Badge of Dishonor
18 (86th Overall)
March 18, 1988
Tubbs is heading for a drug deal with a man named Escobar, with both the squad and, unbeknownst to them, a SRT team watching. Tubbs confirms the quality of the drugs, but the SRT team storms in and starts shooting, killing or arresting all the dealers. Tubbs manages to escape by diving into the water; as Crockett and backup try to pursue the team Tubbs happens to see a homeless woman watching.
At OCB, Castillo says South Beach has jurisdiction over the river (where the bust went down), and they have a SRT assigned to clean up the area. Lt. Arturo Dominguez, head of South Beach SOS, stops by to say the killings weren't done by any of his team. The weapons and other police paraphernalia were stolen from a warehouse three weeks earlier. Crockett & Castillo feel a leak is present, and it's not from OCB. After Dominguez leaves the team discusses--and dismisses--Dominguez' theory of gang involvement, because the dead dealers' bodies were stripped of all their bling (which gangs wouldn't touch). Castillo wants Crockett & Tubbs to check out the warehouse where the police uniforms were stolen while Gina, Trudy & Switek run background checks on the SOS team. South Beach pulls over another dealer named Morega who tells them he's paid them four times this month, and when he tries to placate them with more money they shoot him down. The quartermaster's office's alarm system was bypassed by the burglars; checks on the SRT find nine of them were hired since 1980 and are cubanos. Castillo wants them checked for juvenile records. Morega's body is found and Crockett & Tubbs are sent to the scene. Tubbs notices the same homeless woman from the failed meet. Tubbs follows and discovers she's Montana Stone, South Beach SOS.
Montana is undercover at the waterfront, among the homeless that live there. Tubbs asks her about a report on the killings; she indicated it was filed, but apparently Dominguez never passed it on to the Vice squad. Juvenile records show four of the SOS members, Andohar, Merez, Colon & Perez (who were passing out money while their records were reviewed), were in the same gang in Little Havana, and have long rap sheets, but were able to get on the force due to departmental pressure to hire more minorities. Crockett pulls an arrest report on Colon signed by Dominguez, and Castillo sends Crockett & Tubbs to see him at his home address, which turns out to be an enormous luxury yacht. They end up waiting all day before Dominguez arrives, in a luxury Mercedes. Crockett & Tubbs ask him how he can afford the yacht on a Lieutenant's salary, and suspect he's involved in the killings. He says "he married well", claims there's a piece missing in his investigation, and invites them to his office the next day to review his reports. That night, someone breaks into South Beach's office to steal some files. Montana stops by the four dirty cops' warehouse to pick up her share of the take.
Crockett & Tubbs stop by Dominguez' office (closing his blind when one of the cops gets nosy); they find reports of six recent dealer killings, which were assumed to be gang/drug related until a snitch revealed that cops were involved. Dominguez didn't believe it until the snitch turned up dead, and the failed meet with Tubbs validates the theory -- the cops are hitting dealers SOS had under surveillance. Tubbs discovers Montana has access to Dominguez' files, which disturbs him, and they get a list of active cases so they can try to outguess the hitters. Later that night, Dominguez and his wife are murdered by the four SOS cops. Castillo, Crockett & Tubbs review the South Beach case files and find Montana has written a report on six of the last eight river hits, suggesting she acts as a lookout. Tubbs goes to see Montana, who's giving food to the homeless people, and informs her of Dominguez' death; he leans on her but gets nothing. Montana calls Colon and tells him she's getting out, as she wanted no part of the Dominguez murder, but Colon tells her she has to help on one more hit or she's the next one dead. Tubbs catches Montana going through files and arrests her.
Montana speaks to Tubbs against the advice of her PD, going through the history of how she & Colon went from a four-key bust in which Colon kept two keys (and threatened to take Montana down with him if she told) to ripping off nickel & dime dealers. Now they're using the SOS intelligence files to knock off dealers and keep their blow, cash, and bling, pulling down $200K-$300K a pop; Montana gets 20% of all takes, which she's put into a trust fund meant for taking care of the homeless people she's lived with. Montana agrees to bring Tubbs in as a dealer to help bring down the dirty cops. They get in; however Tubbs' cover is blown by a cop who saw him in Dominguez' office, and Colon promptly turns on Montana. Vice and SRT storm in and kill the dirty cops, including Colon, but not before he shoots Montana, who dies in Tubbs' arms. Her money is used to create Montana's Soup Kitchen, a food truck that serves the homeless along the waterfront.
- 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
- Michele Shay as South Beach Detective Montana Stone
- Nick Corri as South Beach Detective Colon
- Reni Santoni as South Beach Lieutenant Arturo Dominguez
- D. Christian Gottshall as Bloom
- Rudy Marrocco as Detective
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Escobar
- Victor Rivers as Mendez
- Mel Shrawder as Bundy
- Diane Tiller as Mrs. Dominguez
- Anwar Zayden as Alfredo Morega
- Anna Birden and Joanna Rolle as Prisoners
- Barbra Streisand as Pedestrian
"Ripped From The Headlines"
This episode shows the plight of the homeless, and the extent some would go to help them out, though using clean money would be better.
This episode was inspired by the river cops scandal in 1986 that started in the Molino Rojo bar on SW 8 Street, where the cops hammered out their plan how to steal 350 kilos and that later inspired "Badge of dishonor". https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1986/01/12/miami-virtue-or-vicedecorated-officers-fight-felony-charges/ea81ce1b-8af4-48e2-873a-406d30d3b0d6/)
It is also inspired by the real issue that Miami Police had to hire cops from minorities after the 1981 riots and due to bad selection and scarcity of suitable applicants sometimes persons with serious juvenile rap sheets ended up at the police force.
- This would be the final new episode broadcast in the 9:00 Friday time slot until February 3, 1989.
- The plot (rogue police officers running unauthorized raids to collect drugs and drug money) is similar to the episode "Knock, Knock... Who's There?"; in that case the "agents" were hired by a lone rogue ATF agent.
- This is the second time OCB has dealt with corrupt South Beach police, having done so previously in "Whatever Works".
- The episode's title is a play on the phrase "badge of honor", which is regularly used to refer to the shield carried by police officers in the US.
- Julio Oscar Mechoso previously played Metro-Dade electronics expert Lester Kosko is six episodes of season 1.
- Barbra Streisand makes an uncredited walk-by in the scene where Crockett and Tubbs pull up to Dominguez' yacht the first time; in fact, Crockett can be seen to noticeably turn and look at her as she passes. Don Johnson was dating Streisand at the time, and the pair would collaborate on the song "Til I Loved You" in 1989.
- South Beach had the appearance of a blighted, neglected area in 1988. During the time Miami Vice was on the air, a reclamation project began that has turned South Beach into a mecca for celebrities.
- Castillo mentions the (Arthur) McDuffie riots back in 1980, triggered by five Miami-Dade policemen beating McDuffie (who had a list of traffic offenses and a suspended license at the time) to death after claiming he was fleeing from a routine traffic stop. The officers were all acquitted (similar to the Rodney King case 13 years later) and Miami burned for two days until the National Guard and curfews restored order.
- This is one of very few "Tubbs episodes" in season 4; Tubbs' reduced involvement is one of the common criticisms of the season.
- Michele Shay previously played Dr. Chaney in "Theresa". She is also one of several Miami Vice guest stars to appear in Michael Mann's 1986 film Manhunter, alongside Garcelle Beauvais (from "The Maze"), Bill Cwikowski (from "No Exit"), Chris Elliott (from "Down for the Count (Part II)"), Dennis Farina (from "One Eyed Jack", "Lombard" and "World of Trouble"), Kim Griest (from "Nobody Lives Forever"), Bill Smitrovich (from "Brother's Keeper" and "The Prodigal Son") and Jim Zubiena (from "Calderone's Return (Part I)"). Miami Vice regular Michael Talbott also had a small role in the film, although his single scene was deleted from the theatrical cut of the movie.
- In the final scene, when Crockett and Tubbs pull up to see Montana's soup kitchen truck and discuss her legacy, the shot of the Miami skyline was inserted backwards, as evidenced by the backwards spelling of "Uncle Sam's Jewelry" on the upper side of the building.
- Working Title: "Dirty Cop"
- Filmed: February 18, 1988 - February 26, 1988
- Production Code: 63524
- Production Order: 86
- SW 3rd Ave/SW 4th St/Miami River/I-95 (Morega stopped by SBPD and shot)
- Jose Marti Park, 351 SW 4th Street at Miami River (Tubbs chases Montana)
- Next to Miamarina at Bayside, Downtown Miami (Dominguez' yacht)
- 1050 NW North River Drive, near crossroad with NW 10th Court (Warehouse lair of dirty cops)
- Miami Avenue Bridge / South Miami Place (Montana's Soup Kitchen)
- Behind Freedom Tower at NW 6th St (Final scene, Crockett/Tubbs leave soup kitchen)
- "Glory! Glory!" by Underworld (opening at stakeout)
- "Eyes of a Stranger" by the Payola$ (Tubbs follows Montana)
- "They (the gangs) deal with the money, the coke, but they'll walk away from a body that has $10,000 worth of ice on its fingers!" -- Crockett about Dominguez' "gang theory"
- "Great, couple of bad apples set back minority recruiting another 400 years!" -- Tubbs after hearing about the South Beach SOS' rap sheets
- "A dirty cop is a dirty cop, black, brown, red, or green!"--Crockett about the South Beach cops
- "She had so much heart. If only she could have used her head a little bit more."--Tubbs' final words on Montana
- "At least she left something good behind."--Crockett's comment on Montana's legacy