Malcolm and Reese is caught by the officer

Stock Car Races is the tenth episode of Season 1 of Malcolm in the Middle and the tenth episode overall of the show.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Hal takes the boys to see stock-car races on a school day. While she's looking for her paycheck, Lois cleans the house and finds enough evidence to ground the boys.

Francis sneaks a snake into the academy. Dewey constantly punches himself in order to get Reese in trouble so he can relax in front of the TV.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the cold opening, Malcolm and Reese are sitting on the couch watching TV until Dewey arrives and starts slapping himself in the chest pretending that he is being beaten by Reese. Lois falls for Dewey's lie and drags him away while reprimanding him for picking on his little brother while Reese tries to explain he was being framed. Dewey joins Malcolm on the couch and Malcolm says that he taught Dewey how to manipulate Lois into punishing Reese.

At breakfast, Malcolm says he's been up for half an hour and had his cereal so it is now time for his mom to ask him the same question "what are you doing in your genius class today?". Malcolm claims that it's no different from regular classes except now he is ostracized for it, Lois only sees it as an opportunity since his vocabulary is expanding. Malcolm is upset about having to square dance in front of the school with his class. Reese loves how humiliating it is for the Krelboynes and how he gets to kick their asses afterwards. Lois makes Reese gargle with salad dressing for swearing. After realizing how humiliated and/or beaten he will be for square dancing he decides to ditch school for the sake of his masculinity. Hal decides to drive the boys to school, Malcolm tries to argue but Hal is dead set on taking them. After Hal leaves with the boys he accidentally takes Lois' paycheck after it is knocked off the table into his bag.

In the car Dewey snitches on Reese, but Hal reminds him "only snitch when asked to snitch." The boys are shocked though when Hal tells them they aren't going to school. He takes them to the racetrack to see the last race of the best driver ever Rusty Malcolm. Hal claims Malcolm himself was named after Rusty in his honour and it took him three tries to convince Lois to name one of their children Malcolm. After two laps, the boys decide to get some sodas. While arguing over who should watch him though, the boys lose Dewey and enter a forbidden room instead of staying hooked on finding him, only to be caught by a security guard.

Meanwhile, Francis' disobedience affects the rest of the cadets' after being caught smoking on campus, thanks to Spangler's dog, Patton, who smelled smoke on him and Spangler punishes the cadets with one month of no hot water, leading to Francis receiving a black eye as payback.

Back at the house Lois plans to drop off her paycheque at the bank but cannot find it. She searches for it but after dumping a bag of garbage in the sink she realizes she needs to take a more detail oriented approach. She begins combing through every square inch of the living room finding firecrackers that she knows belong to Malcolm and a porno magazine she assumes for Reese.

Later, Stanley tells Francis that his black eye isn't as bad as the one Francis requested he give him to get him out of practicing riflery. Francis secretly overhears how much the cadets hate the annoying dog, he secretly bought a boa constrictor whom he named Otis and stashed him in his foot locker. When he shows this to Stanley, he warns Francis to get rid of the snake before Spangler finds out. He refuses and intends to use Otis one day to attack the dog. Stanley reluctantly agrees to keep Otis a secret, however when they leave the room they fail to realize Francis left one of the buckles on Otis' case unlocked.

Later back at the house Lois starts finding objects and "dirt" on the boys and Hal. She starts making piles for evidence against each of the boys in her life when Caroline, Malcolm's Krelboyne teacher stops by for a visit after informing her that Malcolm has been skipping school all week. Lois puts down "ditching" in Malcolm's pile. Caroline tells Lois that she believes Malcolm has been skipping because he has body issues and is worried about not being graceful. Lois immediately bursts into laughter until she realizes Caroline is serious. Lois tells her that although she is an expert on teaching she knows nothing about boys. She says boys are able to think maybe three minutes into the future, and it's their job to make sure that future comes crashing down on him within the time limit to ensure they learn their lesson. They lift the couch to find something unsanitary which doesn't phase Lois as she goes to grab a pair of tongs.

After finding that Otis escaped Francis assures Stanley they've got nothing to worry about. Then Patton is heard barking at Otis until Otis eats Patton alive, Spangler attempts to shoot Otis but due to his lack of depth perception Otis escapes into the wild. Francis clearly terrified phones Lois and asks for her credit card so he can come for a visit and get away from Spangler's fury and further beatings. Lois tells him he's better off being far away from her, or Olaf Mortenson of Wheatville, Montana. Francis is visibly disturbed and immediately hangs up.

Lois and Caroline are relaxing onthe couch together and Caroline tells Lois that she has learned more in two hours with her than she has in six years of teaching. She then asks if her life turned any thing like she hoped it would be. Lois explains none of her dreams came true as she wanted to be a blackjack dealer on an Indian reserve but due to her stubby thumbs it didn't come true. Caroline claims she is still fairly lucky to have a home and a family and all she comes home to every night is three cats and her showerhead she named Bob. After a laugh she asked if she has a stronger alcohol for her coffee.

Hal is later confronted by the security guard who explains the boys' rotten behavior. Rather than apologize for it, he kicks the guard in the shin and flees with the boys in tow.

The next day, Spangler informs the cadets of Patton's death and wonders why God feels the need to take away everything he loves. He then confronts Francis for the death of Patton since he was the owner of Otis. He tries to claim that he was set up by someone else for it. The angered Spangler doesn't believe a word coming out of Francis' mouth because he found snake skin droppings in his foot locker and demands he confesses. Annoyed over Francis' defiance, he worsens the cadets punishment with two months worth of having the hot water shut off including no television and an 8:00 pm curfew for the academy and tells them to thank the cadet for not confessing to his latest infraction. Believing they're going to beat him up, Francis asks them to take a picture of him being beaten up and send it to his mom with the words "I told you so!" written on it. Instead, the cadets congratulate him which confuses him. The cadets reveal to Francis that they hated Patton so much for his annoying barking. When they tried to complain about it, Spangler ignored the cadets concerning the dog. They believe Francis did them favor by letting his pet snake, Otis, attack and eat Patton. The cadets also believe that Spangler's punishment was worth it to be rid of the dog.

At home, Hal arrives with the boys and hopes they learned a lesson from their outing. Malcolm learned his dad is capable of doing something cool, not necessarily violence but definitely something cool. Hal finds Lois' paycheck in the trash realizing he took it by accident before taking it out. He quickly reminds the boys to tell Lois that he has been at work all day unaware of the NASCAR logo sunburned to his forehead. They are horrified to find the evidence of their crimes all sorted by name and Lois waiting for them with a cup of tea and a sinister smile. Malcolm is relieved at least she is unaware of him cutting class, unaware of Caroline telling Lois. However, the relief is short lived when everyone finds out she knew the truth of their excursions and other crimes. Lois punishes Hal and the boys for their wrongdoings.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode reveals that Malcolm was named after Rusty Malcolm, and that Francis and Reese were originally going to be named Malcolm for the same reason.
  • Malcolm's extreme dislike of the sport is ironic since his actor Frankie Muniz loves the sport and even shifted his career from acting to racing for a while after the show ended.
  • Irwindale Speedway, a real race track east of Los Angeles, was used as a filming location for this episode.[1]
  • At the very end of the episode, when Hal and the boys come home, inside Francis' basket are cigarettes called ''Morley''. Morley is a fictional brand of cigarettes often seen in movies and TV, such as "Psycho", ''Pulp Fiction'' and "The X-Files".
  • The couch at the very end of the episode when Hal and the boys enter the house is different then the couch from earlier.

References[edit | edit source]

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