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"State of the County" is the twelfth episode of the third season of The Dukes Of Hazzard.

Summary[]

Boss's State of the County address threatens to literally go up in smoke because of Boss J. W. Hickman (Larry D. Mann), the county commissioner in Claridge County. Hickman, who is meaner than Boss Hogg is, has been trying for years to take over Boss Hogg's operations in Hazzard County. Daisy gives a stranger named Earl Beckett (Phillip Brown) a ride into Hazzard to work for Cooter, and Daisy finds herself falling for Earl. What the Dukes do not know is that Hickman has hired Earl to kill Boss Hogg so that Hickman can take over Boss Hogg's operations in Hazzard County. Earl gets Bo and Luke accused of the attempts to kill Boss. In order to clear their names, Bo and Luke will have to figure out who Hickman hired to kill Boss.

Plot[]

Balladeer: You know it’s hard to say whether old Bo and Luke were in a hurry or not. They always drive like that. Well, you see, the last time Jesse paid his taxes late, he had to pay an interest charge of $3. Old Jesse took a personal exception to that.

Bo and Luke head to town to deliver a tax return, Bo complaining about Luke’s driving. Luke reminds him if they don’t get it in the mail today it won’t be out until Monday. Luke notices that they are behind Daisy and beeps to get her attention. Daisy is amused to see them and they begin playing around. Daisy refuses to let the boys pass her, saying if she does they will get mud on her car. However she sees a man hitchhiking and stops suddenly, running Bo and Luke off the road in the process. Daisy gets out to talk to Earl and Bo and Luke walk over, confronting Daisy for nearly killing them. Earl apologizes and explains he’s just trying to get into Hazzard. Daisy offers to give him a ride. Bo and Luke are annoyed at being ignored as they leave. As they leave Bo remarks about Daisy liking the man. Luke remarks Daisy has the same look Bo gets when he sees anything in a skirt.

Daisy and Earl talk as they head to town. Earl says he’s out of money and is looking for a job. He says he’s good with engines and Daisy offers to arrange a job for him.

Hazzard Court House

Hickman and Boss meet with Rollo and Rosco both lighting their cigars for them. J.W. Hickman goes to propose a proposition but Boss says he always comes with the same proposition every year and they always have Boss say no. He tells Hickman to stop wasting their time and when Rosco adds his time too, Boss says Rosco’s time don’t count but Flash barks in protest. Hickman proposes Boss keeps 30% of all his enterprises and give Hickman the rest. When Boss asks why, Hickman says that Boss will get his protection and he tells Boss he’s offering him the chance to retire one way or another. Realizing he’s being threatened, Boss says he isn’t planning to retire and if Hickman doesn’t believe him he can listen to his State of the County address on Saturday. Hickman and Rollo leave, stopping in the hall and Hickman mentioning they should show Boss Hogg how much he does need them.

Hazzard Garage

Daisy and Earl arrive at the Garage. Daisy and Cooter greet each other and Daisy introduces them. Bo and Luke pull up and Cooter comments that the General sounds like ‘he’s got the case of the Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woggie Flu’ before asking what happened. Bo says it was fine until a waitress from the Boar’s Nest ran them off the road in her jeep. They all laugh and Luke explains that they are mailing the tax money. Luke says he needs another person to help with the car and Cooter says he’ll get on it but he’s ‘up to my gizzard in crankshafts’. Daisy offers to have Earl help and Cooter tries to say he isn’t looking for anyone to help right now. As Daisy insists, Earl explains what is wrong with the General and Cooter hires him. Bo and Luke go to mail the tax return but find it is missing from the car. Earl asks Cooter if there is a place he can stay and Daisy gives away his loft to Earl, saying it comes with the job. As Earl and Daisy go upstairs Cooter says one of these days he’s gonna learn how to say no.

Bo and Luke head to the court house to get another form, looking over the car out front. They see Hickman and Rollo. Luke asks if he was finally ran out of his county. Rosco sees them talking from the window and calls over Boss and Cletus to see. Bo and Luke sit on the hood of the car as they talk and Boss tells Rosco and Cletus to just forget about it. He tells them that what they need to focus on is to decorate the square for his State of the County. Cletus says they will spare no expense and Boss says they will as they will use the same stuff from last year.

Boar’s Nest

Daisy brings around beers to Luke, Bo, and Jesse. She tries to serve the beer but, she keeps looking to the door each time it opens. Luke tells her not to worry and Earl will be there. Upset she asks who’s worried and walks away. Jesse asks who this Earl is and is he worth spilling beer over. Luke says he’s a responsible sort and Jesse says if that’s the case next time he’ll have Earl mail his tax return. He scolds Bo and Luke saying he now has to go through all the papers and explain how he came to the total of $40.20 he had. Bo protests that they had it. When Cooter walks in Daisy rushes over demanding to know where Earl is and Cooter explains Earl is right behind him. Earl and Cooter sit down with the Dukes and Daisy gives him a free beer. Luke tells her if she lets Boss hear her say that then she’ll be asking Cooter for a job for herself. Flash and Rosco come into the bar with Boss and Cooter tells Earl to drink the beer fast as the man who just came in can smell a non paying customer a mile away. Boss approaches them and tells Jesse that he should have a serious talk with the boys about keeping bad company. Jesse asks the boys if they have been hanging out with J.D. making everyone but Boss and Rosco laugh. Boss says they are talking about Hickman and Luke explains it wasn’t friendly and Bo says they wouldn’t be friendly with that polecat. Boss insists that ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Earl asks Daisy to dance and Boss argues that the employees never dance with customers. Daisy says he always says the customer is always right and Boss says he isn’t a customer until he pays for the beer. Cooter tells them that Boss has a nose like a hound. A bomb goes off.

Everyone is startled. Rosco wonders what could have caused that and Boss yells it was a bomb and it was Hickman. Rosco notices a paper and picks it up. It’s the tax return. Bo and Luke go over to look at it and Boss accuses them of setting up the bomb. Rosco pulls out a gun to arrest them and Bo and Luke go to surrender. Jesse, Cooter, Daisy, and Earl come to back them up, Cooter slapping Bo and Luke’s hands down. Jesse says they all know the boys wouldn’t go around setting off bombs. Boss says that the letter is the evidence to say they did. Luke tells Bo to act like a timer and Bo starts making a clicking sound. Cooter and Luke quiets everyone down and thinking a second bomb is about to go off, Boss and Rosco along with everyone else duck down, allowing Bo and Luke to escape. Boss is furious to know they were tricked and Rosco thinks the bomb is in his watch before destroying it. Rosco goes to chase after the boys when Cletus enters the Boar’s Nest, confused. Rosco asks if Cletus saw the boys and Cletus said they waved at him as they left. Rosco grabs Cletus by his tie and they chase after the boys.

Luke tells Bo to cut through Sand Creek Road as they go and Bo does. They see the road has construction and Bo says it just isn’t their day. Bo hits a pile of dirt, taking the General on two wheels and getting through the vehicles. They stop to watch Rosco and Cletus try but they wreck. After making sure they are both okay, the boys leave.

Town of Hazzard

Earl meets with Hickman and Rollo, hiding behind a newspaper, revealing him as a the bomber and having framed the Dukes. Hickman says Boss will need more persuading.

While hiding out Bo and Luke try to figure out what happened. Bo says he figures the tax return blew out of the car and whoever found it used it to frame them. Luke agrees but says it doesn’t make much sense. They get a call over the C.B. from Jesse and Luke answers. Jesse asks how they are doing and says he knows they can prove the boys had nothing to do with the bomb. He says they have witnesses to prove that the boys were never near Boss’ office. Jesse tells them to go get Daisy, Earl, and Cooter and meet him at City Hall.

Police Department

Rosco talks to Flash before going to see Boss, who is on the phone about a load of electric typewriters. He praises the driver and tells them to change the plates but the driver says Boss has sore changed him too many times and he wants 50 cents on the dollar upfront. He says if Boss doesn’t have the money when he pulls up in five minutes then he will dump them all out onto the pavement. He hangs up and Boss is upset but tells Rosco that his own man doesn’t trust him. He tells Rosco he will pay the man but after Rosco will have to find a new hijacker. Boss gets the money from a safe and he and Rosco go outside to pay the man.

Garage

Earl is working on a tire to see Daisy is standing over him. As they talk Bo and Luke arrive in town. Bo and Luke arrive at the Garage and explain Jesse’s idea and they all agree to do it. At City Hall, the driver is furious that Boss is trying to give him 25 instead of 50. As Boss and Rosco try to talk to the driver, the Dukes, Cooter, and Earl come over. They all plead Bo and Luke’s innocence and when the Truck Driver reminds him of his business, the Dukes realize it’s illegal. In order to get the Dukes gone, Boss drops all charges. As the group walks away and Boss goes to conduct business inside, a bomb in the van goes off. Boss accuses Bo and Luke and sends Rosco after them. Rosco radios Cletus to back him up on Route 114 and cut the boys off at Jackson Bridge. Cletus agrees. Luke turns around at the bridge when he sees Cletus and the two cop cars chase the Dukes. Luke heads up to the old silver mine on Pine Ridge Road. The road is blocked and the boys are forced to stop allowing them to be arrested.

Police Department

While in jail, Bo suggests Boss set the explosions but Luke disagrees as Boss was genuinely afraid. Cletus comes in and asks what he can get them to eat for breakfast. Bo and Luke both say they aren’t hungry and Cletus says he promised Jesse to make them eat and Bo asks for a glass of milk. Luke says to just bring a pitcher. Cletus says that will be two orders of eggs, sausage, home fries, waffles, bacon, and two pitchers of milk before leaving to the boys amusement.

Balladeer: Now when old Cletus makes a promise to Uncle Jesse or anybody, he keeps it. Sometimes it’s hard to believe he and Boss Hogg are even kin. Now look at what just happened. Some clown is setting off bombs in Hazzard, and what’s Boss doing? Making speeches.

Bo and Luke hear people setting up for the state of the county. Upstairs Boss practices his speech to Rosco and Rosco reminds him that last year almost no one showed up. Hickman and Rollo go to see Boss. Hickman asks if Boss put any consideration in his offer. After Boss tells him to suck a lemon, he and Rollo go outside and say it looks like they will have to do business with Boss the hard way. In the jail, Jesse comes to visit the boys and they tell him that they saw Hickman leave Boss’ office. Jesse says that Hickman has been trying to take over Hazzard for years but Jesse would take J.D. over Hickman as Hickman is mean. Luke suggests it’s Hickman who is setting off the bombs and Jesse protests that no one would do that in Hazzard. Bo and Luke suggest Earl.

Daisy arrives at the Garage to see Earl and he scolds her about her breaks. Daisy says she was on her way to see the boys and invites Earl but he says he can’t leave the place while Cooter is gone. Daisy expresses concern for the boys as they are really in trouble this time and he assures her that things will work out. As Daisy goes to visit the boys, Earl calls Hickman and is told the stop Boss Hogg’s speech. He goes up to the loft to set a bomb.

Daisy goes into the jail to talk to the boys. Bo asks that Earl didn’t come which Daisy confirms and Jesse and the boys try to talk to Daisy about Earl. Jesse throws the blame on the boys and the boys try to soften the blow but Daisy tells them they better be sure before they say anything against Earl. The boys express they don’t know anything about Earl and that the bombs only started when Earl arrived. Daisy gets angry and storms out.

Earl hides a bomb in the square. Daisy goes into the Garage looking for Earl. Not finding him she goes into the loft to find evidence that Earl is the bomber. Earl comes in and sees her and she confronts him, saying she cared for him and thought he cared about her. Earl tells her that at 1:00 it will all be over and he will be on his way. Daisy realizes that he is planning to kill Boss at his speech and yells he can’t do that. Earl tells her just ten more minutes.

Boss prepares for his speech as Rosco comes in. He tells Boss he looks good and they brought him a present. Rosco shows him that they got a flower and shoves it in Boss’ face.  Boss yells that it is ‘pepper weed’ before he starts to sneeze repeatedly and Flash barks after each one. They head outside. Bo asks Luke if Daisy will forgive them and Luke says if they apologize real hard and do the dishes and laundry for a week or two. While looking out the window Luke sees Earl and calls Bo over. They see Earl has Daisy and yells for Cletus. Bo asks what are they going to do and Luke says he’ll think of something.

Boss and Rosco continue to make their way to the square, Boss sneezing the whole way. Bo and Luke plead with Cletus to open the door. Cletus says he knows they are trying to escape and reminds them of when they hung Enos on the wall. Luke and Bo explain that Daisy is in trouble and tells him to look for himself. Cletus accuses them of lying and Bo yells that they aren’t and they swear on Uncle Jesse’s life. Shocked, Cletus opens the cell to look. He confirms seeing it and Bo and Luke flee. Daisy kicks Earls gun away and shoves him into boxes to yell about the bomb. Bo heads to help her as Luke goes to stop Boss. Earl and Daisy drive away in a car, clipping Bo as they do and knocking him over. Luke runs at Boss, jumping onto Boss and Rosco and knocking them over as the bomb goes off. Luke then runs back to Bo and the two chases after Daisy and Earl. Boss yells that he has no idea what is going on but the Dukes just saved his life and he and Rosco head after the others.

Daisy drives her and Earl with Bo and Luke behind in the General and Boss and Rosco behind in the cop car. Boss yells at Rosco for his driving. Luke calls Jesse on the C.B. to fill him in and tells him they want to set up a roadblock on Spruce Tree Lane. Jesse agrees and tells them to watch out for Daisy before leaving the farm. Earl tells Daisy to drive faster. He has Daisy take a deer path and the others follow. Jesse sets up a roadblock with his truck and shotgun. Daisy goes around Jesse as do all the others. Jesse follows asking what good was the roadblock. Earl calls the others and tells them to stop following or he will kill Daisy. Everyone stops. Angry, Daisy hits the gun from his hand before wrecking the car. Alarmed, the Dukes, Rosco, and Boss run over. Daisy gets out with Earl’s gun and Rosco arrests him. Daisy hugs Bo and Luke before hugging Jesse and assuring them she is okay.

Balladeer: I don’t know about y’all but if a pretty girl with a gun was marching me off to the woods, I’d go. Well that old sorry clown got his comeuppance. And I’m glad. You know, people are awful protective about Daisy. About old Hickman and Rollo, sorry Earl to save his own hide turned State’s evidence against Boss Hickman. And old Rosco finally let Cletus out. He spends more time in jail than Bo and Luke. But the week wasn’t a complete loss, ‘cause that Friday, Boss’ speed trap snagged another big fish. For the second time. You know, I’ll bet if old Hank Williams drove through Hazzard, they’d never let him go.

Earl flips on Hickman and Rollo and they are arrested. Rosco frees Cletus. Almost a week later Rosco catches the Oak Ridge Boys again. The Dukes and Cooter attend along with Cletus, Boss, and Rosco. Boss and Rosco dance and after the Dukes thank them for stopping again. They explain they were stopped again by Rosco. Boss tears up the ticket and they ask if there is any chance of having a safe passage through Hazzard and Daisy says not as long as they sing that good.

Cast[]

Main Characters[]

Guest Starring[]

Location[]

Hazzard County[]

Continuity[]

  • At some point, Jesse paid his taxes late and got charged $3. Since then he insists on paying it early
  • Boss says Hickman comes by every year to give an offer of protection to Hazzard in exchange for a percent of Boss' business.
  • Hickman lists off Boss' operations to include hijacking, shine, and chop shops
  • When Bo and Luke tell Cletus they want to confess, Cletus says he will not fall for that as he remembers when they told Enos they wanted to confess before hanging him on the wall in The Big Heist.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys appear for the second time in the Celebrity Speed Trap performing "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight".
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