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Halloween Approximately is the second episode of Season 2 of Malcolm in the Middle and the eighteenth episode overall of the show.

Summary[]

In the opening scene, Malcolm and Reese go to the refrigerator and find a bottle of juice that expired nine days ago. They both drink from it and are disgusted after finding out it turned carbonated. They then find a container of sour cream that expired two months ago they both eat some and gag in disgust again. When Reese finds a carton of eggnog and Malcolm wonder when the last Christmas they had eggnog was. Reese can only assume it was before Dewey was born, Malcolm decides to back out and tells Reese he's on his own. As Reese drinks the spoiled eggnog in disgust, Malcolm states that this is a game that has no winners.

A week after Halloween, Malcolm and his friends sit at the picnic table in the backyard while Reese sits on the swings eating the last of Lloyd's Halloween candy, which he is actually glad about since he would've gotten cavities from eating it and states they are the real winners for letting Reese eat their candy. Stevie asks Malcolm if he is coming over on Saturday to watch the Leonid meteor shower since it's the only time it'll happen before their bedtimes. Malcolm wishes he could but tells them that Francis is coming home and he and his brothers plan to spend time together since he missed Halloween last week. Lloyd asks if he's certain and suggests after the meteor shower they could watch Mrs. Feldman shower, but Dabney is disgusted and states that peeping isn't astrological.

In the kitchen Lois tells Dewey that Halloween was a week ago and he needs to take off his costume, causing him to moan in disappointment. After taking it off of him and seeing that he's naked she tells him to go put some clothes on making him moan once again. Hal comes into the kitchen but once he hears a loud engine he knows it's a joyrider in a blue 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle who won't stop speeding down their street. Lois tells Hal to simply call the police but he reminds her he has and they won't do anything about it. He tells her that one day he is going to catch up to the driver drag him out of the car and beat him senseless until he understands there is a certain thing called the law. Lois tells Hal he shouldn’t let the driver get to him, but Hal wonders when it will stop and it may be after Dewey has been smashed into a lifeless pulp, before once again telling him to put clothes on much to his frustration.

In the boys bedroom, Malcolm claims that Halloween was horrible without Francis. Reese says he can keep the eggs and shaving cream they planned to use but sees no use for the unused toilet paper. Malcolm is disappointed since it was supposed to be their first year as mindless vandals but Francis got in trouble at school so they had to go trick-or-treating like a bunch of little kids. A flashback shows Malcolm dressed as a beat up hillbilly, Reese was too lazy to wear a costume and Dewey went dressed as a marshmallow and is terrified by a neighbor telling him he wanted to stick a fork in his belly and roast him over an open flame. Malcolm claims that trick-or-treating and coming home with candy is embarrassing at their age before seizing a licorice whip from Dewey.

The next morning the blue car speeds by again and Hal runs after him and attempts to get him to pull over before running out of breath and rolling out of the way of a cyclist. Hal organizes a neighborhood meeting and informs them of the driver is a menace and he can’t stop him alone and that’s it’s a community problem. But if they all work together they can catch him. But all the Neighbours immediately turn against him and tell him to clean up his yard or if he doesn’t like the joyrider he should just move away. Hal says that the meeting isn’t about him but the Neighbours tell Hal that their meetings are always about him and he is the sole reason they meet. A woman adds that Hal’s boys are menaces and they belong in jail. Asking how he would feel if he scrimped and saved his money all his life to afford to live in a nice neighborhood only to have a bunch of godless monsters move in and destroy all their dreams. Hal tries to get back on the subject by handing out sign up sheets for a stakeout but the first man he hands one to crumples up the sheet and throws it in his face. Hal now realizing that the entire neighborhood is against him and has no interest in helping him sarcastically thanks them for their time before leaving.

Francis arrives home and Lois greets him asking if he is too old to hug his mother but Francis informs her that he was waiting at the bus stop for three hours and asked why no one came to pick him up. Lois is in disbelief since she sent his father, but Hal was too busy plotting his ambush on the joyrider. Lois apologizes, explaining that his dad is battling his arch enemy. Francis questions that the squirrel came back, but Lois tells him it’s a human this time. After Lois leaves to talk to Hal, Francis is greeted by his brothers who are glad to see him. He asks if they tore it up on Halloween. At first they try to exaggerate the truth but eventually admit that they went trick-or-treating since it didn’t feel right to do any pranking without him, Dewey says he had fun but is quickly shot down. Francis apologizes for letting them down but after he found Commandant Spangler’s fake leg was left in a closet it was just begging for a novelty bumper sticker, he admits it was a snap decision but ultimately believes he did the right thing. His brothers forgive him and say that there’s always next year’s Halloween. Francis questions why they have to wait a year until Halloween and tells his brothers that Halloween isn't a date on the calendar. Reese says he's wrong because its on the 31st, but Francis states that Halloween is in the hearts of those who love it. Every time a little kid scream in fear or something repulsive ends up in a mailbox is Halloween and as long as they carry the spirit of destruction and vandalism in their hearts every day is Halloween. Reese still doesn't understand and shows him the date on the calendar, Francis declares that they are going to have Halloween that weekend.

Lois finds Hal still waiting in the car smoking a cigar and informs him he’s been there for seven hours and to come to bed. Hal argues back that he’s doing it for the boys and it's a matter of principle that he can’t allow their road to become a speedway and has to protect his family even if it means sitting in the van every night for a month, asking Lois to replace his pee jar before she goes to bed. Eventually Hal falls asleep with the burned out cigar on his face until he is awoken by the joyrider speeding by. He attempts to go after him but his key breaks in the ignition infuriating him as he cries out in frustration.

In the bathroom, Francis shows his brothers the device that will change Halloween forever and dumps out a funnel and surgical tubing. Dewey is disappointed that it’s not a flying chocolate maker. Malcolm discovers that the materials can be used to fasten an incredibly powerful slingshot capable of hurling objects over two city blocks. He tells them to imagine a victim walking down the street minding their own business until all of a sudden they’re hit by a ten pound balloon filled with shaving cream paint and any number of foul smelling liquids, and they’ll never ever know who did it. Malcolm asks Reese if he’s crying and he says he’s crying what a glorious prank it is.

At 4 AM, Lois is awakened by Hal who is outside mixing cement in a wheelbarrow. He explains he is making a homemade speed bump in hopes of ripping the suspension out from under the car and feels sorry for whoever has to realign his connecting rods. He lays the speed bump on the street, and the joyrider is sent flying only to drive off.

In the boy’s bedroom, they go over their ammunition of eggs, shaving cream and water balloons but isn’t feeling it because they seem so standard and they have a whole new breed of weapon and they should live up to that and they need to think outside the box. They do so by filling up plastic bags with spray cheese, balloons filled with mud, a pantyhose filled with gunk from their gutters and Francis runs out of a truck with two bags full of dirty diapers.

The police arrive and the officer reminds Hal that he told them he was held at gunpoint. Hal admits that was a lie but is exasperating that he has been calling the police for weeks and is dismayed how no one is listening to him. The officer asks him if the illegal speed bump is his and Hal is forced to demolish it with a pick axe. Lois assures him it was a good bump and asks if he’d like a sandwich. Just then the joyrider in the blue car pulls up and stops. Lois calmly tells Hal to stay back and let her handle it and if he gives her two minutes to talk to the driver she can straighten out their feud. However, the driver only stopped to throw litter out his window before driving away. Lois now equally as furious tells Hal to get the car.

On Saturday night, the boys set up their slingshot on the roof and Francis goes over the checklist. Malcolm is the aimer, Reese is the loader, Francis is the launcher and Dewey’s job is to scream if he sees their parents. Francis then questions where they went.

Hal and Lois track down the driver to his house and Lois states they can leave now since they have his address and his license plate number so they can report him to the police. Hal leaves the car and plans to let the air out of his tires, Lois objects but agrees as long as they leave afterwards. But while inspecting the tires Hal finds a hidden key and gets an idea. Lois is shocked and tells Hal that he can't steal his car. Hal tells her that he's not stealing it, he is going to temporarily take the car elsewhere to teach him a lesson and fully intends to return it. Lois continually objects until Hal gets in the car and turns on the engine, prompting her to get in as well. She tells him how he can’t just steal a person’s car since there are laws. Before she can rant further Hal hits the gas and they are both in shock at the acceleration of the car, Hal realizes that the driver must’ve bored out the cylinders on it, Lois demands that he pulls over before he reminds her about the Maverick he used to own but Lois has no interest in talking about his old muscle car before he revs up the engine again. Hal asks if she’s scared, she affirms his statement since he’s turned into a crazy person, she then asks him to rev up the accelerator again as they continue their joyride.

Back on the roof, Francis wants to try a test shot and asks Reese to start with a small water balloon and asks Malcolm to find them a target. Malcolm sees his friends on Stevie’s deck watching the Leonid meteor shower with their telescopes and decides to set them as a target.

At Stevie’s house, Lloyd calls Eraserhead an idiot for thinking the optics on a Newtonian reflector don’t even approach a Schmidt-Cassegrain and that they’ve entered the next century and he should join it. Dabney tells Eraserhead he just got burned calling him by his real name Kyle. Stevie tells them to stop fighting and Lloyd agrees why squabble when they have the Leonids. Just then they hear a sound and Dabney is hit by the water balloon launched from the slingshot causing him to fall over and knock over their telescopes. As Lloyd yells out in misery as his telescope is now broken.

Upon seeing his friends suffer, Malcolm has no sympathy and is merely overjoyed that their slingshot works, Malcolm and his brothers cheer as they continue their tirade. They launch a bag of spray cheese into the face of a man grilling burgers and hot dogs and a balloon full of chocolate frosting is fired at a nicely dressed man exiting his car only to be knocked to the ground by the balloon and covered in frosting. Back on the roof the boys decide to launch a diaper but after seeing the mess it made upon launching it, they decide against firing more of them.

The boys continue their tirade and launch a frozen chicken and break a water fountain, launch the pantyhose to bowl over a garden gnome and fire a balloon filled with shaving cream and firecrackers at a couple making out on a blanket covering them in shaving cream and feathers. They then launch three dozen eggs at a jogger as he tries desperately to dodge them. Back on the roof, they laugh at the jogger as Reese states how much he loves Francis for his plan. Malcolm is in disbelief at the power the slingshot has and wonders what would happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands. Dewey then spots an old lady with the binoculars and his brothers reload the slingshot to target her as they launch another projectile.

Meanwhile, as Hal and Lois continue their joyride one of the eggs launched by the boys slingshot hits the cars back window which Hal and Lois fail to notice. Lois asks Hal what they’re going to do since the time to drop off the car and go home was 20 miles ago. Hal says that they just keep going and suggests running away to a hidden beach in Mexico and abandoning the boys and their jobs. Lois says it’s not as simple as that, Hal wonders why not knowing they’d have to change their names and he’d be Raul and she’d be Consuela. Hearing this intrigues her and she questions if they’d send the federales after them. they would and they’d not only be outlaws but legends, living every parent’s dream. Lois compares them to Bonnie and Clyde. Hal says they’d live spearing fish, climbing for coconuts and living naked as monkeys. Lois is turned on and they begin making out.

Back on the roof, the boys launch another projectile resulting in a woman screaming and a car alarm going off. As they celebrate Reese calls out that they are the kings of this block how they own them all and violence just got a little more random. But before they can continue they are each hit by projectiles launched by someone else. Francis orders them to reload the slingshot but before they can another projectile launched breaks their slingshot rendering them defenseless. Francis is amazed at their accuracy and wonder who they could be, upon tasting what was fired at him Malcolm realizes it’s tofu.

Their assailants turn out to be the Krelboynes, who have built their own slingshot and are using a giant dial to angle their shots. Back on the roof, Malcolm tells Francis that the Krelboynes built their own slingshot. Reese claims it to be impossible, wondering where they would get the materials. Malcolm reminds him that it’s a funnel and surgical tubing and Stevie‘s garage is full of that stuff. Reese tries to motivate them and that since they’re Krelboynes they’re nothing and starts chanting that they can fight. Unfortunately his chants are all in vain since it’s not long before they are covered in fluids from more launched balloons. Francis and Malcolm tells Reese they need to surrender. Reese calls them out for being quitters and to shoot him over there and he’ll kick their asses himself. Until the Krelboynes launch an octopus into Reese’s face. Francis waves a white cloth to surrender.

Dabney sees that they are surrendering but Lloyd refuses since he remembers several past instances of being bullied where he was never even given the option to surrender and tells them to keep firing. Back on the roof, Francis dictates that since the Krelboynes won't let them surrender honorably they should run away like cowards but before they can climb down the Krelboynes knock over the ladder stranding them on the roof, much to their dismay. Malcolm states that although they've lost the battle, it is comforting to know what the next two hours of his life will be like, he sees what he assumes is a shooting star, unaware of the next projectile fired at them will be.

Hal and Lois lay in the car after making love and Hal tells Lois that he's been thinking a lot more clearly and that Mexico is no longer an option. Lois asks what they should do next. Hal assumes that by now the car has already been reported stolen and they have left enough of their DNA evidence in the car to convict them. Shortly afterwards they push the car into a pond where it sinks. Hal states that it's only a 30 mile walk to get back home and if they start now they should arrive in time for breakfast the next morning. As they start walking home Hal states he's glad they didn't run away which Lois agrees to and he had already forgot his new name as Lois reminds him it was Raul.

Trivia[]

  • Despite not being seen in the episode, this is the only time Hal and Lois were jointly arrested. Other than that, it's Lois who had been arrested by the police more times than Hal with her record being 5 times.
  • The police officer is played by Leslie David Baker who would later go on to portray Stanley Hudson in The Office. He would also play a customer in the episode Stereo Store.
  • Lloyd's refusal to surrender and get back at Reese may have something to do with how the latter treated him earlier in this episode and in season 1's Krelboyne Picnic after being beaten up.
  • The episode originally aired on November 8 considering that the events of the episode happened a week after Halloween then the events took place close to the same date as it premiered.
  • Eraserhead’s real name is revealed to be Kyle by Dabney.
  • Malcolm, Reese, Dewey, and Francis could have jumped off the roof into their yard, since they live in a one story house.

Errors[]

  • The bedroom calendar initially shows October. When Reese is showing Francis the date of Halloween, the top page changes to September.
  • When Hal is mixing cement in the wheelbarrow, he clips Lois's shoulder with the handle. To her credit, Jane Kaczmarek reacts but stays in character.
  • When the camera does a close up of the speed bumps the blue car flies over it, just before it sits away, you can see it's a prop stuck to the road, as the whole bump moves.
Malcolm in the Middle episodes
Season 1 PilotRed DressHome Alone 4ShameMalcolm BabysitsSleepoverFrancis EscapesKrelboyne PicnicLois VS EvilStock Car RacesFuneralCheerleaderRollerskatesThe Bots and the BeesSmundayWater Park
Season 2 Traffic JamHalloween ApproximatelyLois' BirthdayDinner OutCasinoConventionRobberyTherapyHigh School PlayBullyOld Mrs. OldKrelboyne GirlNew NeighborsHal QuitsThe GrandparentsTraffic TicketSurgeryReese CooksTutoring ReeseBowlingMalcolm vs. ReeseMini-BikeCarnivalEvacuationFlashback
Season 3 HouseboatEmancipationBook ClubMalcolm's GirlfriendCharityHealth ScareChristmasPokerReese's JobLois' MakeoverCompany Picnic (1)Company Picnic (2)Reese DrivesCynthia's BackHal's BirthdayHal CoachesDewey's DogPoker 2Clip ShowJury DutyCliquesMonkey
Season 4 ZooHumilithonFamily ReunionStupid GirlForwards BackwardsForbidden GirlfriendMalcolm Holds His TongueBoys At RanchGrandma SuesIf Boys Were GirlsLong DriveKicked OutStereo StoreHal's FriendGarage SaleAcademic OctathalonClip Show #2Reese's PartyFuture MalcolmBaby Part 1Baby Part 2Day Care
Season 5 VegasWatching The BabyGoodbye KittyThanksgivingMalcolm Films ReeseMalcolm's JobChristmas TreesBlock PartyDirty MagazineHot TubIda's BoyfriendSoftballLois' SisterMalcolm Dates a FamilyReese's ApartmentMalcolm Visits CollegePolly in the MiddleDewey's Special ClassExperimentVictor's Other FamilyReese Joins the Army: Part 1Reese Joins the Army: Part 2
Season 6 Reese Comes HomeBuseys Run AwayStandeePearl HarborKitty's BackHal's Christmas GiftHal SleepwalksLois Battles JamieMalcolm's CarBillboardDewey's OperaLiving WillTiki LoungeIda Loses a LegChad's SleepoverNo MotorcyclesButterfliesIda's DanceMotivational SpeakerStiltsBuseys Take A HostageMrs. Tri-County
Season 7 Burning ManHealth InsuranceReese vs. StevieHalloweenJessica Stays OverSecret BoyfriendBlackoutArmy BuddyMalcolm Defends ReeseMalcolm's MoneyBride of IdaCollege RecruitersMonoHal GrievesA.ALois Strikes BackHal's DentistBomb ShelterStevie in the HospitalCattle CourtMorpGraduation
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