Synopsis and review of Buseys Run Away

Written by Petch

So much for this reviewer's theory that Dewey might inherit Malcolm's Krelboyne shoes and take his place in the classroom of genius misfits. As this episode demonstrates--as does the cast listing of several future ones--his misplaced allegiance is with the pupils of Dewey's Special Class, introduced in the previous season. These are the emotionally abused children, or the Busey's. And Dewey has become their emotional anchor. But Dewey's Dad has also become such to an unlikely group of people.

Poor Hal is still having no luck at finding a job. Each job-hunting phone call is a dead end. At Lois' suggestion, he begins taking tot Jamie out on jaunts to the local park. There Hal meets up with and befriends a motley assortment of muscular body-builders--strong in muscle but curiously soft in smarts. Hal gradually becomes a mentor figure and source of inspiration to the glistening titans for such little displays as rescuing a set of sewer-bound car keys and balancing another one's checkbook. The appreciative group do afford Hal a few favors, like pulling his crappy new car (actually a beat-up, used Ford Escort) around when it won't start.

Meanwhile, Malcolm and Reese are planning a fireworks prank at a local movie cinema, but Dewey wants no part. He's being treated to a series of niceties from Lois, now that he's out of the "special" class. An alert from Mrs. Welsh reveals that the students of the Busey's class have inexplicably run away. Although Dewey professes no knowledge of their whereabouts, he shortly discovers that they're all hiding in the trees surrounding his own home. With a little blackmail incentive, Dewey is coerced into covering for them.

Thus begins a short-reigned treetop paradise for the Busey' delivery thrown upwards into the trees; microwave set-up for quick popcorn; hosed in shower water for the occasional hygiene. Meanwhile, Hal and his muscle-bound troupe agree to search the neighborhood thoroughly for the missing children. While this is going on, Reese and Malcolm's fireworks pranks are lost in the shuffle, except for a few minor first degree burns for them. I know--all of this just begs for a resolution. And it happens.

Lamenting in their back yard, one of Hal's high-toned proteges happens to pound his fist into one of the trees....several times, in fact. So much so, that displaced Busey's begin to pour out of the tree and onto the ground. Soon news cameras are on-hand, and Hal is lauded as a hero for directing the effort to recover the missing children. Not one to abandon his comrades, Dewey fakes a mental "relapse" in the presence of Mrs. Welsh so as to re-integrate himself into the Busey's class. Call it altruism or desperation; kudos for Erik Per Sullivan for a great display of lunacy, even going so far as to chew on Lois' leg.

A short time later, Hal is telephoned by a firm to which he has applied. His heroism in "finding" the lost pupils has landed him a corporate job. He and Lois are ecstatic, although the musclemen are bewildered. Who's going to inspire them now? Well, who knows, but at least they do a great job of dragging Hal's crappy car onto his new company's lot on the first day of work. Who says God doesn't work in mysterious ways?

Two episodes in, here's where Season Six stands. Reese is back home, with no further military obligation. Hal has a new, unnamed job and undeclared salary. Lois is still unemployed. Dewey is still a Busey. Malcolm is whatever. And Francis is still unheard from. And it still works. Maybe not as marvelously as some of director Bryan Cranston's previous efforts, but it's still a solid and above-average effort. Perhaps the "Busey's Run Away," but the viewers should run back to their TV screens. This series is still tops.

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