Malcolm in the Middle Wiki
Malcolm in the Middle Wiki

Reese Joins the Army: Part 1 is the 21st episode of Season 5 and the 106th episode overall of Malcolm in the Middle.


Reese's new girlfriend breaks up with him for Malcolm and so Reese joins the army out of devastation. Hal's company takes a nosedive and two corrupt FBI agents want him to make false accusations against an employer.


Reese's has a new girlfriend named Beth is about as dumb as he is. Reese actually falls in love with her and declares her feelings for him, only for her to break up with him... with Reese then discovering she's been cheating on him with Malcolm. Devastated, Reese runs away and joins the army under the false surname "Jetson."

Hal's company goes under à la Enron, and two corrupted FBI officers want him to falsely testify against an employer. He has a hard time about that decision, but Lois adamantly tells him not to because it's beneath them. The FBI has Hal arrested when the employer provides false testimony against Hal, who is placed under house arrest with an anklet designed to keep track of his movements.

Lois stresses-out when she must work overtime at Lucky Aide to make ends meet; eventually her snappy demeanor and mounting mental instability get her fired. Instead of being mad, she pretends nothing is wrong and starts spending all her time making pigs out of detergent bottles and taking cold showers with her clothes on.

Meanwhile, Dewey enters a piano contest and is angry when no one notices... even when he leaves town for it and wins (mainly due to both Francis and Piama dealing with both disciplining Malcolm for his selfishness and Lois' mental instability).

At the Army, Reese butts heads with Sgt. Hendricks for his thinking. This has gotten him into trouble with the latter and makes him do push-ups in the mud with Hendricks hosing him. Reese later turns around and decides to shut off his brain to obey Sgt. Hendricks.

Hal's only hope to avoid prison comes in a form of an FBI informant whom he meets at the library due to Malcolm modifying the anklet so he can take the receiver with him. Hal is forced to leave the bag outside the library and meets with his informant who claims that he falsified evidence against Hal in order to have him arrested and save the employer. However when he learned he was dying from an unknown cancer, the agent decided he has to do the right thing and expose the truth about his employer's lies.

When Hal leaves the library, an officer asks if the bag is his. When Hal panics and denies it, the officer looks inside and thinks the device he sees is a bomb. Hal claims he's from the bomb squad, only to be surrounded by a dozen officers.


Guest Stars[]


  • Emy Coligado as Piama
  • Steve Rankin as Sgt. Hendrick


  • Molly Orr as Beth
  • James Hendrickson as Agent Moon
  • Monti Sharp as Agent Joplin
  • Erik King as Agent Stone
  • Michael Chieffo as Dennis
  • Kevin Crowley as Tech
  • Paul Gleeson as Mystery Man


  • Reese's real last name isn't revealed in this episode, but he joins the army under the false last name of "Jetson".
  • Dewey wins a trophy for the national music competition, though no one in the family pays attention to him at all. This may have been unintentional mainly due to Lois' stress over Hal's arrest and Francis disciplining Malcolm.
  • Second time Malcolm and Reese have the same love interest, whose name is "Beth". The first time was when they were in a fight over Beth from the episode "Bowling".
  • Second time Lois gets fired from the Lucky Aide. The first time was in (Lois VS Evil) when Mr. Pinter fired her out of spite.
  • This marks the 3rd time that Hal has been arrested, but the first time he had been framed. His first arrest was back in Charity. His 2nd arrest was in Garage Sale and his last arrest is in Malcolm Defends Reese.
  • The unit Reese joins is the 101st Airborne Division[1]


  • When Reese is being questioned by his Drill Sergeant, he looks at his bed. The US is face up. This part of the blanket should only occur when a US soldier dies and the unit has not moved their belongings from the Barracks.