Born Again on the Fourth of July is the 14th episode of the 13th season. It was originally aired on April 19, 2009.
The Fourth of July is around the corner, and the people of Rainey and Milton Street compete against each other to see who can have the better fireworks show. When a Rainey Street decoration gets trashed, what had been rivalry escalates to aggression.
Bobby starts being disrespectful to his parents, culminating in his staying home from church and ordering a pizza using money he stole from Peggy's purse to pay for it. He finds spiritual salvation when he goes to Lucky's church; no, they don't go drinking at the Point After Lounge as Lucky did with Hank in the episode "Church Hopping." The Pentecostal-style service is held in a martial arts studio, Sensei Ed's dojo. Bobby responds to the fire-and brimstone sermon and gets saved. Then, as happened in "Reborn To Be Wild," Bobby goes overboard to the extent that he trashes a papier-mache Uncle Sam that the Rainey Street residents were going to erect on the 4th of July because Hank's working on it caused him to miss church.
- Heck Dorland makes his second appearance since Season 3. His only other appearance was in the Season 3 episode A Fire Fighting We Will Go. Additionally Hank reveals he has either retired or been fired from the fire department.
- The title is not only a reference to Bobby's being "born again," but also to the phrase "Born on the Fourth of July." The phrase first appeared in the 1904 song "The Yankee Doodle Boy," composed by George M. Cohan for his Broadway show "Little Johnny Jones." The chorus begins "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy/Yankee Doodle do or die/A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam/Born on the Fourth of July." The song was revived over a decade later as America entered the Great War in Europe and helped stoke patriotic fervor.
- "Born on the Fourth of July" was also the title of the autobiography of Ron Kovic, who himself was in fact born on July 4. Kovic served in the Vietnam War, becoming a paraplegic in the process. The experience radicalized him and he became active in Vietnam Veterans Against The War. His autobiography was made into a film in 1989 starring Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic.
- Among the fireworks seen at John Redcorn's fireworks stand, are bricks of firecrackers labeled "Big Cat" which is referencing the popular "Black Cat" brand firecrackers.
- When Dale is going over the plans for counter-attack on Milton Street, it is revealed that Milton Street is storing the fireworks inside Heck Dorland's shed, and the food inside a children's playhouse. However, near the end of the episode, when Bill throws a firework into Heck Dorland's shed, everybody ducks for cover and it's stated by Heck Dorland that Bill made a direct hit to his fireworks stash, however, it was previously mentioned that the food was stored inside the shed, not the fireworks. Although this was probably intentional in order to highlight Dale's poor ability for reconnaissance as he is the one who claimed to have identified the various locations of the stashed items in his slide-projector presentation, which may have been foreshadowed when Hank says he is reluctant to allow Dale to make his presentation but does not specify exactly why he's reluctant.
- When Lucky takes Bobby to his church, this contradicts the earlier episode "Church Hopping" where it's revealed that Lucky worships in his own way and doesn't attend a church building.