Jury Duty is the twentieth episode of the third season of Malcolm in the Middle, which was broadcast on May 1, 2002.

Summary[edit | edit source]

With Lois on jury duty, Hal decides to solve the murder case he thinks she is working on. Meanwhile, Reese reveals a hidden talent after he, his brothers and Stevie get lost in the sewer and things get heated during an ice fishing trip.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the cold opening, Hal digs through the backyard and revealing all of the boys' misdeeds in breaking his vinyl record of Frampton Comes Alive!, his watch, etc. Malcolm, Reese and Dewey watches on nervously as he uncovers more evidences of their wrongdoings. But are thankful they repaved the drive way last year.

Lois is angered over having to serve jury duty. Hal claims that spring break is coming up and he can't be expected to take care of the boys for the next week. He asks Lois that she needs to talk to judge and talk him out of it. She refused, reminding him it was per the agreement between them to avoid jail time after her arrest for her involvement in attempting to vandalize Lillian Miller's car. Hal and Lois then argue over serving jury duty. Hal points out that she could refuse to attend by claiming otherwise. Lois refuses, pointing out that she promised she'd go and can't get out of it. Hal decides to take matters in his own hands to attempt to convince the judge to let her off it. This only ends with Lois serving jury duty anyway after his undisclosed shenanigans.

In Alaska, Eric, Artie and Pete are preparing to have a guys' weekend ice fishing in a shack together. Francis shows up and tells them to make room for four people. When Eric asks him how he got Piama's permission, Francis reveals that he doesn't need it. They had a fight over his plans to go ice fishing with his friends and she kicked him out for reneging his promise to do some tribal activities with her.

Dewey is annoyed when Malcolm and Reese come home later than normal. He reminds them that they were supposed to exploring to the sewers and reminds them of the promise that he done to cover for them whenever Lois got suspicious. Malcolm tells Dewey that they will after they tell him something important. Reese mentions that while they and Stevie were getting a few things that they need to explore the sewers with, they caught Kitty naked in the shower. She screamed in terror and tried to cover herself up with the shower curtains, but they could still see through them. Stevie screamed in terror having to see his mom naked. Reese screamed for a bit and then he mentions she is attractive. Dewey is not phased by this and tells them that a poor excuse for their lateness. He reminds Malcolm and Reese that Lois parades around naked all the time. To him, it's not surprising since she's unashamed by this nudity unlike Kitty. Reese tells Dewey if he doesn't stop mentioning about Lois being naked, he's going to beat Dewey up.

The next day, Hal mentions that the boys gone to the library with Stevie. Lois is suspicious because of the past misbehavior and mayhem they've caused. Hal tells her that he knows that look too well and that they would've come up with a better excuse if they were going to cause trouble. He asks Lois about the case she's working on. She tells Hal that she's not allowed to discuss it because of the oath she took. He believes it's the high-profiled Reyes' murder case Lois was assigned to after noticing a newspaper clipping concerning it. Without telling her that he knows, Hal thanks Lois.

In Alaska, Francis is bored out of his mind. He asks Pete how long its taking to catch a single fish. He mentions that Francis needs a lot of patience since he's been fishing all his life. Soon, the group are trapped in an ice-fishing shed with a grizzly bear outside. While this is common with Artie and Pete since they're used to living in Alaska, this is nerve wrecking to Francis and Eric due to being from two different states is probably regretting having that fight with Piama earlier just to go on the trip with his friends. Soon the three trick Pete to face the bear, only for him to willfully abandon Eric, Francis and Artie.

At the house, Hal is making a timeline chart of Reyes' murder case. Abe comes in and reminds him that they were supposed to have lunch together. Hal apologizes and was making a timeline of the case that Lois is presumably on. Abe immediately realizes that it's Reyes' murder case and asks him if she knows something about it. Hal mentions that she didn't tell him because of the oath she took. He had to dig up information from previous news reports. Thus for the rest of the day the two spent time talking about their own theories.

In the jury room, Lois' case is really for a stolen motorcycle involving a teen and not the high profiled case like Hal believed. Despite her initial verdict of guilty, she finds out that her fellow jurors are like Francis: lazy and rebellious. They refuses to analyze the case and debate that issue with Lois. One juror claims that they just want declare the defendant guilty and go home. Annoyed over the idea that they're reminding her of Francis, Lois refuses to let the other jurors leave by changing her verdict intentionally. She forces them to properly analyze the case. During that time, Lois realizes that she's too involved in this case and has to take herself out of it. The annoyed jurors finally agree to have her leave.

Outside, Dewey is finally excited to go exploring in the sewer with his brothers. Reese is telling a classmate from his school about him and Malcolm seeing Kitty naked. When he asks Stevie to comment, he refuses and rolls away, is still paralyzed by this. While going inside the sewer, Malcolm berates Reese for continuing to talk about Kitty's nudity. Soon they get lost inside a sewer and get scared. Malcolm, Reese and Stevie make a run for it, and everyone laughs at the group. Dewey comes out calm and with a snake over his shoulders, stating how they could not even do this right.

Lois begs the judge to give her another case, but he refuses. He points out that he's not responsible for the scheduling. Lois begs him once more, unaware that Hal is arrested by the bailiff for interrupting another trial. The judge agrees to schedule another jury for her to serve as long as she never asks him for another favor again.

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]

  • Eric Nenniger as Eric
  • John Ennis as Artie
  • Sandy Ward as Pete
  • Craig Lamar Taylor as Stevie
  • Gary Anthony Williams as Abe

Cameos[edit | edit source]

  • George Wyner as Foreman Fred
  • Bonita Friedericy as Susan
  • Carlease Burk as Janice
  • Byrne Offuft as Ben
  • Thomas Lumberg Jr. as Amos
  • Sean G. Griffin as Judge
  • Dennis Cockrum as Police Officer
  • EJ De La Pena as Boy
  • Ashley Tisdale as Girl(credited as Ashley Michelle Tisdale)

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is Pang-Ni Landrum first and only solo credit. In the earlier episodes, she was credited alongside her co-writer, Maggie Bandur.
  • Hal and Abe argue about the case in this back alley here.[1]
  • This episode reveals that Lois made an arrangement with the judge to do jury duty in exchange for not going to trial for attempting to vandalize Lillian Miller's car alongside Karen and the other PTA moms.

References[edit | edit source]

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