All of the original five Georgia-filmed episodes of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' are excellent, and "Repo Men" (the third filmed, fourth broadcast) is no exception; it is another of my absolute favourites.
This is the first episode feature Peggy Rea as Boss Hogg's wife, Lula. Sadly, Peggy Rea passed away just a few days ago at time of writing, so it was nice to see this, her first of many 'Dukes' appearances, again to review. This is her lone first season appearance, and Lulu is played slightly more (excuse the term) "trailer trash"-like here; she would evolve into a more gentle, kind-hearted woman (who despised most of Boss's crooked plots) on subsequent appearances.
Also of note is the character of used car salesman Ace Parker, played by Jerry Rushing. Rushing is a former moonshiner, and whose many tales and experiences served in part for the 1975 movie 'Moonrunners', the precursor to 'Dukes'. Some people say that he was even the basis for Bo Duke! Rumour goes that Rushing understood that Ace was to be a recurring role in 'Dukes', but this turned out to be his lone appearance, leading to some ill feeling. Although not one of my all-time favourite guest characters, I certainly wouldn't have minded him popping up again.
The plots of the Duke boys being repo men, and the counterfeiting operation, do collide slightly awkwardly (as does the subplot of Boss planning to frame the Dukes), but it really doesn't matter too much, as the episode has such a fresh feeling and is so much fun to watch.
One of the most notable scenes comes as, while waiting at a roadblock for the Duke boys, Enos asks Rosco why he turned corrupt, leading Rosco to give an emotional explanation of how he was cheated out of his pension. Very soon, Rosco would evolve into his more familiar bumbling loon persona, and the concept of his cheated pension would be faded away by the end of the season, but it is such a shame that we didn't get to see more of this kind of thing in 'Dukes'. Understandably, it is one of James Best's favourite scenes from the entire show's run.
As with other early episodes, the incidental music score is also very good in this one, and features several pieces that were never heard again in the series. I love the sad version of the theme as Bo and Luke arrive home at the farm and it starts to rain. It's a shame that this slightly more moody, emotive music didn't continue for longer in the show's run.
As mentioned in my reviews for "One Armed Bandits" and "Daisy's Song", I recorded these episodes of 'Dukes' from $ky One thanks to my neighbours leaky cable connection in 1992 (nothing illegal, quite literally a stray signal that we never did fully work out!). "Repo Men" sticks in my mind because we had family over that day, so I didn't get to watch it "live". My father, not realising it was recording, turned off my aerial amplifier midway through, resulting in my recording having about 15 minutes of snow in the middle 'til I turned it back on again! It wasn't until the episode was rerun several years later that I got a complete copy. Ahh... those days long before you could buy sets of the whole seasons; how did we survive?!
"Repo Men" ranks amongst my favourites of the series. I never tire of watching this one. A nice, fun story, and with some welcome more serious scenes that I wish we had seen more of in the show's run. I give this one a solid 10/10.