Season 7, Episode 22 - Aired May 14, 2006
When Malcolm is offered a lucrative job in software ahead of his graduation from high school, Lois puts her foot down and insists he is still going to Harvard. Reese is loving his new job as janitor at his old high school, until he learns they never keep the newbies for more than thirty days. Meanwhile, with Malcolm and Reese set to move out, the boys decide to destroy "the nuclear option".
Quote from Lois
Malcolm: You know what? I'm glad! This is appropriate. Now my life looks exactly how I feel. How could you screw me over like that?
Lois: Because you were going to take that job, and we are not going to let you throw your life away.
Malcolm: How is being rich throwing my life away?!
Lois: Because it's not the life you're supposed to have! The life you're supposed to have is you go to Harvard, and you earn every fellowship and internship they have. You graduate first in your class, and you start working in public service, either district attorney or running some foundation, and then you become governor of a mid-sized state, and then you become president.
Lois: Of the United States.
Hal: I'm sorry, son. It's true.
Francis: I thought you knew.
Hal: Our expectations started out much smaller, but you just kept upping the ante.
Quote from Lois
Lois: That doesn't matter. What does matter is you'll be the only person in that position who will ever give a crap about people like us. We've been getting the short end of the stick for thousands of years, and I, for one, am sick of it. Now, you are going to be president, mister, and that's the end of it.
Malcolm: Did it ever occur to you that I could have taken this job, gotten really rich and then bought my way into being president?
Lois: Of course it did. We decided against it.
Lois: Because then you wouldn't be a good president. You wouldn't have suffered enough.
Malcolm: I've been suffering all my life.
Lois: I'm sorry, it's not enough. You know what it's like to be poor, and you know what it's like to work hard. Now you're going to learn what it's like to sweep floors and bust your ass and accomplish twice as much as all the kids around you. And it won't mean anything because they will still look down on you. And you will want so much for them to like you, and they just won't. And it'll break your heart. And that'll make your heart bigger and open your eyes and finally you will realize that there's more to life than proving you're the smartest person in the world. I'm sorry, Malcolm, but you don't get the easy path. You don't get to just have fun and be rich and live the life of luxury.
Hal: That's Dewey.
Malcolm: This is unbelievable. You actually expect me to be president. No, no, I'm sorry. You expect me to be one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States.
Lois: You look me in the eye and you tell me you can't do it.
Quote from Malcolm
Stevie: What's the... nuclear option?
Reese: Evidence of the worst thing we ever did.
[Reese, Malcolm and Dewey each grab a key from a chain around their neck and unlock the three padlocks on the box]
Malcolm: This is what made sure that no matter how bad we screwed each other over, there was always a limit. None of us could push anyone to a point where they had nothing to lose. Or they'd just pull the trigger and destroy all of us.
Stevie: How bad... can it be?
Malcolm: One time we made Mom think she had cancer. But we had a really good reason. [flashback to Lois and Hal sobbing in the kitchen:]
Lois: Stop saying it'll be all right! You'll never be able to raise them alone!
Young Malcolm: Mom, I know this is a bad time, but can you sign these report cards?
Malcolm: It's not like we're proud of it. I mean, we were proud of it, but we're not proud of it now. The point is, we can get rid of it.
Quote from Craig
Craig: [to Reese] This is as good a time as any to talk about it. I do have a private life. I'll keep it confined to my own room, but you should probably know my safe word.
Quote from Abe
Dewey: It's weird to think about. Pretty soon you guys will be... gone.
Reese: Yeah. And this just sitting around hanging out... We're not going to have many more of these.
Abe: [chuckles] No, we sure won't. Seems like only yesterday you and I were going to homecoming, putting the school paper to bed, fretting over our first big date with Sharon Hines. Mmm. That kiss went on forever.
Malcolm: Uh, Mr. Kenarban, Stevie's supposed to help me work on my speech.
Abe: Right, right. Mr. Valedictorian. [chuckles] Congratulations again. I'm glad my son can help you out with your big, important speech. It's probably that selflessness that got him the second spot.
Abe: I'm not insulting salutatorian. It's- It's quite an honor. I'm just glad that even after I got Cedric Hampton to be the school's commencement speaker, they still had the integrity to make you valedictorian and not my crippled son.
Quote from Dewey
Dewey: Can we begin? [Malcolm lights a match and throws it on the X-ray tube] With this fire, a terrible secret that bound us together is gone forever. Jamie will grow up in a world without the fear that haunted every second of our lives. He'll learn to give birthday presents out of love, not blackmail, and to share out of the generosity of his heart, not the dread in the pit of his stomach. With this fire, a curse is lifted and a brilliant new dawn is born.
All: Amen. [fire crackers pop]
Reese: Nice touch.
Quote from Francis
Hal: AmeriSys Industries? What's that?
Francis: Shh! It's my employee badge. Please don't tell Mom, it'd make her too happy. She'd never let me live it down.
Hal: You got a job?
Francis: For the last two months. It's at this giant corporation. I'm in this tiny little cubicle, surrounded by hundreds of other tiny little cubicles, inputting numbers into a computer all day. And I love it. I love everything about it. I love the stability and the regular paychecks. I love my parking space. I love getting those stupid joke e-mails.
Hal: Oh, did you get the one about the two Irish guys? [both laugh]
Francis: That's a classic!
Quote from Hal
[three months later:]
Hal: This is so nice. Reese is gone. Malcolm's off to Harvard. I don't know how you did it, but everything worked out exactly as planned. [a stunned Lois emerges from the bathroom] What's wrong?
[Hal screams as Lois holds up a positive pregnancy test]
Quote from Reese
Lois: The Cook Grant... We're still $5,000 short.
Hal: What?! Those thieving Harvard bastards!
Reese: Well, well, well. Mr. Knows How To Multiply is freaking out about his future while I am set for life.
Malcolm: Reese, don't you think it's even a little bit sad to become a janitor at your own high school?
Reese: Assistant janitor. All mop and no paperwork.
Quote from Dewey
Reese: Dewey, I think you should do this.
Dewey: Really? Me?
Reese: You're going to be the oldest around here soon. It'll be good for your maturity. This is your show. Make us proud.
Dewey: I always pictured this day coming, except both of you were dead. What the heck, it still feels great.