Miami Vice (1986) – Better Living Through Chemistry, and Baby Blues

Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) gets his cover blown in Better Living Through Chemistry. Written by Dick Wolf and Micheal Duggan from a story by Ken Edwards and Larry Rosenthal. It first aired on 14 November, 1986.

Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs are working to bring down a dealer who claims to have perfected a synthetic cocaine, but the arrival of Tubbs’ ex-partner from his time with the NYPD causes a problem.

Clarence Batisse (Victor Love) is furious with Tubbs, when he was dismissed from the force for a bad shoot.

The duo go to Izzy (Martin Ferrero) for some leads, however their informer may be hip deep in the deal. Whats more, Batisse may be more of a problem than the detectives planned on. And if the synthetic cocaine formula works, a drug war could tear up and bloody the streets of Miami.

There’s a lot of shifting storylines in this episode, but in the end it comes down to Clarence and Ricardo, and the way their partnership ended, Batisse’s plans for revenge, and the discovery of the truth.

Music for the episode includes Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild, Tequila by The Champs, and Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.

In the end, this one wasn’t my favorite so far, and while I like a good Tubbs story, this one should have focused on him a little more, and maybe saved the synthetic cocaine story for another episode.


Baby Blues was written by Micheal Duggan from a story by he and Dick Wolf, continuing their trend of ripping stories from the headlines of the time. This episode had its debut on 21 November, 1986.

The crux of the plot sees the Vice team investigating an illegal adoption ring that sees children kidnapped from their families in Colombia. When the most recent load passes through Miami, the team discovers a mother, Maria Escobar (Patrice Martinez) is in pursuit.

The ring is run by a dirty adoption lawyer, Howard Famiglia (Tommy Koenig) and the more the team learns the more they want to bring him down.

The tunes for this episode includes Movin’ and Groovin’ by Redds & The Boys, Stop & Think by Michelle Goulet, Love by You from Joan Armstrong, and Mike + The Mechanics’ Hanging by a Thread.

The episode also features an appearance by Stanley Tucci, he’ll return as another character later in the series, but it’s still cool to see him! I also love the fact that all of the main cast are featured in this episode, Edward James Olmos, Saundra Santiago, Olivia Brown, John Diehl and Micheal Talbott, all of them get their moments in this one, as each one of them are affected by this case.

The cases continue next week as I cruise the streets of Miami Vice.


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