In the cold opening, in the living room Hal asks Malcolm what's on. Malcolm says he's watching a medical documentary about eye surgery where doctors are reattaching a patients retina. Hal is clearly disturbed and asks to change the channel but Malcolm reassures him that it is interesting and he may want to be a doctor when he grows up and watching the surgery is vital information. After becoming more squeamish Hal decides to go read a book, after he leaves Malcolm changes the channel explaining how watching a lingerie calendar shoot with his dad would be nothing but awkward.
One morning Lois tells the boys that they are late for school and to show some hustle, Malcolm claims they still have time and if they were really running late their lunches would be out on the front lawn. Reese takes a treat out of Dewey's bag and replaces it with a potato before Dewey can inform his mother she hurries him out the door. Hal comes in and confirms with Lois the errands they need to complete, confirming that he is going to the dry cleaners, mechanic and post office while she goes to the grocery store and the DMV after Lois hands him the cable bill Hal says "bye guy" to her. He shortly returns after realizing what he said but Lois reassures him it's just a lapse. Hal tells her he in no way thinks of her as a guy and how much he loves her.
Walking home from school, Dewey tries to catch up to his brothers in an alley but then befriends a dog, a boxer eating out of a trash can. Dewey decides to name him Marshmallow and wonders if he could come home with him. In his imagination, Hal and Lois reminds him that he's not allowed to have a dog because they want him to be miserable as possible. However, in his imagination Marshmallow speaks to Dewey to take him in because what his parents won't know can't harm him and is convinced he can get away with it. He decides to take his new companion home and hide him for a while.
In Alaska, Francis explains to a logger that even if Dr. Bombay was a M*A*S*H surgeon he'd still prefer Hawkeye to operate on his ruptured aorta since his experience reigns superior. Francis sees a hook hand outside Lavernia's Lodge but when he turns back it is gone. Eric approaches him and Francis tells him he saw is Commandant Spangler outside. Eric tells him that there are many things they can joke about, but not Spangler, and when he first arrived in Alaska he saw Spangler every time he shut his eyes but assures him that the two of them left Marlin Academy for good and found better lives for themselves, reminding Francis they still have to do the dishes and snake out the toilets before they can call it a night.
At Lucky Aide, Hal surprises Lois with the love song "Tonight's the Night" by Rod Stewart in preparations to take her out for a night of romance. He has rented out a limousine complete with a champagne and a violinist for their night out on the town. Lois appreciates Hal's romantic gesture, but she can't leave work and has to cover Craig's shift because he's sick. Hal points out that Craig is the biggest faker in the world reminding her that the last time Craig feigned being sick, he and Lois caught him jumping up and down from the window of "The Today Show" in New York. A sick Craig points out it didn't mean he was lying about the flu and got it from an unsuspecting fan. Lois couldn't get out of the shift and thus forcing Hal to take him home.
In a limousine, Hal tells Craig that he just wanted a nice evening with his wife and he had dug up his wedding vows which he never got a chance to read to Lois since she was pregnant with Francis and was about to give birth to him at the altar. Craig says he feels awful, Hal assures him it's not his fault he got sick but he meant awfully sick before throwing up on the floor.
That night, Dewey hides Marshmallow outside the window and gives him some bologna he stashed under his pillow. Lois comes into the bedroom and asks Hal is he's still awake. She hears the dog whimpering outside and she assumes it's Hal upset that his plans got ruined. Lois tells him that tomorrow night she'll fix up a special dinner just for the two of them and lock the boys in the garage for the evening. She hears Marshmallow again and comforts Hal. Back in the boys room Dewey tells Marshmallow he doesn't have anymore food for him. Upon realizing he won't stay quiet he decides to climb out the window and sleep with him for the night as they snuggle up together.
The next evening, Reese is preparing dinner for his parents special night, Lois asks Reese if the roast he's preparing is perfect, he assures her he knows what he's doing. Malcolm questions why they are using fancy silverware which he didn't know they had and questions when it was last used, Lois informs him that the night he was conceived and wonders if he wants more details, after thanking Reese she tells them to go to their room and stay quiet for the next five hours.
Inside the boys room, Reese and Malcolm has discovered the truth about Dewey having a dog, Dewey begs them to keep him a secret and they agree, but they have intentions to expose him once Hal gets home and get Dewey grounded. Dewey tells Marshmallow a story about themselves being heroes until Reese opens the door to have Marshmallow eat the meal while Lois is changing in her room. Dewey begs him to stop shortly before Lois calls out to them and starts coming into the kitchen. Dewey thinks fast and has Marshmallow return to the boys room and he takes the fall for Marshmallow by climbing on the table and ravenously eating the meal in his place, which Lois catches him doing.
Hal and Lois are furious with him for eating their dinner and Hal berates him for eating the entire meal with his bare hands and demands an answer from him. Dewey's only excuse is "I was hungry I guess" while Reese contemplates telling them about the dog and nailing his coffin shut, but Malcolm has a hunch to save it for later. Hal asks how Dewey could eat a candle, panicking he responds by taking a bite and says that he likes to eat candles, Hal decides it is the last straw as take him to the doctor to have his stomach pumped.
At the hospital, the doctor doesn't find any candles despite finding marbles and a waistband to a pair of underpants, Hal tells Dewey he is now in the red zone for embarrassing him and Lois and tomorrow night he will take her out on an emergency date they need very badly and nothing will derail it on penalty of death. Dewey complies with Hal's rule and says no to wanting an army man toy back after it had been through his digestive track.
In Alaska, Francis' fears about Commandant Spangler arriving has come true as he arrives cold, haggard, drunk, penniless and furious with him causing Eric drops his dish tub to salute to him. He blames his former student because of the trouble he caused when he deserted Marlin Academy. Spangler got in trouble when a student informed the authorities that he was drunk and he was fired as a result. Spangler tries to strangle Francis with his hooked hands, Francis asks him to stop because it tickles causing him to break down bawling on the floor.
In the Wilkerson House, Hal and Lois prepare for an evening out to mend their relationship, leaving Reese and Malcolm to watch Dewey until they get back. However Hal is suffering from flu symptoms he contracted from Craig, but decides to keep it secret. Reese and Malcolm contemplate telling them about Dewey's dog so it ruins their evening but decide to wait until after they get home from which they may be drunk and more volatile towards Dewey. Before leaving, Lois warns the two older boys that the only call they can receive that night would be from a coroner. After vomiting in the bathroom Hal comes out and tells Lois her carriage awaits.
After they leave Reese and Malcolm plan to go around town and be back at 10:00 telling Dewey him and Marshmallow are on their own, but Dewey says Marshmallow is busy destroying their comic book collection. Malcolm and Reese decide to make Dewey suffer, only to find the dog is vicious and completely loyal to Dewey and obeys all his instructions. With the threat of setting Marshmallow on them, Dewey decides to get his revenge on Malcolm and Reese for the misery they caused him and he remembers all the bad things they've done to him. Such as trying to switch him with another baby at the park convince him that the tooth fairy was a vampire he remembers every wet willy, booger sandwich, stink hat, waffle butt, chester backster and purple nurple they've given him and now they're going to pay. Malcolm tells Dewey that when their parents return he'll be in trouble, Marshmallow will be gone and they'll kick his ass for the next 10 years. Dewey is well aware of this and decides to torture them as much as he can in the short time period.
He forces them to write essays on why he's better than them, then forces them to wear dresses while they read them out. Craig comes by the house to drop off Hal's clothes. Dewey attempts to make him leave so he wouldn't discover what he is doing. But he comes inside when both Reese and Malcolm beg for his help. Having seen too much, Dewey locks Craig in the house so he can't escape and informs him that he's sorry he knows what he's doing and now he can't let him leave. Soon enough Craig has him join his brothers in their humiliation by reading their essays and singing praises about Dewey. He leaves to find scissors to cut their hair like The Three Stooges and orders Marshmallow to guard his new subjects and to eat them if they dare to run away.
In Alaska, Spangler is on the floor drunk, crying and saying that he wants to die now. Francis tries to convince him to look on the bright side but Spangler argues back without his job he now has no reason to live since he has no friends and his mother no longer acknowledges him. Eric reassures him he taught him how to be a man but Spangler cannot remember Eric's name or anything he did much to his chagrin. Francis takes pity on the former commandant and tells him that he found him a new job in Alaska helping with the environment. Spangler thanks Francis for his help and asks him to thank the girl who cradled him the previous night unaware it was Eric.
At the Restaurant, Hal and Lois are trying to have a good time, except they have the flu. Neither want to admit it to one another until they hit the dance floor. Hal finally tells her that he needs to go to the hospital right now and Lois who is also sick, tells him that he made her happy.
In the Wilkerson House, Reese, Craig and Malcolm conspire to get rid of Marshmallow. Malcolm suggests they all run for different doors since Marshmallow can only chase one of them leaving the other two to go for help. Reese and Craig agree, however the two brothers let Craig run out of the house by himself. As Marshmallow chases him ready to kill, Malcolm and Reese comment on how Craig always manages to come through for them. Dewey returns ready for hair cutting, only to find Marshmallow has gone and Reese and Malcolm are ready to deal out some payback.
In Alaska, Spangler is fired from his job on the first day because he showed up drunk. He faints and Francis is upset that he's drunk again. Eric tells him that he needs to face the truth that the only thing that made Spangler remotely happy was tormenting and bullying helpless students. Without that purpose, there's no hope for him. Francis has an idea for Spangler's next job.
Five minutes later, he is seen at Snow Haven Retirement Home in civilian clothes, bullying the elderly, which gives his life purpose and thus, he has found his true calling. He reprimands a collage created by an elderly Inuit woman named Mrs. Meekitjuk and how it is an insult to the art itself. Mrs. Meekitjuk argues back that she has arthritis, but Spangler sees her comment as insubordination and tells her that her actions have lost pudding for the entire group and the other seniors can feel free to thank her after he leaves. In turn, the elderly residents start despising Spangler similar to how Francis and Eric did at Marlin Academy.
At the Wilkerson Home, Reese and Malcolm has force Dewey to drink from the dog bowl and eat dog food as revenge for what he put them through. They intend for him to use the bathroom outside and Dewey tells them that he'll remember this too.
At the hospital, Lois is on a gurney next to the one Hal's on as the orderly is reading his wedding vows. Lois is moved and says "Oh Hal."
- 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
- David Anthony Higgins as Craig Feldspar
- Daniel Von Bargen as Commandant Spangler
- Eric Nenninger as Eric Hanson
- Kotoko Kawamura as Mrs. Mekeetjuk
- Tim Halderman as Doctor
- Ransford Doherty as Orderly
- Paul Strolli as a waiter
- Hal: I don't understand it, an entire roast, with your bare hands. The salad, the potatoes, the green beans. What do you have to say for yourself?
- Dewey: I was hungry, I guess.
- Reese: This is great. Let's tell them about the dog and really nail his coffin shut.
- Malcolm: Not yet. I have a hunch.
- Hal: An entire stick of Butter?!
- Reese: Now, lets tell them now.
- Malcolm: Wait for it.
- Hal: Wait a sec. How could you eat a candle?
- Dewey:[Takes candle stick from Hal's hand and eats it.] I like candles. I think they're good.
- [Lois is disgusted with Dewey.]
- Hal: That's it, you are going to the hospital and getting your stomach pumped.
- [Spangler has passed out drunk in front of Francis and Eric.]
- Francis: I don't believe it, he's drunk again!
- Eric: You're just gonna have to face it, Francis, there's no hope for this guy. The only thing that made him remotely happy was tormenting and bullying helpless students. Without that purpose he's nothing
- [After remembering what Eric said, Francis finds Spangler another job. This time it's at the Snow Haven Retirement Home. He's seen in civilian clothing.]
- Spangler: You call that a collage. It is an insult to the craft, I can see paste coming up over the top of the popsicle stick.
- Mrs. Meekitjuk: I'm sorry, I have arthritis.
- Spangler: That's it, you have just lost pudding for the whole group. Feel free to thank Mrs. Meekitjuk after I leave.
- [the former Commandant Spangler leaves and the other elderly residents starts despising him the same way Francis and Eric did at Marlin Academy.]
- Hal: Oh Come on, that guy is the biggest faker in the world. Last time he was out with the flu, we saw him jumping up and down on the windows of the fast.
- Craig:[Sick] That doesn't mean I wasn't sick. You didn't happen to tape that, did ya. I set my timer wrong.
- [At the hospital, a sick Hal and Lois are on gurneys next to each other as an orderly is standing in between them, reading Hal's wedding vows.]
- Orderly: You are my day, my night, the sun in my sky. You're the Duran to my Duran.
- Lois: [touched, while sick] Oh Hal.
- Orderly: Her name is Lois and she dances on the sand.
- Commandant Spangler makes a return appearance in this episode. This would be his final appearance in the season and final appearance overall.
- Dewey finds the dog here.
- While arguing about doctors, Francis mentions Dr. Bombay (from Bewitched) and Hawkeye (from M*A*S*H).
- The song Hal plays when he appears at Lois' workplace is "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)", sung by Rod Stewart.
- This episode makes a reference to the episode Flashback, where Lois quickly got married to Hal after going into labor with Francis in order to keep him from being born out of wedlock.
- If this episode takes place on Hal and Lois' anniversary, that means it also takes place on Francis' birthday. However, Francis' birthday is never mentioned in this episode.
- It's possible that Lois and Hal chose to elope after Francis was born making their wedding on a separate date from Francis' birthday.
- Hal and Lois' anniversary didn't take place this episode they needed to reconnect urgently after losing the spark between them.
- Lois is the only female living in the Wilkerson's household and thus there should only be dresses her size. However, Malcolm, Reese, and Craig were still supplied with dresses their size. It's possible that the dresses Malcolm and Reese are wearing had been stolen off Lois' closet by Dewey, while Craig has to wear a bathrobe.
- Reese preparing the dinner for Lois' and Hal's special night is a reference back to Reese's cooking skills in Reese cooks.
- The "flu" Lois, Craig and Hal catch is adenovirus. The only cold like virus that has the same symptoms as norovirus (gastroenteritis).
- In the scene where Malcolm is reading his essay to Dewey, there is a lamp to the left of the refrigerator behind Reese. In the next shot, the lamp has moved to the left of Reese and is right next to the sink, dish tray and the curtains. It is possible the lamp was moved but this doesn't fit the narrative of the episode or make any sense as this is an electrical hazard. In subsequent shots, the lamp is moved back to its original position.