Miami Vice (1989) – The Lost Madonna, and Over the Line

Robert Goethals pens this episode that first aired on 17 March, 1989. It sees vice detectives Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) assisting a New York Cop, Jeffrey Whitehead (Micheal Chiklis) in helping recover stolen artwork that a drug dealer has grabbed,

They find themselves in the art world, and find that it can be just as glitzy and seedy as their usual beat, and Whitehead is a bit of snooty when it comes to art, and attempting to coach Crockett and Tubbs about what they will need to know about to go undercover.

I like seeing the boys in this episode, they are back to what they used to be – looking great, being cool, and working a case together. The locations look good, the style is there, the only thing missing is Jan Hammer and some more tunes than the ones they used.

The pair go undercover and find themselves against an entire crime family who are more into art not that they are more than financially well off. There is some gentle humor with Switek (John Talbott) and his interactions with Whitehead, and it’s very obvious that the art expert, cop or not, is a bit of a tool.

Music featured in this episode includes Twist in My Sobriety by Tanita Tikaram and She’s Waiting by Eric Clapton.

Shortly after this episode was in the can, the channel that produced the series, NBC announced its cancellation. That would shuffle some episodes to come – the famous lost episodes – which I’ll be watching before the series finale, Freefall.


Over the Line features a rogue group of cops who are doling out justice their way, as vigilantes in this episode written by Terry McDonell from a story by Robert Ward and Scott Shepherd. It first aired on 28 April, 1989.

After a bust goes south, Crockett and Tubbs are approached by a vigilante group of cops who invite them to join and deal out ‘justice.’ Castillo (Edward James Olmos) gives the officers the okay to infiltrate the group but when a cop is killed the decision comes into question.

The episode also features an appearance by Martin Ferrero as Izzy, which is a surprise, as we haven’t seen him for awhile.

There are some pretty obvious similarities between this episode and the 1973 Dirty Harry film, Magnum Force. Vice makes it their own, as it marries the story with the fact that entire team is feeling worn down, and want to do the right thing, and be the best cops they can, but it just seems never ending for them. And it’s equally troubling for them that the organization seems to go higher than any of them would have liked to believe.

Will they be able to bring down this loose association of cops who are taking justice into their own hands? It would be interesting to see a modern take on this. It would be a dark, brutal tell.

Music in this episode includes The Fixx’s I’m Life and of course Tim Truman’s score.

The casework continues for a couple more weeks yet as I cruise the streets of Miami Vice.



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