Buseys Take A Hostage is the 21st episode of season 6 and the 128th episode overall on Malcolm in the Middle. It was directed by David D'Ovidio and written by Gary Murphy. The episode aired on May 25th, 2005


When Hal decides to attend his first annual Neighborhood Association meeting with Malcolm, he is strongly encouraged to take on the role of President. Being his dad's right-hand man, Malcolm sees a perfect opportunity to add some excitement to the community, while Hal's agenda is a little bit different. Meanwhile, Francis takes on a new job as a camp activities coordinator and turns to Dewey for his input on some creative new games... for kids like the Buseys. While Dewey revels in his afternoon of fun, his fed-up classmates take their teacher, principal and janitor hostage and it’s up to Dewey and Francis to figure out why before the situation escalates further. During this time, Reese must study for his exam. When he fails, Lois grounds him for it.


Hal attends the first annual Neighborhood Association, despite Lois' admonition he doesn't go. When he learns that no one has attended the meeting in 15 years, Malcolm encourages him to take on the role as president of the association. While he revels in being Hal's right-hand guy to bring excitement back to the community, he soon learns his father's agenda is different. Malcolm isn't thrilled when Hal's citations causes discord to his neighbors and later turns against his father. He later talks some sense into Hal who eventually realizes his agenda has been selfish, evident when the angry neighbors come to confront Hal.

At Dewey's school, he and the Buseys are doing lanyards for an unknown reason. He soon gets fed up and leaves. When Francis calls and tells him he's got a job at a camp for the summer, Dewey jumps at the opportunity to help him come up with creative and fun games for the campers.

At the house, Reese is studying for his upcoming exams in his senior classes and Lois wants him to graduate with his class. However, he's studying in an unexpected way for his finals that even confuses Malcolm. When he tries to express his concerns because he knows Reese too well, Lois isn't too concerned. She believes that his unexpected studying is what will make him graduate from school. It does little to ease Malcolm's concerns and he suspects Reese is up to something involving his exams.

In the Busey class, Dewey's classmates are fed up and not only takes Mr. Flerch and the school principal, Mr. Jeffers, hostage, but also a janitor named Eddie and Jorge, the school security officer. When Dewey and Francis show up at the school to suggest some fun activities for the Buseys, they come across the hostage scene. The Buseys plead for help, but he refuses. Dewey wants to run away and leave because if he helps them, it'll become worse. However, Francis encourages him to help out because he knows the Buseys need his help and suspects Mr. Jeffers of foul play. When Chad tells him to put back his lanyard because he made that and he'll get into serious trouble if he doesn't. However, Francis tells him he got this at a truck stop. Dewey puts the two together, asks his eldest brother for his lanyard keychain and confronts Mr. Jeffers for what he's done. He tries to lie his way out of it, but Mr. Flerch removes his duct tape with his struggles and confesses. He admits they put the Buseys to work by making the lanyard keychain as part of their own get rich quick scheme and was Jeffers' obedient lackey. He promised Mr. Flerch a position as assistant vice principal and it came with better parking. As he continues crying in regret, Dewey tells Mr. Jeffers that he and Flerch will both get the worst punishment and not his classmates. He mentions that as public servants, they forced the Buseys into child labor with their plan. Dewey mentions that they could tell a judge about the child labor at the school which will lead to a public media outcry for the two men's arrest and eventual trial. Or as he suggests, everyone can keep their mouths shut and Jeffers stops his lanyard business by being a principal. Francis asks Eddie and Jorge if it's okay with them. The security guard mutters something him for a couple of minutes alone with the two men, which he understands. Then, Eddie tells Francis that he and Jorge wants to talk to both Jeffers and Flerch alone before they untie the two men. This causes both Jeffers and Flerch to be concerned and Dewey smiles triumphant, possibly implying that his original threat of the men's arrest and possible trial will come true.

At the house, Lois furiously puts clean dishes away and not caring if she broke a dish as her anger is focused on Reese for what he's done. She walks away and takes the laundry bin with clean clothes with her to the master bedroom to fold them. Malcolm comes in with a basketball hoping to shoot hoops with Reese in the backyard. He notices Lois is angry and asks what wrong with her. Reese tells him that she saw his report card and he failed his exams by getting everything wrong. This resulted into him repeating his senior year and Lois grounding him for a month with extensive household chores. Malcolm seems worried, but Reese is revealed to be ecstatic. He tells Malcolm that he planned this for a long time. Reese made sure he studied so hard so he can get every answer on his Senior Finals exams all wrong that he couldn't make it up in summer school. He's happy that he doesn't have to move out, go to college and get a job for another year. Reese claimed this as the best achievement of his life, while Malcolm thinks he's insane. After hearing his confession, they watch Lois walk in much more furious at him than before. She plans to punish him more for embarrassing her with that confession. It's revealed that Lois had hoped Reese would pass his exams and graduate with his class. This is so she could finally make him move out of the house, get his own apartment, go to college, get a job and live his own life. Reese pretends to feel shame just so Lois wouldn't ground him further than what she already has done. After she leaves, he drinks his soda in happiness.


  • Jane Kaczmerek as Lois
  • Bryan Cranston as Hal
  • Christopher Kennedy Masterson as Francis
  • Justin Berfield as Reese
  • Erik Per Sullivan as Dewey
  • Frankie Muniz as Malcolm

Guest StarsEdit


  • Ron West as Mr. Flerch
  • James and Lucas Rodriguez as Jamie
  • Danny McCarthy as Hanson
  • Cameron Monaghan as Chad


  • Jim Jansen as Mr. Jeffers
  • Sam Lloyd as Jim
  • Jeanette McCurdy as Penelope
  • Rhomeyn Lloyd as Eddie(the Janitor)
  • Wayne Lopez as Jorge(the security guard)


  • Final appearance of The Buseys.
  • The Wilkersons are revealed to live in the city of Newcastle.
  • Malcolm's math on the homeowner's money is actually incorrect. He says that if 150 homes are paying $23 each, plus book interest, minus a retainer, over the course of 20 years, that equals $83,000. That works at an average book interest (APR) of 1.75% with a retainer of $0. He must not have been listening to the attorney, when stating that the retainer was $2,000 per year. The homeowners would actually have $35k. It would also amount to $83k at an incredible average APR of 9.2%.
  • Jenette McCurdy appears in this episode as one of the Buseys, she also appears in If Boys Were Girls as the female Dewey, Daisy.
  • Amy Bruckner who plays Zoe didn't appear in this episode.


Mr. Flerch:[Removes the duct tape from his struggling.] It was all his idea! I was just his obedient stooge. He dangled assistant vice principal in front of me. [sobs] It came with parking.
Dewey: I wonder who would get the worst penalty, a bunch of emotionally disturbed kids who tie up people for a while. Or the trusted public servant who forced them into slavery. We could ask a judge or everyone could keep quiet about everything.
Francis:[untying Jorge and Eddie] Is that all right with you guys.
[The security guard, Jorge whispers in Spanish to the janitor, Eddie, referring to Mr. Flerch and Mr. Jeffers. Eddie understands this and faces Francis]
Janitor: That depends. Can we get five minutes alone with these guys before you untie them?
[Mr. Jeffers and Mr. Flerch are concerned as Dewey smiles triumphant knowing that his original plans to see the men arrested will come true.]

[At the house, Lois is seen pissed off with Reese while putting the dishes away in a violent manner. She grabs the clothes to take into the boys' bedroom and Malcolm comes in with his basketball.]
Malcolm: What's up with mom?
Reese: Mom saw my report card and I flunked all my classes.
Malcolm: What?
Reese: Every single one of my finals, I got all the questions wrong.
Malcolm:[Worried] Oh my god.
Reese:[ecstatic] I know, now I get to repeat my senior year. Isn't this great? I've been working so hard on it. I'm gonna make sure I fail all my classes so I couldn't make it up in summer school. Now I don't have to move out, got to college or get a job for a whole another year. This is the greatest achievemnt of my life.
[Lois comes in the kitchen further outraged with Reese after hearing his confession and plans to punish him more.]
Reese:[pretends to feel shame to avoid being yelled at.] Yeah, I know mom.
[Lois leaves and Reese is drinking his soda in excitement as Malcolm leaves.]


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