- This article is about the Miami Vice episode. For the character, see Florence Italy (Prostitute).
16 (38th overall)
February 14, 1986
August 1, 1986
Wilton Crawley (See Notes Below)
A race car driver taking part in the Miami Grand Prix is accused of murdering a prostitute.
The Miami Grand Prix is coming up, and Prix drivers are in town. On the downtown streets, a 17 year old prostitute named Florence Italy (real name Abigail Cook) is picked up by an unidentified driver in a white unmarked Porsche 906 Carrera in front of a croissant shop (where the owner, Beatrice chased Florence and another hooker in drag earlier), later Crockett and Tubbs spot him racing through town. Crockett pursues but is unable to keep up with the high-performance racing car. The driver manages to evade the Vice cops long enough to dump Florence's body on the street before driving away.
Crockett wakes up Tommy, his mechanic, to see if she knows anything about the Porsche and she said the one they are looking for belongs to Danny Tepper, a race car driver in town for the Grand Prix, they take him in for questioning, Danny said he hasn't driven the Porsche for a week, didn't know the car was stolen - his wife Katie is overdue to deliver their first baby, and he was driving in his truck picking up parts for his car. His alibi of being with his racing friends doesn't appear to stand up, as he was not with his friends during the time of the killing. Danny's father, Frank, comes by OCB to see his son, talks about how he'll stand behind Danny no matter what, and tells Danny his sponsor will pay his bond to get out and race. Castillo agrees to cut Danny some slack if he takes Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) to a Grand Prix driver cocktail party to check out the field for any additional suspects. Tommy is there too and is upset a "racer chaser", Becky Sklar, is hanging on to the drivers and "setting women's rights back 150 years". Danny introduces them to Marty Worthington as potential car sponsors, but are interrupted by a Tepper father-son challenge to race motorcycles from the top of a parking garage to the bottom. Frank wins the race, but Danny gets the better prize, the birth of his son. Crockett and Tubbs cannot find any other car owners/sponsors that could be tied into the murder, and Gina and Trudy cannot find anyone who witnessed Florence get into the Porsche. Castillo wants Crockett and Tubbs to check out the drivers. Danny and Katie talk about his dilemma and she stands behind him, then someone delivered a gift to the hospital, which was a burned up toy race car.
Gina and Trudy question Beatrice at the croissant shop and get nowhere. The other Vice cops check their street contacts without success, while Switek and Zito bring in the transvestite hooker who was with Florence the night of her murder and is no help. Crockett and Tubbs continue to question Danny, who maintains his innocence and Frank demands they back off his son as he didn't do it. They then talk to Becky, asking her about any of the car drivers who is rough with their women, and she instantly gets scared, saying she had her face wired and sipping soup through a straw for nine months after someone beat her up, but won't tell who. Frank and Danny have a discussion way up in the stands, but Crockett and Tubbs cannot hear their conversation, but Frank mentions about he may not be his father and that he needs to get his mind off the Florence Italy situation and concentrate on racing.
The race gets started, and Crockett and Tubbs go back on the street, they stop by the croissant shop and find Beatrice has a security camera, which was set up in front of the store. They pull the tape from the night of the murder and find it was Frank Tepper that was driving the Porsche, and they go to arrest him. Danny wins the Grand Prix, then the police begin chasing Frank. Despite having a clearly faster and more agile vehicle, his attempts to escape are thwarted as the police surround him. Ultimately resigned to his fate, he deliberately runs his race car head on into a building, presumably killing himself.
- 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
- Danny Sullivan as Danny Tepper
- Stephen Joyce as Frank Tepper
- Annie Golden as Tommy
- Alix Elias as Beatrice
- The Fat Boys as Dope Dealers
- Charles Rocket as Marty Worthington
- Marilyn Romero as Abigail "Florence Italy" Cook
- Sergio Pereira as Nelson Oramus
- Robyn Peterson as Becky Sklar
- Tiffany Arieagus as Blondie
- Patricia Loza as Sally
- Denise Allen as Katie Tepper
- Danny Sullivan actually won the Indianapolis 500 and the "Streets of Miami" CART race in 1985, then won the Miami street race again in 1986.
- The episode was originally planned for the first season; it was to be called "The Prize" and was written with Mick Jagger or another British rocker in mind to play the lead role. The script was scrapped (along with some racing footage that had already been filmed), but the concept was revived for season 2 with Sullivan playing the main character. While the official writer of this episode is Paul Diamond, the name listed in the credits is Wilton Crawley, which is a psudeonym for an unhappy writer.
- The Fat Boys make a cameo appearance at the beginning of the episode, with Buffy (aka The Human Beat Box) being forced to eat a marijuana joint after Tubbs asks him to "make it disappear".
- This episode marks the second and final appearance of Annie Golden as Crockett's mechanic, Tommy. Tommy was originally to be a valuable source of street information (replacing Charlie Barnett's Noogie Lamont), but the character never caught on.
- Danny's car in the episode was a real Porsche 962-HR1 race car that won the IMSA GT Championship three times from 1985 to 1987. It was sponsored by Lowenbrau beer; Danny can be seen drinking Lowenbrau at the cocktail party.
- The race in the parking garage between Danny and Frank features the Kawasaki Ninja, a popular sport bike born in the 80s that still remains popular today.
- Crockett's affinity for racing is revealed, as he speeds through the streets prior to the chase with the Porsche.
- At the start of the episode, Florence Italy/Abigail Cook can be seen standing on the sidewalk several times after she supposedly got into the car where she is killed.
- The body that Tepper dumps out of his car at the end of the opening chase is obviously a dummy. This is even more obvious in the subsequent shot of Crockett pulling up and checking the "corpse's" pulse, in which the dummy's lifeless face is plainly visible.
- The floor numbers seen painted on the walls of the parking garage during the motorcycle race present a continuity nightmare. Most obviously, the Teppers race past the level 13 and 5 stairwells at least twice each.
- After the motorcycle race, Crockett and Tubbs are discussing the case in Castillo's office. Crockett mentions that "Worthington", not "Tepper" is doing a hell of a job avoiding the truth. It seems likely that Don Johnson slipped his line and probably intended to say Tepper, not Worthington. Worthington, played by Charles Rocket, has nothing to do with the case.
- Tommy tells Crockett, "Forget it. Danny will never sell the Lotus," after he and Tubbs ask about Danny's Porsche 906 Carerra. She then corrects herself saying "Don't even think about buying the Porsche," as they leave her shop.
- Much like the boat race in "The Great McCarthy", the Grand Prix race is a continuity nightmare, with the relative positions of the cars taking part constantly changing from shot to shot. At one point, Danny Tepper's number 14 car even changes into his father's number 85 when the camera switches to a hood-mounted view.
- Working Title: "The Prize"
- Filmed: January 8, 1986 - January 15, 1986
- Production Code: 60011
- Production Order: 38
- E Flagler Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, Miami (Scenes along street and at croissant shop)
- SE 1st Street / SE 1st Avenue, Miami (Florence Italy's body thrown out of Porsche)
- NE 2nd Avenue / SE 2nd Street / NE 3rd Street / NE 2nd Street, Miami (Parking garage bike race between Frank and Danny Tepper)
- Biscayne Blvd and Bayfront Park (Grand Prix track, no longer exists)
- Biscayne Blvd – NE 12th St. – NE 1st Ave - NW 15th St and NW Miami Ct (Frank Tepper chased through streets until crash)
- "Naughty Naughty" by John Parr (opening)
- "Sellin' the Store" by Cliff Sarde (Crockett/Tubbs at cocktail party)
- "Cruise Missile" by the Steve Morse Band (during motorcycle race)
- "Up from the Skies" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Vice cops checking streets)
- "Mercury Blues" by David Lindley (Pre-race scenes)
- "Make it disappear!" -- Tubbs to Fat Boy Buffy before he eats a marijuana joint
- "You don't get it, do you?! Unless you tell us who did this, man, you're it! You're in the jackpot, you're going to jail!" -- Crockett to Danny
- "If we keep covering the street, they're gonna have to call it "Crockett and Tubbs Boulevard!" -- Tubbs
| Season 2 Episodes:|
"The Prodigal Son" • "Whatever Works" • "Out Where the Buses Don't Run" • "The Dutch Oven" • "Buddies" • "Junk Love" • "Tale of the Goat" • "Bushido" • "Bought and Paid For" • "Back in the World" • "Phil the Shill" • "Definitely Miami" • "Yankee Dollar" • "One Way Ticket" • "Little Miss Dangerous" • "Florence Italy" • "French Twist" • "The Fix" • "Payback" • "Free Verse" • "Trust Fund Pirates" • "Sons and Lovers"