Category Archives: Miami Vice

Miami Vice: Season 1- Episode 2: Heart of Darkness

It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It’s Miami Vice Day! First off though, I do have to say that I’m quite aggravated with Netflix. Miami Vice is no longer available! My month long free trial is still going on, so I’m rethinking things with them. Luckily, I also have Amazon Prime, and I had already bought this episode on there, so we’re good to go.

This episode, “Heart of Darkness”, was directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, and written by A.J. Edison. It aired on September 28, 1984.


From what I understand, not only is Miami Vice known for the great music, but it also has had some awesome actors making guest appearances. In the first episode, we saw a before-he-was-famous Jimmy Smits. This episode features a pre-Al Bundy – Ed O’Neill.

Crockett and Tubbs are infiltrating a porno ring, concerned that minors are being involved. There is a bust at the beginning of the episode. The possible underage girl is let free. She is then murdered. So Crockett and Tubbs really need to turn up the investigation.

One of the people high up in the organization, Artie (Ed O’Neill), may have been involved in the murder. Crockett and Tubbs learn that Artie is actually an undercover FBI agent. The witness Artie going nuts on an investor that was late on a payment. After almost beating the guy to death, Crockett and Tubbs are wondering if Artie has gone rogue and is now a bad guy. He hasn’t checked in with his unit or his wife in weeks.

We also had a fun Elvis scene. You know how your dog gets pissed off when you leave it alone at home for a bit, and it chews up the floor or leaves a big dump somewhere in the house for you? Well, apparently if you leave your pet alligator alone, and he breaks loose, he tears up the dock, swims a couple of slips over, and leaves a big ole dump on the harbor master’s boat.

Artie finds out that Crockett and Tubbs are cops and is angry that they may end up messing up his investigation of the crime boss, Sam Kovics (Paul Hecht). He has had more than enough to bust Kovics for a while. He has evidence of drugs, extortion, embezzlement, hiring under-age girls, and murder. Crockett gets the feeling that Artie is getting a little too comfortable with the rich lifestyle of a criminal. So, Crockett and Tubbs convince Artie to team up and bust this guy once and for all.

Crockett and Tubbs are still on edge with not knowing which side Artie is make matters worse, it looks like Artie took off when they were supposed to meet. But, Artie calls them, and the bust is on. Of course, things don’t exactly go smoothly, and we our climactic shootout. I’m also discovering that most of the cops are totally inept, and cause a lot of problems for Crockett and Tubbs. Last episode, they came in too early to make a bust. This time, somebody screws up with Tubbs’ wire, which gives them away, leading to the shootout.


“She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes


“Missing You” by John Waite

“Going Under” by Devo

“Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top

“This Masquerade” by George Benson

Final Thoughts

The Miami Vice pilot was awesome, as we got to meet the characters, and they got to meet each other. Now, in this episode, the Crockett and Tubbs team is established, and it is great! The chemistry between the characters is awesome. You would never know that this was only the second episode of the series. The action was great, as there was a car chase and a shootout. There were very funny parts as well. Ed O’Neill was a great guest star.  He may look and sound like a young Al Bundy, but man, was he intense in this. And you really never knew for sure what side he was on. Overall, this was a great episode, and I highly recommend it.


[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Miami Vice: Season 1- Episode 1: Brother’s Keeper

It’s time for Return to the ’80s to turn some focus on the small screen now. We cover plenty of music, and have recently gotten into reviewing some movies. Now it’s time to watch some ’80s TV. And what better show to kick this off than the ultimate ’80s TV show – Miami Vice.

Miami Vice ran on NBC from 1984 to 1989. It is widely known that the head of NBC, Brandon Tartikoff, wrote a brainstorming memo that simply read “MTV cops”. Miami Vice was born. What a concept! Everything from the ’80s is well represented here – bright colors, fashion, awesome cars, tons of action, and great music.

I do not remember watching this too often during it’s original run. It aired on Friday nights, so I must have always been out when it was on. I do remember watching the show occasionally, but I don’t remember any exact details. So, I will be pretty much watching this show for the first time.

I was very interested in watching this show while watching and reviewing the Michael Mann produced film Band of the Hand, for the Forgotten Filmcast episode on which I appeared. The show is on Amazon Prime, but not for free. So, I bought the first couple of episodes. I just recently signed up with Netflix, and discovered that the entire Miami Vice series is free on Netflix! I was planning on buying all of the episodes, but now I’m all set. Anyway, let’s get on with the show.

Where else to start than the beginning. Brother’s Keeper was the pilot. The original air date was September 16, 1984. It was a two hour premiere.


I was surprised that the first scene ever of Miami Vice takes place in New York. Tubbs was staking out a drug dealer named Calderone, who had killed a cop. The show started off with music and action right away. Tubbs gave chase, but Calderone got away.

Then we meet Sonny Crockett and his partner Eddie Rivera (played by Jimmy Smits). We don’t see Jimmy Smits for very long though as he is killed by a car bomb.

I never knew Crockett had a son. Sonny goes to his son’s birthday party, where we also meet his ex-wife, Caroline.

Tubbs is now in Miami, hunting down Calderone. He goes undercover (unknown to the Miami police) to try to get him, and pretends to be a drug dealer. The cops try to bust the deal, but Tubbs got away, and stole Crockett’s speed boat. While Tubbs was speeding away in the water, Crockett hopped in a car, and gave chase along the river. The awesome chase ended with Crockett catching Tubbs, and each finding out the other was a cop. They end up finding out that they are both after the same drug dealer.

Man, Crockett and Tubbs really did not get along! The next morning, Tubbs found Crockett on Sonny’s houseboat. They trade one punch each. Now that they got that out of their system, Tubbs asked if there was ice on board. Sonny told him it was down below. As soon as Tubbs got down the stairs, he came right back out screaming as we are introduced to Crockett’s pet alligator, Elvis.

Crockett and Tubbs made a pretty good team. But, they always seemed a step or two behind Calderone. It turns out there is a leak “the size of the East River” in the department. So, the duo are hunting down the dangerous drug dealer and trying to find the leak. Crockett also finds out who Tubbs really is. He had been posing as his brother Raphael. Raphael was the cop that Calderone killed. Our Tubbs is Ricardo Tubbs, a street cop. Crockett didn’t like how Tubbs was out for vengenace, but they kept on the case anyway.

The leak is found. And on the way to the final showdown, we hear Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” as Crockett and Tubbs are driving. Classic!

The shootout was pretty cool, and the showdown between Tubbs and Calderone was intense. At the end of the episode, Crockett asked Tubbs if he was going back to New York. Tubbs


One of the key elements of this show is the music. I don’t know if all the episodes are like this, but there were not 1 or 2 songs, but there were several. Here are the songs that were featured in this episode:

“Miss You” by The Rolling Stones

“Body Talk” by The Deele

“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

“All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie

“In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

Final Thoughts

I thought this was a great introduction to the show. We got to meet several key characters. Edward James Olmos was not in this episode. There was a different captain in this one. There was a great combination of action, drama, and humor in this episode. And as we just saw, there was some top rate music as well. I am really looking forward to watching this entire series.

Are there any Miami Vice fans out here? Feel free to leave your thoughts and memories, about the show, here. And I would love it if any hardcore fans have any fun facts or trivia you would like to share.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Daily Trivia – 9/15/11

Question: Which Kiss member kissed the group good-bye in 1982:

A) Peter Criss
B) Ace Frehley
C) Vinnie Vincent
D. The Makeup

Last Question: Who nabbed an Emmy for his role as Crockett and Tubbs’ crusty boss, Lieutenant Castillo?

Answer: Edward James Olmos

From 1984 to 1989 Edward James Olmos starred as Lieutenant Martin Castillo on Miami Vice. He was awarded a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1985 for his role.

Here is Olmos winning his Golden Globe:

After Miami Vice‘s run, Olmos did not go away. He just got better. He became the first American-born Latino to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, in Stand and Deliver, for his portrayal of real-life math teacher, Jaime Escalante. He then went on to star alongside Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 movie Selena.

But, as awesome as his role was in Miami Vice, Olmos had his most iconic role as Commander (later Admiral) William Adama in the Sci-Fi Channel’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica. This reboot of Battlestar Galactica was one of my all-time favorite shows. Along with the writing, a big reason for it being one of my top shows was the acting of Edward James Olmos.

If there are any Dexter fans out there, Olmos will costar in the show’s 6th season as a “brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies.”

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Daily Trivia – 7/27/11

Question: What chewy candies were hyped in ads where folks were conked by giant falling fruits?

Last Question: What TV show’s theme was the first instrumental number-one hit since Chariots of Fire?

Answer: Miami Vice‘s

The “Miami Vice Theme” was written and performed by Jan Hammer. It was first played as part of the show’s opener in 1984. In 91985, it was released as a single, and peaked at #1 in the U.S., and #5 on the U.K. charts. This song, along with Glenn Frey’s number-two hit “You Belong to the City”, put the Miami Vice soundtrack on the top of the U.S. album chart for eleven weeks in 1985, making it the most successful TV soundtrack of all time until 2006 when Disney Channel’s High School Musical beat its record.

Here is the show opener:

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Daily Trivia – 3/14/11

Question: In Superman III, who played computer genius “Gus Gorman”?

Last Question: On Miami Vice, what pop singer played “Crockett’s” wife from 1987 to 1988?

Answer: Sheena Easton

Sheena Eason, the pop star from Scotland, played a singer named Caitlin Davies whom Sonny Crockett was assigned to protect in Miami Vice. Sheena Easton played Caitlin fro 5 episodes as Sonny and Caitlin got married.
Then Frank Hackman, an old Crockett enemy was loose. During a shootout, Hackman’s wife was killed (as it turned out by Hackman himself), and sought revenge on Crockett, so he disguised himself as a member of the light crew on Caitlin’s music tour. He used a laser rifle to shoot Caitlin dead in Crockett’s arms. Later, it was found that the surprise Caitlin tried to tell Crockett but never could was she was six weeks pregnant with their child, which sent Crockett into a drunken rage and he tracked Hackman down and killed him in cold blood, thus beginning Crockett’s gradual descent into his alter-ego, Sonny Burnett.