Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston)'s anniversary is coming up. Lois gets an unexpected gift from Craig (David Higgins, brother of producer/writer Al Higgins), her amorous co-worker at the store. Lois tells Craig she's got the perfect red dress picked out for the occasion. Getting ready to go meet Hal at a fancy restaurant, Lois is aghast to find her red dress badly burned and soaking in the toilet. She confronts the boys, expressing her horror -- "Fire?! Is this what you want? Where we have to identify your charred little bodies through their dental records?" Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), Reese (Justin Berfield), and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) issue panicked denials while accusing each other of the deed. While Lois prepares for a prolonged interrogation, Hal arrives at the restaurant, confirms that the resident violinist received the sheet music for their song, "Tears of a Clown," and gives the maître d' a watch to put on Lois' lobster claw. With Malcolm getting strategic advice from Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson) over the phone, the boys put up a unified front to stymie Lois' inquiry. She refuses to give in, though, so Hal decides to order without her, and ends up sharing a pleasant dinner with the restaurant's helpful washroom attendant (Joel McCrary). Keen-eyed viewers (or those who listen to the DVD commentary for this episode) will spot the prop guy handing Lois the ruined dress in one shot.