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"Home Improvement" Al's Fair in Love and War (1992)

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Al Gets the Girl.

7/10
Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
2 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Looks like someone's sweet on ol' Al Borland. Greta Post from the female Tool Time episode sent him a secret message backstage that seemed rather seductive. Sure enough, she's in the audience, giving him little flirtatious waves. Al is a nervous wreck during the show, which is on outdoor lighting. Al drops the tray of lighting fixtures and pokes Tim with a broom. This is definitely a Tool Time first where Tim isn't the one who screws up. At home, Jill's going through boxes of precious memories of years' past. You know, looking at something, remembering it fondly for a second, then putting it back in the box to be forgotten again. Then Tim comes across something Jill wishes he'd forgotten: her diary. Apparently, if the passages in the book are true, Tim wasn't the first man in her life. He's determined to know the rest of the story, but Jill won't tell, so at the first opportunity, he snatches the book to dig up some dirt, but Jill stops him before he can glance at a single page. Then Al comes over to apologize to Tim for screwing up on Tool Time. Obviously, he's smitten by Greta but is too nervous to ask her out. Seems every time he asks a girl, they want to keep him in the friend zone. Jill encourages him to ask her out anyway, suggesting he bring her over to the Taylors' for sort of a double date.

Next day, Greta's in the Tool Time audience again. Al is still in a twitter, and decides to wait until after the show to ask her out, but Tim encourages him to do it now. Strike while that iron's hot, be a manly man! Al's problem is that he's too darn nice, he needs to tell, not ask. Be a doer, not a dreamer. So, with Tim's help, Al gets a date with Greta for the following night. So while Tim prepares the barbecue, he happens upon Jill's diary. She thought she'd hid it from him, but I guess he knows better. He and Randy discover it in the lint trap of the dryer. But you see, Tim swore that if he did find Jill's diary, he wouldn't read it. However, he uses a loophole wherein his son could accidentally open it. Tim finds a passage where Jill wrote about meeting the man of her dreams...Dan Lyons. Jill catches him and shakes her head, and then points to the passage about her meeting Tim: she describes him as "the biggest jerk on campus." Yet, she still goes out with him. Who's all high and mighty now? Just then, the doorbell rang. Must be Al and Greta. Well, that's half right. Greta shows up alone, and in tears. What happened? Apparently, Tim had a little pep talk with Al earlier that day, telling him to be not so sensitive AND to show he's got hair on his chest. Al took that literally and showed it to Greta when she remarked that he was sensitive. She laughed, Al kicked her out of his car and drove off, howling. In an attempt to set things right, Tim heads down to Tool Time to find Al. Where else would he go? Jill and Greta come along, allowing Al to apologize for the earlier unpleasantness. They have a nice talk, and I think it's going to work out just fine for those two kids. As for the Taylor barbecue, well, things really heat up when Tim underestimates the burning power of that propane tank. He cooks his goose, well done.

The plot point of Tim giving Al relationship advice only for it to backfire reminds me of a Honeymooners episode where Ralph does that for a fellow lodge member, and it ends up destroying the man's marriage, causing his newlywed wife to move in with the Kramdens. As for Al and Greta, I think she leaves him next season, so he'll have to wait until Season 3 to get a more steady girlfriend. Al's character has become nice and rounded at this point. Not physically, developmentally. We also see the friendship between he and Tim. At first, they don't really like each other. In the earlier shows, Al seems impatient around Tim and resents the fact he has to work with someone like him, but they grow and change like real people, and their friendship grows. So, if you want to see how Al fares on his first date, check out Al's Fair in Love and War.

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