Synopsis of Tutoring Reese
Written by Daniel
This show was written by Ian Busch. Ian is the guy identified as staff writer in the credits each week. Usually the really funny and knowing shows are written by Maggie and Pang-Ni, but I think given half a chance Ian could write some classics as well. This was a "safe" show which didn't move the story, but its jokes were really funny. The quotes say something of it, but I left a lot out because they were visual or required a level of set-up you just can't communicate well in text.
That said, the intro showed poor Hal sneaking a cigar in the garage. He's obviously done this before, he's vacuuming the smoke into a wet-dry vac. He hears Lois approaching, he throws the cigar into the vacuum. Hal never claimed to be smart. While he's explaining how if he were smoking he wouldn't sneak around like a little school boy, Lois watches smoke come out of the wet-dry vac. When it dies, she doesn't punish, she just states "That was our third shop-vac, that is our last shop vac."
Francis is home and Lois wants him to fix the roof. Apparently Hal is afraid of heights, and Francis is afraid of work. We know Lois will win, but Francis has to try. Before he finishes his declaration of independence, he's in the park telling a homeless man how tough his life has been. Francis is the perfect teenager, he convinces the man to give him food and offer him shelter, but when Richie shows up to save him he doesn't so much as say goodbye to the man.
"Reese is still searching for academic truth. His focus is diffuse, his attention is waning, it is preventing his full potentiation. To put it simply Reese isn't self-actualized." Reese's teacher wants to send him to the remedial class. Even Reese isn't ready to accept a future of living off the state. And, more importantly, Lois is not ready to accept that either. Malcolm's funtime is immediately replaced by uncompensated tutoring time. Malcolm's appeal to fairness is promoted from Lois's pervue to a curse on God for Malcolm's big brain.
"Welcome to Chez Richie!" Francis is learning that a life where an idiot makes the rules isn't all peaches. Mostly the smell of dead rat and the perpetual cold gets to him. The never ending porn takes a little longer to irk him. We know he's in trouble when he stuffs fiberglass down his shirt to keep warm. Now some of you may not know this, but you never want to touch fiberglass. If you do you will itch for a week. Shower, soap, vigorous rubbing, lotion, zinc, and other distractions you might concoct will only make it worse. Don't pet your cat, she will bite you. Really, bad stuff.
"Lets just start with geography then." "I don't take geography!" "Yes you do, you got a grade in it." "Oh, that can't be good." They're both in trouble. Malcolm has to undo years of public schooling in a week, Reese has to get a 'B' in history. This is the same kid that forgot the brainwashing his cult gave him after he was beat up by a girl. They do make some progress. Reese writes a 'C-' paper, he even revises the parts that suck, something I should do once in a while. Seriously, they have to cheat. Thankfully they have Stevie, Lloyd, and Dabney to help out. Well Dabney needed a blackmail, but that's what friends are for. Together they deliver a focus group tested 'B' exam into Mr. Woodward's hands.
Dewey really doesn't connect with the rest of the family this week, not that he's usually tethered strongly to our reality. He has a new friend to entertain. Tony's a good playmate, they fight, but they make up nicely. And they compromise on the TV they watch, even though they have very different tastes. Tony is my favorite television housefly.
"The royal 'I' -- as in Reese." They really don't want to tell their mother they cheated, but Malcolm slips when arguing with Mr. Woodward about the 'F' Reese got on a definite 'B' exam. On the other hand, Mr. Woodward just seems very stupid when he threatens Lois that he'll expose the cheating if they don't screw Reese. But this time it's Francis that prevents her from having to sacrifice Malcolm. He chooses this very moment to come back begging to be let in, his injuries and down right scary level of unkemptness would be enough but the "Please, just let me live indoors, Mom! I wanna be warm again." is a deal-maker.
In the end we see Malcolm, Reese, Francis and Mr. Woodward fixing the roof. Malcolm thinks they got off easy, but I think considering the lengths he went to to save his brother Lois is just a little bit proud of him. Besides anyone who uses the royal "I" can't be half-bad.
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