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Recap / Malcolm In The Middle S 2 E 13 New Neighbors

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When a new family moves in next to the Wilkersons, a feud erupts between the two families which resorts to increasingly worse tactics. Except for Hal who is best friends with the father. Meanwhile, Commandant Spangler prepares the cadets for a visit from Oliver North.

The neighbours in question:

This work contains examples of:

  • Blatant Lies: When caught with her pants down, Tina says the Hector was teaching her how to swim. Yeah right, with both naked on the bubbling jacuzzi when there was a perfectly nice pool right by.
  • Consummate Liar: A lot of Josh's lies were Blatant Lies to the audience but he was so good at telling them that the other characters believed him.
  • Cheating with the Milkman: Tina was cheating with Hector, whom she was abusing earlier in the episode.
  • Creepy Child: Emily, who bites Reese so hard Lois has to stop her by grabbing her nose, and who causes nightmares on him.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The feud, Lois even acknowledges it:
    Lois: They may be awful but they're better than your two brats.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Hal and Mike start to bond after discovering all their common traits, quickly stating that both are straight. When Mike moves away, Hal is too heartbroken to meet the new neighbor.
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  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Francis lies to Spangler and says he and North had a great time together, and took pictures of him being drunk.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The family is embarrassed out of the neighborhood and Mike (the only nice family member) divorces Tina.
  • The Peeping Tom: One of Josh's lies was about Malcolm being a peeping tom, to the point the police arrives to the house to question him. To Malcolm's chagrin, he finds out through Dewey that the neighborhood kids already made a nursery song about him peeping on their windows.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The plot actually left a clue that Tina was cheating on Mike: that's when she asked Lois whether the latter's doctor would write her a prescription "for neck pain, for back pain or for whatever will get him to write the prescription".
  • Sanity Slippage: Reese really starts to lose it as a result of Emily's constant attempts to bite him. Near the end of the episode, Reese goes off on his tangent about wanting to get Tina and Mike arrested, which will lead Emily to be put into foster care until she bites her foster parents so much they'll abandon her and she'll be found by hillbillies.
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  • Shout-Out: The cadets do a rendition of "Candyman".
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Malcolm tries to convince everyone that he isn't a peeping tom because there's nothing interesting about the neighbors, Hal suddenly explains in big detail that being a peeping tom is more about the thrills than the interest. This makes everyone turn their attentions to him instead.
  • Womanchild: Tina has zero parenting skills, handles Lois' yelling at her for damaging her property by turning on the sprinklers, and hides her affair like a child would by mistreating him.
  • Zany Scheme: Reese's plan is to plant stolen good outside Josh's window and call the cops on them. Lampshaded by Malcolm:
    Malcolm: I know it's stupid but I'm too desperate to care.
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