The house goes crazy as Hal is falsely charged in a crime involving his company which he has nothing to do with. He is put in an ankle collar and is immobile, forcing the rest of the family, including Piama and Francis, to pick up the slack.
Everyone except Reese, who is missing after he discovers Malcolm with his girlfriend Beth. The family doesn't know, but Reese has joined the Army, where he doesn't exactly understand how the military works.
Dewey also has his own problems with the family as no one listens or even knows about him leaving for a music competition.