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Golden Triangle (Part I)

Goldentriangleintro

Season
Episode
13 (13th Overall)
Airdate
January 11, 1985
Repeat Airdate
June 7, 1985
TV Rating
TV 14 D-L
Writer(s)
Director
Guest Stars
Previous Episode
Next Episode

"Golden Triangle (Part I)", also known as "Score", is the thirteenth episode of Miami Vice's first season. It premiered on January 11, 1985, and was rerun on June 7, 1985.

SummaryEdit

Crockett and Tubbs are working an extortion scam run by dirty cops when they stumble upon a plot to smuggle Castillo's former enemy into Miami.

PlotEdit

Crockett and Tubbs are assigned to security at a hotel where a pair of dirty cops are suspected of extorting high-priced hookers. In addition to their undercover work, they are also forced to engage in less glamorous jobs associated with their cover, including breaking up a fight between a man high on PCP and his girlfriend. Crockett manages to calm the irate man down, but when they try to handcuff him his girlfriend attacks them, agitating the doper once again and forcing the Vice cops to drag him downstairs and cuff him to a railing outside the lobby.

CrockettIncognito

Crockett posing as a nerdy tourist

Crockett and Tubbs are fed up with the detail, not particularly enjoying the idea of investigating fellow officers, but Castillo reminds them the dirty cops are no brothers of theirs; he doesn't just want their badges, he wants to see them behind bars. Having made little progress trying to catch the cops directly, Crockett and Tubbs try a different approach -- Crockett disguises himself as a nerdy tourist visiting Miami for the first time, hoping to attract the attention of one of the call girls that the dirty cops have been targeting. Sure enough, he soon catches the eye of Candy James, who figures him for an easy mark. After she offers Crockett her "services" for $50, Crockett shows her his badge and takes her in.

At OCB, they find Candy has a rap sheet full of prostitution charges. They inform her of the officers they suspect to be involved -- Detectives Ross and Garcia -- and Candy agrees to help with the investigation in exchange for having her file wiped clean. Castillo agrees, and Crockett and Tubbs go to work posing as her pimps. As the investigation continues, the Vice cops are also approached by a man who wishes to rent a safety deposit box at the hotel. Crockett gives him a brief tour of the facility. The man and his associate continue to watch Crockett and Tubbs at the hotel, soon learning that they are running call girls on the side, amused and impressed by their diversification. That night, Ross and Garcia tail Candy from the hotel, pulling her over and demanding $500 a week in exchange for her continued prostitution at the hotel. To get their point across they smack Candy around, unaware that she is wearing a wire and everything is being recorded by Crockett and Tubbs. By the time the Vice cops catch up Ross and Garcia have left. Candy is angry at being left to take the beating, and now that Crockett and Tubbs have the evidence they need, she tears off the wire and bluntly states that she is done with the investigation.

On the St. Vitus Dance the next morning, Crockett and Tubbs learn that the two dirty cops are already out, having been released a mere hour after IAD handed them over to the D.A. While Crockett begins filing Elvis' nails, the two men who have been watching the Vice cops at the hotel stop by, proposing a raid on the safety deposit boxes but offering no details. Back at OCB, Castillo comes up with a name for the leader of the pair -- Albert Szarbo. However, the Vice cops become confused when they learn that his rap sheet lists every felony in the book except robbery. Castillo instructs Crockett and Tubbs to go along with the play for the time being. Back at the hotel, Crockett is stunned to find Candy hooking again. He drags her to one side and threatens to have her locked up, but is forced to hold his tongue when Szarbo arrives and takes an interest in her; Crockett can do nothing but watch as Candy and Szarbo come to an arrangement and head upstairs. Later, Candy finds Crockett and Tubbs in the security office and offers to continue helping them, handing over Szarbo's car keys. Despite Crockett's anger at her brazen attitude, all three go and check out the car, finding breaking and entering equipment and a bill to a sleazy hotel.

The Vice cops tell Candy in no uncertain terms that they want her out of Miami, but as they leave the garage Szarbo confronts them. He presents them to Detective Ross, who accuses them of being snitches given that he was busted after the incident with Candy. Candy lies to save the Vice cops' cover, telling Ross that she turned him in. When Ross slaps her, Crockett and Tubbs beat him down, convincing Szarbo of their credibility; he tells them of his plan to break into the hotel vault, promising a 60/40 split if they help him get past the door, but first his associate needs access to check out the security systems. The Vice cops arrange it, but discover the next morning that the raid has gone down without them -- Szarbo and his accomplice have used sophisticated electronic equipment to break in overnight, opening every box in the room. Strangely though, jewelry and other expensive items have been left behind. Across town at their sleazy hotel hideout, Szarbo and his partner are going through the score when a masked man busts in wielding a gun. Later that day, Crockett and Tubbs go to arrest Ross at his home, learning that he was supposed to provide Szarbo and his accomplice with an out. He claims that they never showed, and when he went looking for them he found them already dead at the hotel.

Back at OCB, Switek and Zito report that one of them men had been alive when they were found and mentioned "papers"; the two cops are evidently disturbed by the graphic way in which Szarbo and his associate were killed. When Switek mentions that Szarbo's accomplice was Thai (identified by a tattoo on his arm), Castillo suddenly takes note, angrily questioning why no one told him sooner. Without explaining his interest, he goes with Crockett and Tubbs to sees the bodies, immediately recognizing the mutilation as both a sign that they defied an important man, and a warning to others not to make the same mistake. Finally he explains that he has seen this kind of mutilation before, during his time with the DEA in Asia, when he was pursuing a major heroin dealer named General Lao Li. Castillo now assumes that the papers Szarbo stole were delivery schedules of some kind.

Hunting the killer, Crockett, Tubbs and Castillo scout every Thai and Asian restaurant in the area, looking for recent immigrants. At the last Thai restaurant they visit, they find and flush out the assassin, a man named Boon Phratek, who flees through a back door. Castillo chases him down and faces him in an alleyway; a stunned Crockett and Tubbs watch as their Lieutenant defeats Phratek in a brutal martial arts brawl. However, before they can arrest or question the assassin, he commits suicide by swallowing his tongue. At OCB, Castillo determines the "papers" Szarbo stole are in fact immigration visas and that Lao Li is moving his operation to Miami. Confirming his fears, Castillo receives a package from Lao Li containing a picture of May Ying, his long-lost wife.

CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Co-StarringEdit

NotesEdit

  • This episode was called "Score" when it originally aired, but the name was changed to "Golden Triangle (Part I)" when it went into syndication, presumably to better link it with the following episode, which continues the story. This second title is now its official one, and has been used on the show's VHS and DVD releases, and online, although some DVD sets mention the original title as an alternate name for the episode.
  • The font used for some of the opening and closing credits is notably different to the usual Miami Vice style.
  • For the first time, we learn something about Castillo's past, namely that he worked undercover for three years in Southeast Asia, between Burma and Thailand, for the DEA. We also find out that he is very skilled in martial arts, and that he once had a wife. Further details of Castillo's mysterious past would emerge over the course of the series, such as his skills with a Katana, his work in Saigon towards the end of the Vietnam War, and his prior interactions with shady government intelligence operatives.
  • The precise circumstances behind the robbery caper at the hotel are never conclusively revealed, either in this episode or "Part II". However, the nature of the break-in -- in particular the fact Szarbo is hired to retrieve immigration papers for General Lao Li and his family that have presumably been stashed in the hotel vault for precisely this purpose -- suggests Li's CIA liaison Dale Menton (introduced in "Part II") is behind it, and that the robbery plot is merely a means to pass these vital documents on to Li unofficially.
  • This episode is the reason that the UK season 1 DVD set is classified 18 (not to be sold to any person beneath that age), as opposed to the 15 certificate given to every other season. The higher rating is probably due to the fight sequence between Castillo and the assassin at the end of the episode, which features several techniques (such as the double ear clap Castillo gives his opponent) that were viewed dimly by the BBFC at the time, largely because they are dangerous yet easily imitated.
  • The scene where Castillo receives the package from Lao Li with a picture of May Ying served as the opening to the video for the "Miami Vice Theme", except the picture Castillo is looking at is of Jan Hammer, not May Ying.
  • This is one of several episodes that does not end on a freeze frame. Also, the full "Miami Vice Theme" plays over the ending credits, as opposed to the usual shortened version.

GoofsEdit

  • Capturemv1

    Candy's "rap sheet" with pics of two dirty cops.

    Candy's age is given as 27 on her "rap sheet", yet her date of birth is listed as 1959, which would make her (at the time of the episode) 25 (in reality, Robin Johnson was 20 years old when the episode was aired).
  • When the Vice squad are discussing the case in Castillo's office following Ross' arrest, Crockett's line about believing the dirty cop has obviously been edited -- there is an abrupt jump following his words "picked up", with the end of his sentence awkwardly splice in afterwards.
  • In the same scene, Switek's lips do not match his words when he mentions that the other man working with Szarbo was Thai -- the word "Thai" has clearly been overdubbed. The same happens when Castillo then questions him about it.
  • During the back alley brawl between Castillo and assassin Boon Phratek, Castillo's more acrobatic moves are clearly performed by a stunt double.

Production NotesEdit

  • Filmed: October 29, 1984 - November 6, 1984
  • Production Number: 59511
  • Production Order: 11

Filming LocationsEdit

  • Maximo Gomez Park, SW 8th Street, Miami ( Crockett/Tubbs meet Castillo)
  • Turnberry Isle Condo 19707 Turnberry Way, Aventura (Crockett/Tubbs in hotel and Candy at pool with Crockett)
  • Side street 1200 Ocean Drive (Ross/Garcia corner Candy)
  • 2250 NE 163rd Street (Castillo/Crockett/Tubbs search in restaurant for Thai assassin)

MusicEdit

Jan Hammer MusicEdit

  • "Candy" (throughout episode)

QuotesEdit

  • "Do you need more oil, or are you greased up enough, honey?" -- Crockett to Candy after revealing he is Vice
  • "They didn't want to kill him, they wanted to kill him!". -- Switek talking about Szarbo's death
Season 1 Episodes:

"Brother's Keeper" (Pilot) "Heart of Darkness" "Cool Runnin'" "Calderone's Return (Part I)" "Calderone's Return (Part II)" "One Eyed Jack" "No Exit" "The Great McCarthy" "Glades" "Give a Little, Take a Little" "Little Prince" "Milk Run" "Golden Triangle (Part I)" "Golden Triangle (Part II)" "Smuggler's Blues" Rites of Passage "The Maze" "Made for Each Other" "The Home Invaders" "Nobody Lives Forever" "Evan" "Lombard"

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