Home Improvement: Season 5, Episode 11

That's My Momma (5 Dec. 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
7.1
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Tim's former tool shop teacher is visiting and meets Tim's mother. The mother and teacher start seeing each other and Tim is not happy about this. He is hesitant to talk to his mother on an emotional level.

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Title: That's My Momma (05 Dec 1995)

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Tim's former tool shop teacher is visiting and meets Tim's mother. The mother and teacher start seeing each other and Tim is not happy about this. He is hesitant to talk to his mother on an emotional level.

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Comedy | Family

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5 December 1995 (USA)  »

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Mommy Dearest.
28 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This morning found Tim out in the garage, working on his hot rod with his good friend and former shop teacher, Mr. Art Leonard. He tells him all about the last hot rod he'd built, and how he stupidly sold it at a whim. Marty comes over to help with the rod as well, and he has to remind Tim that their mother won $500 on her last Las Vegas trip, as anything in the outside world unrelated to hot rods was completely foreign to Tim. He also seemed completely unaware that she's coming for a visit next week. Lucille Taylor was a sweet woman, but could sure be feisty when necessary. After all, she did raise 5 boys, one of which was Tim. Right away, she tips her ass-kissing grandsons to carry her luggage upstairs, and she mentions to Tim and Jill how lonely it's getting, living in that big house all by herself. That's when Mr. Leonard drops by unannounced, having forgotten his sweater the other day. When he meets Lucille again after all those years, it was as if they were old friends. They remember back to the good old days when Tim got into trouble at school and Mr. Leonard had to call his mother directly. She tells him about her recent trip to Ireland, and Leonard invites her out for an Irish coffee. Tim was a little apprehensive about the two of them going out, mainly because he wanted to show his mother the hot rod, but there might be other reasons.

Lucille waltzes through the door at 3:00 AM, and Tim, who happened to be tinkering on the hot rod, catches her and makes it known he'd like to talk. However, she points out that her past attempts to have a serious conversation with Tim proved futile because he just joked his way around it or asks about her damn car. She tells him there's a big sign over his head that says "Not Getting It." Yep, and inside his head is another sign: "Space for Rent." Next morning, after Lucille takes the boys out for their annual ice cream breakfast, Tim comes downstairs pouting over last night's "talk" with his mother. He feels he does so much for her, and doesn't know what else she wants from him. Jill tries to explain to him that his mother wants to connect with him on a more emotional level. As you may recall, connecting emotionally isn't one of Tim's stronger points. Deciding he needed advice from somebody who understands mother issues more than anyone else in history, Tim meets Al down at the diner. Of course, their attempt at a reasonable conversation is counterproductive too, but fortunately Wilson just happened to be sitting nearby. He reminds Tim what he'd once told him about his father, who died when Tim was only 11 so he never got to know him. He suggests getting to know his mother. So, that night, Tim and his mother finally have a genuine talk, mostly about how the patriarch's death was a major blow to everybody, and how Tim took it the hardest, keeping everything bottled up inside. And so, from then on, Tim learned how to be more emotionally available to his loved ones, he got to know his mother a little better, and she assured him that if Dad were still around, he and Tim would've bonded like duct tape. In closing, Lucille decides to sell her home and move to Michigan, but even though that won't happen until Season 6, Jill gives her the number for their handyman. You know, who fixes everything Tim tries to fix. They hope he'd never catch on, but sometimes, they underestimate the Tool Man.

We finally get to meet Tim's mother, played by character actress Bonnie Bartlett. As I said before, Lucille Taylor is sweet, but she can also be feisty. She's a strong woman too, because I think anybody else who would have to raise Tim and Marty and all those other troublemakers might have ended up in a psycho ward. This episode has a lot of heart, though I thought that scene between Tim and Al at the diner was a little forced, as if they were trying to fit some jokes in there...as well as fit Al into this episode. The scene wasn't funny and didn't make me want to sympathize with Tim any more, but then we get to the real heartfelt moments when Tim and Lucille finally get to talk. See, like Jill, Tim is reluctant to share his feelings with his parent, not because it's some silly family rule, but because he was emotionally unavailable. While not too memorable, That's My Momma is still a decent episode and worth seeing. So is the rest of Season 5, which I've now fully critiqued.


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