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Pilot is the first episode of the first season of Home Improvement. This is the series premiere. It originally aired on ABC in the United States on September 17, 1991.
After Jill explicitly tells Tim not to touch the dishwasher, he breaks it in an attempt to make it more powerful; more of a "man's" dishwasher. Jill has a job interview, but she doesn't get it and when Tim tries to comfort her, he only makes matters worse. After talking to Wilson, Tim tries again and succeeds.
The series premiere opens with Tim Taylor trying to gather his family to watch Tool Time, his show about tools. Unfortunately, his two oldest sons, Brad Taylor and Randy Taylor go outside to play sports and Jill Taylor is ironing. The show changes its interface and now is displaying Tool Time as if it is airing currently. Tim and his assistant, Al Borland, are showing how to change a dead bolt lock, and when Al shows the proper tool, Tim feels the urge to tweak the standards. He has Lisa, th1e Tool Time Girl, give him a much more powerful tool, to satisfy his "more power" hunger.
Soon, it reverses its interface to its normal status, and shows Jill and Tim talking about his show and a comment he made about wives. Quickly, Tim runs over to see Randy hanging Mark on the swing set, by his feet. After Tim stops the little scheme, Brad zips through the living room, and Tim sets him aside, and looks to the football he is carrying in his arm. After he tells him to hold it with both arms so he won't fumble, Brad runs upstairs.
Jill tells Tim that he can't go to Sears because she has a job interview. Although he's sure Jill never mentioned a job interview, she insists that she did. He tells her he'll be gone for twenty minutes, and she won't even notice he's gone. Jill runs over to retrieve the Binford measuring tape and says she'll put it in the disposal if he leaves. Tim agrees to stay. She tells him he had better clean the dishes while she's gone for the interview. He begins and says that if the dishwasher cannot wash away egg yolk, that it needs to be a man's dishwasher with "more power."
Tim thinks that he can fix the sprayer, and Jill pops out and immediately disagrees, saying that all he wants to do is bring out his tools and play. After she leaves, he begins to rant on how he can improve its power and how it can be more extreme. Jill hears it all from around the corner, and says that he will not. She tells him, "the blender", for an example. He responds, "It's the only blender in the neighborhood that can purée a brick."
Jill leaves an hour or so later and Tim walks outside to Wilson. He explains his situation and says that Tim feels lost as a man, and needs to reclaim his spirit and superiority. Tim replies to this by stating, "I'll start by reclaiming that dishwasher." He yells out to his sons that they are going to Sears. The scene reappears and Tim says that they need to be finished with the dishwasher before Jill comes home.
Brad and Randy run out of the kitchen and into the backyard when Tim uses a quote from Wilson, "or we can all sit around naked at a campfire", in which scares them. Mark says he'll stay and begins to strip his shirt. A surprised Tim realizes what Mark doing, and says only bare-chested men. After going through a few safety precautions, Tim leads Mark into the garage. He says that this is a fusebox, and you need to turn off the electricity in the area they are working in. Of course, that would be the kitchen, but because of the labels and the fact that it was written in pencil, it is smudged.
He decides the letter "K" is close enough to "kitchen". After trotting back to the kitchen, he tells Mark you need to open the access panel to the dishwasher, and is very surprised to see numerous wires, in which he tries to show Mark that he is not confused. He repeats the wires' colors, "brown", "red", and then "yellow", where he says that the sun is yellow and heats the ground and therefore the yellow wire should be cut. He cuts it and a huge spark explodes, and Tim is in pain. He tries to hide it and makes an excuse to go the garage, where his scream can be heard.
Tim comes out and tries to "shake it off". He spins around continuously, obviously, in pain. He tells Mark as he sits down on a bench, that he did that to teach him an important lesson. He also says that it's best when your working with electricity, to shut it all off. Quickly changing the subject, Tim takes Mark upstairs to show him how to treat a severe electrical burn.
After the commercial break, Tim receives a call from the interviewing people, saying that Jill did not get the job. As he lays down on a chair out in the backyard, Jill comes rushing in, saying that she nailed the interview, and there's no way on Earth she didn't get the job. Tim was going to tell her, but couldn't. She sees the electrical burn on his hand, and knows immediately that he "touched" the dishwasher. Tim tries to demonstrate, by placing the plate with yolk on it into the dishwasher (it's already been fixed). After a few moments of cleaning, the plate shoots straight out of the back of the dishwasher, and pieces of the silverware and plates are scattered everywhere.
Mark informs Jill of her rejection, and she begins to clean up, sulking. She and Tim begin to argue about jobs, and she accuses him of being a man who owns a tool show and walks and grunts around like an ape. Apparently mad about the job, Jill goes upstairs when Tim slips out an unwanted comment. He begins to clean up around the house, and walks into the backyard where Wilson is.
Wilson tells Tim that he should've listened to Jill and tried to do nothing, because sometimes doing nothing is the best thing to do. The pre-closing credits scene at the end shows Tim apologizing in a subtle manner on his next Tool Time episode. Jill forgives him, and soon Jill asks him the last time they both spent time in the backseat of the car. Tim pulls off his shirt, and soon when he is almost indecently exposured, Jill takes his clothes and locks the garage door, in which he is in. It shows a short time later with a plumber finished installing the dishwasher, to its old original model. Tim is outside in the backyard, half-naked, pounding on the door, and Jill says to the plumber that he's trying to "reclaim his man spirit".