Malcolm in the Middle S5E15 Script

Reese's Apartment (2004)

Will you look at that?

He wants a trampoline for his birthday.

That's so cute, but we can't afford that.

He can get that if he doesn't have a party.

That is perfect.

He'll be so surprised.

♪ Yes, no, maybe ♪

♪ I don't know ♪

♪ Can you repeat the question? ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ And you're not so big ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ You're not the boss of me now ♪

♪ And you're not so big ♪

♪ Life is unfair. ♪ This is the best part of my day-- the 16 minutes between the horrors of school and the horrors of home.

Malcolm, there you are.

You know Ira James, right?

All-state fullback, state single season rushing record.

Who am I kidding? He's probably never even talked to you.

Hi.

Ira's graduating this year.

He's got interest from six Division 1-A colleges.

Full rides.

The problem is, each school wants him to write a personal essay on his application.

So...?

So Ira's an idiot.

I mean, hamster idiot.

And that's only if we're talking about a really stupid hamster.

Mom says I have other nice qualities.

Since you're the smartest kid in the school, I want you to help him write his essays.

I wish I could, but I've got, like, three midterms next week.

Look, you don't understand.

Ira is a football player.

That means when he needs something, it's up to you non-football kids to do it for him.

The cheerleaders understand it.

Look, I'll make it worth your while.

I'll let you out of gym for the rest of the semester.

I don't mind gym.

Sure you don't, brainiac.

Hi, honey.

I'm going to need you to be calm.

Aw, geez. Which kid is it?

I'm not going to tell you.

You're not calm enough yet.

Reese.

Okay, deep breath.

What'd he do?

All right.

Reese...

That... glubber...!

That... sniggit...!

I'm gonna...

Honey, do you want some tea or a drink?

What's wrong with Dad? Your father just found out what Reese did.

What'd he do? Your brother...

Oh, my God!

Did they have to evacuate?!

Glurb...

Oh, man, what a day.

Vic lost his other one in the meat grinder, and the health department shut us down for 15 minutes.

We were playing catch up all afternoon.

You sit down.

He wants to know how you could do something so horrible.

And think you could get away with it?

Was that "scramble" or "strangle"?

What are you guys talking about?

You know very well what we're talking about.

Last week, you...

I can name Third World countries where stuff like that happens all the time.

What am I going to do with you, Reese?

I don't want to tell you this is a new low, because every time I do, you take it as a personal challenge!

You know what?

I've just worked my butt off for six hours, and I don't appreciate getting yelled at the second I come through the door.

You're complaining?

No... complain!

Yell... us!

Hal, give yourself another minute.

Or you both could just shut up.

Oh, boy.

In this family, that's what we call "the closer."

We now know that Reese is definitely not living here for the next few days.

The only question left is who gets to take the credit.

You're kicked out! I'm leaving!

Not if we get to the doorknob first!

You're outta here! I'm outta here!

Tie goes to the runner.

They kicked Reese out again?

Yeah, we haven't heard from him in two days.

I'm actually impressed.

Usually by now he's eating cat food off of Mrs. Harvey's porch.

This is horrible.

How can they do this to their own children?

Yeah, it's really traumatizing me.

Don't they care about the psychological damage they're inflicting?

A home isn't conditional.

A home should be safe and secure and...

Roomy. What?

The point is, I got kicked out when I was 15 and I never got to come home again.

They can't do this to Reese.

Someone has to do something. Someone has to stop them.

Am I the only one who understands what kind of monsters these people are?

I don't think this is as big a deal to the rest of the family as it is to you.

Maybe you're overreacting.

Overreacting?

Dewey, when you're older, you will understand.

There are things in life called priorities, which I will explain to you in a few hours when I get there.

Right now, I have to call Otto and cash in some personal days.

Overreacting.

Great timing. The muffins just came out.

Thank God you called me.

I can't believe the hell Mom and Dad put you through.

Hey, whose place is this?

It's mine.

It's completely furnished, including cable TV.

I told them I was 18, so I got a two-year lease.

You're a banana- walnut man, right?

Reese, you can't live in a place like this.

Yeah, I can.

They were having a move-in special.

First month free.

It's only $375 a month, utilities included.

I can make my rent in a week if I pick up an extra shift.

I should have done this, like, six months ago.

Hey, Reese, come on, we're going to the roof.

The nursing students across the street are taking their cigarette break.

I'm sorry, I can't.

I'm having my brothers over for breakfast.

Francis, this is Teddy, Lou, George.

Divorced, separated, wife's doing the best friend.

Ex-best friend.

Excuse me.

All right, well, you know where we'll be.

Hey, is that a wedding ring?

Yeah.

Start hiding the money now, friend.

Come on, let's go.

Oh, man, this place is awesome.

Reese, I know you think this place is great, but any objective observer will tell you it's most certainly not.

Whoa!

This place is awesome!

One thing's for sure.

I'd never, ever leave if I were you.

So who's up for some muffins?

I am. Me. No! No muffins.

Reese, you can't just keep playing house like this.

Mom and Dad did something really horrible to you, just like they did to me, only you can't let them get away with it.

You don't belong here. You belong at home.

All right, fine.

Tell me one thing about my life that would be better if I was still at home.

I thought the "toilet seat never needs warming" argument was pretty good.

Okay, the main thing to remember is that a college essay is just like any other essay you've written.

You know, like homework.

For one of your classes.

Come on, Ira, I know it seems hard, but you just have to get started.

Like, if you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?

Ira.

Okay. There we go.

"Ira."

See? We started.

Now, what else? I don't know.

I'm not much of a writer or a reader.

I don't like words.

They confuse me.

There's, like, hundreds of them.

Calm down. You can do this.

You know what?

I'm going to say something, and you just say the first thing that comes to your head.

My earliest memory in life is...

Blue.

Thing.

Blue thing.

Good, you can use that.

Like, um...

"Sometimes my childhood

"feels vague and distant, like something draped in a blue haze."

See?

Yeah. That's cool.

Okay, my biggest fear is...

Spiders.

No-- waffles.

"I let my fears wash over me and I see that I am

"imprinted with a repeating pattern of optimism and despair."

Hey, that's not bad.

"I hope someday

"to free myself, to find the one thing..."

You're not going to do anything?

You have to go to that apartment and get him back.

Look, that's not how it works.

Oh, I know how it works.

I was thrown into military school so fast, I still had shampoo in my hair.

The minute a child is inconvenient to you, you kick him out.

Francis, this is really none of your business.

You don't even live here anymore.

Because you kicked me out!

And now you're doing the same thing to Reese.

Right now he's sitting in that apartment with his cable TV and his huge stack of video games... miserable.

If Reese is unhappy, he brought it on himself.

Really? So what's this?

Like the tenth time he's "brought it on himself"?

And let's see, Malcolm's "brought it on himself" six times, so with my 28 times, that makes...

40 kick-outs, three different kids, and the only constant through all of this is you two.

Francis, that is not fair.

Maybe you just don't like sharing your house with your children.

So when's Dewey going to "bring it on himself"?

When's Jamie?

Where is Jamie?

He's at the babysitter's.

Just till 5:00.

Oh, for the love of God, Carol, leave me my dignity.

Okay, take my dignity.

Just let me see my kids.

Just pull the trigger.

In one second, it'll all be over.

Come on, stop being such a coward and do it!

Hey, Dave, is that you?

Uh... yeah.

What channel do you have on in there?

It sounds better than what I'm watching.

This is all... new to us.

We've never... examined our parenting before.

It always seemed to us like something that should just come naturally.

Yeah, everything on the planet's been having kids for billions of years.

I mean, look at snakes.

They never take parenting classes.

The world's crawling with them.

How exactly did you want me to help you?

Well, we have fallen into a bad pattern.

Our boys misbehave and they are punished.

And then they severely misbehave and they are severely punished.

And then they misbehave in some outlandish, jaw-dropping way where, if we responded in kind, we'd end up in jail.

We're at the end of our rope here.

Well, of course you are.

So, we were hoping that with all your training, you could teach us some kind of subtle trick that would stop them in their tracks.

Trick?

Yeah, you know, some kind of secret psychological thing that would get them to shut up and listen to us for a change.

Yeah, my husband's getting older.

I mean, he can still take them individually, but if they ever team up on him...

Look, I don't think it's a good idea to treat kids like criminals or animals that need to be broken.

You've never met our boys.

Yeah, you can't begin to imagine the things they do.

I've been practicing psychiatry for 40 years.

There's nothing you could say that would shock me.

All right.

Last week, Reese...

Oh, my God! What were the cats for?

We don't know.

Give me a minute.

Now... even in the most extreme, breathtakingly horrifying cases, there are some techniques that can be useful.

Yes! See, I told you this wasn't a waste of 90 bucks.

Have you ever heard of Active Listening?

No.

Most teenagers act out because they feel no one cares.

With Active Listening, you mirror back everything your child says, which shows you're hearing them, and, by extension, understanding.

I know. It sounds simple.

But believe me, I've seen it work miracles.

Yeah, I don't think Reese would respond to that.

You're worried it won't help him.

Yes! What if it actually makes it worse?

I don't think I could stand any more trouble with him.

Oh, this is so confusing!

You're feeling mixed-up right now.

God, yes, I am. You know, I'm usually so sure of myself, but this whole thing has just made me question every aspect of...

Oh, that's good.

Oh, that's really good.

"...I now realize

"that blue is not the color of confusion, "but rather, it is the color of hope."

Yeah.

That's it.

Dude, the parts I understood... they were awesome.

Great, well, now that we have the ideas all down, all we have to do is put it into the kind of words that you would actually...

Thanks, Malcolm. You're awesome.

People are going to think I'm so smart.

Wait! We're not done yet. Hold on a second...

Blue is definitely my favorite color now.

Hey! Let's get going, Reese.

It's Ladies-Get-Free-Shrimp Night at the Red Lobster.

Maybe I'll meet you down there.

I got to get a jump on my homework.

Hey, you already blew off Air Hockey Night and Pot Luck Wednesday, but I was counting on you for tonight.

I need someone to turn the conversation to my tongue trick.

I guess now that I'm on my own, I just feel like being more responsible.

Hey, I got three kids.

You don't see me talking about responsibility.

Come on, I'm not taking no for an answer.

Okay, okay.

Mom? I have a problem. I need to talk.

Good.

You can talk, and I will listen.

This football player wants to use an essay I wrote for his college application and pretend it's his own.

I know it's dishonest, but I might be making too much of it.

I wanted to get your advice.

You're hoping I can help you.

Yeah, I just said that.

So, I don't think he should get into college under false pretenses, but are they really false pretenses if nobody thinks he's smart anyway?

I don't want to be a part of his cheating, but I also don't want to take away his shot at going to college.

I just don't know what to do.

You're uncertain... what action to take.

Yes!

Why are you talking like a robot?

You want to know why I'm... talking like a robot.

I have a problem, and I need your help!

All you're doing is mindlessly parroting back what I say!

You say one thing, and I restate it.

Forget it! If you're not going to help me, you don't have to mock me!

We do not come from a family of criminals.

You do not let him turn in that essay!

God, I knew listening to our kids would be a mistake.

Hello?

Hello. Is this the residence of the most un-nurturing, callous parents in the universe?

It's for you.

Hello.

Hi. I just got off the phone with your son, Reese.

It's been over a week, and you haven't even talked to him?

Congratulations! The fracturing of this family is now two-fifths complete.

Francis, this is a very hard and complicated situation, and I don't need you to yell at me right now.

There is nothing complicated about it.

Just go to his apartment, tell him you love him and ask him to come home.

Are you nuts?

This is Reese we're talking about.

So what? Come on! You know exactly how he thinks.

If we show that kind of weakness, it's like showing a hyena the belly of an antelope.

Reese will come home with no limits and no boundaries.

Within five years, we will be saying our last words to him over a police bullhorn.

All I know is that you have a child that needs you.

No, he doesn't!

He's happy where he is, and so are we!

Dewey, get off the phone.

Mom, I understand what you're worried about, but there is more to Reese than you give him credit for.

I wish I could believe that.

Honey, I got to go. There's another call.

What'd he...?

Hello.

Yes, this is she.

This is Peter Noyes, Reese's chemistry teacher.

I'm sure you remember me from last year's hearing.

There's something... new I have to discuss with you.

Oh, my God! What did he do now?

Your son...

He got an "A" on his midterm?!

They matched the handwriting, they had him reenact the experiment.

He did it himself.

Mr. Noyes said it's the most remarkable turnaround he's ever seen.

Wow!

He also said that we should be really proud of ourselves.

Hey, Ira.

Listen, do you have that essay I wrote?

I just wanted to make one quick change.

Yeah.

Here it is.

The change I want to make is this.

Was it too long?

No!

Listen to me, Ira.

Everyone gives you breaks.

Everyone does everything for you.

You might think it's good, but it's not.

They're telling you you're an idiot, and you're not an idiot.

You can write this essay.

You can write this essay on your own.

Remember that story you told me about the two-pound steak you once ate?

You thought it'd be impossible, but you took it one bite at a time, and you did it.

You just need to do the same thing with your essay.

Okay, I'll try.

"And then I pretended I was Rocky, "and I told Mr. T, 'Go for it.'

"I really wished his Mohawk fell off

"when he got hit.

The end."

Thanks, Malcolm. This is the most words I've ever put together in my life.

Yeah.

I-It shows.

Mmm!

This is amazing.

I think the lemon zest really brings it to life.

How's your dinner?

I'm having half-frozen Lean Cuisine.

Not much of a last meal, if you ask me!

What are you doing here?

Can we come in?

Sure. You want some dinner?

No, but thank you, Reese.

Seriously. I just got a convection oven.

I can whip you up a frittata in, like, ten minutes.

It's spotless.

Reese, we came here to do something.

It goes against all of our instincts, and even as I'm about to do it, it doesn't feel right.

But... it seems our instincts aren't very good lately, so... here goes.

What is it?

Reese, we love you, and we think you might be better off staying here.

Really?

Honest to God, you seem to be doing much better without us.

I mean, let's face it, in 17 years with us, you have spent more days in juvenile court than you have in school.

But now, after ten days on your own, you... you're a functioning member of society.

Wow!

I must have really changed.

I don't even want to rub it in.

Mail call!

I confiscated your Victoria's Secret catalog.

A kid your age should... Oh, you're entertaining.

Teddy, these are my parents.

Mom, Dad, this is my neighbor, Teddy.

Hello. This visitation thing's a real pain in the ass, huh?

You know, this place isn't so bad.

Next time we come, we can bring some plants.

Sweet! Hold on a sec.

Hi, I just got your Deluxe Platinum Card, and I want to activate it.

"Two-four-seven-one."

Now, listen, I already transferred a $3,000 balance from the Valley Federal Card over to my Spring Mills Mutual Card, because I had an $8,000 limit.

But since I'm already bumping against that, I might as well transfer everything to yours, because it has a $20,000 limit.

Sure, I'd love to talk to a supervisor.

Hey! I was on the phone!

You've been using credit cards?

How much have you spent?

Ten, 11 grand.

But I'm still way under the $20,000 limit.

How can you spend that much in ten days?

Well, you know, I got that new convection oven, and that made the refrigerator look kind of shabby.

Plus, I had to buy new clothes every time mine got dirty.

And that giant gong in the bathroom?

I mean, how do you guys do it?

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Reese, I really owe you some thanks for giving me some faith in myself.

The next few days, I will be saying very little.

I will be deciding on a punishment.

Ideas are already popping into my mind.

It's really very exciting, but I don't want to get hasty and leave either of us feeling dissatisfied.

Ow! You're going to drag me all the way home?

Well, we're taking your ear there.

If the rest of you wants to come, that's fine, too.

It's been almost a month, and Mom's still coming up with fresh punishments for Reese.

She says she's never felt more creative.

She must be doing something right.

He has a white streak in his hair.

Hey, Malcolm. Guess what.

I got accepted. I'm going to college.

Really? Which school?

All of them-- A&M, Tulane, Georgia, Stanford.

Full scholarships and everything.

Stanford liked your essay?

No, I forgot to put it in the envelope. I got in, anyway.

But don't worry. That essay didn't go to waste.

I handed it in as my math midterm and got an "A."

Thanks for making me believe in myself, Malcolm.

You proved that I don't need all these people helping me.

See ya.

Stanford. Poor guy.

I'll bet he doesn't know it only has the third-best astrophysics department in the country.