Knight Rider “Trust Doesn't Rust” (part 3 of 4)

Meanwhile, KARR is speeding down a mysteriously vacant city street, with two cop cars in tow. Tony and Rev are suddenly pleading with him to slow down, this being their first ride at such high speeds. KARR, however, is determined to not go back to the slammer, and so he refuses to stop. Eventually, KARR manages to pull far enough ahead that he’s able to lose the cops.

Cut to Knight, still trying to talk KITT into being upset over the existence of KARR, and KITT still not biting. As they’re driving, they hear about the incident at the drive-thru on the police scanner. And this bit shows us that Knight actually has the magical gift of precognition. How do I know? Well, while they’re driving, Knight, apropos of nothing, rubs his chin and then asks KITT to activate the police scanner. Just in time to hear about the incident at the drive-thru! That was lucky timing, huh?

Safely parked in an alley, KARR gives manual control back to Tony and Rev. The two winos discuss returning KARR to Knight Industries. But KARR doesn’t want to go back, of course.

Rev, acting again as the conscience of the pair, really wants to take KARR back, but Tony, the “brains” of the outfit, decides to use KARR for no good. His idea is something along the lines of, “if we’re going to live on the edge, let’s do it for something worthwhile, not just breakfast!” Might as well get your money’s worth for that felony rap! Like thirty sliders, five fries

Rev doesn’t really have the courage of his convictions at this point, so he’s easily won over to Tony’s point of view.

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Knight arrives at the scene of the drive-thru incident. The scrawny fast food teen asks if he’s the owner of the black Trans-Am, after which Knight is thrown to the ground and arrested by a gaggle of cops with their guns drawn. Seems a bit much for a knocked-over menu board, but then again, this is the LAPD.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

At least two of these guys need to spend more time at the range.

After the commercial, Knight is back with Devon and Bonnie at the Foundation. Devon ironed everything out with the cops, apparently. The solitary uniformed officer here is pretty serene about the stolen, evil supercar out on the streets. His only suggestion is that maybe they could paint KITT a different color to avoid any further confusion with KARR. Because there couldn’t possibly be any other black Trans-Ams in Los Angeles!

After the cop departs, Bonnie starts making room under KITT’s hood for an “additional component.” Devon and Bonnie play coy about the exact nature of the new widget, but let’s just say that it’s something that rhymes with “laser”. And no, you really shouldn’t get your hopes up.

KITT offers to sit this crisis out, so that there will be no further confusion between him and KARR. However, Knight quite rationally decides that doing battle with KARR without being inside the safe confines of KITT would most likely end messily. He asks KITT if he has any ideas on how they might defeat KARR.

In response, KITT starts waxing philosophical about “Zeno’s paradox”, asking, “What would happen when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?” Forgetting for a second that’s not one of Zeno’s paradoxes, and the fact that the paradox logically has no answer, and the fact that neither KITT nor KARR is either a truly irresistible force or an immovable object, the paradox sort of sums up how the episode won’t end.

Did that make any sense?

Tony and Rev have no time for such mental gymnastics. They employ KARR to go on a mini crime spree, which the cops are unable to do anything about. In a montage, they crash through the wall of a bank and a coin shop, stealing a ton of money and valuable coins. We’re even treated to an old-school printing press/spinning newspaper shot to tell us, via headline, what they just showed us.

And if you watch closely during the coin shop break-in, you’ll notice that KARR has a bunch of silver stars pasted all over the carr’s (told ya) body. That’s because this is stock footage from episode number four, “Slammin’ Sammy’s Stunt Show Spectacular”, in which Knight and KITT joined a struggling car stunt show. Kontinuity! And that’s not the last example in this episode, either.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

Bad neighborhood, judging from the marquee.

At Knight Foundation headquarters, Devon uses the newspaper to reinforce the notion that they need to do something about KARR. Duh. Thanks, Captain Obvious! He and Bonnie do have a plan though, and it has to do with the new component added to KITT, which turns out to be a “resonating laser”.

It’s supposed to be the only thing that can damage KARR. However, the laser must be fired right up the old scanner, as in, the ping-pong LEDs on the front of the carrrr. That’s right, KARR has a small, unshielded port. And to make matters worse, the shot has to be taken head-on, and it must be held for two full seconds from a distance of less than 100 yards. Also, the laser is only good for two shots. Anyone fancy a game of supercar chicken?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to mount the laser in KITT’s trunk? That way, they could be driving away from KARR, while still firing back into his scanner. Sorry, I guess I’m just thinking out of the box a little too much.

To demonstrate, Bonnie fires up the laser, and shoots it at an aluminum pie plate target in front of the fireplace. There’s a “bloop” sound, and some sparks fly off the plate, but after the smoke clears, the target is still there, with maybe a tiny little hole in it. Knight says this is “pretty impressive”, but no. It is not. They might as well mount a Nerf gun on KITT, if that’s all the laser is good for.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

Is that “Jiffy Pop”? Hmm…

At their hideout, Tony and Rev are enjoying all the loot, and even rubbing it all over their faces. Eww! Don’t they know how germ-infested that stuff is? But before they can get too far in describing their plans for all the money (Rev: “I’ll buy me my own church!”), KARR has a problem. Some of his components need adjusting! Which is not the type of thing that the mechanics down at the Quick Lube can fix, so KARR reasons that they need to find out who maintains the “inferior production line copy,” meaning KITT, and kidnap her, meaning Bonnie, and bring her back to the hideout.

But Rev’s conscience peeks through again. He doesn’t want to add kidnapping to the list of charges they could be facing. Tony pulls him aside to chat about things, while KARR watches them on his video monitor. But he doesn’t have to read their lips; he just hears them talking via his external microphone.

Tony lies to Rev, telling him that they’ll just buy him some spark plugs or something, then use KARR for one more big job. After that, they’ll flee to a tropical island and have it made. Placated, Rev lays down for a nap.

Tony heads out with KARR to find Bonnie and bring her back. So the whole “watch their private conversation via video” thing was pointless! KARR didn’t even have a chance to react! You know, by not opening the pod bay doors or something. What a letdown.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“…he’s right about the 9000 series having a perfect operational record. They do.”

Back at the Foundation, Devon is telling Knight how the laser will work, once it’s been calibrated. Suddenly, a klaxon sounds. KARR has burst through the main gate! Knight uses his wrist-radio to alert KITT, and then he and Devon head outside.

Tony nabs Bonnie, stuffs her in the carrrr, and makes a break for it. Knight and Devon run down a hill, and see KARR speeding along the road below. Knight runs down and gets ready to jump on top of KARR…

And here comes more kontinuity! Before Knight even jumps onto the speeding car (which is a pretty cool stunt, actually), you can see the reflection of the stuntman’s head in KARR’s windshield.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

Honestly, though, who would notice something so subtle?

Once the physical stuntman joins his reflection on the vehicle, Tony orders KARR to knock him off, but KARR is unable to get Knight off via swerving. KITT has now joined the chase, leading to the first exchange of dialogue between the two cars. KARR is still on the “inferior production line copy” ego trip, but KITT replies that KARR “hasn’t seen anything yet.”

Hearing the two cars talk, you definitely come to the conclusion that Optimus Prime sounds like a badass no matter what he says, while Mr. Feeny doesn’t really sound threatening, ever.

KITT pulls up alongside KARR, and Knight jumps from KARR to KITT. Then, while KITT is still in motion, Knight’s stuntman climbs up the hood and into the car through the open window. Yet again, this is a really nice stunt. Kudos to the driver inside the seat muppet, too. Not only did he have to drive the car while Hoff’s stuntman was climbing all over the hood and through the window, but he also had to be, well, an actual seat once the stuntman finally got into the car. “Jeez, Tim, could you stay away from the burritos the next time we shoot a scene like this? Gah! Somebody light a match!”

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 "Trust Doesn't Rust"

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