Miami Vice (1985) – Prodigal Son

The season two opener was a feature length entry for the hit series. Directed by Paul Micheal Glaser (Strasky), it was written by Daniel Pyne, the second season got underway on 27 September, 1985.

Vice detectives Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) head north to Tubbs’ old stomping grounds in New York in an effort to stop a Colombian drug cartel run by the Revillas, among them is Miguel Revilla (Luis Guzman).

Sonny and Rico track the cartel from Colombia, through Miami and it is here that the the Colombians hit a DEA party our heroes go to, and Gina (Saundra Santiago) is hurt, the issue becomes personal, and they pull out all the stops to put the Revillas down. So it’s off to New York, the next stop in the drug funnel.

While there, they find there is trouble on both sides of the blue line for them, as well as romance. Tubbs reconnects with Valerie (Pam Grier) while Crockett meets Margaret (Susan Hess), who proves to be a real problem for Sonny, as she may not be who she appears to be.


Kiss’ Gene Simmons makes an appearance as a drug dealing connection that gives them contact names to track down in NY. It also features Charles S. Dutton as the New York lieutenant they check in with and magician Penn Jilette as another connection on the way. Julian Beck plays a Wall Street banker who is involved with the Revillas loaning them money, and consequently he has a financial investment with them, and wants to protect his interests, even if that means outing and killing undercover cops. I have to say even in this small role, he proves to be so creepy – just as he was in Poltergeist II – the man was just very creepy!

The pair have to think outside the box as they try to break in to, and stop the Revillas, and things get really dangerous for everybody involved. Crockett and Tubbs take it to the limit, again, and then some.

The season opener has a ton of great music alongside Jan Hammer’s score, including Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean, Glad by Traffic, The System’s The Pleasure Seekers, Tell It Like It Is by Aaron Neville, the hit song You Belong to the City by Glenn Frey, Joe Cocker’s Many Rivers to Cross, U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love), Huey Lewis and the News’ Do You Believe in Love, White Stuff by Fashion, Good Night, Ladies by Lou Reed, Go West’s Goodbye Girl, Windswept by Bryan Ferry, Rubber Miro by Liquid Liquid, and one of my personal faves Take Me Home by Phil Collins.

Even set against New York, the look and the style of the show still comes through, and while the colour palette in this episode isn’t as bright as the rest of the series, the shooting style, the pacing, the story (still edged with cynicism and darkness) and the look is still very much Miami Vice.

Next week the boys dig into more cases back in Miami…

Prodigal Son


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