The penultimate entry in my rewatch of Miami Vice brings two of the four ‘lost’ episodes which were broadcast after the series finale, Freefall, but should have been part of the original run.
Miracle Man sees vigilantism come to the streets of Miami in the form of a costumed would be hero. Written by Rob Bragin from a story by Robert Ward and Gillian Horvath, this episode screened on 21 June, 1989, after Vice had already been put to bed by the network.
The episode sees Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Philip Micheal Thomas) have their hands full when Miracle Man (Jose Perez) ruins a number of drug busts, and consequently isn’t making friends on either side of the law, made blatantly obvious when the dealers come after him.
The Vice team also has to deal with the TV crew led by Eric Terry (Zach Grenier)who is doggedly following Miracle Man and the cops, because it makes ‘good television.’ To put this in perspective, Fox debuted its series COPS three months prior to this episode’s air date.
Tubbs and Switek (John Talbott) are the ones working most of the case, as Crockett only appears in the opening, and then joins the absent Castillo (Edward James Olmos) testifying in Orlando. As they dig into the case, they discover Miracle Man aka Georgie Estaban has his heart in the right place, and is fighting for his neighborhood, but interfering with the law is going to get him into a lot of trouble.
And it should come as no surprise that Izzy (Martin Ferrero) knows Georgie.
Music features a solo piece of work, Nande by La Familia Andre, alongside Tim Truman’s score.
The episode walks a fine line between silly and drama, and they do it right (or as right as Miami Vice at the tail end of its run could get it right). It also gives Tubbs and Switek a chance to work together again.
Leap of Faith was written by Robert Ward and aired on 28 June, 1989. It was designed to serve as a backdoor pilot for a spinoff series focusing on a younger cadre of undercover officers.
Consequently Crockett and Tubbs make only small appearances letting the would be leads of the new series take center stage.
Joey Hardin (Justin Lazard) the young DEA agent who transferred to undercover work as seen in Line of Fire and Miami Squeeze is the main character for the episode, and is surrounded by his team of officers, including Laura San Giacomo as Tania Louis, and Cameron Dye as Jack Andrews.
It’s Crockett’s idea that Justin and his team go under cover on a college campus to investigate Professor Terry Baines (Keith Gordon) who may have just created a new designer drug that could wreak havoc on the streets.
The pilot wasn’t picked up, leaving this as the only appearance of Hardin and his team and the potential of their would-be series. It does have a trio of great tunes though with Guns N’Roses’ Paradise City, Kiss Me When I Get Back by Tom Tom Club and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ What I Am.
Next week, the iconic television series comes to an end as I finish my run of Miami Vice.