|"To Sirloin with Love"|
|King of the Hill episode|
|Episode no.||Season 13|
|Directed by||Kyounghee Lim|
|Written by||Jim Dauterive |
|Original air date||September 13, 2009|
"To Sirloin with Love" is the twenty-fourth episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series King of the Hill. It is the 259th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Fox on September 13, 2009.
"To Sirloin with Love" was written by Jim Dauterive, Tony Gama-Lobo, Rebecca May, and Christy Stratton. "To Sirloin with Love" received a 9/10 rating among adults 18-49 and received positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
Although this is the final episode of the series, it was not the final episode to air. Four previous episodes from the thirteenth season originally premiered in syndication nightly from May 3 to May 6, 2010. The title of the episode is a reference to the British drama To Sir, with Love.
Hank finds himself left alone with Bobby when Peggy decides to spend an evening with the other women of the neighborhood. The two have an uneasy dinner at a steakhouse, during which Bobby surprises Hank by accurately pointing out the inferior quality of their steaks. This draws the attention of the coach of the Heimlich County Junior College meat examination team, and Hank enthusiastically supports Bobby's decision to join them. Driven by his talents - which were brought on by Hank teaching Bobby about cows and cuts of meat ever since he was a baby - the team performs well until the final event of the regional competition. Bobby represents HCJC, confident that he can deliver a victory, but makes a crucial mistake that results in a fourth-place finish. Even though the team has qualified at the statewide level, Bobby's teammates lose all their confidence in him.
At dinner the night before State, Bobby discovers that the rest of the team does not share his passion for meat and will do anything to win, even assaulting rival squads if necessary. He decides to quit, but Hank insists on riding to State with the team as well. Suddenly, the bus is hijacked by supporters of Texas A&F, HCJC's nemesis, and stranded in a creek. At home, Peggy, Enrique, and Joe Jack bring out a small propane grill meant as a surprise present for Bobby after the state finals, so that he and Hank can grill together. Seeing the grill inspires Bobby to rejoin the team, but when Peggy drives him there, they learn of the others' absence and Bobby has to represent HCJC by himself.
Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer find the stranded bus, having followed it from Arlen, and give Hank and the team a ride to State. On the way, Hank realizes that Bobby was right about the others and berates them sharply for giving up on him so easily. Peggy calls Boomhauer to find out what is going on, having first tried to call Hank, whose cell phone was taken during the hijacking; by the time the team arrives, Bobby has reached the final event and is about to face off against Texas A&F. His teammates push him to the sidelines, but a pep talk from Hank gives him the confidence to stand up to them. Despite his teammates' verbal lack of faith in him, Bobby correctly identifies a minuscule flaw in a side of beef that all the others had missed, winning the championship for HCJC.
Afterward, Hank and Bobby fire up their grills, having finally found a common interest, and attract a yard full of happy, hungry neighbors ready for a cookout. Kahn tells Connie to take the night off from studying; Dale has figured out how to relieve Nancy's headaches on his own, Lucky and Luanne scoop up Gracie and head for the Hills'; and Boomhauer hurries over, leaving his wallet behind - which flips open to reveal a Texas Ranger badge with Boomhauer's name and picture, the only definitive indication of his career in the entire series (the first indication of his career ever revealed in the series, though an early episode hinted that Boomhauer was an electrician who lives off workman's compensation due to an unmentioned injury on the job).
As the cookout progresses, Bobby realizes that he is about to put the last steak on the grill, but Hank assures him that he will be grilling his whole life. Bobby and Hank agree, with a mutual 'Yup', and continue grilling. While grilling, a total of 13 people invite themselves to the Hill's. The episode fades with a camera pan over Arlen, bookending the beginning of the pilot episode, which opened on a pan down of the town, and Bill opening with a 'Yup'.
The episode was written by Jim Dauterive, Tony Gama-Lobo, Rebecca May, and Christy Stratton and directed by Kyounghee Lim. The episode also guest stars Ashley Gardner, Duff Goldman as Himself, Ernie Grunwald, David Herman, Scott Klace, Phil LaMarr, and Geoffry Manthorne as Himself.
In its original American broadcast, "To Sirloin with Love" was viewed by an estimated 6.11 million households and received a 9/10 share in the 18-49 demographic.
The episode received wide acclaim. In a review of the whole hour James Poniewozik of Time gave the episode a positive review saying "It is one of the most moving things I've seen on TV this year. Hank, and Mike Judge: you've done right." Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger gave the episode a positive review saying "Because the show was often content to go for knowing smiles rather than belly laughs, it became easy to take for granted over the years. In these final seasons, I would often let four or five episodes build up on the DVR before I got around to watching one -- yet I never felt dissatisfied when I put it on." Danny Gallagher of TV Squad gave the episode a positive review as well writing "The episodes didn't take the usual road to a long-running series finale by having the Hills pack up and move out of Arlen into the next phase of their lives or in some other predictable manner. It kept the characters honest, true and humble in their own unique ways and sent the audience off exactly where they started -- by being funny and fresh without being cheap or crass in their caricatures." and "It actually made me wish I was reviewing another season premiere instead of a series finale." Mike Moody of TV Squad said the episode was one of the best series finales of 2009.
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