|Malcolm in the Middle|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||September 30, 2005 –|
May 14, 2006
The seventh and final season of Malcolm in the Middle premiered on September 30, 2005 on Fox, and ended on May 14, 2006 with a total of 22 episodes. Frankie Muniz stars as the title character Malcolm, and is joined by Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
(millions) 
|130||1||"Burning Man"||Peter Lauer||Michael Glouberman||September 30, 2005||06-05-701||3.5|
|Malcolm and Reese attempt to hitch their way to the annual Burning Man festival, but are caught. When Hal and Lois demand an explanation, Malcolm makes the event sound so interesting that they decide to make the trip as well and turn it into a family vacation. At the festival, everyone heads out to partake in the activities except Hal and Dewey; Hal is scared of the Burning Man attendants who mistake his bourgeois lifestyle as an ironical persiflage of society, while Dewey has to do all the chores around the RV. Reese and Lois fit right in at the festival, while Malcolm has sex with a healer named Anita (Rosanna Arquette). Reese is nominated to "burn the man down" which will bring the event to an end, but cannot accept that it has ended, and in his attempts to keep the weekend going he accidentally torches the RV. Hal and Dewey are forced to work "dirty jobs" to repay the RV, Malcolm ends up depressed, and Lois and Reese agree in secret to return the following year.|
|131||2||"Health Insurance"||Steve Welch||Rob Ulin||October 7, 2005||06-05-702||3.4|
|Hal finds out that the family has been without health insurance for six months and tries to safeguard the house until Monday, when the insurance is put back into effect. His over-protection of the house and the boys ends when he accidentally breaks his leg. He then goes to great lengths to keep Lois from finding out. Lois tries to fish out a snitch at the Lucky Aide store.|
|132||3||"Reese vs. Stevie"||Linwood Boomer||Alex Reid||October 21, 2005||06-05-703||3.6|
|An angry Reese threatens Stevie, who dreads a retaliation. Dewey becomes addicted to cigarettes, thanks to ex-smoker Hal's many stashes around the house, so he tries to help Dewey quit. Lois tries to make Jamie talk by telling him about her high school years, but goes on so long that his first words are "Shut up".|
|133||4||"Halloween"||David D'Ovidio||Andy Bobrow||October 28, 2005||06-05-704||3.5|
|Hal freaks out when Malcolm gives him the details of a grisly mass murder that occurred in the house years ago. Lois is working on Halloween and catches a shoplifter as everyone else at Lucky Aide throws a wild party. Reese and Dewey lose track of Jamie as they flee from an angry elderly neighbor named Mr. Sheldon after egging his house, while Lois gets arrested for kidnapping when she picks up the wrong child.|
|134||5||"Jessica Stays Over"||Alex Reid||Matthew Carlson||November 4, 2005||06-05-705||3.5|
|Jessica (Hayden Panettiere) moves in on a temporary basis and teaches Malcolm how to manipulate others, but when he uses her tricks on Lois he feels something he has never felt before, empathy. Hal fights back against a bee who is out for revenge for killing the rest of his hive. Reese attempts to mail himself to China in a crate to beat up his pen pal, but what he thinks is a transatlantic journey is just Dewey torturing him.|
|135||6||"Secret Boyfriend"||Peter Lauer||Gary Murphy||November 11, 2005||06-05-706||3.7|
|Malcolm is in love with a hot and secretly brainy girl named Vicki (Sarah Wright) who fears ruining her image by seeing him publicly. Reese is kicked out of the house for refusing to get a job. Hal is in a heated conflict with the owner of a miniature golf course because he will not give Dewey a free game.|
|136||7||"Blackout"||Steve Welch||Eric Kaplan||November 18, 2005||06-05-707||3.2|
|A power outage caused by Jamie's balloon disrupts Lois and Hal's anniversary and reveals Malcolm's trysts with young European women. Reese tries to cook Kobe beef for Hal, Francis tries to steal a fish he and Hal caught years ago, and Dewey is upset that he cannot pick dinner. The entire sequence of events is revealed through several replays from different points of view, which all start from the outage.|
|137||8||"Army Buddy"||Peter Lauer||Neil Thompson||December 2, 2005||06-05-708||3.1|
|Reese's old army buddy Abby (Larisa Oleynik) visits, and she has feelings for Lois. When Lois finds renewed energy with orthotic inserts for her shoes, Hal fears she will not look to him for support anymore and plots to destroy the inserts. Malcolm gives Dewey a box of junk in order to pay off a $10 debt. When one of the comics inside turns out to be rare and valuable, Dewey forces Malcolm to do embarrassing things in order to get the money back.|
|138||9||"Malcolm Defends Reese"||Bryan Cranston||Matthew Carlson||December 16, 2005||06-05-709||3.2|
|Malcolm and Reese end up in the same class since Reese failed the previous year. Mr. Herkabe, who may lose his award for the school's highest GPA to Malcolm, gleefully humiliates Reese every day until he agrees to start failing his classes. However, Malcolm tells the school's principal, Mr. Hodges (Steve Vinovich) Herkabe skipped Gym his senior year and lied about not taking the course for years upon Herkabe telling him about it. Herkabe decides to retake Gym afterwards to reclaim it and Reese embarrasses him as revenge for the torments he suffered. Jamie's new babysitter (Kathryn Joosten) drives Lois crazy with her nonstop talking.|
|139||10||"Malcolm's Money"||Steve Love||Michael Glouberman||January 6, 2006||06-05-710||3.6|
|Malcolm begins to fuss about his high school yearbook photo. He also receives a $10,000 education reward unknown for him, and when Hal and Lois find out, they want to spend it on themselves.|
|140||11||"Bride of Ida"||Linwood Boomer||Rob Ulin||January 13, 2006||06-05-711||3.8|
|Dewey, Lois and Hal go out of town to St. Louis for a piano competition and, as punishment for an earlier prank, Lois has Grandma Ida watch Malcolm and Reese. They end up missing their plane, and while waiting, Hal finds a man's membership card to a prestigious airport club. Hal is horrified to find that the man was a wealthy diplomat deciding whether to sever foreign relations with eastern Asian countries. Grandma Ida makes Reese marry Ida's helper, Raduca (Rheagan Wallace), but only if he defeats Malcolm in three challenges. When Lois, Dewey and Hal return, they find out that Ida has gone while Reese has run away with Raduca to Las Vegas to get married.|
|141||12||"College Recruiters"||Peter Lauer||Jay Kogen||January 29, 2006||06-05-712||4.4|
|A broke Francis gets talked into getting a real job by Dewey. Back home, Hal takes over the college recruiters, which Malcolm refuses to meet with, and treats each one as a suitor. However, Hal's plans are ruined when Malcolm chooses to go to Harvard. Reese and Raduca's marriage ends when Lois and Reese catch Raduca cheating.|
|142||13||"Mono"||David D'Ovidio||Andy Bobrow||February 12, 2006||06-05-713||3.9|
|Lois discovers she has mono after a visit to the doctor. She then ends up giving it to Malcolm. As a result, both Lois and Malcolm are forced to spend two weeks together in the same room. Hal is invited to all of his neighbors' parties. Although happy at first, Hal is horrified when he learns just how much they hate Lois and celebrate the days she won't be attending any of them. Dewey makes Jamie his slave, and he teaches Reese to be nice to Jamie.|
|143||14||"Hal Grieves"||Christopher Kennedy Masterson||Eric Kaplan||February 19, 2006||06-05-714||3.9|
|Hal gets a devastating phone call that his father has died, but because he never knew his father well, he does not shed a tear. In an attempt to overcompensate with his sons, Hal takes the boys shopping and lets them miss school. Hal's buddy Abe thinks that a phone call from Leonard Nimoy, a cast member of Star Trek: The Original Series, will cheer him up. Instead, George Takei shows up at the door.|
|144||15||"A.A."||Steve Welch||Al Higgins||March 5, 2006||06-05-715||4.1|
|Lois and Hal visit Francis to help him celebrate one year of sobriety, but when they attend his A.A. meeting, they find out that he never really was an alcoholic. Dewey finds the spare key to Hal's car, but when Malcolm and Reese refuse to drive him to the arcade, he swallows it.|
|145||16||"Lois Strikes Back"||Alex Reid||Gary Murphy||March 19, 2006||06-05-716||4.9|
|When four popular high school girls play an evil prank on Reese by pretending he has a secret admirer and then dropping a pig off at his front door, he falls into depression. Lois fails to negotiate with the principal, then forces Reese to tell her who the girls are so she can get revenge for him. Hal builds a pitching machine.|
|146||17||"Hal's Dentist"||Steve Love||Jay Kogen||March 26, 2006||06-05-717||3.6|
|Hal's friend Trey tells him to come to his dental office when he cracks a tooth during a poker game, but their friendship is in jeopardy when Hal is faced with a $2,000 bill. Reese teaches Lois how to ride a bike. Malcolm and Dewey's favorite pastime becomes sleeping after they find a new mattress in the street.|
|147||18||"Bomb Shelter"||Matthew Carlson||Rob Ulin||April 2, 2006||06-05-719||3.7|
|Malcolm joins a local dance class to meet a cute girl, but after discovering she is a poor dancer, he realizes that he must accept Danielle (Lynsey Bartilson), the unattractive but more talented partner, in order to win the competition. While trying to bury their father's broken trophy, Reese and Dewey discover an underground bomb shelter in the backyard and lock Hal in it. Lois tries to win a new truck at the shopping mall by keeping her hand on it.|
|148||19||"Stevie in the Hospital"||Steve Welch||Dave Ihlenfeld & David Wright||April 9, 2006||06-05-720||3.6|
|When Stevie goes to the hospital, Malcolm tries making up every excuse he can think of not to go because he can't face the truth about his illness. Hal gets highly competitive about his new remote control boat when a ten-year-old keeps knocking it over. Lois thinks Dewey is trying to drive her insane, and Reese's new job as a telemarketer takes a bizarre turn.|
|149||20||"Cattle Court"||Peter Lauer||Michael Glouberman||April 16, 2006||06-05-718||2.9|
|Reese meets a cute vegetarian named Carrie (Tara Lipinski) when he goes back to work at the meat plant. Malcolm tries to fool Craig in order to attend a rock concert. Hal makes his own version of The Game of Life in hopes of beating Dewey, under the guise of teaching his son a lesson about real life.|
|150||21||"Morp"||David D'Ovidio||Gary Murphy||April 23, 2006||06-05-721||3.0|
|For the senior prom, Reese gets paid to take Janine, a studious girl in class, but only after she gives him a makeover and sends him to finishing school. Malcolm aligns himself with the unpopular kids to form an anti-prom they call "Morp". Dewey discovers there are no childhood pictures of him, so he concocts an elaborate scavenger hunt to punish Hal and Lois and throw a party for Jamie.|
|151||22||"Graduation"||Linwood Boomer||Michael Glouberman||May 14, 2006||06-05-722||7.4|
|As Malcolm struggles with his valedictorian speech, Hal finds out that the family may not have enough money to send Malcolm to college. Reese is moving in with Craig, and since they are both leaving, they decide that Jamie should have the childhood they never got—one free of threats. As such, they destroy the evidence of the worst thing they ever did: fake an X-ray of Lois having cancer to get away with bad report cards, a way to destroy each other if someone had nothing to lose. Hal learns that Francis has found a perfect 9-to-5 office job but has intentionally not told Lois; Reese becomes a janitor and is promoted after the previous head janitor is fired for sexual harassment; Malcolm works his way through Harvard University; Dewey feels closer than ever to Jamie now that they live without their older brothers; and Lois discovers she's pregnant again.|
Cast and characters
In March–April 2005, Fox renewed Malcolm in the Middle for a seventh season. The following month, it was reported that series creator Linwood Boomer would not continue as showrunner, instead retaining an "executive consultant credit" while Matthew Carlson, would replace Boomer as showrunner. In January 2006, it was announced that it would be the final season; the decision behind this was widely attributed to declining viewership. Main cast members Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan return as Malcolm, Lois, Hal, Francis, Reese and Dewey respectively. As with the sixth season, Masterson made fewer appearances than the rest of the main cast.
The season premiered on September 30, 2005 on Fox, and ended on May 14, 2006 with a total of 22 episodes.
In his review of the series finale, Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe said it "sails by, with none of the grandstanding and schmaltz many finales rely on to make an ending profound." Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News said, "Since it isn't exactly a warm and fuzzy comedy, you shouldn't expect Malcolm to get sappy at the end. Fortunately, it strikes a nice balance between maintaining its insanity (there's a messy explosion), having a few sweet moments and a suitably nightmarish ending." Rob Owen of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, "At a half-hour, it's not a bloated finale, nor is it particularly memorable, but this last "Malcolm" does send the show out in a style that's familiar to the show's fans."
At the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards, the season received four nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Kaczmarek, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Cranston, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Cloris Leachman and Outstanding Choreography for Fred Tallaksen for the episode "Bomb Shelter"; Leachman was the only winner.
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