Family Reunion is the third episode of Season 4 of Malcolm in the Middle. It was written by Alex Reid and directed by Ken Kwapis. It aired on November 17, 2002.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Malcolm and his family goes to Hals father's house for a reunion. The family doesn't like Lois. Reese and Dewey try to get in their grandfathers will. Malcolm's grandfather takes a special interest in him, while the young cousins love Francis.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Francis and Piama are visiting, much to the boys delight as Lois is concentrating on insulting Piama so they're escaping her attention. Things are actually going peacefully, until Hal gets a phone call from his sister, Claire. They're having a family reunion to celebrate their father, Walter's birthday. Lois reverts back and forth from being hesitant and willing to go and Hal is forced to copy everything she says to his sister. Eventually, Lois settles on going and so, all of the immediate Wilkersons go to the extended Wilkerson family reunion. They get in the car and on their way there, Reese explains to Dewey how Hal's father is very wealthy and so they form a pact where they'll be nice to grandpa in order to get money from him. Lois shows a lot of slight toward Piama. Hal tries to avoid a huge fight from breaking out, by distracting them from their conversation, by having Francis tell a story about chemically castrating cows on the Cattle Ranch. It takes him an hour and a half to tell the story, which is enough to get them to their father's house.

The family goes to Hal's family reunion for his father's birthday, and Hal's family makes Lois miserable because she is from a lower-class family. They pick on her because of her clothes, dislike her topics, subjects, and intentionally forget about her during the family photo. The family shows a lot of hatred for Reese whom they believe is a mini Lois since they dislike how overbearing and a control freak she is. The Wilkerson relatives pays special attention to Malcolm and treats him very well. They believe that he's the only member of his family who is the normal of group. The family also treats Francis, Dewey and Piama very well.

When Hal and the others find her crying in the closet for what Claire and the others did to insult her for her hot temper, control freak nature and her low class, Hal and the boys are furious. While Hal goes off to confront his father, the boys decide they cannot allow the family to get away with this. They storm away ready for revenge, followed by Piama who asks what they plan to do. Francis tells her they don't know yet... they never know at first.

Donning several layers of coats, Hal clashes with his father, Walter, and forces a confession from him by tickling him hard. Walter is forced to confess that his mother, Sharon and his older sisters, Claire and Amelia, continuously mistreated Lois because they all wished he married her sister Susan instead. It's their belief that because Susan was higher class, charismatic and talented, she was the right girl for Hal. When his mother and sisters found out that Hal married Lois instead, they hated her for it. This sentiment is shared by her own parents, Victor and Ida, who believed that he made the wrong choice. Hal calls this unacceptable, pointing out that Walter always chose the denial route to avoid dealing with any real-life issues. Continuing to tickle his father, he points out that he felt like he had to raise himself because Walter wouldn't help him with the various problems he had been facing all his life. How Hal lost his dog, his best friend, getting dumped by a previous girlfriend. Hal even reveals his annoyance over how Walter continued to allow Claire and Amelia to torment Lois just because the family wished for him to marry Susan. Once he stops tickling Walter, Hal is finally relieved to get that out in the open. He mentions that he loves his wife so much and that's not going to change. Hal also tells Walter that he does love him, but he needs to step up and be a father to put the family in their place. Hal decides to get a towel for him and Walter tells him to get the big one.

The boys decide to pull a revenge prank on their relatives by driving a golf cart over the celebration with the help of their younger cousins, destroying the party and finally landing in the pool, forcing the family to flee from the angry mob. Even though Hal and Lois pretend to be angry at the boys, they're secretly proud of them for standing up for their mother. Lois also starts being kinder to Piama, not wanting to turn out like Hal's relatives.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Recurring[edit | edit source]

Cameos[edit | edit source]

  • John Valdetero as Pete Wilkerson (Amelia's husband)
  • Brenda Strong as Amelia Wilkerson
  • Timmy Fitzpatrick as Timmy Wilkerson
  • Benjamin Bryan as Sammy Wilkerson
  • Kyle Clark as Helen Wilkerson
  • Matt Knudsen as Jesus Christ/Therapist
  • Andrew J. Turner as Photographer

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • First episode to give depth to Hal's family. "Home Alone 4" was an early, simplistic look and it is obvious that the friction runs among both Lois and Hal's wealthy family.
  • Although Susan wasn't mentioned, it was revealed that despite coming from a similarly poor background like Lois, Hal's family likes her a lot and wanted him to marry her.
  • This episode also reveals the friction between Hal and Walter for years.
    • This eventually lead to Hal ticking his father back in revenge for not helping him through his problems by choosing the denial route.
  • Hal tells his father was never there for him when he got dumped by his girlfriend. However, in "Francis Escapes", Hal tells Francis that he's never been dumped before.
    • This could be that he was lying to Francis because he didn't want his eldest son to see him as weak.
  • Hal's father, Walter, shows Malcolm all of his Civil War memorabilia and tries to get him involved in the hobby. This is similar to when Lois' father tried to give Reese war memorabilia, one of which was a live grenade. (The Grandparents)
  • Malcolm mentions that their grandmother who always goes shopping in her bra visits them five times a year. Given that Hal's mother has never been seen visiting them, and that they were visiting Hal's family at the time, it's unlikely that he was talking about her, meaning that this could only have been Ida.
  • Although Lois pretended to be mad at the boys for their prank, she actually is proud of them for standing up for her.
  • This episode showed Lois the negative consequences in her mistreatment towards Piama.
  • This episode showed the opposite of Victor and Ida from The Grandparents. While they paid attention and favored Reese, Hal's wealthy family ignores him. Instead they pay special attention to Malcolm whom they see as normal and is the only one who will amount to great things.

Errors[edit | edit source]

  • As the family drives to the reunion, there is a shot showing Malcolm's stand in where Reese was sitting in the car
  • When the four boys leave the bedroom, Francis is first and Dewey is last. However, in the next shot of them leaving, Dewey is first and Francis is last.
  • Although Lois, the boys, and Piama visit Walter Wilkerson in this episode, in the episode Hal Grieves, Lois and the boys claim that they have never met him before.
    • This could've been reconnected for Hal Grieves due to how terrible his family treated Lois or the boys and Lois simply forgot about meeting him or are in denial of meeting him.
    • Walter called Hal buddy in Hal Grieves.
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