King of the Hill: Hank's Bully
(S10E14) When you're young, there's usually only one way to deal with a bully, and that's to give them a taste of their own medicine. It gets a bit more complicated, however, when you're a grown adult and your bully is a ten year old kid. In last night's episode, new neighbors move into the neighborhood whose unruly child, Caleb, begins harassing Hank by calling him "dusty old bones, full of green dust," trashing his work space, and, the most unforgivable crime of all, riding his bike on Hank's lawn.
If beating your own kids is frowned upon, beating other's children is probably more so. Hank thinks he has a solution when he takes Caleb's bike until Caleb learns to behave better. Unfortunately, Caleb's parents don't see their son as a troublemaker, but rather a feisty young sprite with a "precocious sense of adventure." When Hank swipes Caleb's bike to teach him a lesson, they don't make Caleb apologize, they call the cops. Hank finally realizes that the trouble lies with the parents, so he sicks Bobby on them to taunt and harass them as Caleb did. It's not until the parents actually start being parents that Caleb starts to behave. Anyone who has ever had to deal with the children of inattentive parents knows how frustrating it can be. I used to babysit for extended family whose children were so unruly the only thing I could do was try and keep as many sharp objects away from them as possible while they ran amok.
This time around we also had a pretty solid "B" story, which hasn't happened much this season. I'm not saying the "B" stories have been bad, but the main plots have usually been strong enough to support the whole episode. Anyway, Dale and Peggy decide to get into taxidermy, combining Dale's knack for killing animals and Peggy's artistic sense. There's a great scene in the alley where Dale uses the pocket of a stuffed possum to hold his pack of cigarettes, leading Hank to point out that Caleb makes fun of him while ignoring the fact that Dale has a dead possum on his shoulder. The episode ends with Peggy and Dale entering a taxidermy contest by recreating the signing of the Declaration of Independence using squirrels. It was the perfect Peggy moment where her unwavering belief in her own artistic sense butts heads with the reality of her surroundings. It seems that historical accuracy isn't really all that important in a taxidermy competition. Also, it helps when your project doesn't catch on fire and cause an electrical failure.