. He does, and we are treated to a shot of Tom Wopat lip synching over an audio track of Enos-type phrases. As a result of this, they lose the police.
Meanwhile, over in Sweetwater County, Chief Lacey (who used to be chief of police in Springville County back in season 1; I guess maybe he took a different job? Or, more likely, the continuity is non-existent) drops a couple of con men off at the Hazzard line, methodically naming off, and then destroying, their tools for fixing games of chance. He then tells them that if they ever come back, they’ll be going away for 10 years, then mutters “let that dummy in Hazzard handle them.” Jerk.
The hustlers resolve to steal a car so they can get to a place called Cottondale, where they come upon Bo and Luke skinny dipping for no reason, because apparently this is a thing male cousins do in rural areas?
The hustlers steal the General Lee, and head toward Cottondale, meeting up with Rosco on the road. He gives chase, thinking it’s Bo and Luke. They end up going off the road and into a pond. They do not come back up.
This is where things take a serious turn. Enos dives down and can’t get to the bodies, so they think Bo and Luke are dead. In a sterling bit of acting on the part of James Best, Rosco frantically calls for an ambulance and wrecker to the site, saying “The Duke boys done gone in the pond, while looking just devastated. The hustlers look on from the weeds, having escaped the car before it sunk.
Rosco heads back and tells Boss what happened. Boss is pretty upset, too, saying he’s going to miss them as nemeses, and that life is going to be all the drearier without them to deal with. He then pulls out the watch that he carries, referring to it as the watch owned by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. He then asks Rosco how much he thinks it’s worth, then promptly smashes it!
He then tells Rosco that it’s only worth $15, and the real watch (worth $20,000) is locked up in his safe; he’s been fooling everyone for years! He then proposes a plan in which he claims the watch was stolen by Bo and Luke before they died, while having the real one all along, thus netting him an extra $20K, and making him a contender for Asshole of the Year.
Meanwhile, Bo and Luke, super-panicked and super-naked, come upon some girl they know and ask her for some of her dad’s clothes, so they can hide their shame. They are come upon by the girl’s disapproving mother, who tells them she doesn’t want any of their nonsense, and to get the hell out. They leave, and Luke remarks that “A man ain’t truly been insulted til he’ stood buck-naked in front of a woman and she didn’t even notice!” “Or care!” smirks Bo.

At the Boars Nest, Cooter is playing pool against the hustlers, while Uncle Jesse and Daisy are drinking and waitressing, respectively. Boss and Rosco walk in, and Boss makes Rosco tell Jesse what happened to the boys. The whole rest of the scene is played totally straight, and it works beautifully. Jesse can’t believe what he’s heard, Cooter very quietly puts his head into his hands, and Daisy looks like she’s about to bawl.
Jesse sits down in a chair, and Rosco tells him that even though he chased Bo and Luke when they’d speed and whatnot, they seemed to enjoy the chase, and he did too. He then says it wasn’t ever personal. Jesse responds by silently giving Rosco’s hand a squeeze, as if to say “I don’t blame you.”
Everyone gathers around them to comfort each other, when Boss pops up and tells Jesse the bullshit story about the stolen watch, and you just want to kick him in the throat for even daring to pull such a thing. Even Rosco looks uncomfortable with his participation in the scheme, and Jesse gravely says that he’s going to prove the boys didn’t steal the watch if it takes until he dies.
Meanwhile, Bo and Luke, having stolen the clothes off a scarecrow, eventually make it back to the Duke farm, where the fastest wake ever is going on. Really, it can’t have been more than a couple of hours since the General Lee went into the pond, unless it’s been a day or something. Since it never gets dark in Hazzard anymore (a mandate from producer Paul Picard), we can never know for sure. Jesse goes over to the window and sees the boys peeking in. He rushes outside and is very happy to see them, which turns on a dime to being rather pissed off, and he corrals them into the barn.
One they get there, Jesse fills them in on the whole watch fiasco, and they have no idea what he’s talking about, because of course they didn’t do it. They tell him about what happened with the hustlers stealing the General Lee, and then Daisy shows up and screams, as her cousins are alive. Cooter comes running outside and is more shocked than anyone that they are alive.

Rosco pulls up to the house, come to pay his respects, and Bo and Luke (and Cooter!) make a plan to head into town to clear the boys’ names.

Later, at the police station, Rosco is waiting for his lunch, and hears Luke’s voice coming from a CB radio, saying he’s calling from beyond the grave. Rosco is freaked out, but is pretty sure this is all a hoax. The voice then tells him to go down to the impound garage to find proof that he’s telling the truth. He warily heads down there, only to find:

Luke continues to play up the haunting while Rosco slowly backs out of the garage, where he literally runs into Enos, who’s bringing back Rosco’s lunch. He shows Enos the car, and they’re scared shitless by the hood and trunk opening and closing, while Luke spookily says “ROSCO!”

The car then drives away, seemingly without a driver. In reality, Bo and Luke are driving, while ducked down, and using a periscope to see with; they’re doing a pretty good job, all things considered. Rosco and Enos give chase, causing all sorts of damage. After the driverless General Lee nearly makes a train hit Boss Hogg’s car, he and Rosco start to figure out that something’s fishy, and determine that it’s probably Cooter’s doing. Daisy pulls up to the Boars Nest and walks into Boss’ office, only to find the hustlers cracking the safe to steal the watch, which they heard about in the bar earlier. They swiftly kidnap her and tie her to a chair.

While she struggles to get free, the hustlers are trying to crack the safe by putting their ear to the door and trying to hear the tumblers. This is so ridiculous, even the Balladeer comments on it: “You reckon anybody can really open a safe that way?” They leave to go steal a pickup truck, so they can transport the safe and blow it open once they get some dynamite.

Boss overhears Jesse communicating with the boys, and it’s revealed that they’re still alive! He tells Rosco to catch them before they get to the Boars Nest and  clear their names. While the hustlers are loading the safe into the truck outside, Daisy pulls a pretty impressive feat to call for help, by spinning her chair around, knocking the phone off the cradle, and dialing the operator with the heel of her shoe, who connects her to the police station. She fills Enos in, and he heads over.

Bo and Luke arrive, freeing Daisy, and there’s a huge chase, eventually leading into Sweetwater County, where they are all met by Chief Lacey.

They all start arguing over the safe, and Chief Lacey threatens to arrest all of them, and Rosco pipes up:
ROSCO: You can’t arrest me, I’m a sheriff, too!
LACEY: I can in Sweetwater County, and that’s where you are now, boy!
Lacey makes Boss open the safe, and the watch is in there! He yells at Rosco, making it seem like Rosco told him it was stolen. The hustlers get arrested, Bo and Luke are cleared, and Boss has to pay back the money he collected from the insurance company. Bo says that if he hadn’t left the keys in the General Lee, none of this would have happened! Luke looks like he wants to smack Bo.

Oh, and Jesse makes Boss pay the boys the $500 he’d offered as a reward for finding the watch, because there’s nothing better than kicking someone when they’re down.

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