Due South

Season 1 Episode 10

The Gift of the Wheelman

1
Aired Unknown Dec 15, 1994 on CTV
9.6
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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The Gift of the Wheelman
AIRED:
Fraser and Ray try to help out Del, a witness to a bank robbery, only to learn that he's protecting his father, who they need to convince to show a good front for his impressionable son.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of my most re-watched episodes and a great example of how Due South mixes eccentric humour with seriousness.

    10
    It's Christmas time and the police station is filled with Santas, elves (and Elvises). . . oh and there's a reindeer wandering around the corridors too. This doesn't prevent some nice characterisation. You still connect with the guest characters and we also get some insight into Benton's and Ray's family life as they discuss their relationships with their now deceased fathers. Of course the highlight of this episode has to be the first appearance of the ghost of Robert Fraser, making for some hilarious father and son scenes, whilst Benton questions his sanity.



    Very entertaining viewing and a very solid episode.moreless
  • great episode!

    10
    it's been ages since i've last seen this episode. for me this is a great example for how "due south" works. it has a very eccentric humour but it also brings up social issues. "gift of the wheelman" has one of the most hilarious moments on the show. after a robbery commited by gunmen dressed up as father christmas, santas from all over the town are arrested and brought to the police station. next a lot of elvis impersonators are brought in since some policemen didn't understand the order to bring in elves instead of elvises ... and in this whole chaos fraser repeatedly sees a reindeer walking around the station. this was so incredibly funny! one of the best scenes ever on "due south"!moreless
  • Set at christmas this episode was hilarious and yet still managed to have a serious theme. Absolutely classic.

    9.5
    This is the first episode in which Frasier's dad's ghost appears to him. That added a new layer to the series. When he asked his dad if there was any history of insanity in their family and his dad said no but then mentioned some uncle who died wrapped in cabbage leaves, I laughed my socks off. Oh I laughed when Frasier got into the car and told Ray to drive because his father wouldn't leave him alone and then went into a rather complicaed explaination as to whether or not his father should leave his head or stay there.



    I kinda felt bad for Frasier when it seemed like his dad was saying he didn't know what he was doing because he hadn't taught him. Then Frasier got the upper hand and figured something out that his dad hadn't. I thought the speech frasier gave to the wheelman about what a father should leave his son was excellent and it was like Frasier had just come to this revelation over the course of the episode.



    We also got a little bit of a glimpse into Ray's childhood and his relationship with his father, it didn't seem like the had a very good one. It kinda made me smile when he said that he learned timing from his father, but it wasn't a very happy smile. When he said that the second thing he learned was that you never hit a kid because it doesn't teach them anything, that was a very strong moment and the actors/directors made brilliant use of a dramatic pause to highlight it.



    I really enjoyed this episode and I've now watched it 3 times in the last 2 days. Overkill maybe, but it was a great episode.moreless
  • Set at christmas this episode was hilarious and yet still managed to have a serious theme. Absolutely classic.

    9.5
    This is the first episode in which Frasier's dad's ghost appears to him. That added a new layer to the series. When he asked his dad if there was any history of insanity in their family and his dad said no but then mentioned some uncle who died wrapped in cabbage leaves, I laughed my socks off. Oh I laughed when Frasier got into the car and told Ray to drive because his father wouldn't leave him alone and then went into a rather complicaed explaination as to whether or not his father should leave his head or stay there.



    I kinda felt bad for Frasier when it seemed like his dad was saying he didn't know what he was doing because he hadn't taught him. Then Frasier got the upper hand and figured something out that his dad hadn't. I thought the speech frasier gave to the wheelman about what a father should leave his son was excellent and it was like Frasier had just come to this revelation over the course of the episode.



    We also got a little bit of a glimpse into Ray's childhood and his relationship with his father, it didn't seem like the had a very good one. It kinda made me smile when he said that he learned timing from his father, but it wasn't a very happy smile. When he said that the second thing he learned was that you never hit a kid because it doesn't teach them anything, that was a very strong moment and the actors/directors made brilliant use of a dramatic pause to highlight it.



    I really enjoyed this episode and I've now watched it 3 times in the last 2 days. Overkill maybe, but it was a great episode.moreless
  • Set at christmas this episode was hilarious and yet still managed to have a serious theme. Absolutely classic.

    9.5
    This is the first episode in which Frasier's dad's ghost appears to him. That added a new layer to the series. When he asked his dad if there was any history of insanity in their family and his dad said no but then mentioned some uncle who died wrapped in cabbage leaves, I laughed my socks off. Oh I laughed when Frasier got into the car and told Ray to drive because his father wouldn't leave him alone and then went into a rather complicaed explaination as to whether or not his father should leave his head or stay there.



    I kinda felt bad for Frasier when it seemed like his dad was saying he didn't know what he was doing because he hadn't taught him. Then Frasier got the upper hand and figured something out that his dad hadn't. I thought the speech frasier gave to the wheelman about what a father should leave his son was excellent and it was like Frasier had just come to this revelation over the course of the episode.



    We also got a little bit of a glimpse into Ray's childhood and his relationship with his father, it didn't seem like the had a very good one. It kinda made me smile when he said that he learned timing from his father, but it wasn't a very happy smile. When he said that the second thing he learned was that you never hit a kid because it doesn't teach them anything, that was a very strong moment and the actors/directors made brilliant use of a dramatic pause to highlight it.



    I really enjoyed this episode and I've now watched it 3 times in the last 2 days. Overkill maybe, but it was a great episode.moreless
James Purcell

James Purcell

William Porter

Guest Star

Ryan Phillippe

Ryan Phillippe

Del Porter

Guest Star

Don McManus

Don McManus

Santa Claus

Guest Star

Tony Craig

Tony Craig

Det. Jack Huey

Recurring Role

Gordon Pinsent

Gordon Pinsent

Robert Fraser

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Benton Fraser: Is there any history of insanity in our family?
      Robert Fraser: No, not that I'm aware. Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius, who died wrapped in cabbage leaves, but we assumed that was a freak accident. Go on, go on.

    • Ray Vecchio: Kid, I'm having a good day, it's Christmas Eve and I'm filled with love for my fellow man, but I swear to God if you don't look again I'm gonna smack you upside the head.

    • Harding Welsh: In the last half hour I've had calls from seven department stores, the Salvation Army, two parade officials and the director of a children's pageant. This was augmented by phone calls from four city council members, the deputy mayor and the police commissioner. All of them are curious why we are detaining every Santa Claus in the city on Christmas eve. The police commissioner was especially irked, seeing that his daughter was on Santa's lap in a department store when said Santa was cuffed and hauled off to a paddy wagon. In our zeal to solve this crime, I can't help but wonder if we are being... how shall I say this... excessively stupid?

    • Ray: I learned two things from my father. One, timing...Mostly when to duck. And two, you never hit a kid, because it doesn't teach him anything.

    • Fraser Sr: Hello, Son.
      Fraser: Hello Dad...How are you?
      Fraser Sr: I'm dead, Son. Other than that, do you mean?

  • NOTES (2)

    • The scene in which Lt. Welsh discusses the Santa case with Huey, Louie, Vecchio, and Fraser is one continuous shot (no cuts) lasting two minutes and thirteen seconds -- an unusual feat in television, where most shots last only a few seconds.

    • MUSIC

      - Steaming (Sarah McLachlan, from Touch)
      - Henry Martin (Figgy Duff, from Weather Out The World)
      - Rumbolt (Figgy Duff, from Weather Out The World)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • This episode contains several allusions to the O'Henry story The Gift of the Magi. First, the title of the episode: The Gift of the Wheelman. Second, Del buys a gift for his father in O'Henry's Gift Shop. Third, Del is the male counterpart to Della, the main character in The Gift of the Magi. Fourth, O'Henry's real name was William Sydney Porter -- which is the name of Del's father, who is also a writer.

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