Vice detective Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) finds himself in trouble in the first episode this week, Amen… Send Money. Written by John Schulian. It first aired on 2 October, 1987 and sees Brian Dennehy as Reverend Bill Bob Proverb.
Rico and his partner Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) get in deep when Tubbs busts a woman on drug charges. This woman is Leona Proverb (Anita Morris), the reverend’s wife.
Soon, Tubbs finds himself in the cross hairs of a pair of televangelists, as Bill Bob seeks out vengeance and has one of his parishioners, Faye Nell (Jo Anderson) sets him up and accuses Tubbs of rape.
It touches lightly on racism, when Tubbs asks who is going to be believed, some church goer or an off-duty black cop? The episode also takes more than a few deserved shots at televangelists.
James Tolkan (as the rival reverend) and Ben Stiller make appearances in this episode! And the music includes Satellite by The Hooters, Black Book by Rank and File, and Anita Morris singing a couple of spirituals for Bill Bob’s show.
I’m liking Tubbs’ beard, not sure about Crockett’s hair, and some (but only some) of his fashion choices – some of the clothes look a little too baggy.
From a series angle, I’m glad the show took on this subject, but I’m a little upset they didn’t explore the racist side of the story, which is something that would definitely be covered today.
Still, two episodes in to the fourth season, this is a nice strong episode, and I liked it more than the opener.
Death and the Lady is written by David Black and debuted on 16 October, 1987.
Crockett and Tubbs investigate a porn film hat may have crossed the line into a snuff film. As such, the pair begin to investigate the film’s director, Milton Glantz (Paul Guilfoyle).
Kelly Lynch plays one of the young actors pushed into pornography, and supposedly the star and victim of the snuff film… The episode also serves to explore another corner of Crockett’s past that still haunts him, one that may push him to violence towards a suspect.
The series continues to explore the darkness set against the glamour, and one can’t help but think how gritty, and cool a modern take on the series would be (not just a feature film, but an all out series).
The episode also features Miguel Ferrer as the D.A. and an early appearance by Penelope Ann Miller.
Tunes include Vet for the Insane by Fields of the Nephilim, Depeche Mode’s Never Let Me Down Again and Pleasure, Little Treasure, The Story Never Ends by Naked Prey, The Edge of Town by The Truth.
The hip road to justice continues next week with more investigations on Miami Vice.