King of the Hill

Season 9 Episode 1

A Rover Runs Through It

Aired Sunday 8:30 AM Nov 07, 2004 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Peggy returns home to Montana to reconcile with her estranged mother, only to find that her family may lose its land because of escalating property taxes caused by Hollywood stars moving to Montana. Bobby is bored at first, until he meets a horse and falls in love with riding it.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • It took them 5 years, but the Hills finally got to Montana.

    I hadn't read the summary for this episode thoroughly when I first saw it in August 2009, and as a result assumed it was the thanksgiving episode where they get stuck at the airport, which I had just seen and was looking up.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    Turns out that was a much older episode and this one was something that fans seem to consider the beginning of the end for the series. It's not a thanksgiving episode, despite the release date, and Peggy's mom is portrayed differently than while on the phone in the thanksgiving episode, as well as an even older episode I've never seen before but, from what I've read, this episode REALLY contradicts.

    I guess changing Peggy's backstory was somewhat understandable, seeing as the writers had changed her personality by about the fourth season. Than again, why did they make Peggy into a jerk in the first place? Was it because she wasn't funny enough? (If so, to their credit, it worked big

    All in all, for a family trip episode, this one wasn't too interesting. The Montana scenery was nice, and it had a decent enough storyline, but if you want a good episode involving the Hills going to Montana, "Happy Hanks-giving" is definitely better, even if they never made it.moreless
  • A Rover Ran Over the Writers

    I am not going to score this as low as some other people, because it is not really THAT horrible of an episode. They completely revamped Peggy's mom, which is annoying, not because I don't like that plot detail, but just because they threw out the history of her mom built in previous years. They've always made her mom seem like she wasn't all there for Peggy, but it was never this dramatic. I actually liked the concept of Peggy's mom not liking her, as it could explain why Peggy has such a big ego, to make up for her mom not caring for her. That aside, the humour lacks, but is still there. I thought the plot line was decent, and while through most of it I was bored, it was nicely written. I did think that last scene was sweet and touching. I wish Luanne would have been in it, as it is her side of the family too, and she is always good for adding humour. It's not a horrible episode, but there are a ton of flaws in it that make it annoying.moreless
  • The Hills take a visit to Montana to meet Peggy's parents. They later discover that the ranch is in danger of being taken over in a Hollywood buyout.

    The well-dedicated fan of King of the Hill will know that Season 9 was not one of the better seasons for the show. For one thing, the show is indanger of being cancelled, and FOX had been preparing for the show's funeral for quite some time.

    In Season 9, not only was KotH relegated to the lowly 7:00 time slot on Sundays, but due to football, new episodes were constantly delayed, resulting in only two-thired of a full season being shown.

    On to the episode, "A Rover Runs Through It" was the Season 9 premiere, and as the season as a whole was on the mediocre side, it actually STARTED on a mediocre note.

    For those who are still wondering whether or not we may ever meet Luanne's long-lost parents, you'll be deeply disappointed in this episode. Not only do they NOT mention anything about her parents, but Luanne is absent AGAIN! This has been a chronic problem since Season 5, which at the time, she was living on her own.

    Now, I thought Luanne's move back into the Hills' home during Season 8 was supposed to help her be MORE involved in the show. But as it turns out, she's barely seen throught Season 9, partially due to constant preemptions. And the writers missed yet another major opportunity to build up on a long-standing mystery to the show.

    Back in Season 2, we did meet Lu's mom. She almost married Bill, but after she dived into her alcoholic habits again, she left twon and never came back.

    But we still have yet to meet Luanne's father. In the same episode, it was revealed that he was hiding away until Lu's mom died. This is all because of a fight they had one night, which resulted in he being stabbed with a fork, and the trailer home being destroyed.

    Yet another missed opportunity was in the 1999 Thanksgiving episode, when the Hills were supposed to be going to Montana then. Of course, they never got there, and Lu's dad changed his mind about visiting anyway.

    Here, the Hills actually DO go to Montana, and it turns out to be a crappy story. The story is more focused on Peggy reconciling with her mother, who have long-since been alienated from Peg for various reasons.

    It turns out, by the end of the episode, that even after Peggy saved the ranch, she STILL couldn't patch things up with her stubborn ma. All it proved was that Peg's relationship with her mother is just as bad, if not worse than Hank's relationship with his father, Cotton.

    The story about Hollywood taking over the Montana plains was really boring. It was the same old crap about everybody blaming Hank for being something that he so obviously isn't.

    The sub-plot, where Bobby learns to ride a horse, wasn't that good either. It was better than the ones where it shows how much of a fat sissy he is, but by the end, we learn that the whole purpose for the Hills going to Montana was so Bobby could learn something about his Montana roots from his grandparents.

    Still, this episodes would've been a much better turn out if the writers used their chance to pick up on the mystery behind Luanne's past. After all, aren't Peggy's parents also Luanne's grandparents? That's probably one thing that so many KotH fans DIDN'T know!

    I hated this episode, because I've been getting truly frustrated at the number of times the writers chose to ice out Luanne. They have a habit of underutilizing some of their characters, and it's not fair to those who have grown attached to them. Luanne happens to be one of the most likable characters on the show, which is to say, one of few who WON'T ruffle your feathers for the hell of it.

    I'm hoping for a turn-around for Season 10. But since most of those episode will be Season 9 leftovers, I won't get my hopes up.

    On a side note, Maddy, Peggy's mom, looks absolutely NOTHING like she did in so many previous episodes, including one where she actually visits the Hill family.moreless
  • Peggy visits her mother (a poor charictor in my opinion) in a rare moment of continuity lapse.

    Well I gave this 4.9 not because its an awful episode but because by the Shows standereds it is below average. Full marks to the makers for doing something different and taking the hills away from Arlen (something I would like to see more of) but I felt this episode was out of sorts, and to be brutaly frank just not funny. It has its moments such as Hanks typical self, but its hard to describe just how this epiosde left me cold. It is not a great King of the hill episode and there isn't that much more for me to say.moreless
  • Peggy goes with the family to Montana to visit her mother, who hasn't softened with time. Soon, they learn that the ranch may lose it's land, in this fair ninth season opener...moreless

    After waiting for what seemed an age, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom finally showed the 'new' season on 'King Of The Hill'... three years after it was shown in the US, and at almost 4 o'clock in the morning! Why do they waste such a wonderful series?? Thank goodness for VCR / DVD recorders at least.

    Anyway, the episode itself... it's not one of my favourite, but it's not too bad, and a reasonable opener to the ninth season.

    There are some continuity issues, as Peggy's mother is shown to be quite different from the way she was portrayed in various flashbacks previously.

    I did like her husband though, with his strange cowboy mutterings that barely made sense.

    Henry Winkler is a fair sport, effectively playing the villain of the episode. At the same time though, I found it a bit odd that absolutely no reference was made to his most famous role, of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli.

    All-in-all, not a classic, but a reasonable start to the season. I've heard the ninth season isn't one of the best; time (and annoying scheduling) will tell...moreless
Mike Judge

Mike Judge

Voice of Hank Hill, Boomhauer

Kathy Najimy

Kathy Najimy

Voice of Peggy Hill

Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon

Voice of Bobby Hill

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy

Voice of Luanne Platter

Johnny Hardwick

Johnny Hardwick

Voice of Dale Gribble

Stephen Root

Stephen Root

Voice of Bill Dauterive

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Tagline: "Sven Grammerstorf?" -Hank

    • Luanne does not appear in this episode.

    • Boomhauer does not have any lines in this episode.

    • In the scene where Hank puts down his drink and gets up, it vanishes when Hank is fully standing.

    • In syndication, the end titles play over a tag scene, where Hank breaks the fourth wall. He and Henry Winkler are fishing together in a stream. Hank says that it was always Henry's intention to eventually yield the road rights to the ranch. Due to Fox's practice of compressing show credits into a smaller box on the screen so they can air previews for other shows, this coda was not used in its original airing on Fox. However, it did air in Canada. Plus, it is used on reruns of the episode. This is also the last episode to have a tag scene.

    • Peggy's mother, Maddy, has been completely redesigned since her last appearance. She used to look like just an older version of Peggy. Also, the version of Peggy's backstory given here, which is that she grew up on a ranch, fell out with her mother and hasn't talked to her for twenty years, completely contradicts her backstory as given in the episode "I Remember Mono," where teenage Peggy is shown living with her mother in Arlen, and even makes an appearance, in the present, at the end. Also, in "Happy Hank's Giving" the family is supposed to be heading to Montana to have Thanksgiving with Peggy's family, and they even talk on the phone.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Bobby: (when the horse shows interest in Bobby's candybar) Oh you want some candy huh? I don't blame you, I've had hay.

    • Bobby: (about to mount a horse) Are you sure he won't mind?
      Peggy: Honey, he weighs 1,000 lbs, to him, you are like a hat!

    • Peggy: (speaking about her mother) She's just as cold, mean and critical as she ever was. Hank ... don't ever let me become my mother. Bobby, from this moment on, I will CODDLE you!
      Bobby: Alllll right!

    • Peggy: (telling a 'funny' story about her day at school) She said, "No, Mrs. Hill, this is Advanced Placement Latin," then I said, "Oh, okay then, what's Latin for 'my bad'?"

    • Hank: (trying to convince Peggy she had a good childhood) Look at this saddle ... are you trying to tell me that this saddle doesn't bring any good memories?
      Peggy: Well, of course it does, it reminds me of 'Mezullah', my old Gelding horse. Momma made me castrate him myself.

    • Hank: Dang it, I am sick and tired of everyone's asinine ideas about me. I'm not a redneck, and I'm not some Hollywood jerk. I'm something else entirely. I'm complicated!

    • (Hank is awkwardly riding a galloping horse during the cattle drive)
      Rancher: What're you doing?
      Hank: Well, right now I'm trying not to die.

  • NOTES (1)


    • The title is an obvious referrence to Robert Redford's 1992 film "A River Runs Through It" which featured Montana and fly fishing.

    • Sven Grammerstorf
      Sven Grammerstorf is the name of someone who went to Harvard, presumably one of the show's Harvard-educated writers slipped in the name.

    • John Wayne film "Chisum"
      The episode has two homages to one of the Duke's better later westerns. That film featured Chisum's men stampeding cattle down the middle of the main street of the town, featuring lots of destruction, and here we see the cattle driven by Peggy and the other cattlemen. Also the film opens and closes with a majestic shot of Chisum high on a hillside overlooking his ranch. This episode ends with almost exactly the same shot of Bobby, astride his horse on a bluff. The music is even vaguely western here.