|Season 5, Episode 10|
|Air date||February 4, 2001|
|Written by||Kit Boss|
|Directed by||Adam Kuhlman|
Hank and the Great Glass Elevator
When Hank determines to get a special Native Texan license plate for his truck, he first seeks out his birth certificate, certain it will come into play later. Hank contacts Tilly, and then his father, but neither claims to have a copy. Hank grows concerned…and convinces himself he may be adopted. His attempts to gain access to adoption files at a Methodist mission, however, proves fruitless. Help arrives in the form of Dale, who uses his computer to search birth records. To Hank’s horror, Dale determines that his true birth place is New York, New York. A furious Hank confronts Cotton and demands the truth. In flashback, Cotton and a very pregnant Tilly traveled to New York City on a visit. As Tilly wasn’t due for several more weeks, Cotton purchased her a fancy maternity dress and took her dancing at the Rainbow Room. But during the dance, Tilly’s water broke and she was rushed to a hospital. Three days later, the “premature bundle” was driven back to Texas. After Cotton finishes his story, a dejected Hank returns home. Meanwhile, Cotton contacts his friends Topsy, Stinky and Irwin Linker by phone and arranges a mysterious, final mission. They make a nighttime journey to the Arlen V.F.W., where they unearth a metal trunk containing a cache of weapons. Meanwhile, Dale secretly affixes an “I (heart) New York” bumper sticker to Hank’s car. Hank drives to an eatery, where he discovers, to his horror, a fondness for bagels. When Hank returns home, he picks up the phone and dials his mother. Tilly drops a bombshell when she reveals that Cotton fabricated the story of how Hank was born in New York. Tilly then recounts a tale of how Cotton and Topsy used her pregnancy to slip through a police line at Yankee Stadium so they could pull off a plot to assassinate a young Fidel Castro by blowing a poison dart-which was hidden in a cigar- at the Cuban dictator. But just as the men were about to pull it off, Tilly went into labor and the dart accidentally hit a ball boy by mistake, spoiling the entire mission. As pandemonium erupted at the stadium, Hank was delivered inside an empty ladies’ room. An outraged Hank confronts his father, who, surprisingly, seems apologetic. Cotton takes Hank out on the town and gets him drunk. Unbeknownst to Hank, he is a pawn in yet another of Cotton’s schemes.
Cotton and his friends drive to San Antonio to pick up an acquaintance named Jorge Lopez, a Cuban-Mexican who will serve as a ticket into Cuba for them. While in San Antonio, Cotton and his friends drive Hank to that “cradle of Texas liberty,” the Alamo. Cotton then thrusts a rifle and newspaper into Hank’s hands and takes a Poloroid snapshot, making him a patsy for the upcoming assassination of Fidel Castro. Wearing nothing but his underpants, a tied-up Hank is left shivering in the Alamo courtyard. While stumbling around in the dark, Hank happens upon an array of 32 state flags, which honor the birthplaces of Alamo defenders. To Hank’s surprise, one of them is the flag for New York State. Hank manages to free himself. Helping himself to clothes from the mannequin of Davy Crockett, Hank heads for the Corpus Christi harbor. There, he confronts his father and his cohorts. During the confusion, Hank tumbles over the side of a boat, dragging Linker's oxygen tank with him. When he emerges from the water, Hank announces that he removed the spark plugs from the boat’s motor, foiling the gang’s plot. The old timers then lose their steam and decide to go home. Peggy says that because Hank should have died from prolonged exposure to the water, his survival assures his "rebirth" in Texas, but Hank says that he is no longer concerned with that, both in that he married a woman from Montana and that he learned many of the heroes of the Alamo were not native Texans. As they head back to Arlen, Hank remarks that being Texan comes from the heart, not birth, and if "you get a connecting flight in Dallas, you are a Texan", as a lighthouse beams over the Corpus Christi harbor.