Malcolm vs. Reese is the twenty first of the second season of Malcolm in the Middle, which was broadcast on April 22, 2001.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Francis bribes Malcolm and Reese with just one extra ticket to a wrestling match, forcing them to humiliate themselves and do all his chores, trying to outdo each other for the one ticket. The boys turn on each other when they realize that the other one can't go to the wrestling match if they are grounded. However when Francis betrays them by taking a girl to a wrestling match, they get their revenge by getting him arrested for stealing Hal's car, driving without a license and kidnapping his own brothers.

Dewey is hired to watch Craig's cat for the weekend, but he loses the cat and his parents make things worse. Craig moves in with the family after they burn his house down, with Reese and Malcolm serving him and Jellybean food.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Francis is visiting from Marlin Academy he is with Malcolm and Reese watching TV in the living room. Malcolm says that when Francis is home, anything they do is fun. However, Francis claims that them watching TV is boring. Reese suggests they draw dead guy chalk outlines on the sidewalk, Francis says it's boring. Malcolm states that their mother isn't home and that they can play a game they call "cantaloupe ball", Francis tells Malcolm that they played that game the last time he visited and tells them to think of something fun.

Meanwhile, Craig has appointed Dewey to take care of his beloved pet cat, Jellybean, while he's gone for the weekend at a comic expo. He explains to Dewey all the things he needs to do: give Jellybean his ear drops 3 times a day as he has an ear infection. Jellybean's feeding being a half-cup of wet food in one bowl and a half-cup of dry in another, he likes the juice from the wet food poured onto the dry - no overfeeding. Lois wants Craig to finish up as she, Hal and Dewey have Jellybean's emergency numbers, where his sweaters are, and how to take his temperature. Craig instructs Dewey that taking care of another living thing is a big responsibility, and if he can handle it. Hal believes that Dewey will do a great job. Craig then tells Dewey that he will make $5 by the end of the weekend, Dewey says he promised Lois $10. As they leave, Lois is skeptical about Dewey taking care of Craig's cat, Hal insures Lois it teaches the value of money and self-confidence and points out the Craig's new house is only two blocks from theirs. Dewey is is holding binoculars looking at his backyard, Craig pulls him away from the window. Craig gives Hal and Lois of his itinerary for the comic convention and that he will be back early Monday evening. Craig kisses his cat goodbye.

Malcolm and Reese are hanging out in their bedroom, Francis comes in to announce that he has gotten tickets to a Rage In The Cage wrestling match. However, there are only two tickets. Francis bought them to see whether Reese or Malcolm love him the most. He knows his brothers both equally love him, he bets one of the two loves them just a little more. Reese refuses to do a butt-kissing contest (which is another thing they did before), Francis suggests decision by flipping a quarter, Malcolm is in the lead, He then asks Reese to make him a sandwich. Reese does not want to, but Francis ensures that all their service will be worth going to Rage In The Cage. Francis asks Reese and Malcolm to do the "happy dance" to prove one of them loves Francis more, with their older brother asking them to do it happier.

Meanwhile at Craig's house, Dewey is doing a great job remembering how Jellybean prefers to eat his food and hears Craigs voice in his head telling him that Jellybean likes him better than his brothers and someday he will be president of Idaho and anyone taller than him will be fed to wolves. But things go awry when he tries to give Jellybean his ear drops, he follows Jellybean all over the house until he is at the front door wide open, he attempts to show Jellybean that ear drops are not bad by putting them in his own ear. But pains Dewey scaring Jellybean out of the house, Dewey goes after him.

A montage of Malcolm and Reese serving Francis begins: they continue to do the "happy dance". Malcolm helps choose Francis' movie to put into the VCR. Reese gives Francis a cake with the frosting letters spelling "HAPPY SATURDAY FRANCIS" and gives Francis a new sweater (which Reese stole). Malcolm gives Francis his bathrobe after taking a shower and Reese puts on his slippers for him. Later that day, he has them both turning pages of his magazine for him. Lois comes in with groceries and asks if he could borrow the car to go to Richie's house, Lois immediately says no. Francis asks why not and Lois says that whenever he returns the car it is always filthy, Francis says it's so unfair that she always assume the worst of him, Lois says it's not assuming, she sees it. Francis asks how he can prove he has grown up without being given a chance. Lois decides to listen to what he says and he realizes he can make Malcolm and Reese do any chore and let him take the credit. He says he will do every chore in the house, Malcolm and Reese support Francis and Lois gives Francis the car and tells him to bring it home in one piece.

Hal goes over to Craig's house and finds Dewey sitting in the middle of the room saying that he cannot do anything right. Hal asks where Jellybean is and Dewey tells him about how he left the door open, he asks if they have to tell mom, Hal says that they are in a serious situation and that it does not require to tell Lois. Hal lectures Dewey that cats are nocturnal creatures and that they love going out at night, and that Jellybean is safe, and will turn up eventually. Hal's first attempt is leaving the window open with a bowl of cat food for Jellybean and ensures Dewey that everything is going to be fine, the next day Craig's apartment has been looted and vandalized -- on the bright side, Dewey sees that Jellybean did come back to eat the food.

When Hal calls the police to report the robbery, the officer says there were no signs of forced entry. When he tries to lie about it being a mystery, Dewey reminds him that he left the window open. The officer inquires about what is going on and Hal explains that they are not doing a very good job of taking care of the owner's cat. Craig calls the house, Hal answers. Craig asks Hal to put Jellybean and the phone, Hal poses as Jellybean so he doesn't suspect that he is missing.

At the Wilkerson house, the competition between Reese and Malcolm worsens. Reese gives Francis a piggyback ride and tells him he is doing a great job, but Reese complains that he is doing all the work for him and Malcolm has not done a thing. Just then, Malcolm shows up with Francis' finished English term paper, indicating that Francis will pass with a guaranteed A and that he can be able to goof off during the rest of the semester and still pass with a C. Francis is impressed and tells Malcolm that he's leading the competition to his joy and to Reese's dismay.

The next morning, Hal gets the newspaper on his doorstep and he sees Jellybean right in front of him, he then chases after him all over the neighborhood in his underwear.

Reese shakes Malcolm awake and tells him he realizes that if Malcolm is grounded by Lois then he won't be able to go to the match with Francis. He gives him a large permanent marker and calls out to Lois, confused at first, he quickly turns to see that Reese had drawn on Dewey's face with it. Reese drags Lois into the boys bedroom to show what Malcolm has done to Dewey's face so that she can punish Malcolm. When Lois asks for Dewey, Malcolm tells her that he had already left to go to Craig's house to take care of Jellybean. Reese doesn't believe it and thinks he's lying, He tries to look for Dewey but finds him missing from his bed. Lois is annoyed over Reese's shenanigans and leaves. Out the window, we see that Malcolm placed Dewey just outside their bedroom, when he wakes up and Hal comes back holding the cat he was chasing. He claims that he has caught Jellybean. Unfortunately, Dewey points out that's not him and the cat belongs to one of their neighbors, Mrs. Johnson. Hal lets the cat go. Dewey asks Hal to tell Lois so she can help them. He refuses due to his fears of her rage and tries to come up with a new plan.

Malcolm breaks Lois' prized porcelain dogs by using a hockey stick labeled with Reese's name, but Reese amateurishly puts them back together so she doesn't suspect a thing. He later tries to get Malcolm grounded by stealing her wallet from her purse and putting it in is bed. However, Malcolm sneaks in to the master bedroom to put the wallet back in Lois' purse before she comes back in the room. Malcolm has just finished giving Francis a haircut, Reese comes in berating Malcolm about sneaking a pack of cigarettes in his shirt pocket, Malcolm tells him he did that for Reese putting his muddy sneaker on the kitchen table. Francis reminds them that it's supposed to be a contest about love, and that his brothers have turned it into something ugly, doesn't do much of anything else and is very amused by their fighting. They then start fighting each other, which also pleases Francis.

At Craig's house, Hal notices the litter box and knows that Jellybean has recently stopped by, Dewey says he never stays in the house long. So Hal gets an idea: he pulls out some sleeping pills which he obtained by lying to his doctor claiming he has had trouble sleeping the past few nights, with marriage complications, and possible loss of his house (these were lies Hal told to his doctor in order to acquire prescription drugs) and grinds them up in Jellybean's food and drink in an attempt to catch him. Hal and Dewey return later only to find dozens of other cats and a possum sleeping in Craig's apartment. Dewey once again suggests they bring Lois in and he gives in.

The competition for going to Rage In The Cage with Francis gets to the point where Reese starts beating himself up (to blame on Malcolm) while Malcolm starts smashing his expensive microscope (to blame on Reese). However, Francis appears and tells them to stop. He betrays both Malcolm and Reese by confessing that he decided to bring neither of them. He admits that he was too amused by their fighting and drama against one another. Francis also admits that he had met a girl named Carly and invited her to go to the Rage in the Cage match with him because she likes wrestling. When he tries to claim that he's just as much a victim as his brothers, Malcolm and Reese doesn't believe Francis. They call him out for the betrayal and mentions that they think he did this intentionally. After watching him leave, the angry boys decide to team up and plot their revenge against Francis for his betrayal.

When she arrives, Lois is furious about the number of sleeping cats and how none of them are Jellybean. Hal tries to claim this is a very complicated situation and that she shouldn't blame Dewey. The annoyed Lois points out she knows that it wasn't his fault and that she actually blames Hal for the mess he created. She yells at him for not calling her when he needed her help. Lois comes up with a plan that sets the house on fire which scares away the all cats and the possum. While the fire department is assessing the fire damage, she immediately admits it was a really rotten idea. Lois is a bit upset at how they ruined Craig's life. Hal tries to calm her down by saying that at some point they have to live with the fact that he is cursed. Lois is still not convinced because they ruined everything that Craig had going for him and the only way to appease him is to let him live with them, much to Hal's dismay. Dewey spots Jellybean sitting at the front door, Hal quickly tries to put his sleeping pills in the cat's bowl again. However, Lois had enough of his antics and simply picks Jellybean up. After she leaves, Dewey is happy that they found him. Hal, on the other hand, isn't very happy knowing that Lois will be further mad at him for getting sleeping pills and would demand for him to turn them over at once.

On the way to the wrestling match, Francis talks about his plans with his date, Carly. He pulls down the visor of the car, revealing a sticky note that says: "YOU WILL PAY". Francis doesn't take it seriously and Carly asks what's wrong. He tries to make a lighthearted joke about the kids at the summer camp in Alabama that he volunteers at and how they try to come up with revenge pranks against him, to their failures. Just then, Francis and Carly are pulled over by a cop who demands for his license and registration because he got a report that the car was stolen. Francis tries to find his driver's license, only to discover that it's gone and the only thing left in his wallet is a note saying: "IT GETS WORSE." Then, the officer hears sounds coming from the trunk of the car and orders him to open the trunk. Francis does and is forced to wait while he searches the car. The officer finds Malcolm and Reese with their mouths duct-taped, tied up with rope and squealing in distress. Incensed by this, he immediately orders Francis out of the car at once. The officer arrests him for driving without a license, stealing a car, kidnapping his own brothers and leaving them in the trunk. This embarrasses Francis in front of Carly as he's being taken away to be booked.

At the Wilkerson house, Malcolm is seen making a sandwich while explaining that Lois was furious that she had to pick up her boys at the police station, but also that it was totally worth not having to serve Francis anymore. However, he will soon regret his words when he gives Craig his sandwich. He is told to put mayonnaise on both sides of Craig's bread. Malcolm begins to argue with him that he put enough mayo there. Craig is not convinced and reminds him that he only put mayo on top of the bread, but didn't put it on both sides like he asked. He tells Malcolm that he doesn't like the arrangement as much as they and Hal do. However, it was Lois' idea to let him stay with them & have them serve him. He promises to make his demands as clear as possible. Reese gives a bowl of milk to Craig. He tells Reese that it has to be at room temperature before Jellybean can drink it. Craig reminds them both his and Jellybean's home got burned down. They now realize how more demanding he is than Francis.

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]

Cameos[edit | edit source]

  • Anthony Holiday as Cop #1
  • Cerina Vincent as Carly
  • Randy McPherson as Cop #2

Quotes[edit | edit source]

[Francis and his date are pulled over by a police officer.]
Officer 2: License and registration, please.
Francis: Officer, what did I do?
Officer 2: This car was reported stolen.
Francis: Oh, it's been reported stolen, huh?
[He digs into his wallet to find nothing but a small slip of paper saying, "IT GETS WORSE."]
Officer 2: I'm not gonna ask you again. License and registration.
Francis: Sir, I know this looks bad...
[Francis and the cop hear banging from inside the trunk.]
Officer 2: Open the trunk, sir!
Francis: Officer, let me explain...
Officer 2: OPEN THE TRUNK!
[Francis unlocks the trunk. The officer opens it and finds Malcolm and Reese lying inside, bound and gagged. They are heard squealing in distress.]
Officer 2: [drawing his gun] GET OUT OF THE CAR!

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Craig's cat, Jellybean, makes his first appearance.
  • Craig's house gets burned down, thanks to Lois and starts to live with the Wilkerson family in this episode. This is the first episode of a multiple episode story arc of Craig living in the house with them.
  • Francis gets pulled over here on this fake road on the premises of the CBS Studio Center. This private location would later be reused several times over the course of MitM, next time in Book Club. [1]
  • If you look closely in the scene where Malcolm breaks his microscope and Reese beats himself up, you can see a large Charmander plushie in the room. This is the second episode to feature that doll, with the first one being Bowling.
  • The song during the Malcolm/Reese framing each other montage is an instrumental version of the song "Weapon of Choice" by Fat boy Slim.
  • In the scene where Reese and Malcolm are competing to see who loves more to Francis, you can see how Reese gives him a cake with the Happy Saturday sign, immediately after, he pulls out from his clothes, a sweater, still with the labels to be brand new, making an allusion that the sweater is stolen.
  • Craig's apartment number is 2816 ½.
  • Craig has two plastic boxes under his bed, one contains a lot of photographs of Lois that you see have been taken in a perverted way unbeknownst to her; and the other, which has two small dolls, both wearing Lucky Aide uniforms, lying down and holding hands, one with glasses drawn on the face and the other with a lock of natural red hair. This is a nod to Craig's feelings towards her despite her being already married to Hal.
  • This episode features a tag at the end with outtakes of previous episodes. This was only seen in it's original airing, although this was featured when the series was on Netflix. As of February 2021, this episode contains the bloopers on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
  • This is the 3rd time Francis had been arrested. His first time was in Pilot, his 2nd time is in Water Park and his last time will be in Day Care. However, it's the only time he had been set up by Malcolm and Reese
  • This episode marks the only time that Lois hasn't punished Francis as she became aware that he was set up by his own brothers. Hence, she punished Malcolm and Reese for wrongly getting him arrested by forcing them to serve Craig as their house guest.
  • This is the first episode where both main characters' names are used in a title. The next episodes that will follow are Malcolm Films Reese and Malcolm Defends Reese.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Malcolm, Reese, and Francis are watching a famous episode of the show, "The Three Stooges." That episode they are watching is 1936s "Disorder in the Court."

Errors[edit | edit source]

  • When Francis gets pulled over, his window is open and closed between shots.
  • While Francis presents Malcolm and Reese with his two cards, a filming light can be shortly seen behind him on the right.

References[edit | edit source]

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