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God's Work


6 (74th Overall)
November 6, 1987
Repeat Airdate
June 3, 1988
TV Rating
TV-14 D-L-V
Guest Stars
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"God's Work" is the sixth episode of Miami Vice's fourth season. It premiered on November 6, 1987, and was rerun on June 3, 1988.


A drug lord's financially-savvy son suddenly returns home, and the underworld is clamoring to find out why.


Crockett, Tubbs and Switek are staking out the Cruz family, and Tubbs meets with Francesco Cruz to discuss dealing electronics (including PC 2's), but the meeting ends abruptly when Cruz' brother Felipe appears on Francesco's boat, much to Francesco's chagrin.

Felipe broke away from the family business and has made it big as a legit stock broker; the underworld is not sure how to take his sudden return home, interpreting it as a direct threat to the balance of power in the Cruz family. Castillo wants the Cruz family taken down, Felipe or no, and assigns his team. Gina gets the role of being Felipe's best friend while Crockett and Switek (who complains of seasickness) surveil in the Scarab. At a family get-together, Maria Cruz mentions this is the first time all the Cruz family has been together in a while, and her husband Jorge is happy for the first time in years, but Francesco makes clear he is displeased his brother has returned.

Felipe stops by a church in Little Havana run by Father Ernesto Lupe, his uncle, and Gina follows them in, learning that Ernesto is running an AIDS hospice inside his church. Tubbs enters the Cruz warehouse and is chased by a forklift, before Francesco calls it off and the driver is kicked out by a very angry Tubbs. Francesco says he'll deal when he and Jorge are ready, bristling at the suggestion that Felipe calls the shots now and will give Tubbs a better deal. Crockett, Tubbs and Castillo have lunch and discuss the Cruz situation; Castillo suspects Ernesto (despite being Felipe's maternal uncle) is hurting the family business, because he's been involved in civil rights cases since the 60s and his AIDS clinic turns off potential customers. Castillo meets Ernesto at an outside eatery and the Father gives him a list of things needed for his hospice, being as surprised at Felipe's return as Castillo is. That night, someone breaks into Ernesto's home and shoots him.

Homicide finds no forced entry, but a neighborhood punk named Ricky Diaz, who has been known to loiter around the clinic, was seen running away after the killing. Trudy runs all the pictures taken by Gina at the hospice and finds a hit -- Louie Garcia, son of Cruz' New York chief and childhood friend of Felipe, suggesting Felipe and Louie are involved in taking over the Miami operation using the hospice as cover. Ernesto's funeral includes some AIDS protesters, and Jorge tells the media that when the killer is caught, tried and punished, then they'll have to deal with the family. Gina sees Felipe and tells him she has a friend that needed help from Ernesto; Felipe wants Gina to see the hospice, as he wants Ernesto's work to continue. Father Vater Wajda asks Castillo to keep the Homicide detectives from talking to the press and avoid Ernesto's name being further slandered by those that hated his work. Gina and Felipe arrive at the hospice to chanting anti-AIDS crowds, and the nuns evacuating the building, having received an order to vacate the premises in 24 hours due to lack of funding. The Sister spots Ricky in the crowd; Gina and Felipe chase him down and Gina arrests him.

Gina says that Diaz has lots of friends with alibis to match, but before turning him loose Gina tells him the Cruz boys are there to pick him up, which quickly changes his tough-guy attitude. When Tubbs tells Diaz that his alibi flies with the cops but not with Cruz, Diaz said he was only spray painting the building when a person in suit and tie walked in. Castillo, watching the interrogation, orders Trudy to track down Louie Garcia. Castillo is revealed to have a history with Ernesto, having in his desk drawer a bible with a picture of Ernesto, Castillo and other man and woman, along with an inscription written by Ernesto. He decides it is his duty to maintain the hospice after the investigation into Ernesto's death is over. No one can find Garcia, other than a phone conversation between Garcia's and Felipe's fathers that Garcia's son "made it to Miami".

Castillo goes to see the owner of the hospice building, the J.P. Moore Management Agency, who is resistant to the reopening of the building for that purpose, citing "community concerns". When Castillo starts to order a make run on the agency the woman relents, admitting that the building was rented to Ernesto through the Cruz family; however, the church pulled out of the agreement, forfeiting a large security deposit. Wajda says he urged Ernesto to relocate the hospice to a less conflicted area, but he refused, prompting him to back out of the deal. Castillo threatens to take the issue to the press unless the hospice is reopened. Crockett is in his SCARAB when Switek (posing as a telephone pole repairman) notices Felipe leaving the Cruz house in a big hurry. Crockett, who has been spotted, has him notify Castillo while he leads Francesco on a boat chase, which climaxes with Francesco being thrown out of his boat running agound on a sandbar. Felipe arrives to see Louie -- who is revealed to be dying of AIDS (prompting Felipe's return, as he and Louie were former lovers) -- comforting him before he dies, while Castillo watches from the doorway.

Felipe tells Castillo that Louie came to Miami to see Ernesto before he died, with no interest whatsoever in the family business, and now he plans to meet with his family to reveal his secret. Meanwhile, the squad concludes that Jorge may have had something to do with Ernesto's killing, because of the relationship between Louie and Felipe; Castillo wants Jorge brought in. Jorge is unsurprised with Felipe's revelation that he's gay, in contrast to Maria and Francesco's anger. Jorge admits he killed Ernesto himself, because he was poisoning Felipe's mind and caused him to become gay (despite the fact that Felipe said he knew since he was 12, and cried himself to sleep each night out of shame for his father's humiliation). Maria, in revenge for her brother, pulls a gun and starts firing; she hits Jorge in the shoulder before the Vice squad (who heard all) come in and take the gun away. Castillo arrests Jorge for the murder of Ernesto.


Guest Stars


"Ripped From The Headlines"

In this episode, the ongoing AIDS epidemic and its consequences are explored, including persecution, fear, and death.


  • Miami Vice was one of the few 80s shows to cover the AIDS epidemic. It was first reported in 1981 and few TV shows then would touch the controversial subject.
  • According to an interview with director Jan Eliasberg, the original story was to be about the Catholic Church refusing aid for gay AIDS patients, but after a meeting between the Church and NBC, the story was altered to its broadcast form.
  • It was never stated that Louie was dying of AIDS, but the story and circumstances of Louie and Felipe's relationship (and the fact that Louie was visiting Ernesto's AIDS hospice) implied this was the case.

Castillo laughing with Ernesto

  • In the scene with Castillo and Ernesto at the coffee shop, Castillo laughs and holds an extended conversation in Spanish. It is extremely unusual to see Castillo emote as much as he does in this scene (this being the only time in the entire series that he laughs), in stark contrast to his normally gruff, emotionless character.
  • Despite season 4's often-criticised over-emphasis of Crockett, he actually appears in less than half of this episode and plays little part in the investigation (with the exception of the boat chase).
  • Guest star Rosana DeSoto plays the mother of Esai Morales, echoing their roles in the movie La Bamba, released the same year as this episode.


  • During the scene where Tubbs is attacked by the man driving the forklift in the warehouse, Philip Michael Thomas has clearly been replaced with a stunt man, most obviously when he jumps from the pallets onto the forklift's roll cage.
  • When the assassin enters Ernesto's house, we see that the house which is considerably run-down. However, when he climbs the stairs to the attic, the location changes to a much wealthier residence.
  • Boat chase scene starts in what appears to be dusk or dawn, but switches to middle of the day a few seconds later.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: September 2, 1987 - September 11, 1987
  • Production Code: 63503
  • Production Order: 74

Filming Locations

  • Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade, Lumas Island Gantry Area, Docks 36-39 1015 North America Way, Miami (Opening with Tubbs dealing with Francesco)
  • Villa Vizcaya, 3252 South Miami Avenue, Coconut Grove (Scenes with Ernesto and the priest after the AIDS hospice is closed)
  • 1415 North View Drive, Miami Beach (Cruz' Villa)
  • Shed B, 1509 Africa Way, Dade County Port of Miami (Cruz Warehouse)
  • Christ Episcopal Church, 3481 Hibiscus St, Coconut Grove (AIDS Hospice)
  • 3447 William Avenue, Coconut Grove (Ernesto's apartment)
  • Penrods, 1001 Ocean Drive (Cuban coffee shop where Castillo and Ernesto meet)
  • Waldorf Towers Hotel, 860 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Realtor office, Felipe meets Louie before his death)
  • Near Mount Sinai Medical Center, 4300 Alton Rd, Miami Beach (Castillo/Crockett/Tubbs meet in park)


Jan Hammer Music

  • "Free Verse" (throughout episode)
  • "Poem" (throughout episode)


  • "Now you see it, now you don't...because the man from Wall Street takes it (money) to the cleaners and

    Inscription in Castillo's Bible from Ernesto Lupe

    comes out venture capital! -- Crockett about Felipe's potential role in the Cruz business
  • "To my friend Marty, all of the answers aren't written on the wind, some are right here." -- Ernesto's inscription in Castillo's bible
  • "Headlines: Archdiocese evicts AIDS patients, simple?" -- Castillo to Wajda
  • "Sometimes even a simple cop has to be a soldier in battlefields not of his own choosing." -- Castillo threatening to sic the press on Wajda's church if the hospice is not reopened
Season 4 Episodes:

"Contempt of Court" "Amen... Send Money" "Death and the Lady" "The Big Thaw" "Child's Play" "God's Work" "Missing Hours" "Like a Hurricane" "The Rising Sun of Death" "Love at First Sight" "Rock and a Hard Place" "The Cows of October" "Vote of Confidence" "Baseballs of Death" "Indian Wars" "Honor Among Thieves?" "Hell Hath No Fury..." "Badge of Dishonor" "Blood & Roses" "A Bullet for Crockett" "Deliver Us from Evil" "Mirror Image"