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The Niece 

Wilson's niece surprises him with a visit, with the possibility that she might stay with him for an extended period.



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Episode cast overview:
Tim Taylor
Jill Taylor
Wilson Wilson, Jr.
Al Borland
Heidi Keppert
Brad Taylor
Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
Randy Taylor
Byrne Piven ...


Wilson's niece surprises him with a visit, with the possibility that she might stay with him for an extended period.

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Plot Keywords:

uncle | costume | See All (2) »


Comedy | Family






Release Date:

4 November 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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References Cannon (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Family Comes First.
1 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

The Taylors are preparing for Wilson's big birthday bash. Tim is going to surprise him with an old childhood friend: his father's '53 Studebaker, but driving that car to the party is his niece, Willow Wilson. She's a 26-year-old spiritual young woman who specializes in massages. The girl of the boys' dreams. Well you can bet Wilson was the happiest man on earth when he came upon his own surprise party, with all his friends cheering him on. He gets an even bigger surprise when Tim takes him out to the garage to unveil the Studebaker. However, Wilson was far more pleased with seeing his niece again after all those years. Tim was disappointed that Wilson wasn't showing the same love and devotion to the car. After the party, Jill gets to talking to Wilson, suggesting that Willow could stay with him for a while, and when he asks her, she takes him up on the offer. So while Wilson may be happy, Tim grumbles around the house, not understanding why a man would prefer to spend time with his niece rather than his father's car. The concept was very foreign to him. Next day on Tool Time, as Tim, Al, and Sparky Henderson salute classic cars and praising them for the fact that they are classics, Tim poses the question about which is more important to spend time with: a classic car or one's niece. Sparky chooses the latter, saying family is more important.

At home, Brad sprays himself with carpet deodorizer because he wants to make a vain attempt at asking Willow to go to the coffee house with him, but I doubt he actually does. Anyway, Tim finally gets it and gives Wilson and Willow his full blessing. However, things don't seem to be sitting well with the young woman, who's thinking about going home to Chicago. While she loves spending time with Uncle Wilson, she also leads a free lifestyle and thinks he's smothering her. She hadn't told Wilson yet. That evening, Wilson stops by in a rented costume he's going to wear when he takes Willow to the renaissance fair, and while talking with Tim about the Studebaker, he lets it slip about Willow wanting to move. She comes over, looking for her uncle, and the two share a heartfelt conversation in famous quotations, with Tim chiming in with some of his own. Bottom line: Willow decides to give it another shot, so it looks like she'll be staying. But enough of sentiment, here's the introduction of what will sadly become a recurring gag for the remainder of the series: Tool Tim gets a new sponsor, Saginaw Cheese. Every time Sparky is on the show, they do a plug for this company and always end it with, "cheese it's good." Well, cheese it's NOT funny and cheese it gets old the first time you hear it!

As far as story and plot go, this one comes up pretty short. We are introduced to Willow Wilson, played by the lovely China Kantner, who will appear off and on throughout the seventh season, and then Willow is never seen or heard from again. Unfortunately, episodes about Wilson are difficult to do because they have to keep hiding his face. I really think they got carried away with that gag, and because of that, we couldn't really get much of his side, we had to hear about it through the other characters. At least they outfitted him with a fake beard so he could appear in the whole shot for the third act. So, in total, the jokes were not funny, the acting was okay, the plot was on the weak side, and overall this episode is not too memorable. But if you like Wilson and you like Ms. Kantner, then I say give it a shot.

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