|“||Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, puppies, ice cream, fat people falling over.||”|
— Reese, Carnival
Reese Wilkerson (born 1987) is a main character and is the second oldest of Lois and Hal's children, behind Francis. He doesn't think about the consequences of his actions. He is shown to be a cruel bully who tortures Malcolm and Dewey at home, even though he defends them at school. He is played by Justin Berfield.
He serves as the deuteragonist, and sometimes antagonist, throughout the series.
A born delinquent and proud of it, Reese isn't afraid to do whatever springs to mind at the drop of a hat regardless of how bad an idea it is and the consequences he will receive from his mother, Lois, something which he credits to the crazy voice he and all his brothers share. He gets into more trouble than either Dewey or Malcolm and was the biggest bully during middle school—something which the students were actually grateful for since his being a bully stopped an uprising of hundreds of others trying to take his place. (Bully)
Though his grades don't show it, Reese is just as much a genius as his two younger brothers. He purposely got a perfect zero on every one of his final school exams, a feat which is just as difficult to accomplish as a perfect one hundred. However, in Dewey's Special Class, Reese, realizing that both Malcolm and Dewey are geniuses, decides to find out what kind of a genius he is. At the end of the episode, he says to Dewey, "I finally figured out what kind of genius I am. It's been staring us in the face. come on Dewey, I've got so much to show you." He has also proven to be a very skilled cook, (Reese Cooks) shown when he prepares an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family. (Thanksgiving) He also seems to be quite good at coming up with plans. An example is when he wanted to see Cynthia's boobs, so he came up with a 3-month plan that almost worked (Cynthia almost fell for him). (Cynthia's Back)
In the series finale, he becomes the head janitor for his old high school, after the previous one was fired when the school found peepholes in the girls' shower. As soon as he got the job he left home on his mother's demands and now lives with Craig.
Personality and Traits
Reese appears to be the least intelligent of the brothers and most destructive, although at some times, he shows even more intelligence than Malcolm when devising fiendish plans. He's also shown to be the most despised of Lois and Hal's children. He also has scored high on tests, when he set his mind to it, and had nothing to do but study, as shown in the episode in which he is kicked out and is alone, in which he is referred to as the "most improved student ever seen" by his teacher. Reese is often too tied up in violence and laziness do so much as to try to learn, and appears to have immense problems focusing, a direct result of ADD. He even appears to have had a mean streak in the womb; while Lois was in labor, he kicked her so hard that she delivered him prematurely; immediately following which he kicked the doctor in the nose. His obsession with violence horrifies the family and leaves him with few (if any) friends, partly as he is a bully at school. He bullies the "Krelboynes" in Malcolm's class, (except Stevie who, because of being paraplegic, is "off limits" except in certain situations), as well as his younger brothers, especially Dewey. Reese is often seen exercising to build his muscles, and, in one incident, almost killed himself when a barbell proved too heavy for him to lift, causing it to fall down towards his neck and practically choke him to death. Reese has saved the family on some occasions. Like when he beat up a thug who came into their house, or when he saved Malcolm and Dewey in the tiger cage by throwing a goat in it.
Though not exactly a model brother, Reese, in his own twisted way, proved he cared, or at least enjoyed the company of Dewey and Malcolm. He beat up several students who called Malcolm a freak when he joined the Krelboynes. However, when his brother thanked Reese, he simply shrugged it off, meaning he couldn't tell the difference between protecting his brothers and being Reese. As well when he destroyed Dewey's favorite toy and he pretended his brother didn't exist. To make amends, Reese buys Dewey a game so he would admit that he still existed (however it could be that Reese misses the reaction whenever he torments Dewey). He also has a childish side. It's revealed he calls clouds "sky kittens" and has a wish hole which is actually a tree stump that he revealed to Malcolm.
Reese has extremely little to no empathy, with virtually no sense of right and wrong and basically enjoys doing bad things for the fun of it, despite the trouble he gets into. When it was first shown he had a talent for culinary and entered a contest, he was clearly overjoyed and enjoyed his cooking talents. But despite being a clear winner, he joyfully sabotaged all the other contestants' dishes. Reese has even been shown willing to sell out his own family to save himself, especially if the situation benefits himself or for his own mischievous advances. When Hal was trapped under the roof while the boys were grounded, Reese was all for ditching him and making a break for it. Despite his violent nature and bravado, Reese is actually extremely cowardly and quick to run when the situation turns against him. Reese's cruelty knows no bounds as when Dewey bought a new toy and smashed it right in front of him. When Dewey called him the worst brother ever, Reese joyfully says "I KNOW!" Reese takes great and sincere joy at the misery of others, especially family and every person he knows. His inborn cruelty and ruthlessness was further shown in "Victor's other family" as he was shown to be an expert and cold blooded hunter, with his believed "Cousin" brought to tears stating "He spared nothing."
When Reese was younger, he and his brothers performed the worst act they ever did. Reese got bad results on his report card. Both Malcolm and Dewey got bad results too. This is surprising, as Malcolm is a genius (though the report card may have indicated bad behavior as well). Malcolm and Dewey helped Reese to create fake forms from the doctor saying that Lois had cancer. Lois was so worried about her cancer that she didn't care about the report cards.
When he was 15, Reese took driving lessons. A 16 year old girl took up most of the time and Reese wasn't able to drive until the next day. When the driving instructor had to do an errand, Reese kidnapped the girl (portrayed by Reagan Wallace) and drove around town. When the police chased Reese, he took his driving test and performed it perfectly. When he got out of the car, however, he was attacked by police, sent to prison, and fined. When Reese got out of prison, he was given his drivers' license.
Both Hal and Lois have absolutely no hope for Reese and simply want him gone. This was made extremely clear when an infuriated Lois told him the second he graduated, he was out of the house and into Craig's. This indicated both Lois and Hal's extreme contempt for their second born son and their long awaited chance to be rid of him due to the years of misery he has caused them. Reese is well aware of their animosity towards him and is, quite frankly, proud of it. Lois and Hal also seem to care very little for Reese's safety and general well-being. Lois and Hal also seem to enjoy seeing Reese being tortured to a degree as they allow Dewey to torture him for another week with the sound of butterfly's following a traumatic encounter he had with them and Lois allows Dewey to continue torturing Reese as he is locked in a crate he believes is on it's way to China.
Now age 16, Reese found a group of kids who he had bullied, went into a garage, blindfolded himself, and let any kid who paid him $20 beat him. However, the plan backfired when Dewey locked all of the other children out, and beat Reese himself, as revenge for bullying him. It was revealed that the person in the blindfold was Chad, a teenager who looked exactly like Reese. Reese, angry at Dewey, tried to chase him, before he was caught by a string which gave him a wedgie. Dewey opened the garage door, and the children beat Reese.
Aged 17, Reese ran off to join the US military under a fake name and forged age (he was underage at the time) without telling his family where he had gone, heartbroken when Beth (portrayed by Molly Orr) cheated on him with Malcolm. He was successful in completing basic training and was praised as one of the most brilliant soldiers in his platoon after he learned to "turn his brain off" and surrender his will to his superiors. After being sent to Afghanistan, Reese struggles to stay alive and in the process, winds up unwillingly marrying an Arab man. They get a divorce after the wedding, when the Arab man discovers that Reese is male. Reese sees a statue of the god of an unnamed religion (presumably Hinduism) , unaware it is a god, he calls it a monkey man, and put in prison. When his mother, Lois, catches wind of what Reese has done, she tracks him down in Afghanistan and personally brings him home without objection from the military since Reese was now found to be underage. However, despite the hardships Reese endured, Lois would show him no mercy when he returned home.
Like Malcolm, Reese is extremely unpopular with girls. But he has had a number of girlfriends throughout the series. However, they all end unhappily when the girls realize Reese's true idiotic and despicable nature. But the one girl he ever truly loved, Beth, cheated on him with Malcolm.
Despite Reese's outwardly unintelligent façade, he discovered a gift for cooking in his early teen years. He is a gifted culinary prodigy and enjoys it; the only effective way his parents can find to punish him is to ban him from the kitchen (which hurts them just as much since they love his cooking). He finds success in a meat-packing job, but is fired after setting all the cows free (trying to impress a girl).
Aged 18, Reese marries an attractive immigrant girl who requires the marriage to stay in the U.S. Reese truly cares for her, and she claims to care about him, despite her dominating personality and refusal to have sex. Lois greatly approves of the marriage (Unlike Francis and Piama's) but only because the girl has completely broken Reese. However, the marriage falls apart when Reese and Lois discover her sleeping with another man (whom she claims is her brother) inside the couple's "garage apartment" (Which is Reese's parents' garage) Revealing that Raduca was only using Reese to get a green card. Added to the fact that Reese miserably failed the immigration test to keep his wife in the country (going as far as writing that she had a tail), the character is never heard from again and was presumably deported. Reese is very much poor, because his parents have no plans for his future just as Francis, who as far as they know is already living in it.
Reese is depicted as a virgin with limited sexual experience. In the penultimate episode, "Morp", a girl named Jeanie offers to pay Reese to take her to the senior prom because she had been too focused on getting into college to cultivate a social life and find a date by normal means. Jeanie says that she initially selected Reese because he is not "completely hideous" and she knew he would not have a date. However, Reese turns out to be a gentleman and sweeps her off her feet by being charming and considerate. Although Jeanie did not initially plan to do anything with Reese after the prom itself, she invites him to go to the beach with her and tells him that, "I really want you". Before Reese can accept the invitation, his watch alarm goes off, indicating that he is "off the clock", and he leaves, revealing that he was only nice to "satisfy his customer" and thereby passing up a chance to finally have sex. However it’s obviously likely Reese wouldn't accept the invitation anyway, unless she paid him and excluded having sex with him, because she basically insulted him by calling him "hideous".
After graduating high school in "Graduation", Reese moves in with Craig and becomes a janitor at his former high school. Initially, he could only work there for 30 days because the school would fire people before then to avoid providing full benefits. Reese came up with the idea of making an extremely disgusting, toxic barrel of tons of disgusting stuff, that would explode and make a mess so dastardly, that it would take 31 days to clean. However the barrel exploded early while in the family car with the entire family inside. Later in a telephone conversation with Malcolm, Reese reveals that the principal found peepholes in the girls bathroom. The head janitor was blamed and fired allowing Reese to become the new head janitor and stay permanently.
- Malcolm Wilkerson - On the surface, Reese and Malcolm have a turbulent relationship marked by sibling rivalry and bouts of violence. They have a passion for messing with one another, which can lead to prank wars which cannot be stopped by anything but outside intervention, as evidenced in Forwards Backwards. Despite this, Reese cares deeply for Malcolm, and his love for his brother is something that shapes his character profoundly. In Red Dress, Reese reveals that he's been brutalizing their classmates to defend Malcolm from potential bullies. In Reese vs. Stevie, Reese goes back on one of his only moral codes (that Stevie is off limits due to being in a wheelchair) and vows to beat up Stevie "anyway." It is revealed that Reese had only acted with such antagonism toward Stevie because Stevie was monopolizing Malcolm's time before he left for college, and Reese was afraid of Malcolm outgrowing their relationship when he went to Harvard. In Malcolm Films Reese, Malcolm feigns an interest in Reese's thoughts and emotions, as part of a scheme set up by Herkabe. At the slightest invitation of intimacy, Reese quickly spills his innermost thoughts and feelings, even declaring later to his Wishing Hole that he hopes he and Malcolm will stay friends forever. Though they fight like any siblings, Reese ultimately loves Malcolm more than he lets on. He was also grateful in how Malcolm ruined Herkabe back in Malcolm Defends Reese and repaid the arrogant teacher back by tossing dodgeballs at him.
- Dewey Wilkerson - Being another brother of Reese's, the two of them have a pretty similar dynamic to their rivalry. The difference is that Dewey is generally a victim, while Reese is his dominant other. Reese takes the most joy in making Dewey's life a living Hell and has deemed unto him, the official title of his "personal slave". Dewey is very submissive and acts like an absolute pushover to Reese. When demanded to get something for him, he will get it, and when treated like a punching bag, he will act like a punching bag. Not to say, there haven't been times when Dewey got the drop on Reese. Dewey knows he's being wronged, when it happens, and gets Reese back in a more clever and witty sort of way. Due to Reese's stupidity, this isn't a hard task for him, and sometimes, Dewey is able to just half-ass his way into giving Reese some comeuppance. However despite this Reese cares about Dewey as shown when he saved Dewey and Malcolm from the tiger cage by distracting the tigers with a live goat.
- Francis Wilkerson Reese's older brother and like his brothers look up to him the most since he is the only son who can take Lois on and doesn't shirk away when she gets at him. While one of the most problematic children, Reese is much worse than Francis is. However, Francis hates Reese in the same manner as Malcolm due to his bullying of Dewey.
- Lois Wilkerson - Reese and Francis both are probably the most problematic children that Lois has to deal with. When Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie are raising Hell, Lois will most often, bring them down and give them their punishment. However, no matter how much rehabilitation she gives to Reese, he almost never learns, and continues to be the same old guy he's always been. Lois finally gives up on him after her methods prove ineffective. He is the only son she didn't plan for his future because she is aware that in spite of his cooking talents, Reese will still amount to nothing and end up working as a janitor at his school.
- Hal Wilkerson - Hal is disappointed in Reese, for being a delinquent, but he doesn't spend his time wallowing in depression, or acting disapproving toward him, because at some point in his life, Hal has basically accepted that Reese is a hopeless degenerate and always will be. Despite this, he does show he loves Reese and spends time with him. However, there is one punishment Hal inflicted on him that proved effective, being banished from cooking a meal in the kitchen and this made Reese cry.
- Ida Welker - Reese is the only member of the Lois' family that isn't utterly despised by Ida. Ida and Victor both see Reese as the only good member of the family, believing that his violent, abrasive, and dominant exterior is the kind of personality that one needs in order to get what they want in society. Ida strongly admires Reese's lifestyle and sides with him, when he makes an attempt to go against his family. She supports his reckless actions, wanting him to keep thinking like this, when he goes out into the real world.
- Wilkerson Family - Unlike Victor and Ida, Walter, Claire, and the other Wilkersons despise Reese the same way they do Lois. Ironically unlike Malcolm whom Hal's family likes more, Reese is treated with contempt by his relatives believing that he and Lois are what's wrong with Hal and the other boys.
- Jamie Wilkerson - Jamie is the youngest brother of Reese. However unlike Malcolm and Dewey, he is the only brother whom Reese can't take advantage of. Jamie has a clever and cunning side when he tricked Reese in taking the blame for stuff that he did. He hates Reese in the same manner that he hates Lois.
- Stevie Kenarban - The closest Reese has to a recurring friend at his school, outside of Malcolm, is Stevie Kenarban. Reese and Stevie are sort of "frenemies" when it comes to their interactions. Generally, Reese looks down upon Stevie for being a nerd and Stevie looks down upon Reese for being an idiot. Reese makes a lot of crude, bullying insults to Stevie and Stevie makes caustic, smart remarks about him. However, because Malcolm is so close to both of them, there are a lot of events that involve the three of them, going on an adventure as a group, that bring them closer together and make them work as one. Usually, Reese bullies people like Stevie verbally, but because Stevie's in a wheelchair, Reese is socially obligated to protect him from physical abuse
- The Krelboynes - Having the reputation of the school bully, Reese goes around, beating up, insulting, publicly humiliating, and emotionally manipulating various kids at his school. The Krelboynes are his primary target and he goes at them like it's his human instinct. Reese's treatment of The Krelboynes is similar to your typical "jock bullying the nerd" relationship. He goes around, pummeling them, stealing their belongings, making them cry, and doing other cruel things to them. When Reese isn't bullying them, he's using them as people who can do his homework for him or someone to help him cheat on tests. There are some Krelboynes that are "off-limits" to Reese. As mentioned before, Stevie uses a wheelchair, so he can't bully him or he'll be socially shunned for "having an advantage". Cynthia is able to overpower him as of physical strength, so he's afraid to bully her. Malcolm is his brother, so Reese tries to show a little more respect for him, but given their ongoing feud, this only periodically happens.
- Alison - Alison was Reese's first long-term girlfriend in the series. The two of them bonded for both being equally as stupid as each other. Reese being the dumb jock, and Alison being the dumb blonde, they're simply a match made in heaven.
- Ira Prescott - Reese's bully at North High School. He is the older brother of Dewey's good twin, Billy, whom he originally blamed for pranks that Reese did. Only when Dewey tells Ira the truth, he gets his revenge on Reese by beating him up. Out of the students and faculty there, only Ira and Mr. Herkabe are the only people he's truly intimidated by.
- While pregnant with Reese in Clip Show 2, it's revealed he's the direct cause of Lois' Staph Infection due to his uncontrollable kicking in her womb. This previous episode that alluded to it was in Flashback.
- In the first season, he is in the 7th grade, and 12 years old.
- In the second season, he is in the 8th grade, and 13 years old.
- In the third season, he is in the 9th grade, and 14 years old.
- In the fourth season, he is in the 10th grade, and 15 years old.
- In the fifth season, he is in the 11th grade, and 16 years old.
- In the sixth season, he is in the 12th grade, and 17 years old.
- In the seventh season,he graduates North Star high school and starts working as a janitor.
- Reese is the only member of the Wilkerson family who isn't entirely despised by Lois' parents. Ida and Victor admire Reese for being strong and more assertive than everyone else and think that he has the potential to thrive on his own in the real world. Reese barely shows any hatred for them, if not, none and actually shares a small, friendly bond with the two of them. Until Victor almost got him and Malcolm killed in an explosion by giving Reese a live hand Grenade. Resulting in Reese not missing him when he died.
- Reese is hated by his relatives on his father's family side more than the other boys mainly because Walter and the other Wilkersons believe he's what is wrong with Hal and Lois.
- In the episode Reese Comes Home, it is revealed that Reese has obtained the rank of PFC, or Private First Class, in the Army.
- In the episode "Reese Comes Home" Reese gets legally wed to an Afghan man, while he is wearing a burka in disguise and posing as a woman. He never technically got divorced from this man, but he did run away from him.
- Reese's female counterpart is Renee and despite sharing being dumb like him, she has shown she is much smarter than him in terms of both psychological warfare and being a music genius.
- Reese is color blind, but nobody knows about his disability, including himself, as can be seen in the episode "If Boys Were Girls", in the part where he and Lois argue over a pink/red shirt.
- Reese has no friends, and Lois has forbidden Malcolm to talk about the matter and use it again as a low blow to Reese. As you can see in the "Mini-Bike" chapter. This hadn't stopped him from embarrassing Reese in Forwards Backwards
- Reese's favorite pastime aside annoying Malcolm and Dewey, is bullying the elderly as revealed in If Boys Were Girls. This came back to haunt him in Halloween when an angry neighbor, Mr. Sheldon(Jack Axelrod), went after him for egging his house. Despite Dewey's attempts to get him to be sensible and apologize, Reese refuses.
- Reese is one of only two of the brothers to get married, the other being his older brother Francis.
- However, unlike Francis, Reese had a wife cheat on him with her secret female lover, resulting in Raduca being deported back to Croatia.
- Reese hears voices, a sign of Schizophrenia. In the episode "Future Malcolm," there is part of a conversation between Reese and Dewey when Dewey tells Reese, "Let me give you a little advice. You've got to ignore the voices. They're not on your side. And you never tell anyone about them. Especially your teachers; they get panicky for no reason. You understand?". Showing he is a little smart about psychiatry and he knows to ignore voices that people with schizophrenia hear.
- Out of Hal and Lois' sons, Reese is the only one whose future they did not plan. Despite being a culinary genius, Hal knew he would still be a degenerate delinquent. It took Garage Sale and a few more episodes for Lois to finally give up on Reese.
- Reese has a collection of shiny things that he keeps under his bed, in a shoe box wrapped in aluminum foil that he calls "shiny box".
- When Reese was two, he called Hal "Phone" instead of "Dad"
- Reese is immune to brain freeze.
- In Clip Show 2 and while pregnant with Reese, he is the one responsible for Lois' Staph Infection caused by his uncontrollable kicking womb. This caused her to quickly give birth to him as she could no longer tolerate the pain in Flashback
- He receives a wedgie in Krelboyne Picnic.
- He receives another painful wedgie from Adam & Jason
- Reese has been beaten by Stevie on occasion, such as when Stevie finally got Reese in the circle game, and proceeded to beat him, the second time is when Reese paralyzed his bottom half in order to fight Stevie, only for Stevie to arrive in equipment allowing him to walk
- Reese has shown enjoyment for horror movies, and potentially snuff films, In one of the early episodes he begs Hal and Louis to stay up and watch "Child's Play", meaning he has knowledge of it already. Later on he watches horror movies with Hal, which he states that the director "Used real bodies and was arrested", While Hal is sickened by this and disturbed, Reese enjoys it, once again showing his lack of morality
- Reese is socially inept, and doesn't know how to project his emotions in a healthy way, such as in Cheerleader when he has a crush on a girl, which he shows by taunting and bullying her, Hal explains to him that it's how the men in his family act when it comes to girls
- While lost in the sewer with Malcom, Dewey, and Stevie, Reese does open himself up and talks about his thoughts and feelings about girls, and reveals that he writes poetry
- Either due to his personality, or inability to socialize, he has no friends, and typically follows a group of boys at school to give others the impression he does have some friends, ultimately Malcom reveals to the boys what Reese has been doing and they stare at him
- One of the few times Reese was successful with a group of girls was when he and Stevie went to a cheerleader camp, where the girls where so deprived of male interaction that the boys were attractive to them
- Reese has been married (and divorced) twice
- While having no sense of morality, he doesn't treat anyone differently due to race or sexuality, and is lenient on Stevie because his medical issues
- When he thought Malcolm was gay, he tried to be supportive of him
- When Reese took Dewey's test for him after the school considered Dewey to be placed in a gifted class, the test results ended up putting Dewey in a special education class, this could be a result of Reese's sadistic nature, meaning Reese would potentially qualify for a similar class at his own school. This angered Malcolm because he was trying to keep Dewey in the normal class and avoid the Krelboyne class in Dewey's Special Class.
- Reese has 13 episodes with his name in the title, making him the character with the most episodes named after him.
- Reese’s first line is “No, stop!” and his last line is “So how’s it going with you, Mr. Ivy League bigshot?”
- He is likely gay.
- He is possibly autistic or has ADHD.￼