Aired March 5, 2006
Lois and Hal join Francis at his A.A. meeting where he is celebrating one year of sobriety. Meanwhile, Reese and Malcolm struggle to think of a way to have fun while their parents are away.
Quote from Lois
Malcolm: Bye, Mom. Say hi to Francis.
Lois: Oh, wait, wait, all right. You've got your food money. You've got your emergency numbers. We'll be home Sunday night around 9:00. But before I forget. [picks up vase] This is the one thing left in this house that I care about. I don't want to spend the next two days worrying about "How will they break it, where will they hide the pieces, how will they lie to me about it when I come home." So... [drops vase on floor] There. Now I can relax.
Quote from Francis
Lois: Francis, I don't drink. I mean, maybe I have a glass of champagne on my birthday.
Francis: Every birthday?
Lois: What does that have to do with anything?
Hal: I think we should get going-
Francis: Come on, Mom, you have the classic signs. Irrational behavior, not able to control your emotions. Everybody else is the problem.
Lois: Francis, I do not drink. I am not an alcoholic.
Francis: Mom, you don't have to drink to be an alcoholic.
Lois: Yeah, you do! Alcoholism. It's in the name.
Hal: I think your mother's right on this.
Quote from Francis
Francis: I barely drank, and I'm an alcoholic.
Piama: It's true; I've only seen him tipsy once. He gets sick. I can't even give him cough syrup.
Lois: How the hell can you call yourself an alcoholic if you don't even drink?!
Francis: What do you mean?! My life was a wreck! I had no future, no hope. I had all the signs.
Lois: Except for the alcohol part.
Francis: Why do you keep harping on that?! Why do you have to do that?! You never let me have anything! You wouldn't let me have that bike or those throwing stars! Now you won't let me have alcoholism the one thing I'm doing right in my life!
Lois: Unbelievable. If it's not me, it's alcohol, right? The problem's always somewhere else. Francis, you need to take a look in the mirror. Come on, Hal, let's go home.
Francis: Wait a minute. You can't walk out on me! This is your problem, too!
Quote from Piama
Francis: Besides, we're not just celebrating my sobriety. We're also celebrating my new job.
Lois: Francis, that's wonderful! What is it?
Francis: A laser-etched crystal. It's the perfect fusion of science and art.
Hal: Wow. The detail is amazing. And you can see everything on this nude fairy.
Piama: That's me. [Hal gasps and hands back the crystal]
Francis: You can put whatever image you want in these crystals, but it all adds up to one thing: financial independence in five to twelve years.
Piama: We're starting our own business.
Francis: We already looked into the franchise and locked down the location. Now all we have to do is work out the financing.
Francis: Don't worry, Mom, we don't need any money. We already got $10,000 from Piama's mom's lawsuit settlement.
Piama: The newspaper used her picture without her permission for an article on mental defectives.
Quote from Francis
Speaker #2: Let's be fair. We all have an "L" in our lives. [Hal nods] My "L" was the Vietnam War. Thankfully, though, I don't have to visit my "L" on Christmas and holidays. I can leave my "L" buried deep in the darkest recesses of my mind. And I thank God for that. Stay strong, Francis.
George: And now, let's hear from the man of the hour. Our very own Francis. [applause]
Francis: Thanks, George. Thank you all. A lot of horrible things have been said tonight, and I appreciate your honesty, but that's in the past. We need to clean the slate and start over, and to do that, we need to make amends to the people we have wronged. To my beautiful wife, Piama, for all the terrible things I put you through, I'm sorry. And to my brothers, who aren't here right now, for all the times I couldn't be there for you 'cause I was in my own messed-up place, I'm sorry. To my father, I put you through so much, yet you were always there for me. I'm sorry. And to my mother, L, I forgive you. [applause]
Lois: You forgive me?!
Quote from Dewey
Malcolm: [to camera] Okay, it's a bit extreme, but Dewey has left us no choice. Since he's withstood our most horrible tortures, Reese and I have to do something that goes against everything we believe in this house. [to Dewey] How thin do you want the ham?
Dewey: Same as the last sandwich.
Reese: How's the milkshake?
Dewey: Mm, quite nice.
Reese: You'll notice there's no snot, spit or pee in there.
Dewey: I thought it tasted different. And the massage is amazing. You got tension out of my shoulder I didn't even know was there till it was gone. I feel eight!
Quote from Hal
Lois: You're taking his side in this?!
Hal: I'm not taking anyone's side. There are no sides! I'm just saying look at it from Francis' side.
Lois: He crucified me in that meeting!
Hal: You're right to feel attacked by these people, but this is about Francis. He's building a new life. We've got to go easy on him. He's only been sober for one year. He's a one-year-old. You're fighting with an infant!
Lois: That infant dragged my name through the mud and now wants us to give him $20,000!
Hal: This is an investment in a business for our son.
Lois: What?! He's quit drinking, and now magically, he knows how to run a business?!
Hal: See? You are still stuck in this stupid death struggle, that you have had with him since he was born! Francis has changed, and you have got to face that fact!
Lois: No! Francis has not changed! He has just changed his tricks to get what he wants. This whole day has been about getting us to sign that loan!
Hal: There you go again! I know for a fact this is not about the loan!
Lois: How? How do you know that?
Hal: Because I've already signed it, okay?! So can we just move on?!
Lois: What?! [Hal screams as Lois grabs his nipples]
Quote from Francis
Lois: I want you to have the loan. I was wrong. You've changed.
Francis: Are you serious? Really, you don't have to do this.
Lois: Oh, I know. That's why I want you to have it. So that you and Piama can start your business with our blessing. [Francis and Piama hug]
Francis: Wow, Mom, this is huge!
Lois: Well, it is a lot of money.
Francis: Not the loan... you.
Francis: You actually admitted you were wrong. That's the first step. Are you ready to take the next one?
Lois: What are you talking about? What step?
Francis: The first step to admitting you're an alcoholic.
Lois: I'm not an alcoholic.
Francis: Okay, you're not ready. This is my fault. They tell us not to do this. It has to come from you.
Quote from Hal
Lois: Come on, Hal! We're going to be late.
Hal: Fine, but I don't see what the big deal is. So what if he stopped drinking for a year? I thought that's what you're supposed to do in A.A.
Lois: Francis' one-year anniversary of sobriety is very important to him.
Hal: Sounds to me like it was just dreamed up by the greeting card companies.
Lois: What is wrong with you? Francis has joined A.A., and is turning his life around. These are the people who helped him do that, and he wants us to meet them.
Hal: Where were they when he needed to learn to ride a bicycle? Or when he lost his first tooth? We did all the heavy lifting. And now these guys get all the glory.
Lois: I can't believe you're jealous of these people.
Hal: Well, what does he need us for? He's got them now. We're useless. We're like his appendix. Now he's just going to open up his stomach, remove us, and put us in a jar up on a shelf, right there in the living room or the den, or a mantelpiece, if he's got one. Uh, I'm gonna go wait in the car.
Quote from Malcolm
Reese: I'm bored.
Malcolm: Mom and Dad are gone. You want to make some crank calls?
Reese: Nah. I guess I'm getting old. I'm really not inspired.
Malcolm: We could cherry bomb Ms. Waller's mailbox.
Reese: What's the point? She'd just chase me, have an asthma attack. The neighbors would call 911. I'd get away with it because of her blackout. We'd both just be going through the motions.
Malcolm: You're right. Terrorizing the same old neighbors year after year just doesn't feel satisfying anymore. Maybe we're growing up. Maybe we don't need to go out and create random havoc.