Miami Vice: Shadow in the Dark

044e1e853c7493ad7351f236a936a3deVery Special Readers, I give you the scariest episode of Miami Vice ever. While this is not explicitly a Halloween episode, it did originally air on October 31st and it will give you nightmares. It’s a dark and spooky night and this dude is crossing a draw bridge as it opens. It’s jut him and like some delivery trucks and he’s making creepy hand gestures like he’s commanding the bridge to open. He should have straight up have been arrested on the bridge, I think. But it’s Miami in the 80’s, which this show leads me to believe was a totally a completely lawless time. So he ends up at this luxurious house. He’s wearing latex gloves and has his boots duct taped to his pants. He’s moaning which oh my gosh I hope is not a sexual noise on his part. It’s not a sexual noise I have ever heard before, but I think this may be par for the course with this guy.

He starts mime-walking with his hands across the glass of this sliding door. And then he just turns with arms outstretched like he’s saying, “Behold the pool area!”

Ugh, no seriously this guy wants to make sweet, sweet love to this house. This is some kind of creepy disorder that you’ve heard about for the first time here on The VSB, bringing you breaking news from 1986.

Omg no, he goes to the kitchen and covers his face with flour. Ugh no, I will never eat cold cuts again. Oh thank goodness, cue the credits.

The next day, Crocket and Tubbs show up to investigate this “cat burglary”where this dude has only stolen pants. You know what, I’m not even surprised. Of course, he only stole pants.

He’s also left a crude lipstick drawing on the wall. (Whoops, looks like I only review Miami Vice episodes with crude drawings). Crockett tastes the lipstick. Wtf. How is that relevant to this investigation??

Oh no, it wasn’t cold cuts I don’t think. They find raw meat all over the kitchen. Oh please tell me he was getting that flour out for some deep frying. Was he eating raw meeting??? (Sorry, taking a brief break because I may be physically ill. Wtf, Miami Vice, where are the drug cartels?? What is this weird depraved, shit???)

Oh by the way, if you were like “What does this have to do with Vice?” Good question. Crockett and Tubbs have been loaned to another lieutenant on this case. His name is Lt. Gilmore and he’s batshit crazy, presumably from spending too much time on this case. He goes nuts, attacks a criminal informant, and is admitted to a mental hospital. Crockett and Tubbs continue to work the case, but now they’re working out of their usual vice office. I don’t know anything about police work, so I’m just going to assume that this weird scenario is perfectly plausible.

mqdefaultWith Lt. Gilmore indisposed, Crockett takes the lead on the case. Having learned absolutely nothing from the cop who just went nuts working this case, Crockett tells Castillo that he needs to start thinking like the burglar. So he starts speaking in insane babble and staying up all night. And then he just drives his car to like the middle of nowhere suburbia and is all spooked at the noises of birds cooing. And there’s tons and tons of lipstick drawings all over the road and street signs. OH WAIT JUST KIDDING IT WAS A DREAM. He wakes up at his desk. Then he takes his vice team on a stakeout. But it’s a crap stakeout because they’re all standing outside of a sports car bemoaning the fact that they haven’t seen anything. They give up and go home and the cat burglar is in a house RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE THERE CAR WAS. Omg. Someone is NOT getting re-elected over at Metro-Dade.

At the hospital, Crockett and Tubbs do a really terrible job of questioning this trauma victim. But Crockett says,”I’m starting to get a sense of when this guy’s gonna move. And this time, he’s gonna go further.” I’m not sure how he got that from tasting lipstick paintings but fine. Lt. Castillo tells him that if there is not a break in the case soon, they will send the case back to burglary.

Cut to: Crockett playing with flour, raw meat, and red lipstick. Omg he’s putting flour on his face. Crocket, stop. This makes no sense!

Crockett continues to spiral out of control until he and Tubbs are pulled from the case. I mean, Tubbs has basically not even been working the case. But he can’t get Crockett to stop. Crockett took pictures of all of the houses in the area and he’s sure that he’s selected the house that the burglar will hit next. He somehow convinces Tubbs that if Lt. Gilmore picks the same picture that Crockett has picked, then the lead is good. Cause they’re both so “tuned-in” to the case and all.

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Hahhaah oh my gosh what am I watching?? Luckily, Crockett gets to the house just in time and stops the burglar, who has now gotten a little stabby. Happy Halloween, yikes.

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Very Special Halloween Lesson: Work-life balance is so, so important, guys. So important. I cannot stress this enough.

Oh P.S. there’s a good chance that literally all of this was a dream because Crockett wakes up in a cold sweat in bed on his boat at the end of the episode.

Miami Vice: Little Miss Dangerous

I know we spend a lot time talking about the great silliness of very special episodes But the fact of the matter is that watching too many very special episodes can create long-lasting and real-life repercussions. Take for example, this cautionary tale from Miami Vice.

Ordinarily, Detective Ricardo Tubbs is smooth and collected. But in “Little Miss Dangerous” he basically loses his shit because he creates his own little very special episode in the midst of being in the underbelly of the Miami sex trade world. Or would that entire world be an underbelly? Can you have an underbelly of an underbelly? Anyway, suffice it to say that Ricardo Tubbs probably watched the refrigerator episode of Punky Brewster right before working this case and it definitely affected his sense of reality.

I’m pretty sure this is just the re-purposed exterior that they use for the precinct.

This episode opens with the titular character performing in an S&M show with her boyfriend, except that it’s really more like an interpretive dance. And aside from one pudgy sad looking-man standing outside of the club with a beer and a shit that won’t cover his gut, all of the patrons are clean-cut looking and smiling appreciatively at the spectacle while jovially glancing at one another like my isn’t this high quality entertainment we are experiencing here in Miami! So basically it feels like something you’d see on a cruise ship except like some of the people in the audience are hookers.

In between shows, Little Miss Dangerous (played by a singer I’d only heard of because of this show. Also, she has hair like Tiffany) finds a john who offers her $90 to sleep with him. According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, that would come to $195.96 in today’s world. Her boyfriend tries to talk her out of it, saying she’s an “actress” not a prostitute. But she’s all like “It’s 90 bucks,” which leads me to wonder how much they’re being paid to do the S&M show. Then mid-coital she stabs the john with a switchblade that was just casually lying on the bedside table.

So like I guess this dude was pretty trusting to allow a complete stranger into his bedroom with a weapon within arms reach. Her boyfriend starts to worry because she’s been gone longer than expected, so he heads into the building and discovers her cowering in the corner and cradling the knife, having burned the john’s clothes. And he’s all like okay let’s just go home.

Okay, maybe it’s not the same building, but it has a pretty similar basic shape.

Castillo tells the Vice Squad that finding the killer is their top priority and that “all days off are canceled until further notice.” That sucks. I mean I guess this took such a priority because the dude she killed was a sailor? Oh no wait, it’s because they found a creepy crayon drawing by his body and apparently connected it to a string of other murders. Thus, Castillo has the team raid the red light district.

That’s where Tubbs meets Little Miss Dangerous a.k.a. Jackie. I guess he thinks she’s innocent because her voice sounds like she has a constantly stuffy nose, like Copper in The Fox and the Hound. Or the girl who played Pippi Longstocking in that awful Pippi Longstocking movie. Anyway, Tubbs is all like that poor kid. So like basically Tubbs is about to get majorly overly involved.

They arrest Jackie’s boyfriend because a bag-lady saw him drop one of her creepy crayon drawings. And then Crockett has to through Tubbs out of the room because he’s getting like way too personal. It turns out that her boyfriend is just another lost soul and like really does love her and definitely didn’t help her kill anyone. But Tubbs is still like way too close and worries that the boyfriend will hurt Jackie, so Castillo allows him to watch him but says “do your social work on the outside.”

But Rico doesn’t listen. He sends Jackie to the safe house and then goes with Crockett to watch the S&M show. I guess as like…research? I’m not really sure what the point of that was. Anyway, it’s good for the boyfriend that they went to the show because now they can provide him with an airtight alibi since Jackie was out killing someone else when she was supposed to be at the safe house.

Instead of looking at the next logical suspect associated with the dude who had evidence but clearly isn’t the serial killer, Tubbs decides to bring Jackie some fruit and discuss how she grew up in an orphanage. She says some seriously red flag things about not being good enough for love or whatever and he still doesn’t get that she’s kind of unstable. And then she falls in love with him, of course.

But one thing Jackie didn’t account for is that leaving Cat means that he won’t cover for her anymore. He calls Crockett and promises to tell him who the killer is. Meanwhile, Ricardo tries to let Jackie down easy and is encouraging her to have an independent life. But she talks him into staying that night with her because the safe house is big and scary.

That night, Jackie drugs Ricardo. And Crockett goes to her apartment and sees all of her creepy drawings and realizes that Jackie is the killer. So he races to the safe house and Jackie’s boyfriend follows behind on him motorcycle. I guess turning Jackie in was an all elaborate plot to find her? In the midst of all this, Tubbs wakes up to find himself handcuffed to the bed and Jackie’s clothes and drawings on fire beside him.Jackie’s all like “I don’t want to hurt you.” And gets ready to shoot herself, I guess to stop her from shooting Tubbs? Does she not realize she’s just going to leave him to die in a blazing inferno/ Crockett is about to shoot the lock on the safe house door when her boyfriend decides to break it down by riding his motorcycle into it. Just at that moment, Jackie kills herself. But at least Crockett is there to put out the fire and save Tubbs.

Very Special Lesson: Don’t try to very special episode people in real life. Okay so Miami Vice isn’t real life, but if you don’t learn from Tubbs’s mistakes, then I don’t know how to help you.