|Season 1, Episode 15|
|Air date||May 14, 2000|
|Written by||Michael Glouberman & Andrew Orenstein|
|Directed by||Jeff Melman|
The Bots and the Bees
Lois is sick and thinks it's still Sunday and tells the boys that their punishment is not over yet, so the boys decide to stay home from school but then they realize there is nothing to do. Hal goes to a car dealership to try and buy a red Porsche which he can't decide to buy or not.
Malcolm, Reese and Dewey are excited that it's Monday for a reason. It was the end of their two month long grounding (complete with no TV) for giving away the bike to Francis' dead beat vandal friends, Richie, Justin and Circus, as Lois somehow knew the boys were lying when they claimed it was stolen. Hal tells the boys that once he gets home he will rewire and plug the TV back in, warning them to behave between now and then and suggests before they leave for school, they walk into the bedroom and tell Lois to feel better because she's been sick for the last few days. After he leaves they attempt to tell her, but she thinks it's still Sunday and warns them not to leave the house because they're still grounded. Happy to miss school for the day the boys stay home however they soon realize they've made a mistake, since they can't watch TV or leave the house lest they get reported for truancy and they'll just end up in trouble again anyway once Hal gets home.
On his way to work, Hal gets distracted by a Porsche dealership. He walks in just to look at the car, and gets pounced upon by a salesman who convinces him to look at a brochure. Then the salesman convinces Hal to take the car for a test-drive. He introduces him to the financing guy and the trade-in guy. Finally, he gets Hal to initial a price and works up a whole contract and payment plan.
At the house, Francis calls home and tells the boys that he's worried that Lois will find out about a letter from a prestige college in Southern Alabama involving a prank he did when he drove a back hoe into a swimming pool. The boys agree to hide the letter for a while and he does them a favor by telling them about an arcade where the owner doesn't bust truants. Francis also mentions that there's money in the one of the drawers and Lois won't know as long as they take between five and seven dollars. The boys attempt to raid the drawers but a sick Lois catches them and mentions that she hid it in the back of the closet. The boys realize that, in her delusional state, Lois is truthfully answering any question she is asked. Forgetting about the arcade they decide to get some answers. After several questions (which include Reese finding out, to his dismay, that he wasn't adopted), Malcolm asks Lois how she knew about Dewey's bike not really being stolen. She finally tells them that Francis told her everything and it was how she knew the boys were lying.
At the Porsche Dealership, the salesman tries to convince Hal to sign on the dotted line, but by this time Hal is freaking out and also not feeling very well. Hal fears he's come down with Lois's flu and breaks for the door, but the salesman cuts him off and convinces him to stick his head in the Porsche one more time and smell the leather and look at the console. Hal stick his head in the Porsche and throws up in it. The salesman has to drive a very ill Hal home.
At the house, Reese is outraged by Francis and wants to give the letter to Lois so she can bust him for what he's done. Malcolm isn't so sure and wants to get his side of the story first. Sure enough Francis calls again and it's confirmed that he did rat his brothers out. Malcolm is furious and tells him that he will give Lois the letter in retaliation to what he did to them. Soon after the boys discuss it among themselves whether or not to give Lois the letter and later decide not to, but pretend they are to scare him. Once again Francis calls home, but he has an ace up his sleeve as he has sent Richie, Justin and Circus round to retrieve the letter. Malcolm hides it in the VCR and tells Reese. Francis tells Richie to watch Reese's eyes, and of course Reese entirely gives away where the letter is hidden. Francis's friends ride off on their bikes triumphant with the letter. Then Malcolm tells Reese that that was a fake letter, and he knew Francis wouldn't give up until his friends had the letter, and that Reese would give it away, so he told Reese where the fake letter was and actually gave the real letter to Dewey, which is the last thing anyone would expect. Dewey proudly announces that he hid it under mom's pillow. Malcolm freaks out as a sick Lois is now awake and is reading the letter.
In the bedroom, she realizes it's Monday and is furious with Francis for what he's done to the college's swimming pool that she ignores punishing the boys for skipping school. Reese tries to distract her by thinking it's a dream, but she doesn't buy it and tells him to shut up. Malcolm reminds Lois to rest up because she's sick, but she tells him that she's too angry to be sick. She mentions that Francis has really outdone himself this time and will send him away to a work farm in Arizona. She later leaves to throw up in the bathroom. Malcolm calls Francis to apologize about what happened and that he, Reese and Dewey had no intentions of showing the letter to Lois and it was accidental. He understands and tells them that he's sorry for ratting them out, but she was pressuring him to tell her the truth with the threat that if he didn't he wouldn't get to come home for the summer. Now his younger brothers feel really awful, and try to think of a way to save Francis's hide. Malcolm decides if they get into a whole lot of trouble, their mother will be so busy being mad at them that she won't remember to be mad at Francis. They take all their parents' prized possessions up onto the roof of the house and put them in a wheeled cart. They roll the cart off the roof into the driveway... just as the salesman is pulling up to the house in the Porsche with their very sick father. Mission accomplished.
It's night time, and the boys are still up on the roof. Lois, now having completely forgotten about Francis, is standing outside in her bathrobe drinking a cup of tea and telling them to come down. They say they'll come down when she tells them what she's going to do. She says she'll tell them what she's going to do when they come down. It's a stand-off.
- 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
- Todd Gieberhain as Richie
- Justin Pierce as Justin
- Parker Mills as Circus
- Peter Mackenzie as Terry
- David Weisenberg as Finance Guy
- Stan Sellers as a trade-in customer
- This episode establishes that Lois kept a brochure of an Arizona Work Farm for troubled teens in her drawer as a back up plan just in case Marlin Academy fails to turn Francis around.
- Despite being sick and aware that the boys had raided her drawers too many times, she decided to hide the money in the closet.