Malcolm finds his life as the middle brother in an eccentric family made even more difficult by his being placed in a class for gifted students at school.
Jack (Sean Hayes) is puffed up with paternal pride as he escorts his long-lost teenaged son Elliot (guest star Michael Angarino) to a junior high school dance but not before he coerces Grace (Debra Messing) into posing as Elliot's date - which only revives her own tortured memories of rejection from school dances many years before. Elsewhere, Karen (Megan Mullally) has great fun at her lawyer Will's (Eric McCormack) expense when she continues to capriciously summon him for bogus "emergencies" - that is, until she really needs him.
When Jack (Sean Hayes) has to work, he asks Will (Eric McCormack) to escort his son Elliot (Michael Angarano) to join other fathers in a weekend basketball tournament in Connecticut - but Jack later goes ballistic when he learns from Will that he missed the teen's first kiss with a female student. Back in town, Grace (Debra Messing) plays schoolmarm in a New School design class full of attention-deprived slackers who would rather discuss celebrity houses than listen to her drone on. Megan Mullally also stars.
The family suffers in poverty after Lois gets fired from the grocery store; Francis loves his new assignment as part of an honor guard at a beauty pageant.
Malcolm persuades his family to go to a relatives' funeral so they leave him alone, and he relaxes and prepares himself for his first date.
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