Miami Vice Wiki
Bad Timing


4 (94th Overall)
December 2, 1988
Repeat Airdate
July 19, 1989
TV Rating
TV-14 L-S-V
Guest Stars
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"Bad Timing" is the fourth episode of Miami Vice's fifth season. It premiered on December 2, 1988, and was rerun on July 19, 1989. It is the fourth and final episode of the Sonny Burnett story arc.


Crockett's therapeutic time off to recover from his recent ordeal is cut short by two murderous escaped cons.


Metro-Dade HQ interviews IAD Officer Walter Mills, Tubbs, Castillo, and a neurosurgeon regarding Crockett's state of mind in regards to the Hagovitch, Carrera, and Manolo murders. While Mills feels Crockett's memory lapse was "convenient", Tubbs & Castillo are firmly sided with Crockett (especially since he returned to OCB on his own accord and took down the cartels), and the neurosurgeon confirms Crockett's amnesia is consistent with the head injury he suffered. In light of these developments, no action will be taken until Crockett completes a departmentally mandated furlough and sees a psychiatrist. Crockett can't believe that he could have done those things, and wonders what kind of person he is.

At Florida State Prison, a riot breaks out in the middle of a rock concert, and during it two prisoners, Wilson & Cruz, are smuggled out inside cases. The man who organized the breakout out gives the escapees guns, and they promptly betray and shoot him. They stop by the house of Scotty McKenna, their partner in crime, to get some drinks and a "treasure map." They tie up Scotty's wife Miriam with her boom box speakers on their way out.

Crockett goes to see Dr. Samantha Phillips and talks about his undercover life; it never bothered him before, but now he can't help feeling afraid, and believes his friends (including Tubbs) are wary of a regression to being Burnett, fueling his self-doubt. She feels his friends will come around, but he needs a vacation to help recover. Crockett gets on a motorcycle and heads off. Cruz & Wilson try to rob a gas station; when the attendant boasts about their bulletproof glass Wilson takes a customer's gas can, throws it on the stand and threatens to light it. The attendant gives them all the money, but Cruz torches the stand anyway.

Crockett (now having flashbacks to his Burnett persona) is heading further away from Metro-Dade, while Cruz & Wilson are still wreaking havoc and looking for someone named "Doc Jerry." They tie up a real estate agent trying to sell Jerry's old house and steal her car. Crockett stops at a bar and meets Kathleen Gilfords, whom he gets acquainted with while walking through town. Cruz & Wilson hit a liquor store while Scotty is being arrested for noise pollution. They kill one of the policemen and wound another, taking Kathleen hostage as they escape. Crockett commandeers a car and goes after them.

The chase progresses into the woods, but Wilson shoots out a tire and Crockett crashes into a tree, injuring himself. He then grabs a Jeep and takes up the pursuit again. Castillo & the team reach the scene, finding that Cruz & Wilson were involved in a million-dollar armored car robbery (which is why they were in jail), and they are heading back for the money (which was never recovered). After ditching their car the escapees arrive at a cabin at Pine Key where "Doc Jerry" lived, finding nothing but guns. Cruz makes crude advances on Kathleen, and breaks Scotty's nose when he moves to protect her. Crockett finds the abandoned Mercedes and arrives at the cabin, where he sees Cruz trying to rape Kathleen. He starts to move in when Doc Jerry stops him at gunpoint, which causes the others to come out, and they take Crockett hostage.

Crockett is tied up while Cruz takes pot shots at him. When Kathleen reveals that Crockett is a cop, Cruz wants to kill him but Wilson says they need hostages. They leave Scotty with Crockett while the others go with Doc Jerry to find the money. While Tubbs searches for Crockett, he starts working on Scotty, telling him that his "buddies" won't come back for him, or they might just kill him and keep his share of the money - but neither are as bad as what Florida does to cop-killers (this with a detailed description of the electric chair). Scotty cuts Crockett down; Crockett knocks Scotty out and takes his gun.

Doc Jerry takes them out into the woods but gleefully tells him there's no money; he invested it in the stock market and lost it all when the market crashed. He pulls a gun and tries to shoot Cruz, but his gun is empty; Cruz blows him away. Scotty's boom box starts playing suddenly, so Wilson goes looking for it; Crockett ambushes and hits Wilson with the boom box. In the ensuing fight Crockett holds Wilson underwater until he is still. As Cruz, angered over the money, again tries to rape Kathleen, Crockett stops him with a gun and pistol-whips him. Cruz throws sand in his face and they fight; with Kathleen's help, Crockett overpowers Cruz and beats him into unconsciousness. Wilson (who faked drowning) returns to shoot them both, but Tubbs arrives in time to shoot Wilson. Later, Crockett & Kathleen, after admitting they are fine with having no strings attached, enjoy a quiet dance together at the bar.


Guest Stars



  • The conclusion of the Sonny Burnett Arc sets the tone for the final season: Crockett's actions as Burnett coming back to haunt him, his team reluctant to trust him, Switek's gambling issues and Crockett and Tubbs' gradual feelings of burnout and ultimate decision to quit their jobs.
  • IAD Officer Mills, who previously butted heads with Crockett in "Vote of Confidence", returns to offer hostile testimony against Crockett once again.
  • Crockett reveals in this episode that his father was rarely home and was usually in bars when he was, which may partly explain Crockett's own on-again, off-again style of parenting.
  • No indication is given as to where Crockett gets the motorcycle he uses; it has never been seen or mentioned previously, and is not seen again afterwards.
  • This episode contains several more examples of "fake" songs composed by Tim Truman filling in as popular music in one or more scenes -- specifically, the "new age music" Miriam likes that is heard several times in the episode, and some of the hard rock tracks Scotty listens to on the radio. Such tracks would appear quite frequently throughout the final season, no doubt indicative of the show's shrinking music budget.
  • The police officers shot by Cruz and Wilson are wearing the uniforms of the Vogelville, NJ Police Department.
  • Tubbs is seen without a beard for the first time since the last episode of season 3 (although this is a goof -- see below).
  • Crockett apparently intentionally drowns Wilson during the fight on the beach (although Wilson actually fakes being dead); it seems Crockett's violent streak as Burnett may not have fully healed. It may also be another indicator that Crockett has burned out, leading to his ultimately quitting the force in the series finale, "Freefall".
  • In this episode, Crockett is shown wearing jeans for only the second time on Miami Vice.
  • Apparently Crockett is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Evidence for his country side lies in the fact that he chooses Hank Williams on the jukebox (twice), and the fact that Tubbs remarks to an unamused Elvis (in the pilot) that his future partner's cassette collection consists of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson albums and that he is likely to obtain his music by perusing the Sears and Roebuck catalog. In another episode, Crockett castigates Elvis for eating his Buddy Holly record collection. Crockett later mentions Hendrix and has a tape of Eric Clapton in "Line of Fire".
  • Kathleen tells Crockett that she only asks three things from a man: that he treat her kindly, that he be a good dancer (Crockett, who has earlier in the series proclaimed his lack of dancing ability, proves it by beginning to rock vaguely back and forth on the dance floor with her), and a third quality that she whispers in his ear. His reply, "Well, two out of three ain't bad," suggests that he must meet whatever the third, whispered, and presumably very private requirement is.
  • Although Crockett's vacation is anything but restful, it can be argued that it is cathartic, since his self-doubt seems to be overcome after it. The same questions he is asking himself ("What kind of person am I?" he asks the therapist) are mirrored by the questions he is asked during the beating -- "Are you a good man?" "Are you a bad man?" Perhaps Crockett feels that he deserves the beating for his actions as Burnett and is able to atone to some extent by rescuing Kathleen.
  • This episode was one of three featured in a phone-in poll, held during the airing of the "lost" episode "Leap of Faith", that allowed viewers to determine which Vice episode would be repeated on July 5, 1989 (replacing the NBC-rejected "Too Much, Too Late"). The other episodes included in the poll were "Jack of All Trades" (which won) and "The Lost Madonna".


Tubbs without beard

  • Tubbs' beard is gone in this episode, though in the next episode, "Borrasca", it reappears, only for him to shave it off again midway through the episode. This continuity error is because the network changed the running order of the episodes when they broadcast them.
  • In the opening sequence, both Tubbs and the Metro-Dade IAD interviewer perpetuate the season 5 inconsistency of pronouncing Hagovitch as Yagovitch, in contrast to the character's name in the season 4 finale "Mirror Image". This inconsistency has occurred in three of the first four episodes of season 5, implying it may be deliberate, but the exact reason for the pronunciation change is unknown.
  • When the camera first pans past the stage to the audience at the prison, Jermaine Stewart can be heard singing even though he is dancing with the microphone held in his hand, nowhere near his face.
  • When Wilson and Cruz come out of the store with Gilfords hostage and run across the street shooting, the slide on Cruz's gun is obviously locked back, meaning it is either empty or has jammed, yet he continues to make motions as though he is firing.
  • After Crockett hijacks the man's jeep, he sets off in the opposite direction to where Cruz and the others were heading -- he would have needed to turn around to follow them.
  • Similar to the earlier goof during the shootout with the police, the slide on Cruz's pistol locks back when his group breaks into Doc Jerry's house, yet he continues to mime the action of firing.
  • Crockett's gun is presumably taken by Cruz when he is ambushed outside the house, yet when he knocks Scotty unconscious he never thinks to take his. Instead he attacks Wilson with a boom box, which unsurprisingly is not as effective as a bullet.
  • While captured by the criminal gang, Crockett takes a severe beating including several shots to the face. Yet in the final scene with Kathleen his face shows no visible injuries.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: October 25, 1988 - November 2, 1988
  • Production Code: 63907
  • Production Order: 95

Filming Locations

  • Miami Beach Police Department, 1100 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (Testimony by Crockett/Tubbs/Castillo/Mills/Neurologist)
  • 800 SW 177th Avenue (Crockett riding bike over bridge)
  • 700 South Miami Avenue, Miami (Cops are attacked/shooting and taking Kathleen hostage)
  • West side of Virginia Key, Key Biscayne (Crockett fights Cruz/Wilson and Tubbs saves Crockett)
  • East-End Virginia Key (opening titles)
  • Arthur J.Lamb Road, Virginia Key (car drive of prison breakers)
  • 4001 Hardie Ave, Coconut Grove (Scotty´s house)
  • Dade Corners Market Place 17696 SW8 Street/Tamiami Trail, Miami (gas station robbery)
  • 4020 Hardie Ave, Coconut Grove (Doc´s house)
  • Gator Kicks Longneck Saloon 15690 Tamiami Trail (SW 8th Street/SW 155th Ct), Miami (Cathleen´s Bar interior, location abandoned)
  • East side of Virginia Key near Jimbo´s (several scenes with Doc Jerry, the shed)



  • "Now-Now-Now, let's not get salty here!" -- Thelma the cashier as her booth is doused in gasoline.
  • "If you ever want to wear a hat again, drop the gun!" -- Doc Jerry to Crockett
  • "You ever smell hair burning, Scotty?" -- Crockett after describing the electric chair experience
  • "One helluva vacation!" -- Tubbs talking about Crockett's bad luck vacation
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"