Miami Vice (1988) – Redemption in Blood, and Heart of Night

The Sonny Burnett arc comes to a close this week with Redemption in Blood. Written by Scott Shepherd and Ken Solarz from a story by Robert Ward, this story first debuted on 11 November, 1988.

Vice detective Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) still believes he is his undercover alter ego, Sonny Burnett, and has done some terrible things to begin his climb within the cartel, including shooting his former partner, Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas).

Tubbs only survived because of his bullet proof vest, and after a second near miss, he and the rest of the vice team at the Organized Crime Bureau, feel that it may be best for all involved to take Sonny out of the picture.

While they debate how to bring him down, Crockett’s memories of his prior life, and friendships is coming back. Happily though it doesn’t play as a clip show, instead you can tell Sonny is truly struggling to understand what is going on, and who he is.

So while the OCB team tries to figure out how to stop him, the people within his own cartel are preparing to move against him.

Music for this episode includes Peter Cetera’s You Never Listen to Me, Everything Inside of Me by Tim Truman (who also does all the incidental and score for the rest of the series), and Peter Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up featuring Kate Bush.

This ends up being a solid and strong episode, and part of a fantastic arc that shows, once again, that serialized story telling is the way to go, and Miami Vice really could have benefited from this one, as the could pursue a case over half a season or more.

We’ll see if Burnett’s actions in this episode affect Sonny’s friendship with Tubbs… and while this arc was great, it definitely would have marked the end of Sonny’s time as a police officer.


Heart of Night shifts the focus to Castillo (Edward James Olmos) in an overdue episode that was written by James Becket. It debuted on 18 November, 1988. I say overdue, because I don’t remember Olmos’ character getting an episode of his own last season. It’s been a while.

Castillo lays it all on the line when his ex-wife, May Ying (previously played by Joan Chen and now by Rosalind Chao), and her husband, Ma Sek (previously played by Glenn Kubuta and now James Salto) are in the sights of a vengeful drug dealer, Rivas (Bob Gunton) and his vicious assistant, Cortez (Rico Elias).

Casrillo thanks to Olmos’ performance is always awesome, and it’s very unfortunate that his character wasn’t given more stand alone episodes throughout the run of the series. While similar to the earlier episode, Bushido, the episode captivates, and allows other actors to have moment to shine after the Crockett-heavy focus of the past episodes (and arguably the previous season).

Music includes Blood Money by The Church, Joe Cocker’s The One, The Kiss by The Cure, and Joan Armstrong’s Dark Truths.

The cases continue as Tubbs and Crockett return to the dark streets of Miami Vice…


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