Miami Vice Wiki
This article is about the Miami Vice episode. For the character, see Martillo Borrasca.


5 (95th Overall)
December 9, 1988
TV Rating
TV-14 L-V
Guest Stars
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"Borrasca" is the fifth episode of Miami Vice's fifth season. It premiered on December 9, 1988.


Tubbs and Castillo investigate a drug ring where police involvement has been forbidden.


A drug deal goes down in the back of a limo. De La Carte, the buyer, delivers only half the agreed-upon payment, contemptuously calling the sellers "peasants". The sellers start to leave, but then unleash a hail of gunfire on the limo, killing De La Cart and his woman. The seller drops a dead chicken on the body before blowing the limo up.

The Vice team finds that De La Cart's armored limo was hit with armor-piercing bullets, and Trudy gets hold of a videotape from a tourist. Castillo wants Tubbs and Switek (Crockett is up in Pompano testifying) to find out who the seller is. They go to Raoul's, where a man who used to work for De La Carte hangs out. After he flees, Switek corners him and the man reveals the hitter was Martillo Borrasca. Castillo finds Borrasca is a counter-revolutionary group, small in number but not afraid to die. DEA photos show their leader as El Martillo (aka Borrasca), who wants to fund a war against anti-Communists, and a cocaine laden Colombian freighter was stolen 10 days previously with a street value of $100 million, which Borrasca likely was involved in.

Castillo wants someone on the inside to find out about the boat, and since the Vice squad can't make inroads in Little Caribe, he turns to an old friend, Arturo Uribe, a retired detective, to get inside. Uribe finds out from his friend Jorge at a bar that the ship is at Hostas Dock. Uribe makes it to the boat, where Borrasca and a woman, Lucia Meron are working on a deal, but he makes a noise and has to jump ship, but not before he is recognized by the other man from the bar. Switek stops into a restaurant to make two calls, first to OCB and the second to a bookie (using his codename "the Bug"). They head over to see Uribe, but Borrasca men arrive first, and they hack Uribe and his young apprentice Joey up with machetes. Tubbs and Switek arrive to see the grisly aftermath.

Castillo refers Tubbs and Switek to see Lucia Meron, who owns a Little Caribe bar named Paris Modern. They find Borrasca and Ramos (the bodyguard) walking in with Lucia; when she returns Tubbs (as Cooper) talks to her about setting up a meeting with Borrasca, which she refuses to do. Ramos steps outside, where Tubbs and Switek are waiting; when Ramos disses Tubbs he pulls a knife and forces a meeting between them the next day. As they leave a man named Edward Reese confronts them; after fighting with his thugs and being restrained at gunpoint, he tells them to give Castillo a message: drop the Borrasca case. Castillo knows Reese is a freelance intelligence operative, who may or may not be government sanctioned, but gives them the go-ahead for their meet. They go to see Ramos, but find him shot to death in a beach chair.

Lucia stops by the beach and tells Tubbs and Switek she has set a meet with Borrasca at her place. When they arrive Borrasca is ready to kill them in revenge for Ramos, but Tubbs improvises and tells him the buyer was Cuban, and due to his politics they feared he wouldn't want to deal. Castillo accesses confidential files on Borrasca, Reese & Lucia. Castillo plays the Cuban and meets with Borrasca, offering $17 million for the boat and $2 million in good-faith money; Borrasca agrees. Castillo gets a visit at home from Reese, who admits to killing Ramos, and offers to give him the boat and the maniacs, but Borrasca is unquestionably off-limits. Castillo insists on all or nothing.

Laser pointer that guides the shot which kills Borrasca

The bugs and wires are set up and Gina brings in $2 million in buy money--which must be paid back if the team loses it. Castillo is waiting to hear from his government contact on Reese's sanctioning, but the operative stops by himself, again trying to get Castillo off of Borrasca; when Castillo refuses, Reese offers to "try not to hurt any of his people." Tubbs brings the money, and they take him to the ship, where he approves the drugs' quality. The team moves in for the bust when Reese arrives via helicopter and forces them to stand down with a show of firepower. As Borrasca runs to the helicopter, Reese tells the team to "give Marty his love". Just then, a laser sight targets Borrasca chest and a shot rings out. Later, Tubbs brings Castillo up to speed. Castillo said he knew it would happen this way, and that he has a code that he lives by, no matter what.


Guest Stars



  • Don Johnson (Crockett) does not appear at all in this episode, his absence explained by his being in Pompano testifying. This would be the only episode he would miss during the entire series run (although a handful of others feature Crockett only briefly).
  • This episode starts the story arc about Switek's gambling problems, which continues to the end of the season.
  • Uribe's being hacked to death with machetes, although mostly offscreen, is an example of how dark and violent season 5 would be.
  • When Switek sees Uribe and his assistant's hacked bodies, he comes out of the building gagging. This is similar to the scene of the officer who gagged after seeing the emasculated body of dating club member Hugh Crowley at the Sundown Apartments in the beginning of season 4's episode "Love At First Sight".
  • This marks the second episode so far this season that shows Castillo's access to the CIA and their personnel.
  • One of the code words Castillo uses to access the CIA computer files is "FREEFALL", which would later be the title of the series finale.
  • Among other things, Reese's CIA file shows that he is acquainted with Noriega and was involved in "Irangate".
  • This episode uses several zoom shots, including the final one of the laser-sighted rifle that kills Borrasca.
  • Borrasca's killer is never definitively identified, although it is heavily implied to be Castillo, based on his statements in the final scene of the episode.
  • 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 dance track playing in Raoul's when Tubbs and Switek interrogate the dealer, the rock track playing on Ramos' Walkman when he is found dead on the beach, and the dance track playing during Castillo's meeting with Borrasca in Paris Modern. Such tracks would appear quite frequently throughout the final season, no doubt indicative of the show's shrinking music budget.
  • Director Vern Gillum works hard to make this rather pedestrian story more interesting, using some extraordinarily abstract shots -- such as the shadow of the plant in Castillo's house -- as well as many jump cuts synchronized to the music to give the episode added flair.
  • Castillo's actions seem out of character here. He has often chosen to let felons and even murderers go free in order to stay within the bounds of the law, yet he goes out of his way to (presumably) execute Borrasca, who is no worse than most of the other villains on the show and less of a threat than many. It almost seems as if his actions are revenge for Uribe's death and in response to Reese's challenge rather than out of any pursuit of justice, particularly as he carries out the execution anonymously, presumably to avoid legal consequences. In this way, he parallels Crockett's actions in "Deliver Us from Evil".


Tubbs with beard at start of episode (top) and without in the next scene (bottom)

  • Tubbs' beard, which was gone in the previous episode, reappears at the start of this episode and disappears for good when he & Switek visit the bar. (Switek even mentions that Tubbs looks better now that he's shaved.) This continuity error is because the network changed the running order of the episodes when they broadcast them.
  • Switek says the gunmen took out De La Carte's limousine with "armor-pierced bullets"; the correct term is armor piercing bullets.
  • When Castillo is accessing the computer, the sounds of him typing at the keyboard do not match the movement of his fingers.
  • The warning message on the computer regarding the restricted nature of Borrasca's file ends "FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN" -- the last sentence is never finished.
  • When Castillo accesses confidential files on Borrasca, Lucia and Reese, he types in each name in a different format, as shown:
    - Borrasca, Martillo 
    - Lucia, Meron
    - Edward Reese

    Note that "Lucia" is her first name and "Meron" her last; the comma is punctuationally erroneous. When he executes the search, the computer only gives him results for Reese.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: October 17, 1988 - October 25, 1988
  • Production Code: 63901
  • Production Order: 94

Filming Locations

  • Espanola Way/Clay Hotel, 1423 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (De La Carte shootout)
  • 3351 Poinciana Avenue, Coconut Grove (Castillo's house)
  • Woody's on the Beach, 455 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Paris Modern)


Tim Truman Music

  • "Borrasca" (scenes with Borrasca/Reese)


  • "You look better without a beard!" - Switek to Tubbs.
  • "Feisty! Just what I'd expect from Marty's brood." -- Reese to Tubbs and Switek
  • "America: Somebody's gotta look out for it. You quit." - Reese to Castillo
  • "I've always tried to do what's right. That's the code I live by." - Castillo to Tubbs

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"