Gideon Oliver

Season 1 Episode 2

Tongs

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Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 13, 1989 on ABC
7.9
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Episode Summary

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Tongs
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Gideon is drawn into an increasingly violent tong (gang) war in Chinatown and soon finds out that one of his most promising students is also a member of a tong family.

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (14)

      • Driver: You don't have any weapons, do you, Professor?
        Gideon: An Amazon blowgun and a Zulu Assegai. But not on me at the moment.
        Driver: It wouldn't be smart to take anything in with you.
        Gideon: Why should I? I'm protected by good intentions.

      • Grecco: So, you're a college professor. A man of honor.
        Gideon: Those two things don't always go together.
        Grecco: They'd better.

      • Grecco: (finishing on exercise bicycle) Hey, Alfredo, I done ten miles. How far is that?
        Alfredo: Whaddaya mean? Ten miles is ten miles.
        Grecco: I mean how far, how far would I get from here if I really biked ten miles?
        Alfredo: I guess at least to Brooklyn.
        Grecco: Not far enough.
        Alfredo: For what?
        Grecco: Everybody's jogging, swimming, rowing, trying to keep ahead of death. And all you get to is Brooklyn.

      • Jerry Wang: I hope the Lis aren't going to do anything foolish. And you too, Professor. I wouldn't want you to do something foolish, either.
        Gideon: I already have.
        Jerry Wang: You trying to tell me something?
        Gideon: Yes. I let you spoil my afternoon.

      • Grecco: How are you, Mr. Chen?
        Johnny Chen: I'm fine.
        Grecco: Good appetite? No trouble sleeping?
        Johnny Chen: Why should I have trouble?
        Grecco: I would. If I'd just blown away a half a block of people!

      • Lt. Manning: Be discreet, huh? We don't want Jerry Wang to know we're in this area.
        Wooten: But, sir, how do I make a discreet request?
        Lt. Manning: Don't make a request. Review it, recapitulate it, replace it.

      • Li Sung: If Johnny Chen takes over down here, that means crackhouses in Chinatown. Now, that's one thing the tongs haven't let happen.
        Tommy: I've always found the fine shades of tong morality a bit subtle for me.

      • Gideon: You keep a priceless piece like that on the counter and you lock up a cheap copy?
        Li Chou: Well, a thief who breaks in would mistake caution for value.

      • Grecco: My people have stayed out of drugs because of those people you have to deal with -- Jamaicans, Colombians, crazy people. We thought you, Chinese, would be more civilized. You know, businesspeople. You guys are blowing each other away like it's Chicago in the '20s!

      • Gideon: (laughing) You let me go on theorizing brilliantly about Tong culture, when all along you were a secret expert on the subject!

      • Jerry Wang: Hey, hey, hey. No fortune cookies?
        Waitress: In China, you don't end a meal with fortune cookies.
        Jerry Wang: Yeah? Well, in China, you don't end a meal with a tip, either.

      • Tommy: You know, uh, I'm more at home with the family structure of the Chou Dynasty than with Chinatown Talks.
        Gideon: Just pretend you're my advisor. You'll intimidate the hell out of them.

      • Tommy: (noticing picture of wartime Gideon) Da Nang?
        Gideon: Does that surprise you?
        Tommy: Yeah, a little.
        Gideon: Well, eight years after that picture was taken, I demonstrated with my students against the war.
        Tommy: What changed your mind?
        Gideon: Facts. They always do.

      • Gideon: (to Tommy) You know, you're the finest student that I've come across in a long time. Well, since myself, of course.

    • NOTES (5)

      • Gideon steps in in a chess game where one player has just resigned. However, the Chinese men are playing conventional (European) chess, rather than the Chinese chess that would be standard in Chinatown. Chinese chess uses thick, disk-shaped pieces with ideograms on each, rather than distinctively shaped pieces. This is likely a concession to the American audience, which would find the Chinese chess set confusingly similar with checkers.

      • While John Amos is credited in TV Guide as playing "Carl Manning," Gideon consistently calls his character Will or Willy.

      • Gideon gives his address as 3 West 67th Street. This fictitious address would place his apartment just inside Central Park in the real New York City.

      • This episode was filmed on location in Chinatown and other parts of New York City.

      • Ad in TV Guide:
        A student is caught in the deadly web of the secret Chinese underworld.

        It will take a razor-sharp weapon to set him free.

        The mind of Gideon Oliver.

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