Reese vs. Stevie
Season 7, Episode 3
Reese vs Stevie
Episode Guide
Health Insurance
Reese vs. Stevie is the third episode of season seven of Malcolm in the Middle.


Reese tells Stevie that he is going to beat him up, which puts Stevie on the edge. After Hal catches Dewey smoking, he makes a deal with him that he will stop drinking coffee if Dewey quits smoking. Dewey and Hal engage in a battle, with Dewey drinking a lot of coffee and Hal smoking cigarettes simply because the other is not allowed to indulge in their preferred vice. Meanwhile Lois tries to get Jamie to talk by telling him everything about herself, and eventually has an epiphany about her mother influencing her insecurity all these years. Fed up, and after Lois leaves the room, he speaks his first word that was similar to Francis: "Shut Up."


Dewey gets hooked on cigarettes, thanks to ex-smoker Hal's many stashes around the house, forcing him to find ways to try to get Dewey to quit.

Stevie receives some good news: he's accepted by the Norvet Bio-Medical Institute as a research subject. Reese puts a damper on his mood by loudly complaining about Stevie's presence. Malcolm tries to diffuse the situation by trying to get Reese to be more sensible in letting them study. Steve has his way with Reese again, given the boys history. The two boys seem to start a fight, but Reese has to hold back. This inability to go after the physically challenged Stevie irritates him even more. He snaps and announces an official fight, next Friday after school.

Lois tries to get Jamie to talk by telling him her modern life and her high school years, but his only words are spoken similar to Francis' own ("Shut up").

Hal sees Dewey smoking a cigarette again and comes up with an idea to get the boy to quit. He will give up drinking coffee if Dewey stops smoking. This turns out to be more of a challenge than the two anticipated. Hal tries to get a sniff of coffee wherever he can and Dewey chews gum endlessly. At night Dewey sneaks out of the house to smoke a cigarette. He catches Hal brewing coffee. They start playing catch just to get their minds off their addictions.

When the time comes for Reese and Stevie to fight, Abe calls Malcolm and warns him that Stevie's on his way to the Wilkerson house to fight Reese. He rushes in to try to warn his brother, only to find him in an unused trash can filled with ice water. Reese is going to make this fight fair by making his legs limp in ice water and stabbing them with an ice pick. Malcolm tries to talk some sense into him explaining he doesn't have to do this. Reese accuses him of abandoning his own brother claiming that Malcolm has the brains and talent to do whatever he wanted. He knows he'll go on to better things with Stevie, while the family is left behind. Malcolm points out how selfish Reese is in his wrongful accusations. He mentions that no matter how much he wants to escape his family and their problems, Malcolm knows he can't. The tender brother moment is interrupted when Stevie appears. It turns out he has just done the opposite, and steals a robot exoskeleton from a college project he is into, beating Reese up badly.

When Dewey finally quits smoking, Hal decides to smoke again by taking out a carton of fresh cigarette packs from the lamp post in the back yard. After Hal is caught, Dewey takes up drinking coffee in revenge for breaking his promise. Unfortunately in the middle of the antagonism battle between Hal and Dewey, Lois catches Hal smoking cigarettes in front of her and yells at him. When Hal tries to claim he was doing this in lieu of Dewey drinking coffee, Lois ignores it. She believes that the latter's drinking coffee isn't punishable enough in comparison to Hal breaking his promise by smoking in the house again.

In the end, Malcolm explains that Stevie got kicked out from the project for using unauthorized equipment and Reese will be fine after a few months. He also explains that because Lois was enraged at Hal for breaking his promise in not smoking again, she has ignored punishing Dewey for drinking coffee. As punishment for smoking in the house, Hal has to find all of his hidden cigarette stashes and get rid of them. He walks over to the vent and opens it, allowing the cigarettes to fall into the empty trash bin. Once they are all in the bin, Hal closes it and leaves. According to Malcolm, if Lois finds any leftover cigarettes in the house, she'll make Hal eat them in the morning and this motivated him in getting rid of the stashes. He finishes with bringing a new bedpan for the incapacitated Reese.


  • 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

  • Craig Lamarr Traylor as Stevie
  • Lukas and James Rodriguez as Jamie
  • Gary Anthony Williams as Abe


  • Cody Estes as young Malcolm(uncredited)
  • Dillon John as young Reese(uncredited)


[Hal just found out that Dewey is smoking.]
Dewey: Now, don't blame yourself
Hal: Dewey, you're smoking! Do you have any idea what a dangerous and disgusting addiction that is?! It took me years to quit. Do you want to end up breathing through a hole on your neck? Do you think that's cool?
Dewey: You can breath through a hole on your neck.
Hal: What do you think your mother's going to say?!
Dewey: You can't tell mom. She'll kill me.

Malcolm: Reese, you're insane!
Reese: Am I? They thought Einstein was crazy. Until he started kicking ass! (falls and Malcolm looks confused)

Hal: Kids go at their own pace. Heck, 6th grade I had a full beard and I still couldn't tie my shoes properly.

Dewey: This is so degrading. On the way home from school, I almost pulled a cigarette butt out of the gutter.
Hal: I french-kissed your mother this morning just to lick the coffee off her teeth.

Lois: You know what Jamie. You talk when your ready to talk. (leaves the room)
Jamie:[annoyed similar to Francis] Shut up.

[Lois walks in to see Hal and Dewey antagonizing each other.]
Dewey:[Drinking Coffee] Mmmm. Rich roasted goodness. Suddenly I'm in a French café.
Hal:[smoking a cigarette] Well I'm with two girls in a speedboat sucking down a smooth blend of fine tobaccos. Mmm.
Lois:[Catches Hal smoking] HAL!
Hal:[takes out his cigarette] Dewey's drinking coffee.
[Lois ignores Dewey for the moment. In her opinion, his drinking coffee doesn't equal to the type of punishment that she will inflict on Hal for what he did in breaking his promise not to smoke in the house again.]

Malcolm:[last lines] The Norvet Institute kicked Stevie out for unauthorized use of their equipment and Reese will be okay, but he's not allowed out of bed until he stops seeing four of everything.
[Hal comes into the kitchen, carrying a trash bin to one of the air conditioner vents where he hides his cigarettes. Opening the vent, the cigarettes all cascade down into the bin. Hal then closes it and leaves.]
Malcolm: Mom's making dad find the last of his old cigarettes and she's gonna make eat any she finds in the morning so he's pretty motivated. The amazing thing is I got off Scott free.
Lois: Malcolm go change Reese's bedpan.
Malcolm: Hey, he's my brother.


  • Hal reveals that he has set up a rule for his sons. Each of the boys get a "One free pass", where if they do something extremely horrible that Lois can't know about, he'll let it slide without a punishment. Each of his sons was given a free pass before. However, Hal is the only one who can decide how each boy will use their one free pass.
    • Francis' one free pass was going to a strip club when he was a young child and angered the stripper by handcuffing himself to the pole so she would have to give him back his dollar.
    • Reese's one free pass was killing a donkey by putting roller skates on it in his attempt to teach it how to roller skate, causing it to fall upside down.
    • Malcolm's one free pass was burning both his own and his father's hair off with his chemistry experiment going wrong.
    • In this episode, Dewey's one free pass was getting addicted to smoking thanks to finding Hal's secret stashes of cigarettes over the house
  • Reese is shown to be socially obligated against hitting Stevie. However, he was shown to be perfectly fine with punching him multiple times in the episode Dinner Out.
  • This episode reveals that Dewey is addicted to smoking in this episode, making him the third member of the Wilkerson family to be addicted to smoking, with the first two being Hal and Francis.
  • This episode also reveals that Hal has an addiction to coffee.
  • It is revealed that one of Stevie's problems is motor neuropathy. Motor neuropathy is a nerve disability in which the nerves either cease to fire or fire incorrectly, which results in either no mobility or poor movement control.
  • A lot of Lois' backstory is revealed in this episode, as she explains that throughout her childhood, she's always been unhappy with who she was and has always been trying to be better, because her mother has always been forcing her to be someone she's not.
  • Jamie says his first word in this episode, which is "Shut up". This is similar to words Francis said to Lois growing up.
  • The exoskeleton that Stevie wears is based on actual medical studies that are ongoing. Many different universities and doctors are working on assisted movement exoskeletons with a wide range of medical applications. The US military branches actually have some in test phases, being used on soldiers who were crippled in the line of duty.
  • Francis' only appearance in this episode, is a flashback to when he was a little kid. He was portrayed by a different actor and only made a non-speaking cameo.
  • Lois told the boys that they were forbidden to use pillowcases for a month. However, in the very next scene, they are using pillowcases. To be fair, Lois was only saying this as a cover up for her crying, so she most likely didn't follow through with it.
  • After quitting coffee, Hal took up smoking again by taking out a fresh pack of cigarettes and a lighter hidden in the backyard lamp post, which leads to Dewey drinking coffee in retaliation.
  • This episode also reveals why Hal kept his old stashes of cigarettes in the crawlspace leading to the AC vents as a means to keep off smoking.
    • However when he started smoking again, Lois busts him for doing so