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

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. In the end and much to Reese and Malcolm's horror, Lois punishes them for getting Francis arrested by forcing them to serve Craig as their houseguest. Reese and Malcolm immediately regret getting revenge on Francis by getting him arrested after learning how more demanding Craig is with his needs.


Francis comes home from Marlin Academy for a visit and both Malcolm and Reese think it'll fun to have some quality time with him. However, both brothers will find themselves in competition with each other when they learn that Francis has bought only two tickets for a wrestling match up.

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. However, things go awry when he tries to give Jellybean, his usual medication and has enlisted Hal in a futile attempt to find Jellybean and bring him back to Craig's house. When Craig calls, during the filing of the missing cat report, Hal poses as Jellybean so he doesn't suspect that his cat is missing.

At the Wilkerson house, the competition between Reese and Malcolm worsens. Reese gives Francis a grooming treatment, when Malcolm shows up with his finished papers, indicating that Francis will pass with a C and allow him to goof off during the semester. The boys then realize that if the other is grounded by Lois then they won't be able to go to the match, and begin attempting (and failing) to frame each other for wrongdoings. Reese tries to get Malcolm in trouble by sneaking cigarette packs into his shirt, but he tosses them out in the trash. Then Malcolm breaks Lois' prized porcelain dogs by using a hockey stick, 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. However, Malcolm sneaks back in to the master bedroom to put the wallet back in Lois' purse before she comes back in the room. Reese puts makeup on Dewey's face and messes up his pajamas. Then, he attempts to bring Lois into the boys bedroom to punish Malcolm. He thinks fast by cleaning up the makeup off of Dewey's face and getting him dressed in his usual clothes. Hal helps Malcolm sneak him out of the boys' bedroom through the window to the backyard and walks away. When Lois comes in the bedroom with Reese asking for his brother, Malcolm covers for Dewey by claiming that he had already left with Hal for Craig's house to take care of Jellybean. Angered over being tricked by Reese, Lois furiously yells at him for wasting her time much to his dismay and Malcolm's pleasure. She warns him that if he pulls that stunt again, she will ground him for the next month and leaves.

On the way to Craig's house, Hal hold what appears to be Jellybean in his arms. That is until Dewey points out that's not him and the cat belongs to one of their neighbors, Mrs. Johnson. He mentions that Craig will be back on Monday and will notice that Jellybean is missing. Dewey suggests that he and Hal call in Lois for help. Hal refuses, knowing that she will be furious with him and comes up with another plan to find Jellybean.

It gets to the point where Reese starts beating himself up (to blame on Malcolm) while Malcolm starts smashing his own things (to blame on Reese). However, Francis appears and betrays them both by telling them he decided to bring a girl to the match instead because she likes wrestling. This angers Malcolm and Reese because of it. They decide to team up and plot their revenge against Francis for his betrayal.

At Craig's house, Hal has bought some sleeping pills (which he obtained by lying to his doctor claiming he has had trouble sleeping the past few nights and possible loss of his home) and has put them in Jellybean's bowl in an attempt to catch him. Instead, he ends up having the other cats sleeping in Craig's apartment and Dewey once again suggests they bring Lois in. When she arrives, Lois is furious the number of sleeping cats and asking how Jellybean escaped from the home. Hal tries to claim that it wasn't Dewey's fault that they didn't call her. Lois points out she knows that and mentions that she is more angrier with Hal because he didn't call her when he needed her help. She sets the house on fire which scare away the other cats and Jellybean comes home. Hal tries to put his sleeping pills in the cat's bowl, but Lois decides to pick him up instead (possibly having enough of Hal's antics).

On the way to the wrestling match, Francis and his date, 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 indicating it's going to get much worse. Then, the officer hears movement 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 gagged and tied with rope. He gets furious when he sees the two boys squealing in distress. The officer immediately orders Francis out of the car at once and quickly arrests him for driving without a license, stealing a car, kidnapping his own brothers and leaving them in the trunk. This embarrasses him in front of Carly.

At the Wilkerson house, Malcolm is seen making a sandwich while explaining that Lois was furious and went to the police station to retrieve her boys. After that much to his and Reese's horror, she punishes them for getting Francis arrested by forcing them to serve Craig as their house guest. Malcolm gives Craig the sandwich, but is told to put more mayo on both sides of his bread. Reese gives the milk to Craig, but he's still not impressed and it has to be at room temperature more before Jellybean can drink it. He tells both Malcolm and Reese, that he doesn't like the arrangement either, but it was Lois' idea to let him stay with them until he can find another apartment. As the two leave, Malcolm admits that he and Reese immediately regret getting revenge on Francis by having him arrested, now realizing how even more demanding Craig is to keep him and Jellybean happy.


  • 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 StarsEdit



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


[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.]
Officer 2: [drawing his gun] GET OUT OF THE CAR!


  • 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.
  • 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 Fatboy 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 and without her realizing it; and the other, which has two small dolls, both with lucky aide's uniform, lying down and holding hands, one with lenses drawn on the face and the other with a lock of natural red hair.
  • This episode features a tag at the end with outtakes of previous episodes. This was only seen in it's original airing, although was featured when the series was on Netflix.
  • This is the 2nd time Francis had been arrested. His first time was in Pilot 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.


  • When Francis gets pulled over, his window is open and closed between shots.