Hal Sleepwalks is the seventh episode of Season 6 and the 114th episode overall of Malcolm in the Middle. It aired on January 16, 2005.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

It's Hal and Lois' 20th anniversary and Hal has no idea what to get her. He becomes so paralyzed with stress, that he begins sleepwalking and Reese takes advantage of it. A bully nominates two Buseys for student body president. Meanwhile, Malcolm takes up the guitar.

Plot[edit | edit source]

At the schoolyard, Dewey is approached by Hanson and Zoe who excitedly tell him that they befriended a normal boy named Kyle Rogers who signed them both up for the upcoming Student body president election, with both of them agreeing they won't let competition come between them. As the other Buseys congratulate them, Dewey sees through Kyle's facade and decides to even the score.

In the kitchen, Malcolm approaches his mother and tells her he found the perfect way to protect his opportunity, he bought a guitar and figures if Dewey has musical talent with the piano he must as well. Lois asks him if he really bought it, Malcolm reveals he only rented it for a few days. Lois claims it'll be enough time for him to realize he can't do it, she apologizes and tells Malcolm his brain doesn't work the same way Dewey's does. She states Dewey is a floater who will simply float and drift through life and things will work in his favour, but herself and Malcolm are burrowers who are at their best when their heads are down and are grinding through a mountain of drudgery. Malcolm doesn't believe she knows what he'd be good at before he does it and asks how he'd be at a few activities. She tells him he'd be bad at scuba diving, good at mountain climbing and a disaster at flamenco dancing. Malcolm states it's a good thing she wasn't John Lennon's mother, Lois claims if she were John Lennon's mother, he'd still be alive.

In the middle of the night Hal grabs Reese and drags him into the kitchen, Reese assuming he is in trouble attempts to argue against any accusations but Hal says he needs to find the perfect gift for his upcoming anniversary and is so stressed out he cannot think straight. Reese is unsure if his father is stable or not so he tests it out by telling him his shoe is untied and he ties it except he isn't wearing shoes, Reese realizes that he is sleepwalking and decides to take advantage of it by getting Hal to get him $20 from a secret hiding place (one of the bronze fish ornaments hanging in the kitchen) before asking him to get him a sandwich with chips and a soda and purr like a cat while he eats, when Hal goes to do it with no hesitation Reese sees the amount of power he now holds.

Malcolm is practicing his guitar in the garage when Reese wanders in, he tells Malcolm he'd be willing to forget what he saw if he tells him all that he knows about sleepwalking. Malcolm states that people who sleepwalk usually suffer from an overwhelming amount of stress, Reese leaves satisfied.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Francis does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode reveals that Hanson's first name is "David".
  • Second episode to use censored bleeps (Dirty Magazine).
  • Lois and Hal finally admit that Dewey is musically talented.
  • In Red Dress, Dewey says that he can understand what dogs are saying. In this episode, Zoe says “dogs don’t lie to me”, implying that she can also understand dogs.

Errors[edit | edit source]

  • Malcolm walks in an the family is watching TV. The camera cuts to Malcolm reaching for the remote. In this shot, the TV is turned off, yet there is still sound from the TV playing and Malcolm still turns the TV off.
  • There are a lot of events that happen in this episode, which cause plot holes in the series that contradict with events from previous and future episodes.
    • Francis was born on the day Hal and Lois got married (Flashback). Since this was their 20th anniversary, That means that this episode must have taken place on his birthday and Francis is 20 years old, turning 21 in this episode. Additionally, Francis' birthday is never mentioned in this episode. This is the second episode to take place on their anniversary and make no mention of Francis' birthday. (Dewey's Dog)
    • However it is entirely plausible Hal and Lois postponed their engagement until after Francis' birth since he doesn't turn 21 until No Motorcycles.
    • In the episode Hal Quits, Malcolm takes a test which tells him that he could be good at anything he does. However, this episode proves he's bad at music.
    • In this episode, it's established that Lois is always right when telling her boys that they won't be good at something. She briefly tells Malcolm that "Flamenco dancing would have been a disaster" if he tried it. Later in the series, however, Malcolm takes up dancing and proves to be extremely talented at all forms of it, including flamenco dancing. (Bomb Shelter)
    • In Dewey’s Special Class, they say that the Buseys don’t have recess with the rest of the school because they make them too sad, but in this episode, they are having recess with the rest of the school. It is entirely possible that the decision was overturned after Mr. Sheridan quit.
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