In the episode, titled “Dual Time,” Mike Baxter (Allen) has a tete-a-tete with Tim Taylor (also played by Allen), a home repairman who could be his twin. The Tool Man brings up Wilson, his former neighbor who only showed half his face peeking above the wooden fence that divided their properties during their many backyard conversations.
Wilson was portrayed by Earl Hindman across 202 Home Improvement episodes that aired between 1991 and 1999. The actor died of lung cancer in 2003, at 61.
In the exclusive clip above, Mike asks Tim, “Who was Wilson?”
“One of my neighbors, actually,” Tim replies. “For many, many years, I shared a lot of stuff with him. He passed away.” He later adds, “I miss Wilson. I miss a lot of stuff.”
Allen tells EW of the tribute, “Earl meant the world to me and everyone at Home Improvement. It was an organic moment to settle on, both on the set and in our hearts.”
Fox announced in October that the ninth season of Last Man Standing, which kicked off Jan. 3, would be its last. The season premiere introduced a series of time jumps that found Mike and his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), with two new grandchildren, and also coping with having their middle daughter, Mandy (Molly McCook), and her husband, Kyle (Christoph Sanders), living with them.
“Dual Time” will air tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.