"The Law and Jesse Duke" is the twenty-sixth episode of the fourth season of The Dukes Of Hazzard.
When Rosco and Cletus become fed up with Boss' refusal to give them a pay raise and overtime payments, they decide to go on strike. Jesse is appointed acting sheriff. Boss hires some crooks led by Alabama Jones (Melinda Naud) to steal TV sets from stores so that he can sell them at an inflated price, and he frames Bo and Luke for it. Now, Bo and Luke must clear their names, and outrun Jesse at the same time. When Jesse figures out the scheme, he helps Bo and Luke go after the crooks.
Balladeer: Y’all might have noticed the General ain’t exactly getting it on here. Bo and Luke never did like to go full blast unless there’s a real good reason. Especially when they got Uncle Jesse and Daisy in the car with them. Now what Rosco and Cletus are reading in that newspaper’s done got them green with envy and hotter than a West Texas highway on the first of August. You know habits are hard to break. The Dukes are running from the law that ain’t even chasing them.
Bo is driving to town with Luke, Jesse, and Daisy. Daisy reviews the shopping list and asks if they have anything else. Luke says they could probably use a break from her fancy cooking. Bo teases he’s on his last hole in his belt and Jesse says he has some old belts Bo can use.
Rosco and Cletus sit on the side of the road with Flash, looking at a newspaper. The headline is the Chickasaw Police win their strike, getting better working conditions, two weeks’ vacation per year, five paid sick days, and a pay increase. Rosco is annoyed as they already make twice what he and Cletus makes. Cletus adds that that is before Boss’ special withholding tax. The two get upset and add they don’t care about their relationship to Boss and they shake hands, agreeing to go on strike. They decide to head to town.
Rosco and Cletus hit the road behind the General. The boys are surprised. Rosco talks to Cletus on the CB, venting that when they want the boys they can’t find them and when they don’t want them the boys are in their way. Cletus agrees. Bo asks everyone in the car what they did to get the police behind them and the Dukes all agree to lose them. Bo drives and Rosco gets frustrated that he can’t get around him. Rosco radio’s Cletus and says to go to Meadowbrook Road instead. Cletus agrees and the Dukes are surprised, Luke saying that they don’t give up a chase. Jesse says that is if they were even chasing in the first place. They wonder if that was the case, what Rosco and Cletus were up to, concluding that maybe they weren't chasing the Dukes this time.
Rosco and Cletus go to see Boss and they tell him about the strike. Boss tells them to forget about it as he can’t afford to give them a raise. He says if they go back to work maybe he can afford raising their pay in a a year or two. Rosco and Cletus refuse to accept that and they say they will go on strike. Boss tells them to go on strike and that they are fired. Cletus becomes alarmed but Rosco becomes angry. Rosco tells Cletus that he’s all union.
Town of Hazzard
The Dukes leave Rhuebottom’s store to see Rosco and Cletus’ picket line. They go over to the garage and Cotter informs them that the strike started that morning. Jesse becomes concerned however, as they are the only law they have. The Dukes leave the General with Cooter to handle business at the bank.
Boss heads out to find the Jones siblings. Boss greets Floyd and Simon before asking where Alabama is. She comes out of the RV. Boss says he heard they might be out there and Simon says that they are between jobs right now. Boss tells them that every law man in Hazzard County currently went on strike and the three say that it sounds like the town is just right for picking. Boss explains that he sold everyone robbery insurance, so the only people who this would hurt are the insurance companies. The Jones agree to start robbing the town. Boss assures them that if they are caught, the Duke Boys will take the fall. None of the group know who the Duke boys are and Boss leaves without explaining.
Town of Hazzard
Rosco and Cletus continue the picket line and the Dukes approach from the Bank. Bo, Luke, an Daisy teas them and Jesse tells them that is enough before asking how it’s going. Boss arrives and is angry to see they are picketing in front of the court house. Boss tries to storm off but Jesse tells Boss to sit down with them and talk about negotiations. Boss agrees, saying he’ll do it tomorrow. Bo protests that they can’t go without law enforcement today. Boss asks what could possibly happen today. A moment later Otis Plunkett runs up, screaming he’s been robbed. Rosco and Cletus explain they can’t help as they are on strike right now. Boss offers to deputize anyone who is willing to go after the thieves and after a moment Bo and Luke volunteer to go. The boys rush over to get the General, surprising Cooter who has no idea what is going on and drive off, to which Cooter calls after them to let them know they forgot their groceries.
Alabama and her brothers are driving away when Bo and Luke try to catch up. Bo unexpectedly jumps a creek and they catch up with the pickup. As the Jones family notices the boys, they hear Boss calling for them over the CB. Boss informs them that the Duke boys following is going according to his plan and he tells them what he wants them to do next. Bo and Luke continue the chase and Alabama pulls off the road. Bo follows, going through some brush and being forced to stop. Simon and Floyd approach them, telling the boys to get out. Luke gets out, kicking the two over. Bo runs around to back him up but Alabama comes out, gun drawn to stop them, having one of her brothers get rope to tie them up.
Cooter drops off Daisy and Jesse at the farm. Jesse tries to reach the boys but is unable to reach them.
J.D. Hogg Warehouse and Storage
Simon and Floyd unload the truck while Bo and Luke are tied to a pole and Alabama watches them. Bo asks Luke if he has any more ideas and is told to be quiet.
Daisy and Cooter talk to Jesse, saying the boys must be in trouble. Jesse says he knows and that they should go get Rosco and Cletus. Cooter reminds him that they are on strike and Jesse says they will have to un-strike their strike. He and Daisy leave in Dixie.
Boss learns from Alabama over the phone that they captured Bo and Luke. Boss tells Alabama to take good care of the boys.
Outside Rosco and Cletus continue their strike. At The Hazzard Photo Shop, Jake Sumner is taking lunch and his shop is robbed.
J.D. Hogg Warehouse and Storage
Luke calls out to Alabama, asking if there is any chance he can get some water. She is surprised by how polite he is and Bo remarks it comes from being raised right, unlike her. She gets upset and Luke tells Bo to apologize. Bo refuses until Luke yells at him and he remarks ‘I’m sorry ma’am.’ She leaves to get them water and Luke scolds Bo for overplaying, which Bo says he didn’t. They slip out of the ropes and go outside. Before they can get far Alabama throws a bucket of water on them. Floyd and Simon return and they all go back inside.
Boss comes with large grocery bags and Rosco and Cletus talk to him. Rosco says they will take one week a year with pay. Boss refuses and Cletus proposes a weekend. Boss denies this and Rosco suggests one day off a year with pay. Boss refuses again. Jesse and Daisy pull up and Jesse calls them. When Rosco and Cletus turn to see who called, they accidentally hit Boss with their signs and knock him over. All four try to help but Boss accuses them of violence and storms off. Rosco then accuses Jesse of ruining their strike. Jesse tells them he needs their help just as Cooter comes running over. Cooter says Jake Sumner’s camera store and Andy Tibbles TV shop just got robbed. Cletus says his tv set was there being repaired. Cletus wants to end the strike but Rosco refuses as they were fired anyway. Jesse, Cooter, and Daisy walk away.
Inside Boss makes a sandwich while talking to Alabama, learning about how the boys attempted to escape. He tells Alabama to take pictures of the boys moving the stolen goods for the Sheriff before she takes it over to Choctaw County. She says the Sheriff was on strike and Boss says he is hiring a new sheriff and that sheriff’s first job will be to arrest Bo and Luke.
J.D. Hogg Warehouse and Storage
Simon puts some of the goods in the General Lee’s trunk. Then Floyd forces Bo and Luke to load the tv’s at gunpoint when Alabama takes their picture. Bo comments they are being set up and Luke asks what was his first clue. As Alabama takes another, Bo and Luke knock over Simon and Floyd and run for the General. After a bit the Jones decide to let the Dukes go. They take the pictures to Boss.
Bo and Luke continue to drive, confused at how easily they lost the truck. Luke nearly hits another car, driving up into a moving truck before backing out and driving away. The movers watch, confused, before writing it off. The boys head toward the farm, Bo calling for Jesse and Daisy on the CB as they drive but can’t reach them. Luke says to try Cooter but they get nothing.
Town of Hazzard
An Emergency Town meeting is called and Daisy, Jesse, Otis, Cooter, an many other citizens are present. They all talk about the strike but Boss says they didn’t call the meeting to talk about a strike. Boss says that since they brought it up they can appoint a temporary sheriff. Boss asks who it could be, heavily implying for Jesse which Otis agrees. Boss pretends to protest against Jesse being the Sheriff but everyone present votes, including Daisy to which Jesse pulls her hand down. Only Cooter and Jesse do not vote for Jesse to be Sheriff, protesting that there is something not right. Jesse is named the Sheriff.
Bo looks over the General and Luke comes out of the house saying that the pictures are bound to show up in Boss’ possession at some point. Bo agrees saying that the only reason they aren’t running right now is Rosco and Cletus are on strike. Luke wonders what Boss is up to. Luke is even more worried about the town and proposes they put together a volunteer group to stop the Jones from trying to steal again.
Boss swears in Jesse and announces Jesse will find the thieves and arrest them. When Boss names Bo and Luke as the thieves, Jesse, Daisy, and Cooter become offended. Daisy says he’s lying as everyone reacts in shock. Boss tosses down the pictures for everyone to see and Jesse agrees to go find the boys and bring them in, but only to prove that the pictures aren’t telling the truth. As Jesse, Daisy, and Cooter leave, Boss calls after them saying they can take a patrol car.
Rosco and Cletus continue their strike as the rest come outside. Jesse and Daisy decide to go the the Farm, saying that is where the boys will be. Cooter asks if he’s going out as their uncle or as the sheriff. Jesse snaps that he knows better than that. Cooter apologizes as Jesse and Daisy go to get in the car. Rosco and Cletus protest but Jesse explains he is the sheriff now before leaving. Cooter fills Rosco and Cletus in to their anger. The two return to their protest, hitting each other with their signs.
Bo and Luke finish up on the engine when they hear Cooter on the CB. Cooter tells them he has some good news and bad news. Cooter says the good news is that Jesse is the new sheriff, shocking and amusing the boys. However the bad news is he’s coming to arrest them. Cooter explains about the con and the photographs. Bo and Luke are even more confused and Cooter says all he knows is there is a sad old man with a badge heading toward them. Bo tries to assure himself that Jesse wouldn’t’ arrest them and Luke says if they tell him what happened he’ll believe them. Bo decides to check if they have air in the spare tire, as they didn’t the last time they changed it, to see the stolen goods.
Luke sees Jesse pulling up and Bo tells Luke he doesn’t know how to tell him something. Luke comes to look and says with that evidence Jesse has to arrest them. The boys decide to bolt. Jesse and Daisy pull up as the boys drive off.
Jesse chases after the boys before calling them on the CB. Bo tells Jesse that Cooter filled them in. Jesse says to pull over. Bo says they have never disobeyed him before but they need to this time. Shocked, Jesse asks if they are telling him they are guilty. Bo says no, but right now everything looks that way and they can’t let Jesse stop them until they get those facts pointed in the right direction. Jesse and Daisy renew the chase.
Luke approaches a construction site and stops. Jesse is forced off the road and loses a tire. After checking that they are okay, Bo and Luke call him. Luke says they will go do what they need to and will come back and fix the tire. The boys leave but Jesse and Daisy ignore them, and change the tire.
Town of Hazzard
Bo and Luke unload all the stolen goods on Otis’ doorstep and ring the bell, knowing Otis would make sure it all went back to the right location.
J.D. Hogg Warehouse and Storage
The Jones Family loads up the goods in their RV.
Bo and Luke head toward the last place they saw Jesse. Jesse chases after them from a spot on the side of the road, wanting to get them to stop and talk to him. Bo pulls over and he and Luke get out. Daisy and Jesse get out too and the boys laugh at the badge. The boys explain everything to Jesse. Jesse calms them and says he believes them but they need to prove it. Luke says the evidence is in a warehouse on Dry Creek Road that belongs to Boss. Daisy says they aren’t lying and Jesse says he knows that but he is supposed to take them in. As the boys look crestfallen, Jesse says of course if they were to bamboozle him and drive to the evidence, then Jesse would have to choice to follow him. Luke asks if one of his tires is flat and Jesse and Daisy run over to check while the boys drive off; Daisy laughing the whole time.
Jesse and Daisy chase after the boys up Dry Creek Road. They arrive at the Warehouse as the Jones Family is getting ready to leave. Stunned, the group calls Boss Hogg, who is eating a large sucker in his office, and tells him about the Sheriff coming after them. Shocked, Boss calls Jesse and reminds him he’s supposed to be arresting Bo and Luke. Jesse tells him he’s going to run this investigation how he sees fit, quoting Rosco for fun.
Furious, Boss breaks his sucker on the CB, saying how dare Jesse make fun of Rosco like that. Boss gets an idea to end the strike and send Rosco and Cletus after all of them. Boss comes outside and begs them to go, but the two refuse unless Boss promises to give in. Boss agrees and Rosco and Cletus say they want a 25% pay raise, two weeks paid vacation and double time pay for Sunday. Boss says that if they don’t arrest the entire Duke Family they won’t get anything. Cletus, Rosco, and Flash all get in Rosco’s car and take off.
During their chase, Rosco is forced off the road and into the Auto Paint Shop, getting paint all over the car and the occupants. Meanwhile Alabama and her brothers continue to run from the Duke Family. Bo jumps a creek and Jesse follows. Alabama is furious to see them all caught up and Rosco falls in behind Jesse. Rosco calls Jesse over the CB and tells them that the strike is over and they need to pull over. Jesse tells Rosco to just watch and Rosco is forced off the road. They jump the car into the pond. Jesse remarks Rosco has been trying to out drive him for forty years and never could do it.
Alabama tells her brothers to shoot at the Dukes. Floyd and Simon both shoot at the boys, to which Bo notes they are getting mad. Luke says for Bo to act like they are going to back off as the truck has to slow down going up Devil’s Ridge. Bo slows down as they go around a bend and Luke jumps out. Bo then regains the chase as Luke climbs up the hill. In the truck the Jones Family conclude they scared off the Dukes, only for Bo to catch up again. Luke sees the RV and jumps down on the roof. Simon and Floyd shoot at Bo, hitting the windshield. Luke manages to leverage himself over the edge of the RV, hitting away Simon’s gun. The other one starts to shoot but Luke kicks the gun away. Bo forces them to pull over and Bo and Luke capture the brothers. Jesse arrives and arrests the Jones Family.
Balladeer: Well, Jesse’s first act as Sheriff was to arrest ‘em Jones people for robbery. His second one was to resign from his law enforcement career. Boss naturally dropped the robbery charges against old Bo and Luke, and just as naturally he denied he had anything to do with Alabama and her brothers. Which they didn’t like to much. When they get outta jail, old Boss better sure watch it. Before the labor movement could tidy up and celebrate their victory, old Boss had already figured out a way to get a kick back on their vacations. Well the Dukes headed back to the farm and supper. Not bad for a slow day in Hazzard.
Jesse arrests the Jones Family before handing over the badge to Boss. Boss drops the charges against Bo and Luke, claiming he doesn’t know the Jones Family which enrages them. Cletus and Rosco clean off the paint and wash their clothes, Bo laughing as they leave.
- Tom Wopat as Luke Duke
- John Schneider as Bo Duke
- Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke
- Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse Duke
- Rick Hurst as Cletus Hogg
- Ben Jones as Cooter Davenport
- James Best as Sheriff Rosco Coltrane
- Sorrell Booke as Boss Hogg
- Waylon Jennings as The Balladeer
- Melinda Naud as Alabama Jones
- Charles Hoyes as Simon Jones
- Doug Heyes Jr. as Floyd Jones
- Ralph Strait as Otis Plunkett
- Town of Hazzard
- Boar's Nest
- J.D. Hogg Warehouse and Storage
- As of this episode, all four of the main Dukes have been part of the Hazzard Police Department
- Boss wants the goods moved to a warehouse in Choctaw County, which was last visited in The Fugitive when Jesse took Mindy Lou to the County Line.
- Bo asks if they have air in the spare tire and Luke says it didn't last time. This is a reference to Dear Diary when the boys lose a tire and change it only to find the spare is flat.