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Asian Cut


7 (97th Overall)
January 13, 1989
TV Rating
TV-14 D-L-S-V
Guest Stars
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"Asian Cut" is the seventh episode of Miami Vice's fifth season. It premiered on January 13, 1989.


Trudy acts as bait to catch a sadistic serial killer specializing in knives.


At a club, photographer Stuart Whitley is taking pictures of various people, while two women, Angie and Sandy, talk about the money Angie makes as a call girl. Angie gives Sandy the number of a contact, Cheryl Stone, but runs out when a man shows up looking for her. Crockett & Tubbs are outside observing Trudy when a man gets rough with her and drags her into an alley. Crockett & Tubbs subdue the man, and Trudy is taking him to jail when a vagrant shows up saying he saw a big man with a girl and a knife. He leads them to an abandoned building where they find Angie dead, with a mysterious symbol carved on her back.

Angie's is the fourth hooker death with the same MO. One of the girls had a pimp named Lester Cope and Castillo wants him checked out, as well as any recent ritualistic deaths in Justice files. Crockett encounters Whitley, who is angling for a story; Crockett, knowing of Whitley's reputation for conning his way into stories (he once dressed up as a mailman to get an interview), tells him to hit the road and threatens jail if he interferes. Castillo meets Professor Eric Haliwell who confirms the marks are Asian and will get back to him with more details.

At Metro, Trudy & Tubbs meet Mr. Dyson, whose daughter is Sandy. She is an 18-year-old runaway and Dyson is desperate to find her. Tubbs has Trudy take a statement and Dyson leaves a picture of Sandy. Tubbs gets a call as to where to find Lester; he & Switek find him and he says his girl that was killed went to a Japanese man named Tegoro, who's crazy and has a thing for knives. Later, Trudy (as "Cookie", her hooker cover) spots Sandy and talks to her. Sandy implies that her dad was molesting her, before running off for a date. Crockett & Tubbs go see Tegoro about Sandy; he claims he doesn't know her, and shows off his propensity for knives, including sending one their way. Sandy calls someone for a get-together, has her picture taken and is suddenly grabbed.

Sandy's body is found with the same Asian marks as the others. Trudy is doubtful about Dyson's grief after what Sandy told her. Tubbs takes him to Sandy's place to check it out for any information, Tubbs finds her diary and reads a passage about her wanting success and doing as well as Cheryl Stone. They visit Cheryl's escort service and she tells them Sandy went to meet a man named Carlos, as did Angela Nelson. Whitley shows up at Dyson's apartment dressed as a priest and cons his way inside, then starts shooting pictures. When Dyson threatens to kick him out, he promises to help find Sandy's killer if Dyson grants him an interview. Trudy confirms Togaru & Carlos were together the bar the night of the killing, and Castillo wants to get someone inside ASAP; Trudy volunteers. Carlos calls into the escort service (Gina answers the line while everyone else monitors) requesting a "special girl" who is experienced, sensitive, and "understands things." Gina gives Carlos Trudy's number and they set up the meet at the Riverview Hotel. Tubbs and Switek monitor Trudy and discover that Carlos Escobar is a pain freak who loves S&M, strapping himself to a wall and demanding that Trudy whip him. Meanwhile, Dyson confronts Tegoro at a club and pulls a gun, intending to avenge Sandy's murder, but he is shot dead by Tegoro's men.

Professor Haliwell is still checking on the symbols when Whitley shows up tries to charm information out of him. Tubbs expresses his distaste for Whitley's work and Haliwell isn't interested. Trudy gets a call from Carlos who wants to introduce her to a friend that night. OCB finds Carlos has been in Special Forces and worked as a mercenary until recently. Whitley watches Haliwell leave his place and breaks in to snoop; he discovers photographs of the dead girls, but is caught by Haliwell & Carlos when they return unexpectedly. Haliwell tells Whitley about his experience with "pain & torture" and vows to show Whitley exactly what it is all about as Carlos takes him away.

Crockett & Tubbs head over to Trudy's apartment; the manager tells them Trudy left with Carlos a few minutes earlier. Carlos takes her to meet his friend - Haliwell. Switek finds that Carlos worked in Vietnam with Air America, as did Haliwell. Haliwell is showing slides of agony-ridden people to a group of mannequins (with recorded applause) reciting propaganda about pain and torture. Crockett & Tubbs check Haliwell's place and find Whitley tortured to death and literally hung out to dry, and the address of Haliwell's warehouse. Haliwell plans to demonstrate his torture techniques on Trudy, including falanaga, beating a person on the soles of the feet. He uses a shock gun as the "stick" on Trudy, then pulls out a knife to demonstrate cutting techniques when Crockett & Tubbs arrive. Carlos opens fire and he & Haliwell escape. Crockett frees Trudy as Tubbs chases and shoots Carlos. Trudy, shaken by her torture, confronts Haliwell and is forced to shoot him.


Guest Stars




  • David Schramm, best known for his comedic role as Roy Biggins in the 1990 TV series Wings, plays a much more sadistic character here.
  • When Crockett and Tubbs find the dead girl cut up, Crockett says ".....not again". He could be referring to the events that happened in the episode "Duty and Honor".
  • The falanga torture was frequently used in China, the Middle East, and in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge during the genocide there.
  • After Trudy kills Haliwell, once again we see Crockett comforting her. He did this once in the episode "Hell Hath No Fury...", which also stemmed from the events that happened in the episode " The Dutch Oven".
  • Air America was the cover name for the CIA-sponsored air service used in their southeast Asian intelligence missions, most famous for the rumors surrounding its involvement in the local drug smuggling trade in order to fund the Vietnam war.
  • The Church Committee was a congressional committee to investigate intelligence activities by the CIA & FBI during the Vietnam era, which led to a presidential order in 1976 banning US-sanctioned assassinations of foreign leaders.
  • The set for the escort service appears to be the same one used for the escort service in "By Hooker by Crook" -- perhaps someone else took it over after Christine Von Marburg left the country.
  • It could be argued that this episode offers Olivia Brown her best chance to show her acting range of any episode in the series, what with her brief appearance as "Cookie" and her reaction to her torture at the end.
  • This is one of several episodes that does not end on a freeze frame.


  • When Castillo shows Crockett the photos of the victim with symbols cut into their body, Crockett says it may be an Asian sign. Castillo replies that it is either a Thai or a Japanese letter. However, these two languages look totally different and there is no way they could be mistaken (Chinese and Japanese would be a better comparison). Moreover, Castillo has proven on several occasions that he knows the Thai language (such as in "Golden Triangle (Part II)", "Duty and Honor" and "Heart of Night") and his house and customs imply that he is well versed in Far Eastern culture, making his inability to recognize the symbols even more confusing.
  • Sandy is clearly swallowing and drawing breath when her dead body is shown to her father by Gina.
  • After Switek delivers the information about Haliwell, Crockett closes the book on his desk to leave. A sticky note clearly falls off his desk; he even gestures to pick it up but misses it, and leaves with it still on the floor.
  • While Carlos accurately describes a sjambok, the implement he picks up to use is a bullwhip, not a sjambok. Sjamboks don't crack and look totally different.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: November 14, 1988 - November 22, 1988
  • Production Code: 63909
  • Production Order: 97

Filming Locations

  • Park Central Hotel, 640 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Club in opening, Sandy Dyson is killed, rooftop scene, Crockett meets Tegoro)
  • 692 Ocean Court, Miami Beach (end of teaser)
  • side street of Ocean Plaza Hotel 1432 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Trudy talks to Sandy)
  • Miami Beach City Hall back entrance, 1130 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (Crockett followed by Whitley)
  • 3350 Poinciana Ave, Coconut Grove (Dr. Halliwell´s home)
  • 3812 Bayside Court, Coconut Grove (Bayview Motel)
  • 1436 Ocean Drive (Trudy´s Motel)
  • South Beach Elementary School 1050 4th Street, Miami Beach (torture house, new school built on that location)



  • "When they give out awards for bull, he should win the Nobel Prize!" -- Tubbs about Whitley
  • "Les, we understand there's a couple of boys you burned just waiting for your triumphant return to county cut, and we can take you there right now if you want to!" -- Switek to Lester
  • "Does this excite you, detective?"--Togoro to Crockett while holding a knife to a model's throat
  • "I'll tell you what really excites me--is the thought of you in a cell somewhere with the fathers of all the daughters that you've turned out.  Now *that's* exciting."--Crockett to Togoro
Season 5 Episodes:

"Hostile Takeover" "Redemption in Blood" "Heart of Night" "Bad Timing" "Borrasca" "Line of Fire" "Asian Cut" "Hard Knocks" "Fruit of the Poison Tree" "To Have and to Hold" "Miami Squeeze" "Jack of All Trades" "The Cell Within" "The Lost Madonna" "Over the Line" "Victims of Circumstance" "Freefall" (Series Finale)

The "Lost" Episodes:
"World of Trouble" "Miracle Man" "Leap of Faith" "Too Much, Too Late"