Miami Vice (1986) – One Way Ticket, and Little Miss Dangerous

Vice detectives Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) go after lawyers and drug dealers in the first episode of Miami Vice this week.

Written by Craig Bolotin and John Mankiewicz, this episode first aired on 24 January, 1986.

When an attorney friend is murdered, Sonny discovers that it was because they were too close to putting a case together against a dealer operating in Miami through Canada, Jean Faber (Jean-Pierre Matte).

Another attorney, Laurence Thrumond (John Heard) may be the connection the detectives need to bring Faber down, but he and Crockett also have a turbulent history, as Thurmond seems to get his dealer clients set free, and one of them killed a young cop Crockett had been working with.

Things get worse when the assassin who killed the attorney, Philippe Sagot (Lothaire Bluteau) has Thurmond as his representation. And Sagot is just slimy, you want to see him taken down a notch or two, and Thurmond wrestles with his morals and ethics over defending Sagot.

I’ve always liked John Heard, and he’s solid in this episode. In fact the casting for the series has always been top-notch, and this one just continues to prove it.

As a continuity note, Sonny’s character smokes his last cigarette in this episode, and from here on out, the character is smoke-free.

Music featured in this episode includes Kyrie by Mr. Mister, Pete Townsend’s Face the Face, and Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally. And watch for a brief cameo by Jan Hammer, who does the music for the series, as he plays the wedding that opens the episode.

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Little Miss Dangerous was penned by Frank Military and first aired on 31 January, 1986.

Tubbs tries to help a young prostitute, Jackie (Fiona Flanagan) get out of the sex trade and improve her life. It’s a dangerous world to be working in, as a recent murder of a sailor proves. But what Tubbs doesn’t know is that Jackie was the murderess, and he may be the next target.

The reveal of the fact that Jackie is the killer should have been held back instead of shown in the opening sequence, and that would have added a even more oomph to an already strong episode.

The drawings Jackie leaves at the scene of her murders are childlike and add a troubling layer to her character, and we consequently worry about Tubbs getting in too deep.

How will it play out? The show usually goes dark, especially in the last act, and frames of an episode…

It’s nice to see Tubbs get a little more of the limelight in this episode, and Thomas carries it off easily.

Music featured in this includes Ted Nugent’s (ugh) Little Miss Dangerous, Here Comes My Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Assault and Battery by Howard Jones, and Public Image Ltd.’s Order of Death.

There’s more cases to solve next week when Crockett and Tubbs hit the streets to clean up Miami Vice.

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