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View Full Version : Lois Strikes Back Opinions and Analysis



reese35
Mar 19, 2006, 08:14 PM
This countdown just keeps getting better and better. This episode is living proof that Lois does care. Reese gets devastated when the pig comes and Lois, determined to get justice, puts every form of torture on the culprits. My favorite scene was when Hal gets in the way of Lois' anger (and the close-ups) and retreats to the garage. As Hal plays his baseball routines, again Bryan's impersonations make it better. The most heartwarming scene you'll find thus far in this season was when Lois apologizes for going on her rampage instead of caring for Reese. Still, if we didn't know Lois cared for her young before, we DEFINATELY know now!

And now, instead of my own scale, I'm gonna use the customary MitMVC scale.
Hal plot - ****3/4
Main plot - *****
Eppy - *****

p.s. Note the name Heidi Kaczenski - she's the MitM costume manager.

yardgames
Mar 19, 2006, 08:25 PM
Not only did the episode show Lois' caring side, but it also exemplified Lois' destructive side. We don't generally see it, but at the same time, we know that Lois isn't always the perfect mother. In Red Dress, she took more than dramatic measures to get the boys to fess up; Book Club saw a drunken Lois sabotage the "perfect" mother; Hal's Christmas Gift and Lois' most reckless destruction to date; and now this. It personifies the characters because it shows they, like real people, are not perfect.

It also cemented that Malcolm's values hold strong, even in trying times. We've seen this a few times in the past too; namely Malcolm Films Reese and Jessica Stays Over.

The Hal plot was a classic demonstration of how to find things to do when you're bored--things that only Hal could stay obsessed with for such a long period of time.

And the cold opener exemplified how everything can be recycled somehow. :D

tony_montana
Mar 19, 2006, 08:28 PM
Question before I start my review-did anyone think that Lois calling Reese a "hot guy" was weird or not?:Sick:
Great episode, as usual for this season! And despite myself, I DID feel sorry for Reese. I guess wildcat was right about it being emotional stuff and all that makes Reese Reese. I have to say that if girls did that to me, Id come down on them like a ton of bricks(I got stuff up my sleeve:D ) but anyway, it kicked major ass to see Lois defend Reese and go after all those girls! I love how Reese and Lois got together near the end and went after the last girl(with help from Hal's softball machine). Best plot of the show...well, seeing as there was only two.
On the second plot, great for Hal. Just have to take 1/2 a point away because I really really wish they would have developed it more. I love Hal's storylines!:D Loved it when the machine shot the balls through the garage door.
Anyway, here are my grade(my own grade scale of 1-10) :
Lois/Reese-10/10
Hal-9.5/10

alleyboy
Mar 19, 2006, 10:16 PM
I was thinking how Lois was a horrible mother to Reese and Francis, but this ep showed she really cares about Reese. I think this is the first time she ever really stood up for Reese. I loved it! Tie up Dudley Do-Right Malcolm was Classic!

yardgames
Mar 19, 2006, 10:29 PM
I love how you all have your own arbitrary grading system. :D

Wildcat
Mar 20, 2006, 12:39 AM
Great episode! I loved seeing Lois totally lose it and go after those girls with a vengence. Damn, I wish my mom was that cool. :D It was perfect the way she planned it out and pulled it all off so beautifully. Kind of a strange way for a mother to show how much she cares for her son, but it definitely got the point across. And the scene at the end with Lois and Reese "bonding" was really sweet in it's own twisted sort of way. :D

Malcolm got on my nerves in this episode. I just wanted to tell him to shut up. :D Of course, being the voice of reason, he was right and Lois was wrong by seeking revenge, but those girls got exactly what they deserved--whether it was morally right or not.

I felt so sorry for Reese. I don't know how anyone can say that they didn't feel sorry for him in this ep, despite all the bad stuff he's done in the past. Did you see the look on his face when he saw the pig? :( I can imagine that something like that would be completely devestating, especially seeing how excited he was about the date in the beginning of the episode. Poor guy. At least he got the satifaction of getting even with them though--thanks to Lois!

NeCoHo
Mar 20, 2006, 06:02 AM
I'm going to start of by saying that I want to build that catapult....

I loved this episode. One of the best in a while, probably my favorite since the Reese joins the army eps. I have to make this short so....

I would love having a mom as destructive as me. or more. I don't know if Reese could have pulled off the 2nd one (Heidi) without a little help (cause we know he doesn't keep spagetti sting tops in his closet) But it doesn't matter.

I love how MITM is going back to the more violent/destructive side of almost everyone. And Hal and his robots... that's 2 now? I think so. :D

I don't have much more to say then that. great ep!

rzombie1988
Mar 20, 2006, 10:12 AM
This was a really good episode. As another said in this, I like the more desrtuctive side of MITM as well. I thought Hals plot was great especially with his baseball commentary. I felt bad for Reese as well, and it was nice to see a different side to Lois. I didn't get why Malcolm was saying all of this stuff was wrong, since last episode he was doing bad things to Dewey.

ReMoss85
Mar 20, 2006, 10:46 AM
I didn't get why Malcolm was saying all of this stuff was wrong, since last episode he was doing bad things to Dewey.
Malcolm has a conscience when he sees others doing wrong, but he himself can't stay out of trouble and he does bad things too, just like all his siblings. The same goes for Lois, who is constantly talking about "the rules" and how everybody must always do the right thing. That is, until one of her kids is picked on and then she can't stop herself from terrorizing the local teenage community.

Amigo22
Mar 20, 2006, 07:05 PM
Yeah... like how she went up to every random in the park in "Francis Escapes" and started lecturing them.

tony_montana
Mar 20, 2006, 10:22 PM
I have to agree with anyone who said that they wanted to tell Malcolm to shut up. I don't get Malcolm. When it comes to Lois, Malcolm believes she has a certain moral code she HAS to follow and Malcolm thinks it's wrong if she falters. But then Malcolm does crap like what he did to Dewey in "A.A" Is that morally right to Malcolm?

Malcoholic
Mar 21, 2006, 12:12 PM
What I found most striking about this episode was how it combined outpourings of extremely wrenching emotions with typical MITM tongue-in-cheek irony. I can't think of a more gripping moment than when Lois realizes her disaster of a son, Reese, is an extension of her--"I am you!" She seems devastated--"All I can say is, I'm sorry. I'm deeply, deeply sorry!" And then the mood-jolting ironic twist: Reese: "There's one left?" The marvel of this episode is that the irony, the mockery of the characters' feelings, in no way lessens the story's emotional power. When Malcolm is at its best, as it is here, it ridicules and empathizes with its characters all at the same time.

Lois is portrayed as having two conflicting sides to her personality: She is a brutal vindictive savage and she is a strict moralist. The savage side is all Ida. The moralist side is her rejection of Ida's raw savagery as unfit for a civilized society and her embracing of strict respect for rules and for authority as necessary for civilized life. Here she first goes to the accepted authority figure, the school principal, who clearly intends to do nothing and rather enjoys Reese's misery. This unleashes the savage in Lois, and she goes on a vindictive rampage that would make Ida proud. What finally reawakens her moralism is the realization that she was enjoying her vengeance too much: "I enjoyed crushing those girls and watching them suffer. I tapped into some dark ugly place inside me." That place is the primal bloodlust of the savage who after killing his enemy cuts off his head and hangs it as a trophy. It's also the part of her personality that she passed on to Reese.

The notion that Reese's savagery is just an extension of Lois' is reinforced by the incident that triggers Lois' sense of shame: she frames a perfectly innnocent boy to take the blame for her own mischief, exactly what Reese did in his most wickedly callous escapade, the "evil twin" scheme ("Forbidden Girlfriend"). The difference is that Reese has none of Lois's moralism, so he never sufferered from pangs of conscience.

That moralism all went to Malcolm. Lois isn't just Reese. She's also Malcolm, and throughout this story Malcolm shows himself to be the other, moralistic half of Lois' personality, the part that rejected Ida's brutality. This theme has been around throughout the whole series, as Ida has always despised Malcolm as an over-thinking twit and saw Reese as the family's only hope.

Hal's story completes the circle by showing why Malcolm and Reese's characters have been shaped entirely by Lois. Hal wants no part of getting in the way of Lois' rage. He's terrified of her. He thinks up all kinds of pretexts for rejecting Malcolm's plea that he do something to stop Lois. Instead of playing a father's role, he retreats into a boy's make-believe world, fantasizing that he's a major league ballplayer. As has often been shown in many episodes, Hal is more of a pal and playmate than a father. Lois is the only real parent, and her boys' characters are entirely reflections of the different parts of her personality.

Some side tidbits:

--The pig looked familiar. He looked just like Ralph, the pig who shared Francis and Piama's bed in one of the ranch episodes (can't remember which.) If I'm right, this is the second encore appearance by an animal this season, the first being the return of "Dewey's Dog" Marshmellow in "Bride of Ida."

--In the sponge bath scene, the caulking in the bathtub is grimy with mildew. This little detail is part of what gives this show the sense that we are seeing the real house of a real family, rather than the set of a tv show. It's yukky, but very effective.

Kratos
Mar 21, 2006, 06:21 PM
What can I say! I loved it, cant wait until the main site is updated and I can give it an awesome 5/5!

Also great when Lois and Reese had the talk, I never saw it before but Lois and Reese are the most alike out of the whole family :eek: The dynamics of all of the family and the way they are all linked but at the same time have one on one relationships is stellar!

A good crazy episode with Malcolm being "Lois" for a day. "The sane voice" as it's been mentioned before. :)

yardgames
Mar 21, 2006, 08:12 PM
I'll update the main site when somebody (SAMBOO :D) gets me the pic. :)

tony_montana
Mar 21, 2006, 08:59 PM
Seems no one saw my question at the beginning of my review(Did you all think that Lois saying Reese was a hot guy weird in any way?:Sick: ).

Wildcat
Mar 21, 2006, 09:23 PM
Seems no one saw my question at the beginning of my review(Did you all think that Lois saying Reese was a hot guy weird in any way?:Sick: ).

Not really. It's not that unusual for parents to tell their kids that they're beautiful (for girls) or handsome (for guys), or whatever. I guess she just used the word "hot" to say it in his own language. If she had said handsome instead of hot it wouldn't have sounded as wierd.

Amigo22
Mar 22, 2006, 07:36 AM
I'll update the main site when somebody (SAMBOO :D) gets me the pic. :)

Yeah, and also people who are unable to see the eps would like to be able to view pics in the gallery... which hasn't been updated since College Recruiters...;)

yardgames
Mar 22, 2006, 10:11 AM
Samboo is supposed to get the vidcaps so yell at her. :)

If anyone else has vidcaps from the episodes, post or PM me a few and I can get everything updated.

Malcoholic
Mar 22, 2006, 11:48 AM
Seems no one saw my question at the beginning of my review(Did you all think that Lois saying Reese was a hot guy weird in any way?:Sick: ).
The choice of the word "hot" may seem a bit peculiar, as Wildcat pointed out. My view is that the story went out of its way in the opening scene to show Lois as being fond of Reese, in order to add to the emotional impact of the bedside "I am you" scene. That scene gets its power by showing a Lois that loves Reese intensely and so suffers devastating pain when she realizes that she is responsible for the brutal streak that has made him a social outcast. This is a brilliantly written episode where every detail supports the point of the story.

Amigo22
Mar 22, 2006, 06:23 PM
--In the sponge bath scene, the caulking in the bathtub is grimy with mildew. This little detail is part of what gives this show the sense that we are seeing the real house of a real family, rather than the set of a tv show. It's yukky, but very effective.

Who was sponge bathing?

Wildcat
Mar 22, 2006, 06:33 PM
Who was sponge bathing?

Dewey was giving Reese a sponge bath because he was in a daze for several days after what happened to him.

tony_montana
Mar 22, 2006, 10:09 PM
Yeah, that was pretty funny, everyone having to do stuff for Reese.:D You know, I just noticed that alot of that "dazed" stuff has gone on in MITM. Let me point all of them out.

1)Malcolm-In "Malcolm's Girlfriend", Malcolm goes into a short daze near the end of the show.
2)Lois-In "Reese joins the Army" part 2 Lois goes into a short daze and then goes....crazy.:D Remember the pigs, by the way? Hilarious!
3)Hal-Can't remember the name of the episode but Hal kind of goes nuts because he has to decide on a life/death situation and he is in a daze during the whole episode. He is doing stuff with his feet only(hilarious when Hal tries to brush his teeth!:D )
4)Reese-In this episode,"Lois Strikes Back", Reese goes into a daze throughout most of it due to his humiliation. But then, he snaps back and him and Lois finish their revenge!:D

sorry if I babbled, I just noticed all these dazes. So looks like Dewey and Francis are the only ones immune to it!

allison
Mar 23, 2006, 06:57 AM
Yeah, that was pretty funny, everyone having to do stuff for Reese.:D You know, I just noticed that alot of that "dazed" stuff has gone on in MITM. Let me point all of them out.

1)Malcolm-In "Malcolm's Girlfriend", Malcolm goes into a short daze near the end of the show.
2)Lois-In "Reese joins the Army" part 2 Lois goes into a short daze and then goes....crazy.:D Remember the pigs, by the way? Hilarious!
3)Hal-Can't remember the name of the episode but Hal kind of goes nuts because he has to decide on a life/death situation and he is in a daze during the whole episode. He is doing stuff with his feet only(hilarious when Hal tries to brush his teeth!:D )
4)Reese-In this episode,"Lois Strikes Back", Reese goes into a daze throughout most of it due to his humiliation. But then, he snaps back and him and Lois finish their revenge!:D

sorry if I babbled, I just noticed all these dazes. So looks like Dewey and Francis are the only ones immune to it!

Interesting observation. You´re right, Dewey and Francis seem to be the only ones immune to it. :D I can´t think of an episode either when they went into a daze.

I think this was an excellent episode. It was both funny and interesting. I never realized that Lois and Reese have so much in common. I always thought that Lois is like Francis. I think it´s great that Lois is starting to realize that she does a lot of mistakes and that she´s able to admit them now. In this episode we could see that Lois really cares for her sons, but once again it wasn´t shown in a soppy but very funny and "mitm" way. I think one way they express their love for each other is taking revenge for family members who got hurt or something. I was also annoyed by Malcolm´s behaviour. I mean he didn´t feel bad about what they did in family reunion and in this episode they ruined it for everyone, even for people who didn´t do anything. Lois only took revenge on those people who deserved it. But it´s probably true that malcolm only sees other people´s mistakes.
Overall a great episode. One of my favourites of the 7th season.

reese35
Mar 23, 2006, 07:23 PM
I'll see if I can get send pics from Mono and Hal Grieves, if i can. I already got started w/ a few from each.

Wildcat
Mar 23, 2006, 07:58 PM
I actually just finished adding pics from both of them seconds ago. I guess we were thinking alike. :)

tony_montana
Mar 24, 2006, 05:50 PM
My favorite pic from the show is no where to be found...the pic of Hal's face on his go kart license(Reese joins the army p.2). That huge smile was hilarious!:D

reese35
Mar 24, 2006, 09:26 PM
BTW, beside the point, but did anyone beside me notice that Alex Reid got the CO dropped from his title? (in other words, did anyone notice that he's now exec-producer w/ Matt Carlson?)

yardgames
Mar 24, 2006, 10:26 PM
No, I didn't. :D

samboo1
Mar 25, 2006, 08:54 AM
This has gotta of been one of my favourite eps of the season, without a doubt. Was great, i loved seeing Lois punish those girls, they deserved it hands down! My favourite of the punishings was the fake hotel room one, that was hilarious! Hehe

Anyway yeah was a great ep, good to see Lois admit she is alike Reese. And i loved Lois to Malcolm; "Well done Columbo" lol!

10/10 +

And Sorry about the pics,:( Lois Strikes back pics are now in the gallery and i will shortly be sending Sam pics for all the eps he needs to add on the ep guide.:)

tony_montana
Mar 25, 2006, 06:35 PM
BTW, beside the point, but did anyone beside me notice that Alex Reid got the CO dropped from his title? (in other words, did anyone notice that he's now exec-producer w/ Matt Carlson?)

Only you would see something as insignificant as that.:D

Evil King
Oct 12, 2008, 09:04 AM
I loved this episode so much. The fact that Lois was out to get these girls was amazing, not only the comic side but also the things that were going through her head.

I watched this episode wondering what she would do to the next girl, and the next, and the next, it was brilliant.

And apart from the funny side, we know that Lois is a mother who cares for her kids, but she expresses this by being strict. Not by being the 'perfect mum' and making them happy, but protecting them to the full extent. Protecting them from who? Protecting them from their selves, from killing them selves.

We see the pivotal point where she changed into this strict maniac through flashbacks with Francis in another episode.

But in the episode we see that she does care and does want to make her kids happy, but this time, by destroying others.

I think there are about 10 episodes all together that truly goes into detail about what type of mother Lois is, and this is one of them.

defjam64
Apr 20, 2009, 08:05 AM
I like Lois' destructive side because it goes against everything she says to Malcolm and Reese etc
But i love Hal and Francis' distracted sides remember the episode when francis has to write the history report but he makes an insect racetrack LOL :)

tjpeople
Apr 20, 2009, 08:10 AM
I like Lois' destructive side because it goes against everything she says to Malcolm and Reese etc
But i love Hal and Francis' distracted sides remember the episode when francis has to write the history report but he makes an insect racetrack LOL :)

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