SEASON 4

 

 

EPISODE 1

MRS. DAISY HOGG

Daisy falls in love with Boss' nephew, Jamie Lee. When he proposes, Daisy accepts; but is he all that he seems?

A very enjoyable, strong episode to launch the fourth season. Jamie-Lee is a likeable, sympathetic character who seems

To have found himself out of his depth and his resulting plan to marry Daisy is plausible and clever. Jonathan Frakes

delivers a well-judged performance and it's a shame his character never re-appeared.

As a bonus, the climactic chase is extremely well handled and hilarious and is one of the best action sequences The Dukes ever produced. Itís a pity the rest of the season was largely unable to live up to the standards set here.

ROSCO MOMENTHis perfectly timed and wholly understated, "somebody scuffed my vehicle!" line is wonderful.

BEST STUNT†† The gradual diminution of Rosco's car is a terrific sequence and without doubt a classic moment in the series.

****

 

EPISODE 2

DOUBLE DUKES

Boss hires Bo and Luke look-alike's to rob a money shipment.

As befits a Paul Baxley episode, this is extremely well paced and full of terrific stunts.

However, it suffers from the same problems that bedeviled many a likely episode in the third season: namely, wind everything up very quickly in order to fit in a musical act at the end. Boss' scheme is truly despicable and a few extra scenes lingering on his villainy would have made it all so much stronger. The central idea of evil doubles (not just Bo and Luke, but the General as well) is a curiously American staple of their TV seriesí, but it works well enough here. And the Two-General Finale is certainly exciting.

ROSCO MOMENT†† Mistaking the real Dukes for the phony ones.

BEST STUNT†† Many to choose from, but the scene where the General leaps over Dixie and Rosco's Patrol Car is elegant and beautiful!

***

 

 

 

EPISODE 3

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH

After inadvertently discovering a cache of diamonds, absolutely everyone chases after Bo and Luke.

 

James Best's directorial debut clearly shows the influence of Paul Baxley. Itís a wild and frenetic piece of escapist TV, but the storyline is thin even for the Dukes and the constant chasing gets a little wearing after a while. The character of Lisa is interesting and a welcome change from the usual bland male thugs. Interestingly, some of the footage in the 'teaser' sequence is never shown in the episode itself.

ROSCO MOMENTHis leap through the 'better driving' sign is a classic.

BEST STUNTThe aforementioned leap. Although occasionally seen in bigger budget movies, its appearance on TV shows was rare and is welcome here.

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPISODE 4

COLTRANE VS. DUKE

Rosco fakes a crippling illness in order to win the Duke farm in a Court hearing for damages.

This is another really splendid Rosco show, full of creativity, brilliant comedic performances and superb physical comedy.

The interplay between Boss and Rosco is so inspired it almost qualifies as comedic legend (the storytelling sequence is wonderful),

and the episode achieves that perfect blend of story, action and comedy. In the absence of Rosco (whose immobility is the episode's reason for being) the role of Sheriff Little is brought into greater prominence (he was also seen briefly in Double Dukes) and he is now fully accepted as a member of the 'troupe'.

ROSCO MOMENT†† The whole episode; also funny is the clearly improvised scene of Boss throwing the grape.

BEST STUNT†† Sheriff Little wiping out his car in the final chase is spectacular.

****

 

EPISODE 5

THE FUGITIVE

A college student overhears Boss Hogg hatching another scheme and goes on the run as a result.

Pretty lame stuff, although Mindy Lou is rather fetching. Much of the dialogue seems out of character and the sight of Boss on a Motorcycle (with terrible back-projection) is rather horrible and laughable for the wrong reason.

ROSCO MOMENT†† Boss takes the 'clowning' honors from him in this one, although Rosco's "going down with the ship!" cry is worth hearing.

BEST STUNT†† Cletus' car hitting a tree is spectacular, but the final motorbike jump of Luke(with Mindy Lou riding pillion)is really impressive.

**

 

EPISODE 6

THE GREAT BANK ROBBERY

When a disgruntled Bank Teller absconds with money from Boss Hogg's bank, itís up to the Dukes to devise an ingenious plan to break into the bank and return it.

A terrific story from Fred Freiberger and the direction, performances, action and comedy don't let it down. Denver Pyle controls this episode in a distinctly 'on' mode and creates one of the finest episodes of the fourth season. The comedy is warmly played; the action is funny and well presented; the characters (particularly Clarence Stovall) are lovingly drawn; and the entire episode is beautifully paced. Is Clarence related to Dewey Stovall from Freibergers only other episode?

ROSCO MOMENT†† His constant haggling with Boss over very small sums of money that he's never going to see. Does he never learn?

BEST STUNT†† The General sideswiping the tree. Very painful.

****

 

EPISODE 7

SADIE HOGG DAY

During the annual 'women change places with men' festival, Boss decides to rob his bank and make Daisy take the blame.

A typical 'dirty trick' scheme from Boss and a very funny one at that. His villainy has now become so pantomimic that it's in no danger of gaining an edge and his inevitable downfall is always certain from the start. Not so much from the Dukes campaigning (although they are certainly essential in maintaining a strong balance between right and wrong), but from his over-ambitious nature and his constant reliance on Rosco to bring his scheme's about. In this instance, Rosco's bungling of even the simplest task is absolutely hilarious; and Boss' inability to understand that (because of this) his plan has absolutely no chance of succeeding, is the icing on the cake.There are also some brilliant scenes with Cletus and the wonderful Miz Tisdale; and the action sequences are of a very high standard.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His confusion over the two ledgers is inspired. This is classic vaudeville material.

BEST STUNT†† Loads here, but Rosco losing his front wheels is priceless.

****

 

EPISODE 8

THE TEN MILLION DOLLAR SHERIFF: PART 1

Rosco inherits $10 million from his late Uncle Josiah and becomes the richest man in Hazzard. Boss determines to win it all from him at Poker; loses and becomes Rosco's Deputy as a result.

A tremendous storyline, but there's an awful lot of plot to tell here and not a lot of time to do it AND build up to a cliffhanger (Jessie suffering a major accident). The introduction of several new characters (including Steele's reclusive victim, whoís importance is built up and then abruptly forgotten) slows things down considerably. Rosco's transformation is funny, but his whole character matures a little too much, leaving you regretting the absence of the 'Child' he left behind. The use of his dog, Flash, in the Poker scene is extremely inspired, however.A rather sedentary episode, which leaves you hoping that Part 2 will be a winner.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His yellow Rolls Royce with a siren on top and a TV showing cartoons (road-runner?) in the back is inspired and quite apt.

BEST STUNT††† The General jumps the Lawyer's car. Quite unnecessary, but spectacular.

***

 

 

 

EPISODE 9

THE TEN MILLION DOLLAR SHERIFF: PART 2

Rosco falls foul of Bounty-hunter Jason Steele, when his inheritance turns out to have been miscalculated.

Although the first ten minutes are fabulous (Boss performing Cletus' patrol car duties and bungling them as badly as Cletus and Rosco always do) and expectations are raised, this is an extremely disappointing episode. Although the story has been well thought through and cannot be faulted in its telling, thereís simply too much plot to fit in to such short a time-frame (as also happened in Part 1). Rosco must involve Boss in a dirty scheme (thus proving that you're better of with the Devil you know); incriminate the Dukes in a trumped-up charge; employ Jason Steele; find a way to rid himself of all his new-found wealth; get Jason Steele off his back and behind bars AND make sure that everything's back to the old cosy version of 'normal' (having Boss back in control) by episode's end.

There's no time for anything extra, such as comedy and action. An ambitious story (and certainly memorable and worth telling), but it doesn't really work.

ROSCO MOMENTHis recruitment of Boss as his Deputy is lovely and very funny.

BEST STUNT†† Not much here. A rather half-hearted General Lee jump is the best thing on offer.

**

 

EPISODE 10

TROUBLE AT COOTER'S.

Crooks attempt to steal fur coats from a building adjacent to Cooter's garage.

It's good to see Cooter figuring prominently in a story, but surely it didn't need to be as bland and unmemorable as this?

Colleen Camp is very pretty and sexy and it's no wonder Cooter is attracted to her; but Boss' attempts to muscle in on the crooks activities and the sheer predictability of the whole thing, ends up making for one dull episode. Even the action sequences are rather uninspiring.

ROSCO MOMENT His attempt to extricate his little fat baddy from a tight squeeze.

BEST STUNT†† The first car jump of the episode was to be re-used countless times over the next 3 1/2 seasons (puzzling, as it wasn't particularly spectacular); but the final jump resulting in the apprehending of the crooks car is worth waiting for.

**

 

EPISODE 11

GOODBYE, GENERAL LEE

Luke is hypnotised by Boss into selling the General.

A super little episode, full of humour and excitement. Denver Pyle once more proves himself as a fine director and gives the story some heart, which it might otherwise have lacked. The plot itself is rather implausible, even by Dukes standards, but the viewer quite happily puts any doubts on hold, as they're inevitably pulled along by the fast pace and very good character playing.

The renegade NASCAR drivers are handled well; the stunts are absolutely top-notch; the episode has an interesting atmosphere throughout; and it's a tribute to Denver Pyle that the old "snap my fingers and you wake up" gag is made to seem so fresh.

ROSCO MOMENT†† The owl scene is funny, but his line "That would have killed ten ordinary men!" is hilarious and apt.

BEST STUNT†† A generous selection, but the impromptu flight of "ol' yello" is quite superb.

****

 

EPISODE 12

CLETUS FALLS IN LOVE

When Daisy says "I love you" to Cletus as an instinctive reaction to his not giving her a speeding ticket, Cletus becomes convinced that it's true.

Rick Hurst gets his own episode and rises to the occasion very well. His performances weren't always pleasing, as he tended to rely too much on mugging for much of the time, but he handles himself admirably here, using pratfalls only when they're appropriate to the story. The fake cheque seems like an afterthought to give the story more impetus than it would otherwise have had, had it remained merely a simple story of unrequited love (and it must be unrequited, as Daisy's heart was always for Enos). However, the scenes with Boss and Rosco and a cake delivery are some of the funniest the duo ever performed; and Sheriff Little makes another fine appearance.

ROSCO MOMENTHis disclosure of Boss' rubber duck is brilliant.

BEST STUNTThe river-jump sequence is superbly presented, but Sheriff Little's dunking is the most spectacular and the funniest.

***

 

EPISODE 13

HUGHIE HOGG STRIKES AGAIN

Hughie returns, this time with a 'moonshine instead of petrol' scam, to frame the Dukes and Cooter.

No Hughie Hogg episode can ever be dull and this one certainly isn't. But, yet again, the hi-jinks are abruptly cut down in order to shoehorn a musical act into the show's Finale. On the plus side, Hughieís accomplices are rather despicable and effectively portrayed; Cletus has another excellent moment (involving mimicry); and the first few minutes are extremely exciting.

You just feel that it's an affront to Hughie Hogg to edit down his special brand of villainy, in order to showcase some bloke playing a guitar.

BEST STUNT†† The General taking a bath at the start is terrific, but the honours must go to the spectacular and destructive 'jumping the boxes' sequence.

It's disconcerting, however, to see blatant repeating of earlier stunt footage. Rosco's patrol car diving into the pond is an exact replay of Cletus' dive from season three's "Hazzardville Horror". Presumably, the producers never predicted someone collecting all their shows on DVD!

***

 

EPISODE 14

DUKESCAM SCAM

Boss devises an extremely elaborate scheme to frame the Dukes, but ends up locking himself and Jessie in his Bank's vault.

The first two-thirds of the episode involve an extremely intricate and cunning scheme; which is then jettisoned in favour of a 'get them out quick, before they run out of air' plot. Both storylines work well, but don't really fit together and Denver Pyle is unable this time to work his usual directorial magic. Although fairly interesting, this is not one of those episodes that grabs you; and the cheeky repetition of the same jump from different camera angles seems more of a cost-cutting exercise than a comedic touch.

Good to see Boss eating raw liver again, though.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His reaction to Boss' culinary pleasures. This is one foodstuff he won't try to nibble when Boss isn't looking.

BEST STUNT†† The General's jump was fun the first time, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

**

 

EPISODE 15

THE SOUND OF MUSIC - HAZARD STYLE

Crooks chase after bootleg song recordings.

 

A rather clumsy title for an extremely clumsy episode. The first half is all chases and crashes and no storyline; the second half is just dull. Even if you like Country music, this story quickly palls; and if you don't like Country music, give it a very wide berth indeed!

The whole episode also has a curiously improvised feel.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His obsession with Horoscopes is quite fun, but comes across as more of a gimmick to pep up the leaden story.

BEST STUNT At least the action doesn't dissapoint.There are lots of commendable stunt sequences here, but by far the most impressive is Rosco's car flying head-on into a tree.

**

 

 

 

EPISODE 16

SHINE ON HAZZARD MOON

Boss tries to steal Jessie's recipe for Moonshine

This is one of those instantly forgettable episodes that bedeviled the fourth season (and which led to the audience dissatisfaction that caused the ratings to slump dangerously in season Five, after the arrival of the new Dukes.) Although the Moonshine references are pleasing, everyone seems to be playing this one on autopilot; as if they knew (as, indeed, they did very well) that forgettable storylines such as this were only going to leave their audience dissatisfied.

Only the stunning 'triple-jump' sequence makes the episode worth watching.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His reaction to the awful moonshine at the start.

BEST STUNT†† Despite the story's utter predictability, the stunt sequence involving the triple jump is absolutely magnificent and remains one of the best action sequences ever to appear on US TV (rivaling the jumps in "Double Sting"). If nothing else, you could always rely on 'The Dukes' to provide amazing action!

**

 

 

EPISODE 17

PIN THE TAIL ON THE DUKES

An old friend of the Dukes is determined to wreak revenge on Boss Hogg.

Another terminally bland episode, recycling a story we've seen countless times before and adding nothing to it. Attempts to inject humor (Luke's Tarzan gag; the Hairdryer sequences) are contrived and fall flat; and even the Finale is a dull repeat of an old piece of jump footage. The most interesting moment is Catherine Bach's statement that the Truck has stalled; clearly not scripted and a line that should have been cut.

ROSCO MOMENT†† James Best works as hard as he can to make the hairdryer gag funny.

BEST STUNT†† The General jumping Jessie's truck is actually one of its finest moments. Itís a pity most viewers will have slept through it.

**

 

EPISODE 18

MIZ TISDALE ON THE LAM

Boss cooks up a phony Mail Order scheme and frames the Postmistress for it.

Having given Cooter a story of his own, Miz Emma Tisdale is allowed her turn in the spotlight and it's just as bland an outing as "Trouble at Cooter's". Throw into the mix a dreary selection of action scenes (many of them involving re-used footage); predictable storytelling (Boss hires two men from out of Town to pull off the scam; frames the Dukes; then relies on them when the two men pull a fast one on Boss); and a horrible racist portrayal of an Asian;(it's not good to poke fun at a black man in America, but an Asian is apparently fair game). Only Diane Lander as the postal investigator is worth watching.

ROSCO MOMENT†† His desperate attempt to eat Boss' popcorn while it erupts.

BEST STUNT†† Despite the copious amount of chasing, there are very few stunts, per se. Cletus spinning his car through 180 degrees is rather good, though.

**

 

EPISODE 19

NOTHIN' BUT THE TRUTH.

Boss is inadvertently injected with a truth serum.

A fine story premise is rather wasted in yet another bland episode, which tries to be funny but yet again lapses into the Season Four malaise of 'sameness'. Sorrell Booke really tries hard (and Lulu is terrific), but it's so predictable that you find it hard to enjoy it as much as the writers and performers clearly want you to. Under these circumstances, Daisyís bikini moment seems to have been included to wake the audience up. At least it gears itself up to a fine action Finale.

ROSCO MOMENT†† It was his truth serum that started the whole thing.

BEST STUNT†† Bo and Luke's fall onto the Pool Table is impressive; but it's the climactic jump of the General that really impresses. The landing was clearly going to be painful, so a separate stunt was staged depicting the second half of the General's flight.

**

 

EPISODE 20

DEAR DIARY

Rosco's Diary (which contains records of all of Boss' scams) is stolen and Boss will do anything to get it back.

Marginally more interesting than its immediate predecessors, but still a rather insipid outing. At its core is the somewhat contrived revelation that Rosco has been keeping a detailed Diary all these years and yet this is the first (and, as it turns out, the last) time that we'll ever hear about it.However, the 'running around searching for something that's actually under their noses' plot is neatly worked out and some of the action is rather fine. It's still another example of the fourth season 'utility' plot, though. (So succinctly defined by Tom Wopat as "bad guys show up")

ROSCO MOMENTHis attempt to do a 'Bo Duke' jump over his car's bonnet.

BEST STUNT†† Not altogether sure about the 'exploding car in mid-air' sequence. Is it common for cars to do this while airborne? (It never happens to the General!). Surely, itís more likely to explode when it hits the ground?

The telegraph pole landing on Rosco's roof is just the thing, though.

***

 

EPISODE 21

NEW DEPUTY IN TOWN

Boss (as well as Bo and Luke) is delighted when a new female Deputy joins the Hazzard Police Force. But is she all she seems?

A round of applause to Denver Pyle who (yet again) takes over the directing chores and subsequently makes a real effort to lift the series out of the doldrums. This is (for the first two-thirds of the episode) a really nifty little story with some excellent character moments (Boss being caught by Lulu while he's canoodling with Deputy Linda May Barnes is a terrific moment) and some genuinely

good quality villains. It all shifts into neutral toward the end, but that was probably unavoidable; although kidnapping Lulu was a nice touch. Pyle also doesn't stint on the action, adopting Paul Baxley's "if we've not had a car chase for five minutes, itís about time we put another one in" directorial style. This is no classic episode; but, amidst the slush of the fourth season, it certainly stands out.

ROCOE MOMENT†† His line "you'll have to stand in line with the rest of us, then" is hilariously delivered.

BEST STUNT†† Rosco rolls his car. A good old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness car crash. No frills, just roll it end over end. Can't beat it!

****

 

EPISODE 22

BIRDS GOTTA FLY

Daisy decides to leave Hazzard to drive on the racing circuit.

 

After a well-paced Denver Pyle episode, comes a really fast-paced Paul Baxley installment. This is a decent story (although it ought to have been Bo and Luke who entered NASCAR) delivered with a great deal of pace. It's ultimately no more than a fast and straightforward action episode, but it was what the series needed at that point in time although the character moments are also well handled. The chase Finale is a real classic, too.

ROSCO MOMENTDriving his car merrily through the pipe and yet still enthusiastically carrying on the pursuit.

BEST STUNT†† The pipe sequence, itís aftermath and the gently spinning car is hilarious and superbly staged.

****

 

 

 

 

EPISODE 23

BAD DAY IN HAZZARD

While most of its citizens are held captive in the Boars Nest, a suave master criminal attempts to pull off a meticulous and well-planned robbery. He's overlooked Bo and Luke, though.It's now up to them to thwart his evil scheme.

Did the producers/writers of Die Hard watch this episode years before they made the Bruce Willis movie? If not, it bears a striking resemblance. This is storytelling of the first order and quite where it came from (Raynor and Wilder were not known for their innovative plots) is anyone's guess, but it's certainly one of the best episodes in the Dukes history. It's beautifully constructed, paced and acted. In fact, itís an object lesson in how to put together a terrific story in 45 minutes flat.

The series was not known for its scenes of suspense, but the sequence where Bo and Luke attempt to tunnel out of the Boars Nest's cellar under cover of the frenzied dancing up above is quite gripping. Also noteworthy is the way in which old enemies band together in order to defeat a far more evil and powerful adversary. As the latter, Tim O'Conner as the suave Thackeray is perfect casting and gives a masterful performance.

Only the too obvious use of a stunt double for Tom Wopat at the end lets the episode down; but it's a very slight complaint.

A mini-masterpiece.

ROSCO MOMENT†† Actually, the best comedy moments here are shared between everyone; especially during the dancing scene.

BEST STUNT†† Cletus' car jump is most impressive!

*****

 

EPISODE 24

MISS TRI-COUNTIES

Daisy enters the local beauty contest, but Boss is determined to fix it.

It being Hazzard, the beauty contest involves taking part in a car race as one of its categories!

Clearly, Paul Baxley was attracted to the car race concept and the opportunity to film Catherine Bach in a swimsuit; and those are undoubtedly the best reasons for the viewer to watch the show as well. Although Baxley maintains the expected fast pace, little else is memorable and his re-use of car crash footage from one of his earlier episodes is a good indication of the cost-cutting that was clearly needed as the season drew toward it's close. Sheriff Little puts in another welcome appearance, however; and there's some astonishing over-acting by one of the villains while he's attempting to shoot at Daisy.

BEST STUNT†† The car race is handled with Baxley's typical aplomb.

***

 

EPISODE 25

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

Boss devises a 'fake credit-card' scheme and attempts to implicate Bo and Luke.

A bad misfire for Director Denver Pyle, who delivers a truly dull and stagnant episode. The close of a Season ought to see it's most interesting and audience pleasing episodes in order to guarantee a renewal for the upcoming year and the retaining of a loyal fan-base. As a consequence, it may be noted that the appearance of this clunker at such an important moment may well have had long-lasting effects; all of them negative.

It's the usual story of double crosses and characters running around chasing each other; but it's all totally listless and without any proper excitement. Even the 'one on top of the other' car stunt is a cheat; created in the editing stage, rather than performed for real.

ROSCO MOMENT†† After landing on top of Cletus' patrol car, his reaction to his plight is funny, although a little too over the top.

BEST STUNT†† Although the depiction of Rosco's car landing on top of Cletus' is entirely faked, his subsequent collision with a tree isn't. That particular stunt is the one decent piece of action in the episode.

*

 

EPISODE 26

THE LAW AND JESSE DUKE

 

When Rosco and Cletus go on strike for better pay, Boss appoints Jesse as his new Deputy and orders him to arrest Bo and Luke for a crime they didn't commit.

A neat little episode, which was what the series needed. The story is fun, the action sequences well staged and often impressive and the female villain is a good creation. It's bright, fast moving and enjoyable to watch. In short, the sort of episode that should have comprised this entire season.

ROSCO MOMENT†† Only he could drive into a paint shop and emerge with a multi-coloured patrol car.

BEST STUNT†† ...only to throw it through the air moments later and have it cleaned off in a lake.

****

 

 

 

 

EPISODE 27

DUKES IN DANGER

Two crooks hole up at the Duke farm and take the Duke family, Boss, Rosco and Cooter prisoner.

A curiously sedentary, but nonetheless quite gripping, episode to end the season and probably not a good idea; although it was certainly another clever break with tradition. Suspense is once again pushed to the fore, here; and the shootout scene is quite gripping. You get the feeling that the producers were reaching for another masterpiece along the same lines as "Bad day in Hazzard", but weren't able to come up with anything that could properly fit the bill. This is a good try, nonetheless.And the brilliant action-packed opening ten minutes contains as many stunts as would normally be found in a whole episode!

 

ROSCO MOMENT†† His Traffic-light gag is funny and actually rather clever.

BEST STUNTAlthough the wiping out of the Prison vehicle is a splendid piece of stunting, Rosco's backwards crash tops it effortlessly for originality and stunt-driving skill

****