Miami Vice (1989) -Hard Knocks, and Fruit of the Poison Tree

Switek’s (John Talbott) gambling addiction is getting worse as we find out in Hard Knocks. Written by Ken Solarz from a story by Robert Ward, Scott Shepherd and Solraz, this episode first debuted on 20 January, 1989.

Switek sinks into drunkenness, and increasingly poor gambling choices getting him in more trouble with a gangster,who has made him turn to a friend, Mac (Jordan Clarke) and persuade him to convince his son, Kevin (Richard Joseph Paul) an all-American to throw a college football game to help clear up his debt.

Kevin has his own debt, which ties in to Stan’s and it gets increasingly dangerous for everyone.

The episode also ties in to Stan Switek’s professional and personal life, not only is his gambling and drinking turning excessive, he’s been turned down for a promotion again, not because of his talents but because their is no funding.

Yes, it has the glitz and glam we’ve come to know for Vice, though lacking the punch of the original series, and it has a layered story that, after far too many seasons actually lets Switek take center stage.

In fact, Crockett (Don Johnson), Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) and the rest of the team take a back seat in this episode, even though they are working on a case that ties in directly with Stan’s problems.

Stan also comments on the way the job is wearing down on him, this is something that will follow through the rest of the season until the finale. Not just for him, but all the characters.

Music for this episode includes Big League by Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, as well as Mike + The Mechanics’ Nobody’s Perfect.


Fruit of the Poison Tree sees Crockett, Tubbs and the rest of the gang in pursuit of a drug dealer Roberto Enriquez (Jeffrey Meek) and find themselves in a dangerous game. Written by Rob Bragin, this episode first aired on 3 February, 1989.

When they grab Enriquez they think they have a slam dunk case, but the attorneys on the case, Sam Boyle (Stephen McHattie!) and his junior partner, Lisa (Amanda Plummer!) are able to get him off on a technicality.

But that’s because Lisa has another plan, and is setting Enriquez up in revenge for the murder of her father, a prosecuting attorney, who crusaded against the drug trade. And Boyle, well, he may not be as clean cut as his tailored image would suggest.

When a young boy ends up dead, Gina (Saundra Santiago) who is working undercover at Enriquez’s side, and the rest take the case increasingly personal, and Crockett discovers Lisa’s true motivations. But after a talk with Crockett, and Lisa’s discovery about Sam, she makes a different decision, the right one, and aims to help the Vice team.

But will Boyle get his comeuppance? And is Lisa playing a long game?

Music includes U2’s Desire and Robert Plant’s Walking Towards Paradise.

There are more cases coming, even as we close in on the final episodes of Miami Vice.



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