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

Now Knight and KITT are chasing Tony and Bonnie in KARR. In another Kontinuity Moment, just as the scene shifts to Bonnie and Tony inside KARR, you can still see the feet of Hasselhoff’s stuntman through the back window of the car, even though Knight’s supposed to be driving KITT right now.

KITT pursues KARR at high speeds on some twisty roads. KARR taunts KITT, claiming that he “can’t triumph over a prototype! Desist your pursuit!” Sticks and stones, and all that.

KITT and Knight keep up the chase. KARR causes an accident, then leads them into a residential area. There, KARR almost runs over a mother and her two kids, then he jumps the curb and cuts through a park, narrowly missing a woman pushing a baby carriage, and also a dude trying to get a tan while wearing jeans and a long-sleeve suede sweatshirt. That last guy probably could have been run over without negatively impacting humanity, but alas, he gets out of the way just in time.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

’Course, he does look like a ginger; maybe this is the only way he can tan.

Knight and KITT break off the chase to avoid any civilian casualties, and with that, we cut to commercial.

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After we return from break, KITT and Knight are patrolling the streets, trying to pick up some trace of KARR, but no such luck. KITT and Knight then discuss the laser. Apparently, it’s already been installed, but it needs to be calibrated before it can be fired, which is something only Bonnie can do. Hope they get her back before they have to fire it!

Inside the winos’ waterfront hideout, Bonnie is working on KARR while Tony eats. Rev is still asleep. And the visuals in this scene indicate that all the special work KARR required is fixable with a Phillips screwdriver! That’s how they built their supercars back then. Easy to fix! These days, you’d need special computers and metric wrenches, and you’d have to lift the engine out just to change the battery.

Once she’s done fiddling with something on the dashboard, Bonnie tries to carry out a little sabotage, but KARR immediately catches her in the act. He does something that shocks the screwdriver out of her hands. This causes Tony to chuckle, which in turn wakes Rev up.

When he sees Bonnie, Rev is understandably furious that Tony lied to him about the kidnapping. Tony tries to redirect Rev once again, using a newspaper to explain about their last big score. Bonnie, sensing that a plot point is afoot, asks for permission to check KARR’s video system. Why would KARR let her do that? Regardless, he does, and Bonnie uses KARR’s camera to impossibly focus on the newspaper as it’s lying on the table. She learns what Tony is planning to hit next: A gem show at a local museum. Tony and Rev continue to argue, once again blissfully unaware that they’re being spied upon.

Out on the streets, KITT and Knight are starting to zero in on KARR, using sensor hits that KITT picks up, as well as triangulation. But they have to make another trip or two around the block in order to firm up the location of KARR.

In the hideout, Tony and Rev are still arguing over the kidnapping. Rev claims that Tony is not the man he used to know—because Tony is suddenly sober?—and that it’s all KARR’s fault. Rev uses some stuff that sounds like it could be from the Bizarro Bible to persuade Tony, and when that doesn’t work, he threatens to go to the police. “I don’t care about the money! I care about your immortal soul, Tony!”

Tony isn’t concerned about damnation, and he’s not ready to give up the crime spree either. So he breaks a bottle over Rev’s head, knocking him straight through a wooden table. And that’s the last we’ll be seeing of Rev! Bye, Larry!

Bonnie takes advantage of the commotion to try to sneak out of the warehouse. Tony notices that she’s gone, then berates KARR for letting her get away. KARR has an excuse, though. “I was watching you deactivate the Rev. Was he malfunctioning?”

Except, Bonnie hasn’t got away. She’s only managed to make it about fifteen feet from KARR. D’oh! Running would have been my choice, but what do I know?

Tony spots her, but before he can get to her, the turbine whine of KITT is heard. KITT crashes through the wall—a lot of that going on in this episode—and tries to rescue Bonnie.

Tony jumps in KARR and tries to run her over. He misses, but he does manage to knock over a lot of boxes and barrels in the process. Tony and KARR then escape, using the hole in the wall that KITT made coming in. Bonnie throws out an offhand “we can call for an ambulance on the way” line, so that we know they actually care about Rev, and just like that, they’re off in pursuit. They clue Devon in on the gem plot, and he promises to meet them there with “reinforcements”. Yeah, good idea: Send… more… cops!

KARR drives through a wall—again—at the museum. This wall-destruction isn’t as impressive as some of the other stunts though, seeing as how the wall is clearly a temporary edifice of styrofoam bricks, constructed inside of a large overhead door. I mean, you can see the rails and the raised door, for Pete’s sake!

Caption contributed by Mark M.

Genie Screw-Drive, built for a lifeti—Crap!

Inside, there are two museum guards, and they immediately open fire on KARR. Good thing this wasn’t a little old lady that confused the gas and the brake, I guess.

The bullets, of course, are ineffective; Tony sits safely inside KARR, laughing his butt off. As the guards continue to fire, Tony uses KARR to push some cardboard boxes gently toward them. They then helpfully walk behind a large wooden crate so that KARR can pin them to the wall. Seriously. They walk into the path of the car here. Instead of running away, or even stepping aside, they basically stroll right to where the car will be in a second or two. “Thanks for your help, guys! Couldn’t have trapped you without your help!”

Knight, KITT, and Bonnie arrive on scene, to be met by Devon and the police. Luckily, Tony is still inside the museum, busting into the wooden crates that contain the gems. How exactly is this two-bit punk going to fence crown jewels, anyway? I’m guessing Tony hasn’t really thought that far ahead. He may just want to wear the tiaras and look pretty.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“Oh! This one will match my pants!”

Before they go after KARR, Knight tries to talk Bonnie out of coming along. This has to be the first time Knight has ever tried to get a woman out of his car. But she insists on staying. She’s the only one who can fire the laser in its current, un-calibrated state. Knight reluctantly agrees to let her stay, and they head inside.

But before they can make it, they tail slide up to another overhead door, just in time for KARR to crash through and jump right over them! Again, nice stunt, guys!

Knight Rider "Trust Doesn't Rust" (part 4 of 4)

Tony and KARR race into an alley, only to find the exit blocked by a group of bystanders. KARR turns around to escape, and why he doesn’t just mow the gawkers down is a complete mystery.

As Knight and Bonnie pursue, KITT and KARR end up nose to nose in the alley, but the laser isn’t quite ready yet. KITT tries to keep KARR on the scene by talking to him, but KARR gets bored and tears off toward the end of the alley again.

And now the alley exit is blocked by a police roadblock. There are several cops and civilians just standing around the scene, with their hands literally on their hips. Yeah, great reinforcements. As KARR doubles back for enough clearance to jump over the roadblock, he decides to “eliminate excess weight”, and so shoots Tony out of the car with the ejector seat. Sucks to be you, Tony! The cops, suddenly seeing a problem they can actually solve, quickly apprehend Tony.

Meanwhile, Bonnie has the laser ready to go, and she takes the first shot. It’s a miss! The beam hits the passenger-side headlight cover, knocking it off (not so indestructible, eh?). Somehow, this also causes KARR to start to drive on two wheels for a while.

Bonnie tries to make excuses. “Oh, no! The calibration must be off!” And who did the calibration, Bonnie? Oh, that’s right. You did. Leave the shooting to the men-folk, sweetcheeks.

As KARR turns back around, his headlight cover is suddenly back. Hang on a second. Indestructible alloy, healing power, sibling with similar powers…. Holy crap! If they had the voice of Optimus address KITT as “Bub” right now, I’d probably pee myself.

The cars reset for another run, and I can’t help but notice that the orientation of the vehicles is not head to head, as we’ve been told would be required for the laser shot. Instead, KITT’s passenger side is facing the front of the oncoming KARR. No problem though, because suddenly—kontinuity!—KITT is facing right at KARR.

Bonnie takes the second and last shot, and misses completely. Not. Even. Close. But the laser does manage to blow the holy hell out of a phone booth (in an alley?). KARR jumps over KITT and the roadblock, and is soon on his merry way.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

“Please deposit twenty-five… Argh!

Knight also jumps over the roadblock, and the pursuit is on again. Using his sensors, KITT is able to tell where KARR is, as well as the direction he’s heading. Knight decides to use another road as a shortcut to beat KARR to his destination.

And I don’t know why KARR can’t use his sensors to avoid KITT, but whatever. Maybe his sensors don’t work as well, since he’s, you know, a prototype.

Finally, we learn that Knight’s idea is to ram into KARR at full speed. Zeno’s consequences be damned!

Meanwhile, KARR is going about his usual business: causing accidents. At one point, he almost runs into a Pinto! That would have been one heck of a fireball.

Suddenly, KITT and KARR are on the same road, heading right toward each other. KARR warns KITT to change course, but KITT explains that Knight is the one driving. KARR asks KITT to tell Knight to veer off, and KITT relays the message, but Knight won’t do it. You see, Knight is counting on the fact that KARR has a strong “instinct” for self-preservation. KITT tries to take control, but Knight jabs the “normal” button and keeps them on their collision course.

And there’s a funny bit of dialogue here as the world’s longest game of chicken continues.

Bonnie: Michael, you know all those times I’ve called you irresponsible and impulsive? I didn’t mean it.
Knight: Bonnie, remember all those times I called you bossy and demanding? I didn’t mean it, either.
KITT: Michael, Bonnie?
Bonnie and Knight: Yes, KITT?
KITT: Why are you lying to each other?

Knight keeps going right at KARR, and KARR keeps telling him to turn. At the very last minute, KARR chickens out! He veers right, runs off the side of the road, and flies right over a cliff.

And here’s our last Kontinuity Moment: As KARR goes over the cliff, he changes into a completely different car. It’s not even close, folks.

Caption contributed by Mark M.

At least this footage is actually from a movie about an evil car.

KARR crashes into the ocean below, and in accordance with the movie laws of physics, immediately explodes into a huge fireball. Suck it, Zeno!

Overcome with relief, Knight and Bonnie come this close to fulfilling another movie cliché by kissing. They both think better of it, and turn away from each other. That’s another nicely done bit.

After the final commercial break, the whole gang is back at the Foundation, toasting each other with champagne. Well, not KITT, but everyone else. KITT wonders why Knight was so sure that KARR would be the one to turn aside. Knight reiterates how he was counting on KARR’s self-preservation programming, figuring that he’d chicken out first. Which makes sense, I guess. But what doesn’t make any sense is why KARR, Mr. Self-Preservation himself, would choose to veer to the right and over a cliff, rather than to the left and into the other lane. Dummy.

Knight offers to take KITT out for a wash and a wax to celebrate, but KITT just wants to rest. He remarks on how he’s “one of a kind” again, and he seems almost wistful and lonely at the end, knowing that KARR is gone. The end.

Knight Rider "Trust Doesn't Rust" (part 4 of 4)

Good stunt work, funny dialogue, brisk pace… Nice episode! It’s easy to see why this one is rated highly over on IMDb. Next time, I’ll take the opposite approach, and look at one of the lowest rated episodes. We’ll see if the horde that provides the ratings over there know what they’re talking about. Stay tuned!

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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