A Bullet for Crockett
20 (88th Overall)
April 15, 1988
Crockett is shot and critically wounded in a bust, and as his life hangs in the balance, the team reminisce about their friend.
Crockett and Tubbs head to a meet with Rique, which turns into a Colombian stand-off, until Rique's men show up, then the Vice cops' backup arrives (seven armed SRTs). A shootout occurs and Rique escapes in a Porsche driven by Angel Montepina, with Crockett and Tubbs in hot pursuit, causing several near wrecks in the process. Rique and Angel run into the cruise terminal, and the shootout continues until Crockett comes up behind Rique and shoots him down. Crockett turns his back on Angel for a second, when she pulls a gun and shoots Crockett, who falls over onto a train track. Crockett is medivac'd to the hospital, during which time he thinks about what Evan Freed said to him, about a bullet with his name on it.
The Medi-vac arrives at the hospital, Castillo and Switek are waiting and Castillo wants Angel found, at all costs. They find the bullet hit his badge (which may have saved his life), and rush him into the ER to stabilize him so they can get him up to the OR. Gina and Trudy arrive at the hospital just as Crockett is rushed into the OR. Castillo informs the press of the shooting but little else, and the operation is completed. Castillo implores Tubbs not to second guess because he let Crockett take Rique alone. Dr. Stillman steps in and lets Castillo and Tubbs that the slug is near his spine, and want a neurosurgeon from Atlanta to take it out, but the doctor cannot rule out paralysis and wants to reach Caitlin, but they are unable to reach her. While waiting, Tubbs thinks about the first time he encountered Crockett, then Crockett begins bleeding internally and they rush him back to surgery to get the slug.
While Crockett's surgery is underway, Castillo thinks about a talk he gave Crockett after he shot a child. Gina said Caitlin is touring in Europe and still is unable to reach her, then talks about an argument she had with Crockett the day before and worries that if he dies that will be the last memory of her. Switek finds out Angel's father has a private plane and may try to leave the country. Stillman updates the team that they stopped the bleeding but the bullet shifted closer to the spine.
While Crockett is moved to ICU, Tubbs thinks about a boat chase he and Crockett had, then Trudy lets him know Crockett can be seen in ICU, but Tubbs sends Trudy on, and while she comforts Crockett she remembers when she saved Crockett in a shootout, and how he backed her afterwards, and gives Crockett a kiss.
Switek checked with the airports and no plane from Angel's father has arrived or left, Castillo has him check Opa-Locka airfield, which is where her father has been known to fly out of. Izzy stops by see Crockett, and thinks about the time he tried to save Crockett's Ferrari from being taken by the department, then hides behind a curtain when Switek comes in, and when he sees the IV in Crockett's arm he is reminded of Zito's death, then as Izzy comes out from the curtain, Crockett goes into cardiac arrest, and after he's revived the doctors decide to go in after the slug without waiting for the neurosurgeon. Switek shows Izzy Angel's picture, he recognizes her and provides an address, but she's not there and her stuff is cleaned out, but Tubbs finds the airstrip where her father's plane is, and while he remembers another airport he was at, Tubbs moves in to bust Angel before she can board the plane. Stillman comes into the waiting room to let everyone know they got the slug out and Crockett will be OK. Tubbs shows everyone Angel's indictment for attempted murder. Gina gives Crockett the bullet that almost killed him as he recovers on the bed.
- Don Johnson as Metro-Dade Detective James "Sonny" Crockett
- Philip Michael Thomas as Metro-Dade Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs
- Saundra Santiago as Metro-Dade Detective Gina Calabrese
- Michael Talbott as Metro-Dade Detective Stan Switek
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Jesse Borrego as Enrique Morca-Mendez
- Lisa Vidal as Angel Montepina
- Martin Ferrero as Isadore "Izzy" Moreno
- Joseph Arena, M.D. as Dr. Stillman
- Janet Choute and Delma Christen as Nurses
- Dave Corey and Joan Clarke as Reporters
- Vernon Keith Oster and Dan Cuoco as EMT Techs
- Arthur Disken, M.D. as Trauma Doctor
Episodes Clipped From
- "Brother's Keeper"
- "One Eyed Jack"
- "Rock and a Hard Place"
- "Child's Play"
- "Lend Me an Ear"
- "The Dutch Oven"
- "Whatever Works"
- "Down for the Count (Part I)"
- "Smuggler's Blues"
- A "clip show" is an episode of a television series comprised mainly of footage from previous episodes, usually made when either a new episode is not ready or simply as filler to satisfy the season quota. Sometimes, talking head scenes featuring one or more of the show's actors fill the gaps in between clips. To Vice's credit, new footage was shot specifically for this episode to have the clips fit into an overall plot.
- Stock operation footage is used to depict the doctors operating on Crockett after his arrival at the hospital.
- This is the second and last time Crockett is shot in the line of duty during the series. Previously, he was shot in the forearm in "Stone's War". He was also stabbed in the shoulder by Lois Blyth in "Love at First Sight". Additionally, in "Leap of Faith" it is mentioned that Crockett was shot a third time in 1976 (in an incident involving Captain Paul Cutter). In comparison, Tubbs was shot no less than five times during the series -- in "Brother's Keeper", "Viking Bikers from Hell", "Mirror Image" (by Sonny Burnett), "To Have and to Hold" and "Freefall".
- Notable in this episode is Izzy's genuine concern when he learns that Crockett has been shot, and his moving, "Madre de Dios, Sonny... What have they done to you, man?" when he finds him clinging to life in hospital. Evidently, despite their typically argumentative relationship, Izzy has come to develop a genuine friendship with Crockett, regardless of the fact he is usually exploited by the Vice team for information.
- The appearance of Elvis in the flashback to "Whatever Works" is the first time Crockett's pet alligator has been seen since Crockett had a photograph of him in "Love at First Sight" earlier in the season. This would in fact be the last time Elvis appears or is mentioned on the show at all until the montage over the end credits of the series finale, "Freefall".
- This is the final episode of Vice to which John Petersen would contribute background music. The final two episodes of the season 4, "Deliver Us from Evil" and "Mirror Image", would be scored by Jan Hammer exclusively (except for the pop music used) at the studio's request.
- The episode was the final one filmed for the fourth season, likely to increase secrecy surrounding its plot and to call Crockett's survival into question. In fact, there were rumors among Vice fans at the time that Crockett was indeed going to be killed off (much like Larry Zito in season 3).
- A few brief closeups of Crockett during the opening car chase are clearly reused from previous episodes; specifically, "Shadow in the Dark" (footage from which was also reused in "Death and the Lady") and "Love at First Sight".
- In the Medivac helicopter, Crockett's age is estimated to be "approximately 35". Don Johnson was 38 at the time the episode was shot.
- The use of "In the Air Tonight" during the opening car chase is clearly a reference to the famous scene that used the song in "Brother's Keeper".
- The gun shown firing in closeup when Crockett is wounded is a different make and model to the one Angel is seen pointing at him in the preceding shot.
- During the flashback to Evan Freed's death from "Evan", the footage has obviously been paused for several seconds just after Evan dies, before subsequently resuming again. Presumably this was to prolong the scene so that it better fits the background music.
- After the first surgery, the chief surgeon states the bullet is lodged in Crockett's spine and that there is a risk of paralysis as a result. After the second surgery (to stop Crockett's internal bleeding), the surgeon states the bullet has shifted closer to his spine, which makes no sense if it supposedly already lodged there.
- Filmed: March 28, 1988 - March 31, 1988
- Production Code: 63525
- Production Order: 88
- Miami Department of Solid Waste 1400 NW 20th Street, Miami (drug meet in teaser)
- NW 15th Street northbound - NW 20th Street westbound - NE 2nd Street eastbound - Biscayne Bvd northbound - SE 4th Street - NW 1st Ct/NW7th Street - NW6th Street - Metro Rail Station Overtown 100 NW 6 Street, Miami (chase, Crockett gets shot)
- North Shore Medical Center 1190 NW 95 Street, Miami (opening credits, all hospital scenes)
- Opa Locka Airport 144th Street/38-40th Ave (Tubbs stops Angel at the airport)
- "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins (Opening with Crockett and Tubbs at meet)
- "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House (Flashback from end of "Rock and a Hard Place")
- "Be My Enemy" by The Waterboys (Flashback from where Crockett and Tubbs chase Dykstra on a boat from "Lend Me an Ear")
- "Diamond Field" by Pat Benatar (Flashback from Trudy killing the dealer in "The Dutch Oven")
- "There's a River" by Steve Winwood (Flashback to Zito's death from "Down for the Count (Part I)")
- "Smuggler's Blues" by Glenn Frey (Flashback to when Crockett, Tubbs, and Jimmy leave the Colombian airport in "Smuggler's Blues" followed by a collage of snips from various episodes)
Jan Hammer Music
- "Miami Vice Theme" (Flashback to when Crockett chased Tubbs in "Brother's Keeper")
- "Crockett's Return" (Flashback to "Payback", end scene)
- "Evan" (flashback to Evan's death in "Evan")
- "Cool Running" (Crockett being moved through the hospital, Switek and Izzy visiting Crockett)
- "Shadow In The Dark (Tubbs lying on the couching and looking outside)
- "Colombia 6, Miami 2!" -- Rique after his men arrive to break up the stand-off
- "I put 100,000 to win on Miami!" -- Crockett in response after SRT shows up
- "This is for Rique!" -- Angel just before she shoots Crockett
- "Sonny!" -- Tubbs as Crockett is shot
- "Angel Montepina. She's beyond the moral laws of this or any other universe." -- Izzy when Switek shows him Angel's photo