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Dethroning Moment: Malcolm in the Middle
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kay4today: The final episode where Lois first rejects a very good job proposal for Malcolm and then tells him that she pretty much planned his life for him and expects him to be president of the United States. What? That's so incredibly stupid and selfish I really hoped Malcolm would tell her to shove it up her ass, but instead he accepts it and rolls with everything. Now, I'm well aware it's about how much your family means to you and that you would do anything to please them, but it's such a ridiculous Wall Banger I don't get how this is heartwarming...
Peteman Ugh. I know what you mean. Malcom's family claim that society takes advantage of them because they're poor. Maybe if they weren't so irresponsible, they wouldn't be so damn poor.
Adam C: Agreed. What really bugged me about this was that it COULD have been pretty heartwarming. If they'd instead have had Lois asking Malcolm not to take the job and telling him how much he had open to him and that she thought he could do so much, that would've really been something. Having Lois decide it for him just comes off as creepy and raises a lot of unfortunate implications. The way she's the one who decides he should be president, the way the family expects him to solve all their (often self-inflicted) problems, the way they refuse to give him any help, it just comes off as needlessly controlling and cruel, even by her standards.
Mc Knight: Fourthed. There was even an episode where Malcolm worked up the balls to say "No" to Lois, asking her if she intended to watch over him when he's married or 30 years old. From what I read, only one season after he shows regret for costing Reese a girlfriend, he lists all the horrible things Reese has done to him while Reese himself is in the army. Francis realizes what a horrible person Lois is, and told her in no uncertain terms how much he openly hates her before choosing his own path in life. Horrible as life was for him up in Alaska, at least he had the balls to sever ties with Lois. This goes to show how little respect Malcolm has for himself, even though he realizes and resents just as much what a control freak she is and how much a mess their lives are as a result. I would sympathize with other Butt Monkey characters like Keitaro Urashima, Monroe, Shinji Ikari, Meg Griffin, Chris Rock, Kyon, or Mikuru Asahina. Malcolm? All I can say is, What an Idiot! I like to imagine that one day, he wises up and betrays his whole family. It's the only thing keeping me from hating this episode more.
Yuma The worst thing about that episode is that it shows how much of a manipulative bitch she is. Seriously, she told Malcolm that he's one of the few people that listens to their conscience, so now she made sure he'd tune it out? WTF. This troper can't help but feel that all of Lois and Hal's kids should have been adopted by different families. And if I could point out another one, "Army Buddy". Getting right to the sucky point, Reese's army buddy reveals to Lois that she has a crush on her, and her response is, not an exact quote but, "It's not that I'm not flattered but I have a family, five kids..." She says that pretty casually and makes no mention of the statutory rape that would be involved. Out of all the times she exploded, I am surprised this wasn't one of them.
RA 2: "Surgery", the only episode of any show that made me physically mad. Now I know that the show isn't exactly sunshine and roses, but the amount of torture that Malcolm goes through - with no comeuppance or resolution - was still excessive by their standards. Basically, he gets taken to a textbook scary hospital, with next to no health standards (a body being dragged down the hall in a garbage bag for instance), and visibly incompetent doctors that misdiagnose him with appendicitis. After nearly avoiding laser surgery (the doctors mixed up the charts) Malcolm tries to warn his family, but they ignore him, being too wrapped up in a board game they're playing at home. Malcolm narrowly escapes the potentially-disastrous appendectomy, and is taken home to safety... where the entire family admonishes and blames him after Dewey points out "If you're so smart, why didn't you figure it out earlier?" (ie, because of the large hospital bill)... and the episode just ends. So yeah, no mention of the medical malpractice lawsuit that they probably could have won, nor the flipside of Dewey's argument "If he's so smart, why didn't those dolts listen to him earlier???" Look, I know the show is somewhat dark, and it's too much to expect Lois & Hal to be concerned about Malcolm's well-being, but this was season 2, when they were still mindful about doling out the appropriate karma by the episode's end. "Surgery" was just a half hour of the universe pounding Malcolm into the ground. It was a break from form, and very unpleasant to watch.
Animeking1108: What I hated was that after Dewey asked Malcolm that question, the family just glared at him like if they were expecting a legitimate answer out of him.
Chimanruler15: Actually, it was Reese who asked that inane question. Dewey just baselessly accused Malcolm of faking his ailment before Malcolm corrected him by pointing out that he figured out that the inept doctors were wrong. Also, it is worth noting that Hal callously asked Malcolm for an answer to Reese's question while everyone else just glared at Malcolm. Anyway, I agree. This entire episode was torture for Malcolm, and despite his claims that he was actually fine, no one in the family listened to him, only to get mad at him for something that they could have prevented. Besides, even smart people can be wrong, so that completely annihilates Reese's argument.
anonexistentuser: For all of this show's unflinching looks into exaggerated family dysfunction, the only plot that genuinely disturbs me is the one where Malcolm is implied to have had sex with a woman his mother's age in "Burning Man." There's no indication that he turned 18 before this episode, so that's called statutory rape, unless whatever state they live in has a lower age of consent.