The "Lost" Episodes of Miami Vice are four episodes that were never originally aired as part of the series' original network run, despite being filmed for inclusion in the fifth season. Three of these episodes were not originally shown because NBC, eager to open up the lucrative Friday night slot that the show occupied, cancelled the series before every episode could be scheduled; they were subsequently shown at 10:00 on Wednesday nights as part of the show's season 5 reruns. The last episode was never shown by NBC as they deemed its child molestation content to be unsuitable for broadcast; it did not appear on television until the show's fifth season moved to syndication on USA Network, and was first broadcast in January of 1990.
The lost episodes are:
- "World of Trouble" -- Al Lombard, thought to be dead, returns to Miami to see his son and the grandson he never knew, while eluding his rival Librizzi's hitmen.
- "Miracle Man" -- A man playing superhero spoils drug busts, and becomes the target of hitmen, hustlers and reporters.
- "Leap of Faith" -- Crockett and Joey Hardin work with a unit of young policemen to investigate a college professor who has created a new designer drug.
- "Too Much, Too Late" -- Valerie Gordon returns to Miami to help her friend and goddaughter, but while Tubbs is interested in rekindling their romance, Valerie may be covering up a murder.
- Edward James Olmos (Castillo) does not appear at all in any of the lost episodes.
- Opinions of the lost episodes remains mixed; while the dropping of "Miracle Man" and "Leap of Faith" seem perhaps understandable, as they do not add substantively to the series history or reveal anything new about the characters, the return of Al Lombard in "World of Trouble" is generally praised, and "Too Much, Too Late" is often considered the best episode of Vice's final season.
- Similarly, "Too Much, Too Late" is often considered an important part of the show's canon, as it sets up Switek's role in the season finale "Freefall", provides closure for Valerie Gordon, and also adds greater motive for Tubbs' decision to quit the police force, which can otherwise seem somewhat impulsive.
- The practice of networks "burning off" unaired episodes of already-cancelled series was fairly new in the 1980s (one of the first examples was with the classic series Happy Days, which had five previously unaired episodes air after its' series finale aired in May, 1984), which is what NBC did with three of the four remaining unaired Miami Vice episodes. This practice is now commonplace, especially in the summer months where viewership is lower and there are not many new non-reality shows airing on network television. Sometimes networks will run these un-aired episodes online at their websites, and occasionally the episodes will never air; they are added to DVD releases to increase interest and thereby sales.
- While the lost episodes are included on DVD releases of Miami Vice's fifth season, they are placed after the series finale, "Freefall", in the order that they were originally broadcast. To someone unfamiliar with the show, this could give the impression that Crockett and Tubbs are still working for Metro-Dade after they supposedly quit the force. It would perhaps have made more sense to place the episode before the finale, where they would have appeared had they originally been broadcast when intended.