RIP Henry Flatt

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Synopsis:

In an effort to make it home in time for Uncle Jesse’s supper, Luke manages to get the General stuck in a mud bank.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Bo, Luke and Daisy decide to walk home and cut through the nearby cemetery (where it’s suddenly become dark). Daisy thinks that she sees something moving behind a grave, and it turns out to be Henry Flatt, who was supposedly buried a year earlier.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Henry admits that he conned Boss out of $20,000, and then faked his own death, but says he used the money to fund a youth center over at Capitol City. He’s come back because Boss is about to put a new road through the cemetery, and when they dig up his grave they’ll find a coffin full of bricks. Henry also says that he thinks Boss is “gonna keep on building right through that old Veterans’ Cemetery”.

The next morning, Bo and Luke break into City Hall and find that Boss secretly bought the Veterans’ Cemetery after he declared it surplus through lack of use. If no one objects by the day after tomorrow, Boss is planning to subdivide the land and put up a housing development called Hogg’s Heavenly Acres.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Bo and Luke go to Capitol City to see Henry at his youth center, and get to meet his daughter, Gail. Henry then tells them that he has a plan, and borrows the Dukes’ van (which they’re conveniently driving for half the episode). Unfortunately, Henry’s plan involves stealing an unclaimed body from the morgue, and conning the Dukes into helping him get it to the cemetery.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Rosco nearly catches them with the coffin, but they get away and leave it in his office. Boss orders Rosco to bring the coffin to the Boar’s Nest, and tries to frame Daisy with it. The coffin then gets moved from car to car before it ends up in the General’s trunk. As Bo, Luke and Daisy escape with the coffin they get word from Jesse to go straight to the cemetery. He’s made some calls and used a tattoo to identify the body as Equipment Operator, First Class, Jonathan Cole. Now they have a genuine veteran for the cemetery, and a way to stop Boss’s plans. He’s quickly buried before being given a proper military funeral.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Commentary:

The stunts in this episode seriously border on the implausible. In an early chase, Rosco and Enos are thwarted by a slow-moving bulldozer when they abandon their patrol cars rather than simply reversing. Toward the end of the episode, Bo and Luke fire dynamite arrows at Boss and Rosco’s cars, one of which causes Rosco’s car to end up in a tree.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Having said that, there is a nice stunt where Rosco picks up two workmen and a ladder on his patrol car.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

For some reason a couple of pieces of minced Latin are introduced into this script. First Boss tells Rosco he wants the road “to be a fact accompli ipso facto finito dang fasto.” Later, when the coffin goes missing, Enos tells Rosco “He’s right, Sheriff. If there ain’t no corpus there can be no delicti.”

Highlights:

Tom Wopat gets a chance to show off his singing skills at the youth center.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

Also at the youth center, Bo is challenged by one of the girls who says “Kiss me, if you’re man enough.” As he makes his attempt, the girl flips him to the ground. When it comes time to leave, he won’t go near the girl again.

Trivia:

Hal Smith (Henry Flatt) had many on-screen roles over the years including Otis Campbell, Mayberry’s local drunk on The Andy Griffith Show. He was also a well-known voice artist who worked on several Disney productions, Duck Tales and The Dukes animated series amongst others.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

The Adventures of Eagleman comic that Enos is seen reading seems to be a prop, although the same comic appears in an episode of Fantasy Island, also from 1980.

The Dukes of Hazzard: RIP Henry Flatt

This is the first episode directed by Denver Pyle.

–synopsis and vidcaps by Hoss (with info from The Dukes of Hazzard Unofficial Companion).