Grandma Sues is the ninth episode of season 4 of Malcolm in the Middle.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Ida visits the Wilkersons and slips on a leaf, thanks to Reese's neglect in raking the leaves when he was told to by Lois. This ends up breaking her back and needing constant care. Ida then decides to sue Hal and Lois for being indirectly responsible for that happening.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the cold opening, Malcolm shows Reese something funny in the newspaper but Reese states he doesn't read and will avoid it at any cost unless he has to for school or else he believes that the system has beaten him. Reese informs Malcolm he has never read the paper or even the comics, and after realizing he has never read "Peanuts" Malcolm goes outside and plans to trick Reese with the classic football gag. He tells Reese to run at him and he promises to hold the football.

is outside sleeping in a tent explaining Ida came to visit at the same time Francis and Piama came to visit. Due to him being at the library when they needed a volunteer to sleep outside, he had no choice. Lois calls Malcolm in for breakfast but the zipper on his tent is jammed. Inside, Francis and Ida are arguing about the proper way to butter toast. Lois asks Ida to pass the potatoes, Ida only states she has had enough, and asked if her chair had to break before she stop eating. Francis whispers to Piama that his family is worse than hers, Piama then states that her grandfather chopped the pinky off their milkman for bringing them 2%. Hal tells Ida he's ready to drive her to the bus station, as it is her last day of her visit. Ida claims the bus won't be arriving for another 3 hours, Hal states that there might be a parade. Malcolm comes in to find little to no food left, Lois only says he should have come when she had called him. When Ida is headed out the door, Lois wonders why Reese didn't rake the leaves in the yard. Reese claims he's waiting for the rest to fall first. Suddenly, Ida slips on one UN-raked leaf falling to the ground, breaking her collarbone much to everyone else's horror.

Later, Malcolm is back in his tent struggling to keep his books on his lap and having to hold up a trashcan lid to avoid being sprayed by a sprinkler. Francis comes in telling Malcolm to help Ida unpack, as she is now unfit to travel, with Francis claiming she did it on purpose just to make the entire family suffer. Malcolm only responds that he finds it unfair he continues to be punished for something that's not his fault. Meanwhile, in Hal and Lois' bedroom Reese is at the computer when Dewey walks in wondering what he is up to, punching himself in the face to ensure Reese can trust him. Reese then asks him to show him how to turn on the computer.

At dinner, Ida is having to be fed by Lois, due to a metal cage being used to help her heal, continuing to complain about the family's shortcomings. Francis asks Piama if she'll admit his family's worse, but Piama reiterates that her mother faked stomach cancer in order to avoid getting custody. After Ida goes to answer the doorbell claiming it's for her Malcolm comes in finding that they are eating without even telling him, having scratches on his face due to an owl flying into his tent (claiming if he had known he was missing dinner he would've taken the snake out of the owls beak).

In the parents bedroom after learning Ida plans to sue them Hal is furious, Lois tells Ida to think about her actions and how she is suing her own child. Ida refuses to discuss further and suggests they get a lawyer, before leaving the bedroom. Hal tells Lois, Francis and Piama he has had enough and he will toss Ida out on her cage, Lois argues they can't, Francis suggests killing her but his idea is shot down as well. During the argument Lois begins to feel sick and goes to the doctor with Hal. They find out that Lois is pregnant again, and much to their horror the doctor guarantees it.

They tell Ida the news and wonder if she'll reconsider, but she tells them to settle since they can't keep her legs closed. Meanwhile, Reese and Dewey dwell deeper into the plan. Later at night, Malcolm says sleeping is the only thing that makes his life worthwhile so he can pretend he's somewhere decent. Francis and Piama come into Malcolm's tent telling him they need to borrow it for two hours for some "alone time", Francis punches him so he'll comply. Inside the parents discuss how they can't afford the baby and they won't even be able to feed it. Hal decides to go get Lois some of her favorite ice cream to cheer her up saying they'll make it through, he gets in the car and breaks down in tears, crying out "why" over and over again. In the backseat, Malcolm is forced to listen to Hal's emotional breakdown without any idea of what is going on.

Their problems become worse when Ida hires an unscrupulous lawyer. Lois finds out that the family's insurance payments would triple in cost if Ida wins the lawsuit. Lois has some hope that her mother would have a shred of decency left, but she than moves for a deposition. Malcolm wants to come in but is told by Lois he can't come inside, with Malcolm getting more annoyed for being the only one singled out for abuse while the others are all inside. Lois informs him that Francis and Piama took Reese and Dewey miniature golfing before shutting him out. Malcolm can't stand being left out anymore and breaks through the kitchen window and demands to be informed of what is going on. Lois tries to tell him it's not his concern, but Hal rudely interrupts her and tells her to stop. He confesses to Malcolm that Ida is being evil about suing them for tripping on the leaf that wasn't their fault, but rather Reese's because he didn't rake the leaves. That enrages Ida who tells the stenographer to hold this against him. Malcolm takes the news calmly since he knows that his grandmother is evil and there was no need to hide it from him. Hal then blurts out that Lois is also pregnant which causes Malcolm to blow up and rails on her for being so stupid.

When Francis, Piama, Reese and Dewey comes home from miniature golf, Reese goes outside because he hears a truck in the driveway. Malcolm reveals to everyone else about Lois' pregnancy which angers Francis and greatly upsets Dewey. What's worse is that she never told him about the financial issues she's facing with Ida. Hal then takes Lois aside and tells her they lost their insurance due to too many missed payments; if Ida sues they'll have to pay costs and damages out of their own pocket which will certainly bankrupt them. Reese then comes in revealing his surprise to be a swimming pool before being informed of his Mom's pregnancy. Having enough of the boys' anger, she shouts at them and tells them to go to their room and tells Reese to get the construction trucks out of their driveway.

In the boys bedroom, the boys bemoan the fact that there is going to be another child which means there will be even less stuff for them to have. Piama points out how the baby is going feel being in a world where nobody wants it. Malcolm feels he has the right to be angry since all of his stuff is going to be going to his new little brother. Dewey questions the word brother and everyone stops for a moment in time and begin to acknowledge the baby as not just a problem, but a human being as they may very well have a baby sister.

Lois and Hal inform Ida that they have no insurance and they're hoping she can just drop the lawsuit, but Ida still won't let it go. The boys come out and tell their parents that they're willing to make some sacrifices for the baby. Reese and Malcolm sleeping in the same room, Dewey sleeping with the baby, and Francis promising to send home some money each month. Lois has her spirit lifted and thanks the boys. She then warns Ida again that if she goes through the lawsuit the family will be financially ruined. She still refuses to let go of her lawsuit, but her lawyer gets ready to leave. Ida demands he stays on her case, pointing out that she had promised him 30% of her retirement funds. The lawyer refuses explaining to her that since Hal and Lois don't have insurance, he wouldn't get any money from winning the case. He also mentions to Ida that he doesn't want to win their house because it's much smaller and inferior compared to his own house and although he has no qualms against throwing innocent people into the streets he refuses to do it for free. After the lawyer leaves, Ida suddenly decides she's well enough to travel and heads home.

In the end, Malcolm explains everything worked out for the best. He got his room back, Francis and Piama are back in New Mexico and the best part is that Ida is back in her own apartment in Canada. However, Hal told the boys that women can become more volatile during pregnancy. He then runs in telling the boys someone left the cap off the toothpaste which causes all four of them run away in fear.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Stars[edit | edit source]

Recurring[edit | edit source]

  • Cloris Leachman as Ida
  • Emy Coligado as Piama

Cameos[edit | edit source]

  • David Rasche as Lawyer
  • Mark Chaet as Doctor
  • David Weisenberg as a man

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Hal: Well your evil grandmother is suing us!
[Lois is angry at Hal for revealing the family's legal issues to Malcolm] Do you hear that? He called me Evil. I want that on record.
Malcolm:[calmly] Okay, she's suing us. You don't have to keep that from me. It's horrible, but everything she does is horrible. No reason to.....
Hal: And your mother is pregnant.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Lois and Hal find out Lois is pregnant with Jamie in this episode.
  • In previous episodes, Malcolm technically wasn't the middle child, given that he's the second youngest of four kids (although he was the middle child of the three living at home). However due to the upcoming arrival of a fifth child, he now has two siblings older and two siblings younger, officially placing him 'in the middle'.
  • This episode first aired on Valentine's Day.
  • Malcolm hears that Reese has never read Peanuts before and take advantage of it by pulling off the infamous running gag from the show, where Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie before he kicks it.
  • Originally, the boys were supposed to gang up on Lois and yell at her for getting mad at them when she agreed that she didn't want the baby. Francis reminds her that the family is already in debt. Even Malcolm agrees, pointing out to Lois that they're a household full of boys who has caused her and Hal a lot of financial hardships over the years with their recklessness and fighting. He mentions that having another child will make it worse for all of them. The remaining resources will go to that child alone and they will be left with nothing. Malcolm asks Lois to think about the consequences of the family's financial situation, Ida's lawsuit and the child before she yells at him and his brothers for not being supportive of her. Hal orders the boys to go to their rooms at once. They refused, pointing out that Hal and Lois will pay for this. As the boys head into the parents' bedroom, Piama sees Lois' pleading eyes and decides to talk some sense into them.
  • Originally, the boys plot revenge on Hal and Lois for making their lives miserable. Piama catches this and calls them out for it. She points out that the boys are acting immature about it and they need to think about their consequences. Malcolm points out that they're allowed to be mad at Hal and Lois because they screwed up big time and the resentment his brothers share for it. Piama reminds them that Hal and Lois never told them about their financial issues because they were trying to protect the boys from Ida. She mentions that Lois told her all about it and that surprises Francis because none of the boys knew this. Piama warns that if Ida wins her case, not only that the family will lose the house to her, but also Hal and Lois will likely end up in jail and the boys' potential brother or sister will likely end up with their grandmother. This horrifies the boys as they think about the consequences of having Ida raise their brother or sister in the house with her.
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