3 (3rd Overall)
October 5, 1984
February 15, 1985
August 16, 1985
In the early hours of the morning, Crockett and Tubbs are on a stakeout in a van, awaiting the arrival of a group of Jamaican drug dealers. However, the deal goes sour, the Jamaicans kill the buyers and take off in a van of their own. Crockett and Tubbs take up the pursuit, but when the Jamaicans open fire from the rear of their van, Tubbs veers off the road and crashes into a bulldozer. Police and fire units arrive at the scene, and after checking his Vice cops are okay, Rodriguez informs Crockett and Tubbs that this is the tenth drug rip-off in the past three weeks, seven of which are linked by the same weapons being used by the perpetrators - Interarms KG-99 machine pistols.
On the St. Vitus Dance, Crockett throws a party for some of his fellow Vice cops, indulging two up-and-coming officers, Bobby Price and Jake Esteban, who trade stories of past busts. Seeking to outdo the more experienced Crockett, Jake bets him and Tubbs that he and Bobby can make more busts for more weight by the end of the month. Accepting the wager, Crockett asks Tubbs to bring over the lobster he has bought for dinner, but Tubbs slips and dumps it into the ocean, much to Crockett's horror.
The next day, Switek and Zito (still running their stolen property sting) tell Crockett and Tubbs that a dealer named Desmond Maxwell set up the drug rip-off. They then receive a visit from Noogie Lamont, a streetwise ex-convict seeking to fence a seemingly limitless supply of stolen merchandise. When Zito accidentally reveals the hidden camera behind the counter, Crockett and Tubbs step in to bust Noogie. Back at OCB, Jake and Bobby remind Crockett and Tubbs of their bet as they head off to a preliminary meet. Crockett and Gina slip out to arrange a date when they are interrupted by Trudy, who hands Crockett a letter -- revealed to be divorce papers from Caroline. Gina suggests a rain check on their date, but Crockett refuses. Ballistics reports prove that the guns fired at Crockett and Tubbs were Interarms KG-99s, linking their failed bust to the other rip-offs around the city. Meanwhile, Noogie steals a report from Don's desk and learns of the Vice unit's interest in Desmond Maxwell; seeing an opportunity to escape jail time, he offers to set up a deal.
Noogie leads Crockett and Tubbs to a bar in Jamaicatown, where he wrangles $60 from Crockett to get some information from an associate. In reality, he attempts to slip out the back, but is quickly caught again and admits he does not know Maxwell. In return for his trying to escape, Crockett throws him in the trunk of his Daytona and takes him to Metro lock-up. Crockett then goes to meet Caroline and her lawyer over lunch to discuss their divorce proceedings. He is initially totally amenable to Caroline's demands, but when he learns that she intends to move to Atlanta with their son Billy, he becomes furious, promising to fight his wife "all the way" before storming out. On his way out the door, the maitre d' informs him he has a telephone call -- it is Tubbs, who tells him that Jake and Bobby's "preliminary meet" turned out to be another rip-off, and that both officers have been shot. Arriving at the scene with Tubbs, Rodriguez informs them that Bobby is dead and Jake is critically ill in hospital.
Playing a tape recording recovered from Jake back at OCB, the Vice cops learn that the shooters were Jamaicans. On the tape, Jake tries to describe the shooters but due to his injuries and background noise his words are unclear -- Crockett and Tubbs as Lester to try and clean up the audio. Ballistics confirm that the guns used against Bobby and Jake were KG-99s, while Trudy reports that Maxwell previously served time in Atlanta, alongside a certain Noogie Lamont. Crockett and Tubbs pressure Noogie into setting up a drug deal, who agrees despite his fear of Maxwell. They meet in a Jamaican bar, and Crockett hands Maxwell a phone number where he can reach him -- unknown to Noogie, the number is his. Tubbs confronts Crockett over his putting Noogie's life on the line, but Crockett insists he will be covered.
Outside the bar, the Vice cops receive a call informing them that Homicide have found the van used in the rip-offs and have arrested the shooters; the case now seemingly closed, they drop Noogie home and say their goodbyes. Crockett, Tubbs and Rodriguez go to see the suspect, Tyler Duvalle, discovering that the arresting officer, Detective Alessi, has roughed him up in an attempt to gain a confession. Despite the beating he has received, Duvalle continues to protest his innocence, insisting he merely found the van abandoned. Crockett becomes enraged by Alessi's actions, fearing that the whole case could be tossed on a technicality as a result; Rodriguez ends up having to pull Crockett off of him. Tubbs joins them and points out that Duvalle is Haitian, whereas the shooting suspects are said to be Jamaican. Back at OCB, Lester delivers the cleaned tape, in which Jake confirms that the shooters fled in a red El Dorado, not a van -- Homicide has the wrong guys in custody. They immediately call Noogie and find out he has some Jamaican visitors.
Crockett goes to Noogie's place to make the deal, knowing it is a set-up. He finds Maxwell and his crew holding Noogie at gunpoint. After some dealing with the Jamaicans, Crockett manages to lure one of the gang outside to check the money in his Daytona. Opening the trunk, the man instead finds Tubbs, who takes him out with a TASER. Putting on the man's clothes, Tubbs leads Crockett back to the room and, with the aid of a SWAT team, they take out the remaining Jamaicans. Noogie is shot in the melee but survives, and is taken to hospital. In the aftermath, Rodriguez reports that Jake is out of his coma; the next day, Crockett and Tubbs go to see him, bumping into Noogie outside the hospital as he is discharged. The Vice cops thank him for helping them out, before heading inside to see Jake.
- Don Johnson as Metro-Dade Detective James "Sonny" Crockett
- Philip Michael Thomas as NYPD Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs
- Saundra Santiago as Metro-Dade Detective Gina Calabrese
- Michael Talbott as Metro-Dade Detective Stan Switek
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Gregory Sierra as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez
- Charlie Barnett as Nugart "Noogie" Lamont
- Larry Riley as Metro-Dade Detective Bobby Price
- Belinda Montgomery as Caroline Crockett
- Lionel Pina as Metro-Dade Detective Jake Esteban
- Jerry Mayer as Metro-Dade Detective Alessi
- Parris Buckner as SWAT Leader
- Cynthia Caquelin as Patty
- Maria Chaves as Teresa
- Raymond Forchion as Don
- Dana Mark as Carlotta
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Metro-Dade Policeman Lester Kosko
- Afemo Omilami as Desmond Maxwell
- Melanie Rogers as Bobby's Wife
- This episode marks the debut of Charlie Barnett as informant Noogie Lamont aka "The Noogman". He would go on to reprise the role of Noogie in a further five episodes of Miami Vice.
- Tubbs uses a 1980s version of a TASER on Winston (one of the Jamaicans) to put him out of action.
- The $28.95 lobster Tubbs drops into the ocean would cost $77.07 as of 2021.
- While "Brother's Keeper" leaves the status of Crockett and Gina's relationship somewhat ambiguous, this episode makes it clear they have resumed their romance.
- In the previous episode, "Heart of Darkness", Tubbs gave Switek and Zito some tips on improving their stolen goods sting operation. Among his suggestions was that they place a centerfold near the fake TV containing the video camera to get their perps to look up at it. In this episode, we see that they have taken his advice on board. In fact, Noogie falls for the centerfold trick, identifying the magazine on display as "Hustler, '82!"
- While in jail, Noogie is heard singing several lines of the Tina Turner song "What's Love Got to Do With It", which would appear prominently in the later season 1 episode "Calderone's Return (Part II)".
- When the vice team is replaying the tape of the bust gone wrong, Rodriguez questions why Jake and Bobby were "playing gunslinger". The camera then focuses on Sonny, who remained silent, as he knew the reason why.
- The second song Noogie sings, while he is being driven away by Carlotta at the end of the episode, is "Rapper's Delight" by Sugar Hill Gang.
- Biscayne General Hospital (where Noogie is seen leaving and where Jake is recovering) was also used as a hospital backdrop in the series The Golden Girls, also set in Miami (but filmed in Los Angeles). When The Golden Girls premiered in 1985, viewers referred to it as "Miami Nice".
- This is the first of two times Crockett and Tubbs crash a van while pursuing suspects. The second would be in "Back in the World", when Crockett and Tubbs crash while chasing William Maynard.
- At one point, Tubbs accuses Crockett of cutting too many corners in order to close the case, to which Crockett responds, "What, and you don't?" This is seemingly a reference to the events of "Brother's Keeper", in which Tubbs falsified paperwork and assumed his dead brother Rafael's identity in order to pursue his killers to Miami.
- The Cardozo Hotel, visible in the background at the site where Bobby and Jake are ambushed, was remodelled after this episode. It is now called the Cardozo Hotel at South Beach, and is owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
- The footage of Crockett and Tubbs speeding through the night in Crockett's Daytona, with the car skipping off of the camber of the Miami streets, would be reused in "Calderone's Return (Part I)" and "Give a Little, Take a Little".
- The opening teaser probably marks the only time Crockett is on the job without wearing any type of blazer or jacket while in Miami.
- Crockett uses the alias "Sonny Bates" while undercover, making this one of the few episodes where he uses something other than his traditional Sonny Burnett cover story. He would employ the Sonny Bates alias again in "Glades".
- Several times in the episode, the screen fades to black (or conversely fades in), a rather unique stylistic technique not often seen elsewhere in the show, and certainly not with such frequency as it is used in this episode.
- During the opening chase, a shot of Crockett and Tubbs pursuing the Jamaican drug dealers across a bridge shows that their van's front right headlight is out. Later in the chase, it is working again.
- Later in the van chase sequence, exterior shots show Crockett with his arm hanging out of the passenger window, but in the interior shots, he clearly has his arm inside the vehicle, holding on to the dashboard in front of him.
- The sub-machine guns used by the Jamaicans are identified several times in dialogue as "Interarms KG-99 machine pistols". However, none of the Jamaicans actually use this weapon, instead arming themselves with the Star Z62 and the Smith & Wesson M76. Interestingly, the KG-99 does appear several times in season 1 of Miami Vice (most notably in "Smuggler's Blues", where both Crockett and Jimmy Cole use one), but not in this episode.
- The version of the "Miami Vice Theme" used in the opening credits is incorrectly mixed and is missing the distinctive synthesised guitar hook. The problem occurs in every episode up to "Calderone's Return (Part I)".
- When they run into each other at OCB, Jake and Bobby say to Crockett and Tubbs, "We heard about your friends in the van. You guys OK?" clearly referring to their near-miss in the van chase that starts the episode. However, this happened before they all had dinner together on the St. Vitus Dance. It seems somewhat unlikely the subject wouldn't have come up then, given that they spent an entire evening together and were clearly talking shop.
- The words "Three Jamaicans, red Eldorado" uttered by Jake after being shot can be heard clearly enough on the tape even before Lester eliminates the background noise.
- Filmed: July 26, 1984 - August 6, 1984
- Production Number: 59503
- Production Order: 3
- North Miami-Venetian Causeway-Biscayne Blvd-Freedom_Tower (opening chase between Crockett/Tubbs and dealers—Ends at current site of American Airlines Arena)
- Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel, 2669 South Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove (exterior shot of location where Crockett meets Caroline and her lawyer)
- Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Scene of bad drug deal on Bobby/Jake)
- Clay Hotel, Espanola Way (Noogie's apartment)
- St. Francis Hospital, 250 West 63rd Street, North Miami Beach (Crockett/Tubbs go see Jake and Noogie)
- "King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown" by Augustus Pablo (opening with Crockett and Tubbs watching drug deal)
- "Feel the Spirit" by The Wailing Souls (Noogie taking Crockett and Tubbs on tour of Jamaicatown, Crockett and Tubbs drop Noogie home)
- "Reality Dub" by Linton Kwesi Johnson (Crockett, Tubbs and Noogie at first Jamaican Bar)
- "Jamming" by Bob Marley and the Wailers (performed live by the house band at the second Jamaican Bar)
Jan Hammer Music
- "Cool Runnin'" (Crockett and Tubbs chase dealers, Noogie flees from bar)
- "Boat Party" (Crockett's party on board the St. Vitus Dance)
- "I refuse to believe that two hours of witty conversation and non-stop charm, have been terminated... because you decided to play Dudley Do-Right! She was all over me, Crockett. That woman was so fine she could kick start a 747." -- Tubbs to Crockett during the opening stakeout
- "Tubbs, that was $28.95!" -- Crockett after Tubbs dumps the lobster in the water
- "Daytona! Three-sixty-five party car! Rocket to the moon!" -- Noogie, regarding Crockett's car
- "I hope you got a lawyer in them pockets of yours, motormouth!" -- Tubbs to the Noogman
- "I hear he's ("Bugaloo" Jones, a 350 lb inmate) up in C block all by himself, and that he just loves guys like you!" -- Crockett to Noogie