Hal has his own methods for teaching Malcolm to roller-skate. Lois hurts her back, is forced to rest in bed, and refuses to take medication so as to stop Reese and Dewey from misbehaving. Francis tries to get out of a survival trip with the other cadets by faking a hurt back, but gets caught by them later.
French fries are evenly distributed between Malcolm, Reese, and Dewey
Malcolm is angry because during a game of street hockey, he sprints up and down the street in shoes, only to have it start back the other way. So he decides he is ready to take skating lessons from his dad. He asks Reese and Francis how it is, but they both refuse to tell him. When he starts, he is angered by all the silly twists and spins they are doing. So Malcolm finally asks Hal to teach him.
Meanwhile, Reese roller-skates in the house with a bunch of gunk on his skates which causes Lois to throw out her back while yelling at him. She refuses to take the prescribed painkiller out of her own need to keep order in the house and busted him for trying to drink juice out of the carton. Reese tries to ignore Lois, but she orders him again to get a glass and threatening to bring bodily harm if he doesn't comply to her wishes. When she catches Hal trying to sneak painkillers in her sandwich, Lois verbally berates him for it.
At Marlin Academy, Francis fakes the same back injury to get out of a wilderness survival exercise at the academy. For a while, he lives it up by sleeping and watching TV on his wheelchair. However, Francis is caught goofing around by Stanley on his wheelchair. He and the cadets get revenge on him forcing Francis to go on the exercise by tying him up on the wheelchair and leaving him in the middle of the forest with only a knife.
Malcolm becomes frustrated with his lessons and Hal takes the skates away. Angered, he responds by not only insulting Hal but also using profanity in front of him by saying the "F-Word". Later on while talking to Reese, Malcolm learns Lois is starting to feel better and is concerned over her punishing him. He reassures Malcolm he had been helping her take her medication. Reese mentions that sneaking pills in her milk proved to be more effective than Hal's attempt in sneaking meds in her sandwich.
In the master bedroom, Hal ponders what to do and asks Lois for advice in punishing Malcolm for swearing. Unfortunately, she only responds by laughing at him before passing out. During a skating stint at Malcolm and Reese's middle school, he finally comes up with a good idea. The next day, Lois is back to normal and screaming at Reese for sneaking medications in her milk. Hal warns the boys out of the room, but only keeps Malcolm. He mentions that since Malcolm said bad things about him, Hal punishes him by making Malcolm face him and reading the typed pages of swear words and insults. Malcolm relents and eventually not only realizes the meaning of swearing words, but also how hurt Hal's feelings were when he said them. After apologizing to him, Malcolm is not to make eye contact with Hal for the next few weeks, and he finally learns how to roll on skates. Using the technique Hal taught him, Malcolm is able to beat Reese's team.
- 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
- Jose Espinosa as Cadet Jose
- In the scene where Reese is playing a video game on his Game-boy, there is no game cartridge in the Game-boy.