Miami Vice (1987) – Lend Me an Ear, and Red Tape

Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) delve into more seediness as they investigate Miami Vice. First up this week is Lend Me an Ear, written by Micheal Duggan from a story by Dick Wolf, this episode first aired on 27 February, 1987.

Things get complicated in this episode when the vice detectives recruit an electronics expert, Steve Duddy (John Glover) in their investigation of Alexander Dykstra (Yorgo Voyagis). Duddy is brilliant at his job, and decides to play both sides off the other.

Glover is great as always, and we learn that Duddy used to be a cop, and Tubbs is less than willing to trust him. Duddy verges on the paranoid, knowing all the things he does about surveillance he now worries about how he’s being observed – a fear that has only been heightened over the decades since this episode aired.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Dykstra is almost as paranoid as Duddy. When Duddy witnesses Dykstra commit a murder he finds himself on the horns of a moral dilemma, something that bothers him more than the fact that he continues to play one side off the other and makes money from both.

Maybe Duddy will find a way to bring Dykstra down, even if it takes a little manipulation. But what will it cost him before the end of the story?

Music in this episode includes Be My Enemy by The Waterboys, Respect Yourself by Bruce Willis, World Party’s The Ballad of the Little Man, and Climb by Peter Himmelmann.


Red Tape debuted on 13 March, 1987 and was written by Jonathan Polansky from a story by Dennis Cooper.

Tubbs tries to root out a leak in the department when yet another cop gets killed in the line of duty when they are ambushed during a deal.

The episode features a pair of recognizable guest stars in the form of Lou Diamond Phillips and Viggo Mortensen! The pair guest star as partners Diaz and Trumbull, unfortunately it is Trumbull who dies right before the credits, leaving Tubbs and Diaz to go after the leak, with Crockett providing support.

Annette Bening also guests as a Justice Department employee who is art of the leak that is causing so many deaths on the force.

Will Tubbs be able to find the leak, and put paid to it before other lives are taken? Things get so bad for Tubbs that he actually turns in his shield and tries to leave the city and go back to New York. He’s on edge, and things only get worse for him in this episode – or are they as bad as they seem? Is there something more going on here?

By story’s end Tubbs finds his way back to the force, and who he is, but the story will leave him scarred. To say nothing of Diaz.

Tunes featured in this episode include Best Adventures by Thinkman, and Money Talks and Closer to Heaven by The Alan Parsons Project.

There are more cases next week as I continue to explore the glitzy but dirty streets of Miami Vice.


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