Miami Vice (1988) – Mirror Image, and Hostile Takeover

Mirror Image is the only cliffhanger in the entire run of Miami Vice, and closes out the series fourth season tying in directly with the previous episode Deliver Us From Evil, and the season five opener, Hostile Takeover coming to its conclusion in Redemption in Blood.

Written by Robert Palm and Nelson Oramas from a story by Oramas and Daniel Sackheim. It debuted on 6 May, 1988, and would leave us wondering about the fate of vice detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) for the summer.

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Caitlin (Sheena Easton), Sonny tries to lose himself in his undercover work, despite some concern from his partner, Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas). When a bomb explosion on a dealer’s boat he’s on leaves him injured and amnesiac, Crockett begins to believe he is actually his undercover persona, Sonny Burnett, and goes to work for Miguel Manolo (Tony Azito) and takes out a number of people including Alejandro Gutierrez (Antonio Fargas).

The rest of his team back at the Organized Crime Bureau, believes he’s already dead, his death ruled a homicide.

While Tubbs tries to run own clues on the case he and Crockett were working on, Crockett is doing his job as Burnett, and does it violently. And through it all Tubbs doesn’t realize his cover may have been jeopardized and he may end up in Burnett’s sights, if Manolo doesn’t turn on him first. It’s a shocking moment, followed by a fantastic dream sequence, all racing towards a shocking conclusion to the episode.

The episode Chris Cooper and Julia Roberts.

Music for this episode includes Bedbugs and Ballyhoo by Echo and the Bunnymen, Money God by Big Pig, and Alpha Centauri by Tangerine Dream. It also sees the last of Jan Hammer’s contributions to the series, something Tim Truman takes over for in the final season.


Hostile Takeover, the next part in the Burnett arc and the final season’s opener was written by Kevin Solarz and directed by Don Johnson. The season got underway on 4 November, 1988.

That’s a pretty long wait between episodes… but this was due to the writers’ strike at the time.

Sonny, still believing he’s Burnett rises to the top of a local drug cartel as he manipulates the family members who run it against one another. The OCB is seeing these changes in the cartel, and also realize that the man behind these moves may in fact be their wayward partner, still suffering from amnesia and completed invested in his Burnett persona.

And what happens when Tubbs shows up as Cooper to do a deal with the cartel Burnett is working for?..

Matt Frewer makes a guest appearance, and the music this time around includes Underneath the Radar by Underworld and Walk and Talk Like Angels by Toni Childs.

The opener has a dark and gritty look, and Truman’s score gives it a different feel from what has gone before. It also works really well as a character piece, Johnson’s performance as Burnett is completely different from that of the way he plays Crockett. It’s a solid and intense season opener that sets the bar pretty high, which is nice considering how some of season four played out.

Season five of Miami Vice, and the Burnett arc continue next week!


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