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"Born Again on the Fourth of July" is the 249th episode of King of the Hill. It was originally aired on April 19, 2009. It was written by Erin Ehrlich and directed by Ken Wong.

Summary[]

A neighborhood war breaks out over who has the best Fourth of July display. Meanwhile, Bobby's lazy, selfish attitude, which includes skipping church and stealing money from Peggy to buy pizza, prompts Lucky to take him to a fire-and-brimstone preacher who scares Bobby into being righteous.

Plot[]

All around the neighborhood, the residents of Rainey Street are decorating their homes and lawns for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Hank and the others have just finished hanging a flag on his roof when on Milton Street they notice a neighbor, Heck Dorland, hang an even larger flag from his home. Later, Hank heads inside and notices Bobby lazily watching TV in his underwear while eating chips. He tries to get his son to help with the decorations but Bobby declines as he would rather take a nap. Hank tells the guys of Bobby's disrespectful nature when Kahn tries to get the four to be more invested in their decorations so that they will not be beaten by Milton Street and their fireworks.

On Sunday morning, a tardy Bobby is keeping the Hill Family from making it to church on time since he wants to sleep in. His parents give him a warning to make it to church on time and leave. As Bobby goes through his clothes pile to find pants, he becomes hungry. He orders pizza that he pays for with money from Peggy's purse. As he eats, an angry Hank and Peggy return home and quickly figure out what their son has done. Later that afternoon, Hank and Peggy believe that Bobby's bad behavior is due to him missing so much church. Lucky offers to help by taking Bobby to his church. Hank is uncertain at first but gives in when Peggy and Luanne beg him to give it a chance.

The following week, Bobby nervously follows Lucky to his church service located inside Sensei Ed's Karate Studio. Bobby is on edge at seeing the in-your-face energy but soon tearfully admits to his bad behavior before the priest and promises that he will do better. He and Lucky return home where Bobby's new and improved attitude relieves his parents and allows Hank to re-focus on the rivalry with Milton Street. At Tom Landry Middle School and Arlen Mall, Bobby starts judging everyone and declaring they are bound for Hell unless they change their ways.

At John Redcorn's fireworks stand, Hank and the guys buy as many fireworks as they can and try to show off their supply to Milton Street only to learn that Dorland and his team have even bigger plans set that will require the use of machinery. Determined not to be outdone, Hank brings out plans that he's been saving, and the group build a papier mâché replica of Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, the project caused Hank to miss church and this news does not sit well with Bobby. He later destroys the papier mâché Uncle Sam as he believes it will get Hank to see the error of his ways but instead has the opposite affect when Hank and the others of Rainey Street think those of Milton Street destroyed Uncle Sam and now declare war. With Dale leading them, Rainey Street takes down Milton Street decorations but are spotted by Dorland who gathers his own people and set fire to Rainey Streets fireworks.

Bobby, riddled with guilt, confesses to Lucky that the war between the streets was his fault and learns that he should not judge others before judging himself and that he has misread the teachings at Lucky's church. That night, the two streets begin fighting when Bobby makes a call for peace. He is able to calm each side until Bill continues the fight and throws a flare into Milton Streets firework stash and causes an explosion.

The next morning, the neighborhood is fixing up the wreckage from the fight when the Milton Street residents drop by to ask if Rainey Street has any fireworks that survived. With only one firework saved and used, Rainey Street and Milton Street soon join forces when a boy from Applebee Street rides by while carrying several sparklers.

Characters[]

Stinger Quote[]

  • Bobby: "I want salvation!"

Trivia[]

  • The episode title is not only a reference to Bobby's being "born again," but also to the phrase "Born on the Fourth of July."
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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 of firecrackers.
  • According to Kahn, Milton Street has beaten Rainy Street on Fourth of July seven years in a row.

Goofs[]

  • 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.

Gallery[]


Season 12 Season 13

Dia-BILL-ic Shock · Earthy Girls are Easy · Square-Footed Monster · Lost in MySpace · No Bobby Left Behind · A Bill Full of Dollars · Straight as an Arrow · Lucky See, Monkey Do · What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis · Master of Puppets · Bwah My Nose · Uncool Customer · Nancy Does Dallas · Born Again on the Fourth of July · Serves Me Right for Giving General George S. Patton the Bathroom Key · Bad News Bill · Manger Baby Einstein · Uh-oh, Canada · The Boy Can't Help It · The Honeymooners · Bill Gathers Moss · When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet · Just Another Manic Kahn-Day · To Sirloin With Love
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