It's Metal Week on Tool Time, and to help out Tim and Al with their project is Tim's old high school shop teacher, Mr. Leonard. Or rather, Leonard and Al explain the project while Tim horses around with a nail gun. Predictably it misfires, hitting poor Mr. Leonard in the buttocks. I guess he hadn't humiliated the old man enough the last time he was on Fool Time. At home, Tim's mother, Lucille, was gearing up for a date with Mr. Leonard. You might remember the two have pretty much become an item. Tim worries that they might be moving a little too fast, but Jill assures him it's all natural. She kills the conversation by asking Tim to picture his mother as a sexual being... and she wants to be a psychologist. Ha ha, that's cute. Another night, Tim puts on his Sunday finest to take Jill out for a romantic dinner, because... reasons. They go to some shady faux-authentic restaurant called Sarrentino's, and as Jill goes to powder the ol' nose, Tim spots Mr. Leonard coming in to the restaurant, but before he can go say hello, he catches him with another woman. Smooching and everything. Maybe he deserved that nail in the butt after all. Tim doesn't dare tell his mother what he'd seen, but rather wait and confront Mr. Leonard about it on the next Tool Time. Yeah, he agreed to come back on for some reason.
Fool Time continues Metal Week with Wilson's collection of metal helmets, which of course Tim can't resist playing with. Half way through the show, Mr. Leonard finally shows up and Tim shows his animosity against his former shop teacher and finally confronts him backstage with what he saw. It turns out Leonard is dating another woman besides Lucille, and that he had taken this other woman, Florence, out to dinner to break it off. However, it seems she wouldn't take no for answer. Mr. Leonard is torn between the two women, liking them both, but Tim points out that he can only choose one, and recommend it be the one Tim is closest to. So, while Lucille and Mr. Leonard have themselves a little talk in the Taylors' living room, Tim and Jill spy on them from upstairs, via the intercom. Tim's mother and shop teacher are just two crazy old kids in love, who will walk hand-in-hand into the pharmacy. Listen close, Tim and Jill, this'll be you in 30 years. To celebrate the closing of this horrible misunderstanding, Tim and Jill go back out to dinner at Sarrentino's, because... it's the only restaurant in town. Suddenly, in comes Mr. Leonard with another woman again! This time one in her thirties. Tim angrily confronts Mr. Leonard, who introduces him to his daughter.
The last appearance of Dick O'Neill as Mr. Leonard on the show. They never say what happened to the character because when we next see Tim's mom, she's alone again. If Mr. Leonard passed away, I'm not sure why they didn't mention it. This show was always good at explaining why certain characters never appeared again. O'Neill passed away in 1998, he was quite the good character actor in his day. You may have recognized him from shows like M*A*S*H, Family Matters, Cagney & Lacey, he was pretty much in everything. So while Shopping Around is a standard episode with little about it standing out, and there wasn't much I could say about it because the plot is so thin, but it's still a pretty good one nonetheless. O'Neill and Bonnie Bartlett do make a cute couple, and I wonder if they would've gotten married. Oh, and I think this is the first appearance of Antonio the waiter. He isn't very snarky here, but in his subsequent appearances, he just gets worse and worse, and at no point is he ever funny. So in closing, check out Shopping Around.
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