Malcolm in the Middle

Season 4 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 8:30 PM Nov 03, 2002 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
68 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Malcolm and his family visit the zoo. Hal and Lois argue over a former beau, who lectures on rain-forest animals at the zoo. Reese butts heads with a goat. Malcolm, who is in a foul mood and Dewey take a tumble into a tiger den. Francis and Piama run into car trouble while on a cross country road trip, but meet a German couple who offer him a job as foreman of a dude ranch.moreless

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  • A Perfect Season Opener

    This episode is great to show all characters. It shows how depressed Malcolm is getting. It shows that Reese could be dumber than a goat. It shows the innocence of Dewey and it shows how jealous Hal can get over Lois. This episode is also when francis gets hired at a dude ranch and we are introduced to otto.

    Every malcolm in the middle season opener does very well and i think that this is one of the best

    I know its easy for alot of people to disagree but this episode gets funnier every time i watch it. Its a perfect malcolm in the middle episode.moreless
  • An overrated episode.

    I don't think that this episode was bad, as it was actually okay. It just was a bit on the overrated side of things. I will admit that it had some funny moments but after I went back and watched re-runs, I realized that it was also a very predictable episode. The things that I liked were the scenes with Reese being chased by a goat. I also thought that having Hal being jealous of Lois's ex was funny. I do have to say I didn't like Malcolm and Dewey's situation. Overall, this was just an okay episode as I didn't like the silly storylines. Thank you.moreless
  • Great season opener.

    There are episodes of old shows that stick to your mind, that seem to define the show for you. The Zoo is one for me in the case of Malcolm In The Middle. It's an excellent showcase of the different characters. Rather than just being the wisecracking genius kid, Malcolm plays the angst-stricken teenager in this one, and Muniz does it beautifully. Reese is given a unique story line: man versus goat. Slapstick comedy executed to perfection. Erik Per Sullivan combines innocence with dry wit as Dewey. A kid in mortal danger finds the time to name his potential killers Stanley and French Fry? (Note how many quotes from the episode are mentioned on this page. The writers were having a good day.) Hal's insecurities ruin his day, although a tarantula does help. The only character that remains unusually calm is Lois, but that is understandable. The different members of the family spend the day on their own and can't annoy one another.

    For Francis a new stage in life begins: work on the Grotto Dude Ranch. Even more unrealistic than his previous adventures in Alaska, it introduces Otto and Gretchen. They would get unbearable later on, but here they're just funny.moreless
  • I liked it a lot!

    Malcolm is depressed about life. The family goes to the zoo. Reese gets in a fight with a goat, while Malcolm and Dewey get trapped in the tiger place. Francis and Piama's car broke down and they are broke. Francis meets Otto and Gretchen and they hire him to work at the ranch. Malcolm's outlook on life changes after the tiger incident. Hal is jealous of Lois's ex-boyfriend, Matt. They talk about their past relationships.

    This episode was great! It seems Francis is just going from one place to another every season. This episode gets a 9.5 out of 10!moreless
  • Lovely trip to the zoo!

    In this episode, Malcolm faces what almost all teens face: depression. Lois tells him that it's a phase that is normal for kids. She tries to cheer him up for a family trip to the zoo. At the zoo, Malcolm, still depressed, was told to take Dewey with him since Lois said so. Meanwhile, Reese tries to fool with the zoo animals but gets payback by a goat. Lois and Hal meet with a zoo keeper named Matt, who turned out to be someone Lois dated. With Hal filled with jealousy, he volunteers to go in front of the crowd and encounters a tarantula. He gets bitten. With Francis and Piama on their road trip to get-away, Francis bumps into a German couple who works at a ranch. Francis and Piama both get hired and begins to live there. Back at the zoo, Dewey accidently falls into the tigers pit with Malcolm trying to rescue them but both end out being the prey of the tigers. Panicking, Malcolm is giving up all of a sudden while Dewey knows that they will be okay. With Matt trying to make Hal feel better with sorrow, he lets out that Lois was dating someone else which makes Hal even more furious. He finds Lois and they both argue about revealing secrets and all was forgiven. Suddenly, they hear about two kids in the tiger's pit. It's Malcolm and Dewey.

    Back at the pit, Malcolm is hesitating even more. Dewey gets annoyed by his behavior. Suddenly, Lois and Hal find the two of them and Reese appears with the attacking goat as it flies into the air and becomes the tiger's dinner. The zoo workers save Malcolm and Dewey. The episode ends with Malcolm still depressed, the zoo won't sue the family, and Francis helping a cow giving birth.moreless
Tim DeKay

Tim DeKay


Guest Star

Daniel Roebuck

Daniel Roebuck

Zoo Worker Randy

Guest Star

James Henriksen

James Henriksen

Zoo Worker Pete

Guest Star

Kenneth Mars

Kenneth Mars


Recurring Role

Emy Coligado

Emy Coligado


Recurring Role

Meagen Fay

Meagen Fay


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • At the end of the episode, Francis is assisting a cow in giving birth with his arm all the way inside the cow. This does sometimes happen and is necessary, but the cow's contractions causes severe bruising the entire length of the arm.

    • When Reese is wrestling the goat while Hal and Lois are talking, you can clearly see that the goat is a stuffed animal.

    • When Reese is hiding in the bathroom from the goat, he opens the stall door and sees the goat and both his hands are away from the door, but in the next shot, his left hand is on the stall door.

    • Whilst standing in the tiger enclosure, Malcolm's shirt changes several times from scene to scene.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Zoo Worker: We're going to fire a tranquilizer dart at the tigers.
      Malcolm: How long do they take to work?
      Zoo Worker: Less than two minutes.
      Malcolm: So the plan is to piss them off and keep them away just long enough so they take it out on us?
      Zoo Worker: ........Hold on a sec.

    • Malcolm: Why are we going to go stare at a bunch of pathetic, caged animals and fat, suburban yahoos pointing and laughing at them?
      Lois: Because I have a coupon.

    • Malcolm: My life sucks. I'm going back to bed.

    • Lois: Everything turned out fine. We agreed not to sue them, and they agreed not to throw Reese in jail.

    • Reese: Big mistake, pal!! You wanna go, we'll go.
      Zoo Worker: Whoa, whoa, whoa!! What are you doing?
      Reese He started it!
      Zoo Worker: Goats don't start it. Get out!
      (Reese walks off and looks at the goat)
      Reese: Guess what I get to do? Leave!

    • Reese: I'm going to go hit the monkeys... I mean, go see the monkeys.

    • Malcolm: Give it up, Dewey! Superman isn't going to fly in here and save us!!!
      (Goat is thrown in by Reese and drops into the pen as the tigers run to it)
      Reese: In your face, goat! Who's laughing? (Screams and runs away when the tigers start mauling it)

    • Zoo Clown: Kid, I'm a zoo clown. Either buy a balloon, or go to hell!

    • Zoo Worker: When the swelling goes down, the fangs should just fall out.

    • Francis: No, thanks, Joe. I couldn't spare another piece of pie!!
      (Piama & Gas Station guy stop fighting and look at Francis strangely)

    • Francis: Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find out if this is for me, or the horse.

    • Malcolm: Don't move. Don't move. Don't move. Don't move.
      Dewey: You've been saying that for the last twenty minutes.

    • Lois: Well, isn't this nice?!
      (Malcolm takes a deep breath and sighs)
      Lois: You have to stop making that noise.
      Malcolm: Fine, Mom. I won't breathe.

    • Dewey: Malcolm, you're at the zoo. You have a popsicle, how can you be unhappy?
      Malcolm: I wanted grape.

    • Reese: I'm not falling for your goat mind games!

    • Dewey: Is the zoo a place where you have to be this tall to do the good stuff?
      Reese: I dunno... I've never been there when it's open.

    • Malcolm: I love you.
      Dewey: Don't say that!

    • Zoo Worker: They're attracted to you because you're alive, like their natural prey.
      Malcolm: There's a "but" coming, right?
      Zoo Worker: Well, no, but...

    • (Malcom and Reese are tossing a football to one another in their room)
      Lois: Malcom, Reese! Don't play ball in the house!
      (Malcom and Reese are on the roof tossing the ball to each other)
      Lois: Don't play ball on the house!
      (Malcom and Reese are tossing the ball to each other from outside the front to back doors)
      Lois: Don't play ball through the house!
      (Malcom and Reese are hanging out the window tossing the ball to each other)
      Reese: This isn't even fun.
      Malcom: That stopped being the point a long time ago...

    • Zoo tourist: I don't think you kids should be messin' around down there!
      Malcolm: Yes, thank you. Could you please tell someone we are down here?
      Zoo worker Randy (sees Dewey and Malcolm): Oh no!
      Zoo tourist: I don't think those kids should be down there.

    • Dewey (regarding the tigers): I think Stanley's getting angry.
      Malcolm: You named them?
      Dewey: That one's Stanley and that one's French Fry.

    • (Overhearing about 2 kids in the tiger pen)
      Hal: Reese and Malcolm?
      Lois: Malcolm and Dewey! Reese wouldn't last 30 seconds!

    • Lois: Honey, this is just a phase. Every teenager goes through it. I did, your father did; Francis cried in the shower every day for six months. Reese wouldn't get out of the dryer. It's awkward, and it's painful, you think it's never going to end. Now get out of bed! We're going to the zoo.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Reese unknowingly saves his brothers from the tigers by tossing the goat he fought into the den. The fate is of goat isn't seen, but it's not hard to figure out what happens.

    • This episode marks the first appearances of Otto (Kenneth Mars), and Gretchen (Meagen Fay).

    • The show's opening theme is modified, replacing some of the season one scenes with scenes from seasons 2 and 3. This opening is used for the remainder of the series for the most part (some episodes just show the end part with "Life Is Unfair").

    • Cold Open: Malcolm and Reese play catch just to see what Lois can yell at them about next. "Don't throw the ball IN/ON/THROUGH the house!" Reese says that "this isn't even fun!" and Malcolm responds, "that stopped being the point a long time ago."

    • Daniel Roebuck would later play Frankie Muniz's father in "Agent Cody Banks" and "Agent Cody Banks 2".