Knight Rider “Good Day at White Rock” (part 2 of 3)

Meanwhile, a gang of rather clean-cut bikers on Honda motorcycles rolls into White Rock, accompanied by a cover rendition of “Born to be Wild”. That’s original. Knight, having dropped Davey/Bobby off, passes them on the way out of town, but he pays them no notice. They really don’t look all that threatening when you get right down to it.

The Honda-riding gang happens upon Lonny, still preening over his awesome van. Lonny sort of digs his own grave here with, “Hey, you guys going to some sort of a costume party?” The gang roughs up Lonny’s van pretty good, while Lonny, as bullies are wont to do when finally confronted, cowers off to the side like a little girl. Where’s your precious sheriff now, huh, Lonny?

Caption contributed by Mark M.

No, the guy in the foreground isn’t peeing on the van.

Lonny and Donny cringe while the gang destroys the van. They break out all the windows, even the heart-shaped one on the side, and I’m sure they also tear up the mattress that you just know is in the back of the van.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“If only Bonnie was here!”

We’re not really sure if the gang goes after Lonny and Donny after they’re done with the van, because just as the destruction is reaching its climax, the scene shifts to…

…Rock-climbing! Yay! Or at least, Knight getting ready for rock-climbing. KITT, whom we haven’t really heard much from yet in this episode, begins to worry about Knight’s safety. He even asks Knight to give him instructions on what to do if Knight doesn’t return from the climb.

Knight reassures KITT that he’s not planning on falling to his death, and heads off for the mountain. KITT, finally catching on to the whole “vacation” idea, decides to get a little sun by raising the glass panels of his T-Top roof. Hope he remembered to use sunscreen. Mock-suede upholstery burns in a hurry!

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Back in town, the biker gang roars around the town square, mildly threatening the townsfolk. Why, they even tip over a garbage can! The monsters!

Of note is the fact that they’re all riding pretty much identical Honda bikes, with the word “Honda” rather obviously spray-painted matte black. Now, I’ll grant you that in 1982, Harley Davidson was only one year out from being owned by a company best known for bowling balls, but Hondas? A biker gang that rides Hondas? Unheard of!

Oh, yeah. I forgot about those guys. Never mind!

Caption contributed by Mark M.

Honda didn’t pay for product placement, but Coleman sure did!

The gang makes its way into Sherry’s store, threatening her and all of her meticulously stacked canned goods. I’m sure that sounds like a double entendre, but that’s more or less what actually happens. They find some beer, fiddle with fishing poles, and fondle all the backpacks.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“Nice cans!”

Before all the Spam gets knocked over (wink-wink, nudge-nudge), the scene shifts back to the mountain that Knight is climbing.

Nothing really happens here, except that Knight looks pretty dorky in his orange helmet and his—yes!—plaid western shirt. Then a stray male dog comes upon KITT, looking for an opportunity to relieve himself. KITT tries to nicely convince the dog to not pee on him, but when that doesn’t work (seldom does, does it?), he plays the sound of a roaring lion over the car’s loudspeaker. That does the trick, and the dog runs off before KITT can suffer any canine urine-related humiliation.

Back in Sherry’s store, the gang is still causing trouble. One biker, whom I shall dub “Do Rag Guy”, or DRG for short, seems to have taken a shine to Sherry. “Twenty years, nothing! And then it all piles up in one day!” Luckily for Sherry, the sheriff arrives before anything truly detestable can happen.

Back on the mountain, Knight is still working his way to the top. Just to be clear, Hasselhoff is on a fake wall on a sound stage, while some poor stunt dude is out on the cliff. In close-up, Hoff loses his grip on the faux rock, causing the stuntman on the cliff to fall too. The fall lasts all of about a second, and thankfully there are no rocket boots involved. Knight’s safety line does what it’s supposed to do, and the scene is over just like that. Least dramatic false threat to a major character ever!

Back in the store, DRG and his buddies pay up for the various canned foods they ate, and the sheriff offers them a six pack “on the house” as they leave. He’s a free spender when it comes to someone else’s beer, that’s for sure!

Sherry and Davey/Bobby aren’t happy that the sheriff didn’t take harsher action against the bikers, but he explains that his most important job as sheriff is to avoid confrontation. Huh. Here I thought he was corrupt, but it turns out he’s just a pussy.

Sherry leaves in a huff, while the sheriff tries not to look Davey/Bobby in the eyes. When you’re ashamed to meet the gaze of a ten-year-old boy, you may need to reexamine your philosophy of law enforcement.

On the mountain, Knight has finally made it to the top. Just as he peeks over the ridge, Davey/Bobby’s smiling face appears! What the hell? BAMF? Hello? Davey/Bobby got all the way out of town and went to the mountain, on foot, and climbed to the top in the span of that jump cut? For pete’s sake, he hadn’t even left the store before the jump cut!

In the pilot and the first regular season episode recaps, I noted a few instances where the passage of time was not communicated well, and here’s another one. How hard would it have been to throw in a second or two of establishing footage of Davey/Bobby traipsing out of town?

Knight Rider "Good Day at White Rock" (part 2 of 3)

So Davey/Bobby teleported all the way out here to ask Knight to help with the plague of bikers in town. Knight of course agrees to help, so he sends Davey/Bobby back the way he came (which was…?) while he rappels down the mountain to get KITT.

Back at the store, Knight does his best to console Sherry, and for the most part the scene plays like he really is consoling her, rather than trying to get into her western-style jeans. But just then, DRG putters up on his Honda, apparently back to finish his “business” with Sherry. Sherry grabs her gun, but Knight takes it away from her and goes outside to handle the biker his way, and Sherry and Davey/Bobby follow.

DRG is ogling KITT. All males are required to covet a black Trans-Am, of course; it’s in our genes. DRG wants to drive the car, but he can’t make the door work. This is the first we’ve heard of this, but apparently the door handles have fingerprint scanners that only recognize Knight’s touch. So they go back and forth a bit, with DRG failing to open the door and then Knight showing him that it’s not locked, and around and around we go.

DRG starts to boil over a bit with rage, so Knight pushes him right over the edge by (rightly) pointing out that the whole “rebel biker” thing was outdated by like 1976. DRG pulls a switchblade and attacks Knight, and the two fall to the ground.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“You’re just scared because I represent freedom, dude!”

Sherry sends Davey/Bobby off to get the sheriff. Why, Sherry, why? I’m just thinking that now would be a good time to remember that gun of yours, is all. But as it turns out, nobody gets shot ‘cause nobody gets a gun. This is actually just as well, because Knight is able to easily disarm DRG.

Once he’s knocked the switchblade out of DRG’s hand, Knight shoves DRG into his Honda. Both DRG and the Honda topple to the ground, and the fight appears to be over. But wait! What’s this?

Just in time to save what’s left of DRG’s dignity, the rest of the biker gang roars up to the storefront. So Knight and Sherry hop into KITT, and Knight pulls forward a bit, causing their bikes to topple over in that classic domino effect. Obviously pissed, the gang tries to give KITT the same treatment it did to Lonny’s van, but of course, KITT is indestructible, while a conversion van is, well, destructible.

While they all ineffectively wail on KITT with pipes and chains, KITT introduces himself to Sherry with a rather lengthy speech. She takes it pretty well, considering.

I’m constantly surprised that the inhabitants of this universe aren’t more impressed by a sentient, unbreakable car. In my world in 1982, people were all pretty impressed by the Timex Sinclair 1000. We would have been floored by KITT. Sherry, not so much.

Mark M. Meysenburg

Mark teaches at Doane College, a liberal arts college in Crete, Nebraska. Most of his teaching involves computer science, but Mark also occasionally teaches mathematics and the history of science; he has also been known to offer three week courses on the worst movies ever made.

Mark’s bad movie obsession was kindled in the early 1980s by the Medved brothers, then fanned to full flame by late-night showings of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Who could have predicted the long term effects of satin-pajama-clad, mincing alien menace?

Mark’s other interests include homebrew beer and wine, and practicing and teaching martial arts.

Multi-Part Article: Knight Rider "Good Day at White Rock"

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