- This article is about the Miami Vice episode. For the character, see Evan Freed.
21 (21st overall)
May 3, 1985
September 20, 1985
December 27, 1985
"Evan" is the twenty-first and penultimate episode of Miami Vice's first season. It premiered on May 3, 1985, and was rerun on September 20, 1985 (the final rerun of the first season) and December 27, 1985.
The Vice squad is conducting surveillance on an arms dealer named Guzman (Al Israel), who is holding a demonstration of his latest weapon for sale, the Ingram MAC-10 submachine gun. His associate Evan Freed (William Russ) displays their effectiveness on a trio of mannequins, ripping them to shreds, before the squad moves in. A shootout ensues and the buyers are killed, but Evan and Guzman get away by ramming through a barricade of police cars, blowing them up.
Castillo arrives at the scene and is told the MAC-10s were loaded with armor-piercing bullets. He wants INTERPOL checked to find the seller. They find a name, Hector Marquez, at the scene; they go to his house and find it cleaned out, very professionally—the way the Feds would perform such a task. Switek runs across Guzman's picture in the files and IDs him as the seller. Crockett, posing as Sonny Burnett, goes to see a Neo-Nazi arms dealer named Kern, whom he worked with years ago, to see if he can get a line on Guzman. Kern arranges a meeting with Guzman about a shipment of MAC-10s. Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) try to work out a deal with Guzman when Evan arrives and tries to start trouble by jacking the price up. Crockett is shaken by Evan's arrival, and they ask Guzman for time to make a decision. After they leave, Crockett reveals that Evan is a cop.
At OCB, ATF Agent Wilson (Christopher Murney) demands the Vice squad back off due to the huge investment involved in getting Evan close to Guzman, but Castillo is equally insistent the MAC-10s never reach the street. After a little power play, Wilson agrees to let the deal go through to get the MAC-10s, but their involvement has to end there. Crockett asks to be taken off the gig, but Castillo refuses without a good reason, saying the job gets done. Tubbs asks Crockett about Evan but gets blown off, so he asks Gina to pull Evan's jacket. The following morning, Guzman has decided to deal with Crockett and Tubbs, but Evan is reluctant, and is evasive in telling Guzman why. Evan goes to the St. Vitus Dance to see Crockett, who angrily tells him they aren't friends and orders him off the boat. Evan pulls a gun and acts erratically, pointing it first at Crockett and then himself, "one [bullet] for you, one for me." He takes a bullet out of the gun and says it has Crockett's name on it.
Gina gets Evan's jacket and says that Evan, Crockett and another officer, Mike Orgel, worked together in Vice, before Orgel was killed in the line of duty. Evan then began volunteering for every suicide job on the books. In Crockett's car, Tubbs asks Crockett about Orgel and he slams on the brakes, irate that Tubbs pulled Evan's jacket behind his back. Tubbs said he wouldn't have had to if Crockett had been straight from the start. Crockett is so furious he drops the friendship with Tubbs and they agree to only be partners. At the meet, Guzman tries to up the price to $3000 from the $2400 originally agreed on, but after a tense standoff, Evan does a little convincing and Guzman furiously agrees to the original price.
Amidst the club nightlife, Tubbs is about to pick up a girl named Michelle when Crockett stops by, asking to speak with him. Tubbs blows him off, but changes his mind after Crockett leaves. They go for a drive and stop at a gas station where, years before, a man high on PCP was waving a gun. Orgel went in to stop him and was shot dead on the spot. The department wrote it up as a tragic death in the line of duty, but Crockett knew otherwise - it had been suicide. Crockett opens up to Tubbs how he, Orgel and Evan had passed through the Academy together, becoming close friends and eventually working the streets together. On one assignment they were tasked with tackling drugs in local dance clubs, some of which were gay bars. Orgel requested to be let off the case, leading Evan and Crockett to tease him that it was because someone in the gay bars would recognise him. Orgel soon admitted that someone would recognize him, because he was gay. Evan went off the rails, labelling Orgel a "faggot", demeaning him, and even transferring out of the unit to get away from him. Meanwhile Crockett, unsure how to handle the situation, did nothing in his defense. Orgel was demoted to desk duty, a thinly veiled attempt by the department to force him out, and in his depression he intentionally walked into the gas station incident. Crockett was left scarred by guilt, which he has carried ever since. Tubbs assures Crockett that he did nothing wrong, and that he knows he wanted to do the right thing in his heart.
A very drunk Evan arrives at OCB the next morning, and Crockett pulls him into the conference room. Apparently Evan is carrying the same guilt Crockett has (which is why he has lived on the edge for the past few years) and tearfully begs for forgiveness. They embrace, but break apart when Tubbs enters the room, and Evan tells them the meet with Guzman is on for midnight at the shipyard. Tubbs wants Crockett to open up and tell Evan what he thinks, but Crockett is reluctant. The meet goes down, but Vice (disguised as patrol officers) raids the shipyard and confiscates the guns and money. As Crockett and Tubbs (vowing to collect on their "lost" money) start walking away Guzman pulls a gun, intent on killing them. Realizing this, Evan throws himself in front of the gun and is mortally wounded; Crockett and Tubbs shoot and kill Guzman. Crockett tells Evan, who says that taking a bullet was his decision to make, that Orgei made his own decision. Before dying, Evan tells Crockett it's his turn now to take a bullet.
- 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
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Steven Brown as Guzman's Bodyguard
- This episode, along with season 2's "Out Where the Buses Don't Run", is often cited as the best in the series, due to its emotional tone, deep character development and uncharacteristically sensitive (for the time) portrayal of homosexuality.
- A recurring theme of Miami Vice is the conflict between local and federal agents going after the same thing but with different objectives. In this case, both ATF and Metro-Dade want the MAC-10s off the streets, but ATF doesn't want Guzman busted while Metro-Dade does.
- The scene where Evan asks Crockett if there is a bullet with his name on it is (appropriately enough) shown again in season 4's "A Bullet for Crockett".
- The gas station used in the famous talk scene still exists, although there are no gas pumps anymore. It is now the home of a tire shop.
- Al Israel also appeared as a drug dealer in the famous 1983 film Scarface, which is set in Miami and inspired several aspects of the television series -- A mansion from that film appears in the episode "Yankee Dollar", owned by dealer Zabado (played by Pepe Serna, who also appeared in Scarface).
- The Ingram MAC-10 is prominently featured in this episode. It was a very popular weapon amongst criminals in the 1980s thanks to its compact size and high rate of fire, and it is regularly seen in the hands of villains in crime fiction.
- The abandoned hangar where Evan demonstrates the MAC 10s would appear again in season 2's "Phil the Shill", as the location where Rivers has two dealers executed, in season 4's "Missing Hours", where it portrays Lou DeLong's lab, and in season 5's "To Have and to Hold", as the location where Tubbs (as Cooper) and Ramon Pendroza are ambushed while making a deal. The hangar also appears prominently in the 1995 film Bad Boys, where it is the location of the climactic shootout (and in which it is obliterated by explosion).
- Guzman's house, meanwhile, would reappear as Alexander Dykstra's house in season 3's "Lend Me an Ear" and Palmo's house in season 4's "Honor Among Thieves?".
- William Russ would later play Roger Lococco on the TV series Wiseguy, who displayed several of the strong personality characteristics of Evan.
- When Evan asks Crockett, "How does it feel to be perfect?" Crockett is obviously puzzled and uncomprehending. Evan, who turned against Orgel due to his own homophobia, sees Sonny as perfect since he did not ostracize Orgel, while ironically Crockett feels guilt for his own imperfection in not taking more decisive action to back Orgel.
- As of August 2019 this is the only episode of the series that cannot be viewed on the Starz streaming service.
- In the Centric airings of this episode, the word "faggot" is muted out, while the captions depict the word as a [BLEEP] prompt, while in the DVD version, on Hulu, and in previous syndicated airings (most recently on the COZI TV network), the term is uncensored.
- The entire scene of Crockett meeting with his neo-Nazi arms dealer acquaintance was cut from the German TV broadcast version of the episode, possibly due to concerns over the glorification of Nazi symbols like the Nazi flag in the background, which was against TV broadcast guidelines.
- When Evan and Gusman are having breakfast, the Gold Springs label on Evan's whiskey bottle changes from back to front to back in each cut, without him ever touching it.
- When Evan is confronting Crockett on the St. Vitus Dance, waving his gun back and forth between the two, there is clearly a stand-in for Crockett in the clip of Evan with Crockett barely visible along the right hand edge of the frame. Why they elected to use a double in that minor fashion is unknown.
- Before making the exchange with Guzman, Tubbs hides the briefcase full of money under a derelict boat. Once the helicopter carrying the MAC-10s has arrived, he has the case with him again without ever having gone to retrieve it.
- The MAC-10s are claimed to be loaded with armor-piercing rounds. The MAC-10 is chambered in .45 ACP, or less commonly 9x19mm Parabellum, but armor-piercing ammunition in either of these chamberings, like the Russian 9x19mm 7N21 or 7N31 over-pressure Rounds are exceedingly rare and would not have been available at the time.
- Filmed: March 6, 1985 - March 14, 1985
- Production Number: 59518
- Production Order: 21
- Hangar Opa Locka Airport (Opening with Evan/Guzman showing off firearms, blown up in movie "Bad Boys")
- 1727 W 27th Street, Sunset Island 2, Miami Beach (Guzman's house)
- Metro Iron and Metal Corp, 3200 NW North River Dr, Miami (Second meet of Crockett/Tubbs/Evan/Guzman)
- Gas Station, 1240 W Flagler Street in Little Havana, Miami Downtown (Gas Station Scene)
- "The Rhythm of the Heat" by Peter Gabriel (opening sequence with Evan in warehouse)
- "You Only Left Your Picture" by Fashion (Tubbs in club)
- "Biko" by Peter Gabriel (end sequence where Evan is killed)
Jan Hammer Music
- "Evan" (throughout episode)
- "The Talk" (gas station scene)
- "Local snitch gives us what he thought was a nickel-and-dime buy, turns into Armageddon! -- Crockett
- "Good little weapon. It slices, it dices!" -- Evan, discussing the MAC-10
- "Evan really freaked, all of a sudden it was "faggot" this and "faggot" that, and then he put in for a transfer. The next day the department shoved a desk at him and were looking for ways to dump him (Orgel)." -- Crockett to Tubbs explaining what happened when Orgel revealed he was gay
- "I don't pass up girls like Michelle, for nothing less!" -- Tubbs to Crockett after Crockett explains himself
- "That's right, Crockett. I'm a real man. A real man makes mistakes. I made one with Mike. And I've paid! A real man thinks...and he changes! A real man uses his brains! If he's lucky, after a couple years he gets wisdom! But you...you still wanna hang that rap on me! Well buddy, I've found more ways to hang that rap on myself than you, or the devil will ever know about!" -- Evan to Crockett
- "Is that why you've tried to catch a bullet for years? What's that...adjustment?" -- Crockett in response
- "Forgive me, Sonny! Say you forgive me! Please...make me happy, Sonny! Make me happy! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! -- Evan breaks down completely
- "What the hell was that all about?" -- Tubbs to Crockett
- "Confession and redemption...and a guy hanging by a string." -- Crockett in response
- "What is this country coming to when you can't even trust the police to be honest?" -- Guzman after vice cops "ripped us off."
- "Now it's your turn...Sonny." -- Evan's last words to Crockett