Miami Vice (1988) – Love at First Sight, and A Rock and a Hard Place

Vice detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) goes undercover with a video dating service to find a serial killer in the first episode up this week. Written by Peter McCabe, the episode first aired on 15 January, 1988. Johnson also serves as the episode’s director.

Caitlin (Sheena Easton) is worried she may lose her new husband, Sonny, when he takes the assignment and goes undercover, and it causes the first real stress in the relationship. The murders are brutal, and the team are pulling out all the stops to track down the culprit, running down every possible lead but it still leaves Crockett dangling in the killer’s sights.

Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas), Switek (Micheal Talbott), Trudy (Olivia Brown) and Gina (Saundra Santiago) work overtime to put it all together, and get an understanding of the killer, so that they can track them down.

And how far will Crockett have to go to protect his cover, and keep his marriage safe?

The guest cast includes Iman, and Lori Petty.

Music for this episode includes Love and Rockets’ Ball of Confusion, Madness of it All by The Ward Brothers, Looking for Someone to Love by The Stray Cats, Make Me a Memory (Sad Samba) by Grover Washington Jr. and Sheena Easton’s I Got You Babe.

There’s a silly gaffe in this episode, whenever the killer rewinds to watch a clip from the video again, the image enlarges. It’s not a zoom in on the screen, the image literally gets bigger on the screen the killer is watching. Rather silly, and could have been executed in a different way.


A Rock and a Hard Place sees the return of Freemont (Bob Gerchen) and Wiggins (Tony Hendra) from a couple of episodes back as they attempt to ruin Caitlin’s career (violently) and expose Sonny’s cover as they dig into his alias’ Burnett’s past- and this causes some serious stress on the relationship.

The ‘happy’ couple (although they do have their moments together, but also seem to make one another incredibly unhappy at the same time) is off to Los Angeles (unlike Prodigal Son which saw the production move to New York, this episode uses some stock clips of iconic locations and then shoots Miami for L.A.).

The episode was written by Robert Palm, from a story by Dick Wolf, and first aired on 22 January, 1988.

Tunes featured in this episode include Devil With a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Don Henley’s Dirt Laundry, and the iconic Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House – which is played hearbreakingly when Caitlin goes off on tour, leaving Crockett behind.

And nothing against Crockett, but this season has been very heavy on the Crockett stories, which is a bit of a letdown because I think the series works best when the series focuses on Crockett and Tubbs.

There will be more Vice next week, as we dive into the other worst episode of the series…


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