DAYS OF SHINE AND ROSES
Jesse and Boss challenge each other to a car race.
A cracking start to the second season and one of the comparatively rare 'car-race' episodes (there was usually only one per season). Jesse is given plenty of character development here, the whole story moves along at a frantic pace and it's often wildly funny. Especially enjoyable to watch is the Sepia Footage at the start, which is a lovely touch.
ROSCO MOMENT His repeated attempts to sabotage the race make him increasingly resemble Wile-E Coyote!
BEST STUNT The General flies through a Tree.
A con man attempts to swindle Boss out of his money with the use of lead bars covered in gold paint.
Paul Baxley's first episode as a Director isn't one of his best, although he manages to stage numerous efficient action sequences. It's a shame Daisy's Roadrunner is taken out of the final chase early on, as the Winnebago substitute is simply too implausible a vehicle to chase a fast car with. The story is nevertheless watchable and H.H.Harkness is a smooth piece of villainy. Interestingly, Jesse’s front tooth (which is removed at the end of the show) grows back before Episode 3.
ROSCO MOMENT His hopeless stakeout of the Duke Farm is a lovely moment.
BEST STUNT Luke blows up the villain's Get-away car.
The Dukes need to safeguard a Racehorse.
If you like horses, this is the episode for you. Unfortunately, the rest of us will find it dull. You simply can't replace a car with a horse and expect the action to be as spectacular (the jumps aren't nearly so big, for a start) and this episode seriously flags as a result. Apart from Mel Tillis' stutter, the most enjoyable aspect is Lulu; it’s always a pleasure to have her character on the show.
BEST STUNT Cletus runs his car off the road. Not particularly thrilling, but there's little else.
Boss uses the County Courthouse as a safe-haven for a Gangster's convention.
The Mobsters are one big Hollywood cliché and the story never recovers from that principle weakness, despite the amusing schemes cooked up to defeat them. The final chase is funny, but basically limited to a few cars driving around in circles; and the whole episode seems to think it's a lot funnier than it actually is.
ROSCO MOMENT Absolutely wrecking his car at the end, simply by driving into a parked patrol Car; he’s incurred less damage in his time by doing far worse!
BEST STUNT The General gracefully jumps the Mobsters car. You’d almost believe it was floating.
The Dukes break up a Truck hijacking scheme.
Action packed, but empty, outing. The Gang is rounded up far too easily at the end, but there is a wonderful chase sequence involving a reluctant Deputy Cletus in league with the Dukes while experiencing an impromptu display of democracy in action. Eons is rather missed here, but Cletus makes the most of the situation.
ROSCO MOMENT Attempting to emulate the Dukes and flying his car into the side of a small hill.
BEST STUNT Garbade gets his motorcycle comeuppance (via a tree trunk).
THE GHOST OF GENERAL LEE.
Two crooks steal the General and crash it into a river. Everyone in Hazzard believes that Bo and Luke were at the wheel and that they've subsequently drowned.
Highly regarded by the fans, this is indeed a memorable episode; but everyone seems to overlook the fact that, despite having an excellent beginning, the story becomes ridiculously silly around 2/3 of the way through. Nonetheless, the first 25 minutes ARE extremely good, with James Best in particular giving a splendid performance. It's just a shame that the writers altered the plot line toward the end and substituted a Pantomime farce.
ROSCO MOMENT His talk with Jesse in the Boars Nest is a rare dramatic moment for him; and all the more effective because of it.
BEST STUNT Enos rolls his Patrol Car.
THE DUKES MEET CALE YARBOROUGH
The Dukes help a racecar driver protect his secret turbo-charger.
Cale who? Presumably the name meant something in the USA in 1980;in the UK a quarter of a century later, he’s a complete nobody. Subsequently,this entire story feels forced and relies too heavily on Mr Yarborough's non-existent charisma and acting ability. The re-used jump footage from the 'Double Sting' leap is pitiful; and the use of three General's for the Finale is a waste of a good idea.
BEST STUNT The final jump of the General; although even this is spoilt by poor continuity, the sight of the stunt-driver's crash helmet and the delayed cutting of the sequence which results in the sight of the General's body work caving in before magically repairing itself by the very next shot.
Bo and Luke infiltrate a corrupted Demolition Derby.
The Director, Paul Baxley, could hardly turn this one down! A story involving people who crash cars into each other for a living could hardly be dull and it isn't. However, the crook's scheme is so obvious that it's surprising that Bo and Luke take so long to work it out. The Derby sequence is gripping and the final chase(despite an awkward moment of dubbing)is big and destructive. Nonetheless, you get the feeling that it could have been much better, given the material.
BEST STUNT The henchmen's car gets knocked off the road and into the air.
WITNESS FOR THE PERSECUTION
The Dukes shelter Boss in their Farm as part of a Protection Programme; while Roscoe takes over Boss' duties.
This one's a minor classic. It's a rather thin plot, but it's chock full of memorable moments. Jesse and Boss together in the Farm's Living Room; Rosco transforming himself into Boss' image; and, most of all, Daisy putting on a baby-doll Nightdress and getting into bed with Boss. The former is an immortal moment and one, which, in terms of audacity, the series never got close to approaching again. To cap it all, the action sequences appear at just the right moments to propel the story along and are tense and well conceived.
ROSCO MOMENT Tar spoils his Boss Transformation.
BEST STUNT The Car to Cadillac Transfer.
A nice old Dear turns out to be a counterfeiter and Boss is determined to acquire her engraving plates.
This is one of the most entertaining episodes of the entire series, although not particularly good in its own right.
It moves along at such a speed that you would have thought Paul Baxley was the Director, but that's not the case. The problem with the story is that it changes direction a little too often and the episode only really becomes involving during the final 15 minutes, when the storyline shifts to the 'Boss is kidnapped' sequence. However, you’re unlikely to notice the disjointed effect much, as the action is unsurpassed(some of the greatest car stunts ever put on film!)the humour is charming, the pace is fast and there's even a musical interlude. Cooter's absence is noticeable.
ROSCO MOMENT Explaining to the Dukes why it is their responsibility to take his side and go to Boss' rescue. A charming sequence, similar in style to his speech in 'The ghost of General Lee'.
BEST STUNT The Dukes leap the freight train and Rosco tries to emulate them. Simply outstanding.
The Dukes help an old friend to campaign against Boss in an upcoming re-election
The biggest weakness of this story is that you know full well that, even if T.C.Rodgers were to be successful in winning, she will gone by the very next episode and Boss' power would remain undimmed. A sweet little plot twist at the end of the episode is a nice payoff, however.
It's still an entertaining ride; and the character of Emery Potter is a nice addition to the cast. It’s just a pity he wasn't used more often.
BEST STUNT The General jumps the Farmers wagon. That tarmac landing must have hurt!
ARREST JESSE DUKE
Jesse is wrongfully arrested for a series of car-stripping crimes.
The first of many episodes this season not to feature Rosco and his absence is painful and obvious. Despite the sympathy engendered by seeing Jesse behind bars, this story never comes alive. The idea of glamorous female car-strippers seems to be an idea that's stuck in the past; Hughie Hogg(although a terrific character)is wasted; and the concept of the General having all-terrain tyres added to it is ludicrous - the whole point was that the General already was an all-terrain vehicle!
BEST STUNT The Jeep chase is acceptable and the destruction of the third and final vehicle is cathartic, albeit unoriginal.
DUKE OF DUKE
The Dukes English cousin, Gaylord, turns out to have a sinister side.
This being an American programme, the inevitable English character was either going to be a villain or a buffoon; the former, in this case. Simon MacCorkindale looks rather uneasy throughout(as would anyone, playing a character with such an absurd name)but there are some charming jokes made on the differences in attitudes between one nationality and the other. It’s also encouraging to learn that there actually is an English Duke family(despite Gaylord turning out to be a sham)and that Jesse is apparently in regular contact with them. The 'surprise plot twist' is signposted with a big arrow from about 1/3 of the way in.
BEST STUNT Jumping the haystacks.
The Dukes help the Daughter of a millionaire to elope with her less well-off Fiancée.
There is nothing of interest anywhere here apart from Bo's peculiar over-reaction to the Ferry and the destruction of the Roadrunner and subsequent donating of its replacement, the Jeep 'Dixie'.
ROSCO MOMENT "Come into my parlour; said the Spider to the Bee"
BEST STUNT It's a pity that the Roadrunner's finest hour should also be its last. The wheelie between the two police cars is superb.
FOLLOW THAT STILL
Boss uses an old Army tank to hide Contraband.
It's clear that someone on the production Team had managed to do a 'good deal' on the services of a Tank for a week or two and had instructed the scriptwriters to write one in. The result is this forced and plodding story. You can't have a rip-snorting chase involving vehicles plodding along at near walking pace and this lumpen episode proves it. It's the sort of story that thinks it's far more entertaining than it actually is.
ROSCO MOMENT The one gem of a sequence is the destruction of his Patrol car by the Tank. Worth waiting for.
BEST STUNT With stunts involving an old Tank being impossible to achieve, it’s up to the other vehicles to provide the thrills. Rosco's first crash is particularly good.
TREASURE OF HAZZARD
Boss Hogg, the Dukes and various other characters embark on a Treasure Hunt.
The first of many episodes this Season without the services of James Best as Rosco (due to a dispute),this would be bad enough with the ineffective addition of Lester Crabb(played by Clifton James, who had previously been so good as Sheriff Pepper in the Bond series; presumably why he was chosen),but it adds insult to injury by also removing the automotive action. A crocodile fight might have seemed like a good idea on paper, but it isn't a spectacular enough substitute for cars flying through the air. This episode is actually worth missing.
ROSCO MOMENT He's gone. And he won't be back for a while, either. The void created by his absence is painful and un-fillable.
BEST STUNT There isn't one. Clearly a Budget-saving exercise, this is a Dukes episode without automotive action. Pointless.
OFFICER DAISY DUKE.
Daisy resigns from her waitress job at the Boars Nest and is accepted into the Hazzard Police Department.
A lovely story idea is put into effect with only partial success. Catherine Bach actually shows what she's capable of, given a good enough script; and there are many really splendid moments. However, the viewer is constantly thinking "I wonder what this would have been like if only Rosco had been around?". The comparative lack of action is also a handicap, although there's a lot of story to be told and only 44 minutes to do it in! One of those episodes that's well remembered and fondly recalled; but not actually as good as one would expect.
BEST STUNT Enos' chase of the suspects, ending in the 'crashing through some old wooden crates' sequence. Old fashioned, but still fun to watch.
FIND LORETTA LYNN
The Country Music star is kidnapped while passing through
Given the cost of securing
ROSCO MOMENT He's back for one episode and his ripping apart the two Patrol cars is a classic.
BEST STUNT Without a doubt, the wiping-out of the General. A real " What the ****! " moment.
A roguish Texas Ranger arrives in Hazzard, to round up an outlaw gang.
A 'back to its roots' story(somewhat of an anachronism by this point in the series),this episode has a First Season flavour(characters are unshaven; cuss and spit tobacco all the time)but it's all the better for that. The scrappy Direction and the wrong Sheriff hold it back a little, but it's otherwise entertaining, raucous and amusing, with some genuinely big action sequences.
BEST STUNT Loads to choose from here and they're all superbly orchestrated. My vote is for Snake's wiping-out of his car.
RETURN OF THE RIDGERAIDERS
Jesse has to try and restrain some of his old 'Moonshine buddies' from seeking revenge on Boss Hogg.
jaunt, with the assistance of a whole collection of veteran
The automotive destruction that results from the 'smoke-blinding' gag is one of the few instances in the series of a 'multiple pile-up' of 3(or more)vehicles. This was actually comparatively rare on The Dukes and is impressive to watch.
MASON DIXON'S GIRLS
The Dukes assist a Private Investigator in his quest to catch a powerful crook.
Thank goodness for James Best's return. The first few minutes of this episode are a triumph, as it's made quite clear that Rosco has returned for good; thankfully an unchanged man after his spell at the Police Academy. Without him, this episode would have fallen into the same rut of many in the second half of the 2nd season: thin story, boringly executed.
Mason Dixon and the two girls are uninteresting characters and the plot doesn't involve as a result. Only the spectacular final ten minutes compensates.
ROSCO MOMENT His appearance at the start of the episode is outspokenly triumphant, while his mispronunciation of 'Marijuana' is almost legendary.
BEST STUNT Enos wipes out his Patrol Car.
R.I.P. HENRY FLATT
An old enemy of Boss(and therefore a friend to the Dukes)is believed dead, but is in fact only in hiding.
Denver Pyles directorial debut is quite effective, mixing character, humour and action quite effectively. The episode has a shaky start(the time difference between the scene of the General's crash and the walk through the clichéd cemetery being far too implausible)but settles down into a fine display of (frequently black) humour. The scene where Flatt bluffs the Mortuary Attendant is hilarious.
Nice to see Audrey Landers in a non-villainous, girl-next-door role, too.
BEST STUNT The Truck chase is good, but it's the General's jump at the beginning, which takes the honours. 'Rosco's car in a Tree' is too obviously faked to be included.
More Duke cousins turn up, this time as new millionaires; until their money is stolen, that is.
One of the least memorable or noteworthy episodes of the 2nd season; an unfortunate choice for the final instalment. There's the usual clichéd English character(they had a villain earlier, so this one is a buffoon; naturally)and a rather listless feel to the whole thing, which betrays it's 'final episode of the Season' origins. The best moment comes when the Duke's orange car is painted green, but you have to wait quite some time for that to happen.
BEST STUNT Nothing of real note, although the final chase(despite being a "they all just come to a halt at the end" sequence) is fast moving and well put together.