9 (9th overall)
November 30, 1984
June 21, 1985
In a rundown Miami hotel, Crockett and Tubbs are protecting Joey Bramlette, a key witness in the upcoming trial of drug dealer Enrique Ruiz; Bramlette is driving Crockett crazy watching Deputy Dawg cartoons. Switek and Zito arrive to relieve the two Vice cops, bringing Bramlette's mail with them, which includes a letter that obviously shakes him up.
Tubbs testifies in court against Ruiz, telling the jury how Bramlette led them to the dealer. With his testimony complete, court is recessed until Monday. As everyone files out of the courtroom, Ruiz has a smug smirk on his face; Crockett puts down to Ruiz trying to protect his "macho image", certain that Bramlette's testimony will put him away. Meanwhile, as Switek and Zito argue over a TV show in the hotel, Bramlette slips out of the door and escapes. At OCB, Castillo berates Switek and Zito for letting Bramlette get away, and gives Crockett and Tubbs the job of tracking him down by Monday, or else Ruiz will most likely walk. The Vice cops first head to Harry's Bar, where they first picked Bramlette up, and question the owner Harry as to Bramlette's whereabouts. He tells them their witness was there two hours ago, but that he borrowed some cash and headed home to Okeechobee Springs in the Everglades. Crockett and Tubbs dress for fishing and head there in the Daytona.
Arriving in Okeechobee, Tubbs is shocked to find the rural town full of signs of high-level drug trafficking; Crockett tells him that the DEA have put undercover agents into to Okeechobee twice before -- dressed as fishermen -- and they never came back. As Sonny Bates and Leroy Reese, Crockett and Tubbs make contact with the locals, meeting Floyd Higgins and his brother Billy Joe, who buy them a round of beers. When the Vice cops casually inquire about locating Bramlette, Floyd and Billy Joe offer to drive them over to his place, but end up stranding them deep in the swamps, beating them and leaving them to fend for themselves.
Lost in the Glades, Crockett and Tubbs contend with bugs and snakes as they attempt to find their way back to civilization. They eventually run into more armed men who take them prisoner, leading them to a woman named Cassie, who reveals that she knows who they really are. She then takes them by boat to a derelict house where they encounter yet more armed men, including Bobby, Paul, Hank, Jimmy, old man Clem, Pa Ryan -- and Bramlette. When Crockett demands an explanation, Bramlette reveals that Cassie is his wife, and that they are all here because Ruiz's men have taken their daughter Tammy and is threatening to kill her if Bramlette takes the stand in court, even if he says nothing. The Higgins brothers have Tammy in a house near town, guarded by twenty Colombians armed with automatic weapons; Bramlette can muster only six men, but they want Crockett and Tubbs to help them save Tammy. Crockett insists the odds are impossible, but Clem reveals that Ruiz has a shipment coming in the following night, meaning at least half of the Colombians will be away dealing with the offload. Although Crockett remains largely unconvinced, he and Tubbs agree to at least check out the house.
Returning the Bramlette's safe house, Crockett and Tubbs ask Clem to find out where and when Ruiz's shipment will arrive so that Tubbs can hit it as a diversion. The next day, Clem goes about finding out the location of the offload, getting Billy Joe drunk so that he spills the information. The rest of the crew lies low at the safe house, where Bramlette and his cohorts tell Crockett and Tubbs about their history, including how their grandparents used to smuggle liquor during Prohibition, before they themselves took to smuggling marijuana to support their families; Cassie insists that, despite breaking the law, they were decent people and never used guns. However, when Ruiz moved into the area he forced everyone to work for him, killing anyone who tried to go it alone.
The seaplane carrying the drugs arrives at dawn. Tubbs shoots up the offload with Bobby, Hank and Pa Ryan, and while the men at the docks are occupied repelling the assault, Crockett launches an attack on the house with Bramlette, Paul, Jimmy and Clem; while the locals open fire on the guards outside, Crockett sneaks in through a skylight to rescue Tammy. He finds her being held at gunpoint by Billy Joe, who threatens to kill her if he so much as twitches -- Crockett tells him he won't even twitch and shoots him down. Meanwhile, at the offload, the Colombians are all killed, while Tubbs chases down a fleeing Floyd and arrests him. Back at the house, Tammy is reunited with her mother and father, while Clem saves Crockett from a final Colombian, shooting the man dead with his father's old "gator getter" blunderbuss. With Tammy now safe, Crockett and Tubbs rush Bramlette back to Miami just in time to testify.
- 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 (credit only)
- Michael Talbott as Metro-Dade Detective Stan Switek
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin (credit only)
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Margaret Whitton as Cassie Bramlette
- John Pankow as Floyd Higgins
- Jay Patterson as Billy Joe Higgins
- Keith Szarabajka as Joey Bramlette
- Tom Bishop as Bobby
- Al Cox as Clem
- Jorge Gil as Ramon
- William Kerwin as Paul
- Shawn McAllister as Wendell
- Ray Nikolaison as Hank
- Michael Sandler as Pa Ryan
- Shannon Unger as Tammy Bramlette
- Saundra Santiago (Gina) and Olivia Brown (Trudy) do not appear at all in this episode.
- This is the first of three consecutive episodes (along with "Give a Little, Take a Little" and "Little Prince") that open with establishing shots of the seedy areas of Miami, many of which are located in the South Beach area before the revitalization that took place there during and after Miami Vice was on the air.
- Deputy Dawg cartoons were made by Terrytoons (Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle) and aired on network television from 1959-1972, after which they were syndicated.
- In a touch of continuity, the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the Ruiz case (played by an uncredited Pat Julian) is the same District Attorney who works the Alvarado case with Crockett and Tubbs in the next episode, "Give a Little, Take a Little".
- John Pankow, who plays Floyd Higgins, also starred in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A., which has been noted for its similarities to Miami Vice. In fact, Michael Mann launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the film's producers, alleging that it plagiarised the television series' concept.
- Floyd Higgins' taunt to Crockett about his Daytona ("Foreign job? I buy American.") seems somewhat strange given that he is at that moment surrounded by luxury sports cars such as the DeLorean DMC-12 (made in Northern Ireland) and the Maserati Biturbo (from Italy), all of which apparently belong to locals who (like Floyd) work for Ruiz.
- 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 previously employed the Sonny Bates alias in "Cool Runnin'".
- Billy Joe and Floyd misquote Clint Eastwood's famous line, "Go ahead, make my day..." by saying "Go ahead, ruin my day!"
- The season 5 episode "Line of Fire" has a similar plot to this episode. On that occasion, the witness is in reality an undercover DEA agent posing as the real witness to distract the attention of the villains.
- The scene where Crockett confronts Billy Joe inside the house was repeated almost identically in the Miami Vice film. In "Glades", Billy Joe warns Crockett that if he tries to shoot him, he can still kill Tammy, only for Crockett to explain, "Maybe you won't even twitch..." before shooting him dead; in the film, an Aryan Brotherhood member warns Gina that if she tries to kill him he will detonate the booby-trapped trailer they are standing inside, only for Gina to explain, "I will put a round at twenty-seven hundred feet per second into the medulla at the base of your brain, and you will be dead from the neck down before your body knows it. Your finger won't even twitch." In both instances, the hero ends up shooting the villain in the head, despite their threats.
- After Crockett and Tubbs walk into Harry's Bar, they disappear in the following wide shot of the two girls boxing -- they should be visible in the background near the door through which they just entered. They are also missing from one of the shots of the cheering crowd shown shortly after this (the man in the black sports jacket they should be standing next to is plainly visible, but Crockett and Tubbs are nowhere to be seen). The Vice cops do not reappear until the subsequent close-up in which Tubbs starts doing his boxing commentator impression.
- When Crockett drops down through the skylight into the Colombians' hideout, the man on the left falls to the floor long before Crockett actually shoots him.
- Crockett reloads his Bren Ten after shooting the man through the bathroom door, and is still holding the switched-out magazine in his left hand as he begins to turn through the next doorway. When the camera switches to the other side of the door, he suddenly has both hands on his pistol and the magazine is nowhere to be seen.
- Working title: "Swamp Thing"
- Filmed: September 20, 1984 - October 1, 1984
- Production Number: 59506
- Production Order: 8
- Venetian Causeway (Crockett/Tubbs begin drive to Everglades)
- Alligator Alley (Aerial shots of Crockett/Tubbs drive to Everglades)
- Jimbo's Place, Arthur Lamb Road, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne (Crockett/Tubbs arrive in Everglades)
- Tamiami Trail (Crockett/Tubbs/Bramlette return to Miami, filmed from helicopter)
- "We Got to Get Out of This Place" by The Animals (opening sequence with stock shots of rundown Miami)
- "I Send a Message" by INXS (girls boxing)
- "Girls with Guns" by Tommy Shaw (Crockett and Tubbs drive to the Everglades)
- "TGIF, huh?" "F-O-R-G-E-T I-T!" -- Tubbs and the court reporter, Tubbs trying to get a date
- "Let me get this straight, you just let this guy walk out, he didn't tie you up, he didn't pull a gun...". -- Crockett to Switek & Zito after Bramlette escaped from the hotel
- "What's an 'umbrella rig'?, is that in case it rains?" -- Tubbs to Crockett on way to Everglades
- "Foreign job? I buy American." -- Floyd Higgins after noticing Crockett's Ferrari
- "Well I buy whatever I feel like buyin'." -- Crocketts response to Floyd Higgins
- "I think we've made an error in judgment here!" -- Crockett after being left in the swamps
- "Aww hell Billy, you know my mind's done gone to hell! What was we talkin' bout anyhow?" -- Clem probing Billy Joe for intel