Synopsis and review of Future Malcolm

Written by Petch

The Malcolm team scores another celebrity guest star, and the result this time is an unmitigated home-run. Forget the neuroses exhibited on Seinfeld; all bets are off when Jason Alexander makes a surprise appearance here.

As genious Leonard, the former George Costanza scores an impressive entry into the Malcolm world. While Malcolm and Stevie make their way across a park lane, they happen upon the acidic Leonard berating a chess partner he's just defeated.

Is it Searching For Bobby Fisher or is it a cry for help? Or is he just an ass? After submitting to several feckless rounds of chess, Malcolm comes to fear that he will one day become someone hopeless like Leonard.

At home, Dewey resents that the impending baby is taking attention away from him, and he resorts to outlandish antics to divert the attention, always claiming "the baby told me to do it." Meanwhile, Lois is trying desperately to lose weight, while Hal seems to be on some chubby-fetish and spikes her lunch, her salad, even her tea, with fattening additives. It's mildly funny, but it's unresolved and makes little sense to the viewer.

At the Grotto, Piama casually mentions that she's on her way to pose nude for an art class, but Francis protests until he learns that it pays $250 per session. So he joins and briefly becomes the toast of the class, until he unexpectedly finds that his services are no longer called for and that he's been replaced by a chubby fellow. In frustration, Francis quits the job, though it's unclear if he's referring to just the art class or the Grotto completely. We'll probably know in a few weeks.

Reese has exactly one scene in this episode, but it's the butt of one of Dewey's pranks--instigated by the baby, of course. And after witnessing brutal thugs try to extort money from Leonard, Malcolm has secured a job interview for him at the Lucky Aide, where Craig Feldspar will interview him. Leonard weathers the interview well, but when Craig overhears his cynical badmouthing afterwords, it's back to the yellow pages for this loser. And now Malcolm is left with this partial snapshot of what his life will be like, should he continue on the narrow-eyed path he's on.

Meanwhile, the last of Dewey's attention-grabbing antics pull his parents into the kitchen, where "the baby" has instructed him to perform one final, destructive task. Though it's not a home-run, a casual, baby-dictated suggestion from Dewey affords a quick-look from Lois at what her hubby is putting into her tea. So HE's the one keeping her fat....again, it's unexplainable but very funny.

In the final scene, Malcolm returns to the park lane, but Leonard is gone, having left Malcolm a goodbye note which only intensifies the lad's fears that he'll one day grow into someone like Leonard. As he and Stevie leave the park, Malcolm can be heard doing what he does best: bitching.

Jason Alexander's work makes this outing a success; in other hands, the episode might be lackluster. Dewey's schtick nearly steals the show, though, and it's odd that Reese has so little screen time. On a curious note, the "nude posing" Francis subplot was originally planned for the earlier Malcolm Holds His Tongue, but was replaced with an inexplicably thrown-together vignette. No matter. The baby's coming next. The dynamic's gonna change again.

And this reviewer is all 'bout it.

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