That '70s Show

Season 1 Episode 14

Stolen Car

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 24, 1999 on FOX

Episode Recap

Point Place, Wisconsin; January 21st, 1977; Friday Afternoon; Eric Forman's Driveway. Hyde, Kelso, Fez and Eric stand around looking at a scratch on the back end of the Vista Cruiser. Eric is worried that Red will kill him, but the guys tell him that they'll stand by him if he gets in trouble. Red comes out to put out the garbage, and without even looking at the Cruiser, knows that there's a scratch on it. As soon as he asks Eric what happened, the rest of the guys run away, leaving Eric on his own. He tries to tell Red that he was being responsible and that it's really Kelso's fault for giving him a purple nurple while he was driving, but Red doesn't believe him and takes the car keys away from him, suspending his driving privileges until he learns some responsibility.

[Opening credits.]

[Scene change: A Dorothy Hamill poster, saying "Love!"]

In the Forman basement, Donna and Jackie sit looking through a magazine and talking. The guys come in, interrupting their conversation. Donna tells them that she and Jackie were actually having a good time without the guys; they decide to go to Jackie's place. The guys sit around and wonder what they can do, but every suggestion involves walking someplace, so the end up just staying in the basement. Kelso comes in and proudly displays his cousin's car keys. He asks where they want to go and after a moment of thought, they all decide that they just want to hang out in the basement.

In the Pinciotti kitchen, Midge asks Bob what kind of sandwich he wants for dinner. Bob, confused because it's meatloaf night, asks why she's making sandwiches. Midge explains that she doesn't have time to make a hot dinner as she's taking a community college class in Kenosha. Bob neither understands nor approves of this idea, telling Midge that he'll buy her some jewellry instead. Bob forbids her to go, but Midge tells him it's not his decision and he can't tell her what to do. She storms out of the kitchen.

In the Forman driveway, Red examines the Vista Cruiser. Kitty comes up behind him, and looking at the car, asks what they're looking at. Red explains about the scratch, and Kitty sarcastically asks if anyone died in the accident. Red insists that driver safety is important, but gets only more sarcasm from Kitty.

In Jackie's bedroom, she and Donna flip through magazines and talk about sex. Jackie tells Donna that she has her first time with Kelso all planned out: there'll be candles, she'll be wearing a sexy penoir, Kelso will be wearing a pirate shirt and there'll be a banner. Donna asks why she's still waiting if she has it all planned out; Jackie says she wants it to be really special.

In the Forman kitchen, Midge tells Kitty about the class that she's taking, called "The Woman Warrior: Fighting Female Stereotypes" about female empowerment. She suggests that Kitty should take it with her, but Kitty says she just doesn't have time to take a class. Midge tells her that she's lucky, having a family and a career and asks how she got Red to agree to let her work. Kitty says, "one day, we sat down, we did all our bills and we realized we wer going to lose the house," and laughs her Kitty laugh.

In Kelso's cousin's car, Kelso is driving, Hyde is in the front, Eric and Fez are in the backseat. Eric is complaining about the lack of room in the back, and says that he should be driving his own car. Hyde tells him that he lost the car because he's irresponsible; Kelso laughs, so Eric gives him a purple nurple. Kelso tells him to be careful, because he's driving. Hyde turns on the radio and changes the station; Eric tells him to change it back but is ignored. He comes to the conclusion that the backseat sucks.

[Scene change: a 1960s drive-in type reminder to drive home safely.]

In Kelso's cousin's car, the guys are eating burgers. Eric says that his burger doesn't have any pickles, so they'll have to go back, but again, he's ignored. Eric asks why Sully, Kelso's cousin, has a statue of the Virgin Mary on the dashboard. Kelso suggests that Sully's religious; when Hyde points out that Sully was in prison, Kelso tells him that even convicts can be religious. Hyde asks why the keychain says, "I love Bingo" and Eric comes to the conclusion that maybe it's not really Sully's car. Just then, police lights and sirens start up behind them.

The four guys sit in a police interrogation room. Eric says that Red is going to kill him and that the other guys have nothing to worry about since Kelso's parents won't even notice that he's gone, Fez's parents aren't in the country and Hyde's mother is probably in the next cell over. A police officer comes in and asks who the ringleader is; the guys all point to Eric. The officer gives him a dime for his one phone call and leaves. The guys try to decide who they should call; Kelso decides to call Jackie sincer her dad's a lawyer and she has a chequebook. He calls and tells her that he's in jail; she compares it to a romance novel. He tells her that it's serious; Jackie tells him that the minute that he gets out she'll prove her love for him. Kelso has no idea what she's talking about, so she has to spell it out -- she'll have sex with him when he gets out. Kelso's happy about that and ends the conversation. Eric points out to him that he didn't arrange for Jackie to come down and get them out of jail. All the guys are angry at Kelso for blowing their one chance to get out.

In the Forman kitchen, Kitty is serving dinner. Red complains that Eric isn't even home yet; Kitty points out that since he now has to walk everywhere, Red can't expect him to be on time. She asks why he's so hard on Eric and Red says that that's how his father was with him; and also because the world's a hard place. Kitty points out that since the world is such a hard place, wouldn't it be nice if Eric could come home to a place that wasn't hard?

In the Pinciotti kitchen, Bob and Donna are eating sandwiches for dinner. Bob is complaining about Midge being away; Donna tries to explain that it's the 70s; and the Equal Rights Amendment is there so that women don't have to define themselves by a man. Bob still doesn't get it and offers to buy Donna some clothes. She realizes how pointless it is trying to explain it to him and leaves the kitchen.

In the police station, the guys are still sitting in the interrogation room. Kelso tells Eric that he has to do something. Eric blows up at him, telling the guys that it's always up to him to get them out of trouble. He agrees to do it one more time, and knocks on the door of the room. An officer opens the door; Eric calmly tells him that he needs to talk to him. Once outside the room, with the door closed behind him, Eric starts crying and telling the officer that he has to let them go or else Eric's dad will kill them all and that they didn't steal the car, they just borrowed it. The officer doesn't believe him, having heard the "borrowed car" story many times before. A second officer comes up and tells the first officer that it turns out that they ~did~ just borrow the car -- Sully borrowed it from his grandmother who'd forgotten she'd lent it to him and reported it stolen. So the guys are free to go; he gives Eric the envelopes with their personal belongings in them.

Eric walks back into the interrogation room, closing the door behind him. He throws the envelopes on the empty chair, and acting like it was all his doing, tells the guys that they're all free to go. The guys are happy to hear that, and after a group hug, they head for the door, only to discover that it's locked from the outside.

In the Pinciotti kitchen, Bob sits alone in the dark. Midge comes in and turns on the light and is surprised to find Bob there. He tells her that he's thought about it and decided that it's ok that she took the class. Midge says she's glad, and the class is only twice a week. Bob thought that it was just a one-time deal and tells her that she's not going back. Midge refuses to take that and storms out of the kitchen.

In the Forman livingroom, Red sits on the sofa, reading the paper. Eric comes in the front door and tries to make a quick escape upstairs, but Red stops him, wanting to talk about the car. He makes quite a few false starts, and eventually just gives Eric the car keys back. He asks Eric where he's been all night; when Eric says, "Prison," Red just laughs.

In Jackie's bedroom, she lies on the bed reading a magazine. Kelso comes in; they hug and Kelso tells her that he was beaten in Hyde. He closes the door and says, "Let's do this thing." Jackie tells him that it will be the most magical night of their lives, then adds that her parents will be home soon, so they only have 15 minutes. She lights a candle and they begin to make out.

[End credits: In the Vista Cruiser, with Eric driving. He's happy to be in charge again, and is rubbing it in everyone's face.]

Of note in this episode:

Fez is from an island.

This episode marks the beginning of Bob and Midge's marital problems.