Synopsis of Poker

Malcolm can't believe Stevie got out of writing paper by doing a video essay instead. Stevie decides to do his video essay on Malcolm writing a paper, and Malcolm quickly gets fed up with being watched and decides to write a paper about Stevie's video essay.

On the night of Hal and Lois's first dance lesson, Hal gets invited by Abe Kenarban to play poker with some of Abe's friends. Lois lets Hal go play and drags a reluctant Reese to dance lessons instead. Lois is thrilled when the dance instructor, Rudy, chooses her to demonstrate new dances to the rest of the elderly class. Rudy makes Lois feel incredibly light on her feet. Meanwhile, Reese is forced to dance with some of the other little old ladies in the class. He quickly realizes that he's very popular among the geriatric set, and translates this popularity into cash. He uses the cash to torture Dewey by buying him a cool new toy and then smashing it just to watch his little brother's face. Dewey takes his revenge by borrowing Stevie's video camera and taping the dance class. Reese is horrified to find Dewey watching a video of Reese dancing cheek to cheek (and sometimes hand to cheek) with a series of little old ladies. Lois is horrified to actually see herself dance with Rudy, and realizes that when Rudy recommended she move on to a more advanced class, he was actually trying to get rid of her because she's such a horrible dancer.

Hal goes to play poker with Abe and his friends and immediately feels out of place, not because all the players are black, but because they're all professionals, old friends, and play poker together every week. He becomes the butt of their jokes and quickly loses all his money because he doesn't know their habits like they do. He leaves feeling cheated and angry. He takes his anger out on Stevie when Malcolm complains that Stevie is annoying him. Of course, Abe immediately hears about Hal yelling at his son (even though Hal immediately apologized) and storms over to Hal's house to yell at him. Hal admits that he's angry about poker and so Hal and Abe sit down to figure out once and for all who is the better poker player. Malcolm helps out his dad and Stevie helps out his dad, and soon it's really Malcolm playing poker against Stevie. In the end, the two men realize they were playing with an incomplete deck of cards anyway. Hal and Abe resort to yelling, until Hal lets it slip that he was particularly sad about the poker experience because he was initially so excited to be invited to play poker with Abe, his best friend. Abe admits he was excited to have Hal over, and even bought a new Hawaiian shirt for the occassion. The two make up and decide to go out for ice-cream with the boys.

A storm hits Alaska and Francis, along with his three roommates, are completely snowed in with minimal supplies and no entertainment. After resorting to recreating Gilligan's Island episodes from memory, they all become entranced by a string that Eric is playing with. When Eric loses the string, the other three guys put him on trial, find him guilty of stealing the string, and are in the process of branding him (literally) a string-stealer when Lavernia comes to tell them the storm is over and they've been shoveled out.

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