|Death of a Propane Salesman|
|Season 3, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 15, 1998|
|Written by||Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland|
|Directed by||Lauren MacMullan|
And They Call It Bobby Love
Death of a Propane Salesman is the 36th episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on September 15, 1998. The episode was written by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland, and directed by Lauren MacMullan. This episode is the second of a two part episode.
As firemen sift through burning rubble of what once was the Mega Lo Mart, Peggy searches for any sign of her loved ones. A fireman emerges from the flames, escorting Hank and Luanne to safety. Luanne screams when she realizes the fire singed away her hair. Shortly thereafter, Chuck Mangione emerges from the building, smoldering but apparently unharmed. Hank turns to a fireman and inquires about Buckley. He learns that no one else survived the explosion. Hank seems puzzled by Luanne's behavior upon hearing the news, as she seems to pay more attention to the loss of her hair than the death of her boyfriend. Later, when Hank is released from the hospital, he is anxious for his life to return to normal. When Luanne is released, she announces that beauty is only temporary, and tosses away her beauty supplies. Later, as Hank and his buddies drink beer, Dale states that Buckley’s death is part of a conspiracy. The next morning, Mr. Strickland phones the Hill residence, anxious for Hank’s return. Strickland says that he is back in business, and congratulates Hank for bombing the Mega-Lo Mart, but Hank insists he did nothing wrong and asks for some time off. This is granted by Buck, who sees the leave as a "reward for a job well done", to Hank's annoyance. At dinner time, Hank discovers that he is unable to approach his backyard grill, as he is haunted by the explosion at the Mega Lo Mart.
Luanne’s friends at the beauty academy fashion a wig to cover her singed scalp. But Luanne hands the wig to Peggy, insisting she throw it away. Later, mourners gather at Arlen cemetery to pay Buckley their last respects. During the service, Luanne seems unhinged, using the funeral as a forum to speak out against starvation in Ireland, but when she shows a picture of a "starving Irish child", she unfurls a rolled-up poster of Bobby in his underwear, causing the funeral-goers to think Luanne has lost it. The minister becomes anxious and pleas for anybody else who may have known Buckley. Kahn, out of respect, comes to the front and states that annoying Hank changed his attitude towards him. Then Kahn breaks down in a mock-outburst about whether a world without Buckley is a world worth living in. He then lightens the mood and delivers a poignant Buddhist story that relates to Buckley’s death. But the mourners are unsure what to make of the tale, and dismiss it as a joke. Later, Peggy realizes the horrible truth: her husband is afraid of propane. She turns to a grief counselor, who concludes that Hank is really afraid of death. Hank dismisses the idea, but later, as he sips beer with his buddies, he raises the issue. Bobby overhears the conversation, and concludes that his father is still not himself. Shortly thereafter, he runs away from home.
An anxious Hank hopes that Ladybird will be able to pick up Bobby’s scent. Meanwhile, Kahn tires of Luanne’s fixation on starving Irish children, mainly because Ireland is not a third-world country and Luanne is just making things up. He wonders why she does not share his remorse over Buckley’s loss. Luanne enters the den, where she discovers a birthday card sent to her from Buckley. She is suddenly overwhelmed with grief. Using her hand puppets, she works through her emotional crisis—and eventually dons the wig. Later, Hank finds Bobby sitting in the rocket ride at the playground. Hank tells his son that he shouldn’t obsess over death. He encourages him to relax and enjoy life. Suddenly, Hank hears and understands his own words. He then understands and attempts to repeat Kahn’s eulogy story... as only Hank Hill could. Bobby also thinks it's a joke and tells one of his own as Hank listens on.
During the end credits, everybody at Strickland thanks Hank for blowing up Mega-lo Mart, despite his insistence he was not at fault.
- Although Buckley is dead, he remains in the opening credits every week, riding his motorcycle.
- This episode was supposed to be scheduled on September 8, but it was postponed due to the Cubs vs. Cardinals baseball game on FOX.
- This episode's name is a reference to the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman.
- When discussing his death, Hank reveals to Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer that he would not like Peggy to raise Bobby by herself, meaning that he'd either like her to remarry, although he expressed anger when Bill offered to do so.