Miami Vice (1986) – Walk-Alone, and The Good Collar

Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) gets to take a little of the limelight in the first episode up this week. Written by W.K. Scott Meyer this episode first aired on 17 October, 1986.

After discovering a lead provided by Izzy (Martin Ferrero), and recovering from the death of his new paramour, Tubbs agrees to go undercover in a state prison where a ring of corrupt guards are running cocaine.

With nothing to distract him from the death of his lover, Tubbs throws himself whole-heartedly, perhaps even dangerously into the case, while Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) sits and worries about his friend and partner.

Will Tubbs be able to survivor in the lock-up, surrounded by criminals of all stripes as well as gangs and racial divisions. And what if they find out he’s a cop?

The guest cast includes Ron Perlman and Laurence Fishburne.

Music in this episode includes Listen Like Thieves by INXS, Run D-M-C’s Walk This Way, Gear Jammer by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and In Dulce Decorum by The Damned – which is used during one of the best endings of the season, featuring Tubbs and Castillo (Edward James Olmos- the master of menacing cool), who gets some amazing moments himself in this episode.

It’s nice to see Thomas getting to take on an episode by himself. He proves once again that he’s just a strong an actor as Johnson, and is able to do the heavy lifting on a solo episode.


The Good Collar was written by Dennis Copper, and first aired on 24 October, 1986. Sonny tries to find a way to help a young high-school football player, Archie (Vincent Keith Ford) with dreams of making it big, after he’s busted for possession.

Crockett hopes to convince Archie to help him take down a young dealer, Curtis Walker (Samuel Graham).

Everyone else seems to want Archie to take the fall, but Crockett sees some of his own youth in the young athlete.  When Sonny makes a deal with the kid everything seems to be going well, as they aim to take down Curtis but what if the higher-ups back out of the deal?

It’s a solid story, brilliantly realized, and reflected a lot of the things going on at the time, undercover cops in gangs, the gangs themselves, and kid drug dealers. Something that still seems to be plaguing us today.

Charles S. Dutton and John Spencer guest star in this one.

Tunes include Condemned by One Way, The Pretenders’ How Much Did You Get For Your Soul and Simply Red’s Picture Book – which plays during the ending… and what an ending!

The cases continue next week as I continue to patrol the streets with Miami Vice.


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