Season: Four — Episode: 19 Director: David Storey — Writer: Mark Farrell — Aired: March 12, 2007 — Viewers (millions): 1.89 Summary: With the mayoral election approaching, Fitzy wants the citizens of Dog River to come up with ways to bring more tourism to town. Surprisingly, Hank has the best idea of all, but it soon changes everyone's lives, some for the better, and others for the worse. Or does it?
It's election time in Dog River and at Corner Gas, Lacey asks about the challenge posters that Mayor Fitzy has put up all over town. Brent explains that Fitzy's trying to drum up tourism but Wanda sees it as an election ploy. Indicating that he has a big idea, Hank is told by Lacey to give it careful consideration before telling everyone. Hank closes his eyes, announces he's thought about it and then proposes that the locals should paint statues of prairie dogs. Everyone agrees it's a good idea. In front of the Police station, Karen sarcastically wonders why she and Davis have been called to an early meeting with Fitzy. Davis enthusiastically supports Fitzy, explains he's in campaign mode and is suspicious of Karen's cynicism. Karen points out that Fitzy is running unopposed. In Fitzy's office, Davis states the obvious, that Fitzy will win. Hank arrives and Davis convinces Fitzy to hear Hank's idea.
How can you guys be so cyclical?
At the Leroy's, Emma thinks that Oscar's idea to build a casino in Dog River is fraught with pitfalls. Fitzy likes Hank's idea and saying he'll order big gophers, Hank insists on small prairie dogs. Davis has to point out that Fitzy should buy statues and not live animals. At the Ruby Cafe while Josh gives Lacey a plate, Oscar unsuccessfully tries to get Lacey to propose his casino idea to Fitzy, knowing that he won't be taken seriously. At Corner Gas, Oscar lies to Brent and Wanda that a casino is Lacey's idea, which Brent doesn't believe. Not able to get anyone to present his idea, Oscar bothers Fitzy with it at the Ruby. Fitzy, who's about to leave for a press conference, tells Oscar to shut up, angering Emma.
Don't you tell my husband to shut up!
At the conference, Fitzy announces Hank's idea which results in arguments from Jenny, Wes and Helen whether the statues should be gophers or prairie dogs, and big or small. To please everyone, Fitzy says he's ordered big and small statues of both animals. Emma surprises everyone by entering the mayoral race on the platform of building a casino. Sometime later, the painted statues are in place all over town. At the Ruby, Lacey tells Brent that her sister, who works for Canada AM, wants to interview some townsfolk about the statues, which have become national news. Emma, Hank and Wanda are interviewed remotely by the show's hosts, Seamus O'Regan and Beverly Thomson.
Prairie dogs? You're crazy.
Super Prairie Dog.
Seamus makes puns using "gopher", which Hank doesn't understand and Bev gets a scientific explanation from Wanda about the difference between gophers and prairie dogs. Emma explains she doesn't care about the statues and is running for mayor only because Fitzy told Oscar to shut up. At Corner Gas, Hank can't get a donation from Lacey, having decided to run for mayor too. Wanda asks Lacey if she liked the interview but not having seen it, Lacey describes each of the interviewees from her knowledge of their personalities. In front of the Post Office, Davis falsely accuses Emma, who's in her car, of speeding. Karen sees Fitzy lurking across the street, apologizes to Emma and lets her go.
You just ticked off the rhinoceros.
At Corner Gas, there's a line-up at the pumps. Brent is approached by Rob Bennett, an executive for the gas station chain Pump N' Go. With business booming due to the increased tourism from the statues, Bennett makes Brent a sizeable offer to buy Corner Gas. Later at the Hotel bar, Hank tells Brent that he shouldn't sell the station. Wanda's also against the sale, partly due to the garish uniform she'd have to wear and indicates that she's being interviewed by Bev and Seamus again. Hank regrets his prairie dog idea and Lacey asks Brent to consider how Oscar would feel about selling the station, since he once owned it. At the Leroy's, Oscar emphatically tells Brent to sell. Brent wonders why Emma isn't out campaigning but she doesn't care about winning the election.
It's a job that I love!
Wanda is being interviewed weekly and has a special rapport with Seamus, while Bev is frosty towards her. Wanda recounts that Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Dog River and nearly bungled choosing prairie dogs over gophers in front of the press. At the Ruby, Hank tells Lacey that he's conducted his own poll, by talking to a few people. Brent arrives and says he's selling Corner Gas. This makes Hank's stomach upset, which Jane takes literally and tells Josh that she doesn't want whatever food Hank ordered. During another interview, Wanda announces that Emma was elected as she was honest that she didn't want a casino. Wanda and Seamus are openly flirtatious but Wanda is curt with Bev.
What do you make of this controversy?
I'm gonna be sick to my stomach!
In front of the Police station, Karen teases Davis for supporting Fitzy. Davis recalls Fitzy's concession speech, in which he maligned the townspeople and then couldn't leave as his car wouldn't start. In the Mayor's office, Emma is friendly to Karen but formal with Davis. At Corner Gas, Bennett gives Brent a cheque and tells him he's fired. Believing he'd be retained as Pump N' Go stores are operated by previous owners, Bennett tells him Oscar is the new manager. Emma promotes Karen to chief of police. Worried, Davis asks what'll happen to him and imagines that Emma will give him a pony. However, Davis is let go and takes a job as a constable in Wullerton. As Davis hangs out with his new partner, he spits when Dog River is mentioned.
You're all rubes, rubes!
Have a nice day, jackass.
What did ya do that for?
At the Ruby, Brent resigns himself to retirement but worries what Wanda will do if she loses her job at the station. However, Wanda's replaced Bev as a host on Canada AM. Lacey then shocks Brent with news that she sold the Ruby to Pump N' Go and is leaving to open a restaurant in Toronto. In front of the Ruby, as Lacey says her goodbyes, Hank feels responsible for the changes in everyone's lives. (♫ Blue Rodeo - Bad Timing ♫) As Lacey drives away with tears in her eyes, Brent tells Hank to wake up. The events were all a daydream of Hank's and he confirms that Lacey isn't moving, has no sister and Wanda's not hosting Canada AM.
Uh, I'm not on vacation.
Goodbye, you jackass.
With everyone at the Ruby, Davis asks Hank what the idea was that he dreamed would tear the town apart. Hank explains about painting the prairie dog statues which starts Lacey and Wanda disagreeing about gophers versus prairie dogs. Brent wants big prairie dogs, Karen desires giant gophers, Lacey wants small ones but Oscar agrees with Karen. Emma and Davis agree on small prairie dogs. Seeing the disagreements, Hank exclaims that things are playing out as he imagined and he takes off. Wondering if they should go after him, Brent sees Lacey has a fresh banana loaf out. Everyone forgets about Hank and asks for a slice.
Four years before, while brainstorming an item to built to attract tourists, Wes suggested a gopher statue. ("World's Biggest Thing")
On March 6, 2007, the day after the premiere of "Happy Campers," CTV released a statement about "Gopher It." The release was somewhat cryptic, indicating it was the series finale. The same day, the Edmonton Journal published on its website that the show would be ending. Two days later, TV Guide Canada writer Greg David posted an article, positing that CTV's statement was a publicity stunt. The day after "Gopher It" aired, CTV announced the episode's high ratings, and that a fifth season would be filmed.
For their performances in this episode, the main cast won the Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series on October 28, 2007. It was the cast's first and only win on its third nomination for the honor. Mark Farrell's script also earned him the Gemini for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series.
Jackass!: In Hank's dream, Oscar calls Brent a jackass when made the new manager of the Pump N' Go. As Lacey says her goodbyes, she calls Oscar a jackass.
"Hank, you shouldn't feel guilty because you had a good idea. You should feel shocked or bewildered, but not guilty."
"You're all rubes, rubes! Well, you won't have Old Fitzy to kick around."