Lend Me an Ear
18 (62nd Overall)
February 27, 1987
June 19, 1987
Crockett and Tubbs are in a speed boat observing Alexander Dykstra as he leaves a seaplane that has made a delivery. The shipment is sent to another man named Lucardo and the Vice cops give chase, pursuing him through causeways and under bridges until his boat makes landfall in the middle of a street. Crockett and Tubbs board the boat, to find Lucardo dead—and no drugs on board.
The Coast Guard check the boat and say that not only aren't there any drugs, there never were, despite information from a wiretap on Dykstra's house. Castillo orders the tap maintained to see if a new delivery is scheduled. Dykstra, who playing with a toy boat in his pool, tells his lieutenant Leon to have the house swept. Crockett (irate about being turned down for a loan) and Tubbs go to see a sick Izzy, who can't tell them anything they don't already know about Dykstra and Lucardo, except that Lucardo's death was allegedly "by design." Dykstra's electronic expert Steve Duddy sweeps out and fries all of Switek's bugs, and sells Dykstra additional equipment to keep his place clean; he is easily able to manipulate Dykstra's deep-rooted paranoia. Crockett recommends using Duddy, who is also a former cop, to get their bugs into Dykstra's place. Castillo is hesitant as Duddy is considered too unpredictable, having quit the force while under review for a misconduct charge. Duddy's house is filled with surveillance equipment and he sees the Vice cops arrive. He plays dead for them until his face appears on a video screen, telling them not to even think of using mouth-to-mouth.
Over lunch, Duddy explains his business in electronic surveillance and that even he fears being bugged by someone else, but chooses to keep an emotional barrier between himself and his work. He arrives at OCB with his plethora of electronic devices, including a subtransmitter he has customized to transmit in gigahertz, which cannot be picked up by normal means. After some haggling over his outrageous prices, Crockett agrees to rent five of them, and the team heads to Dykstra's house. They plant one in an ashtray and another in a fuse box, but in the process Switek bumps a statue, and they barely make it out unseen. Trudy can't find anything on Dykstra's drug imports, but finds reports on currency violations in various countries, including an indictment in Greece on a Ponzi scheme. Crockett suspects that Dykstra's business is laundering money, not drugs. The next morning Dykstra notices the statue Switek bumped and immediately calls for Duddy, who easily finds the bugs but replaces the one in the fuse box with his own. Dykstra asks to test a portable lie-detector (also known as a Voice Stress Analyzer) on his girlfriend Trace to see if she's been faithful. When the device shows she's lying, Dykstra shoots her, telling a shocked Duddy he can't tolerate dishonesty.
Duddy (using a voice disguiser) calls 911 to report Trace's murder; he gets irate and hangs up when Metro Homicide Detective Scanlon asks for his name. Crockett argues with Duddy about the bugs being found and Duddy tells them Dykstra must have a good sweeper, before recommending the use of a laser microphone on the glass walls to listen in. Dykstra and a man named McGregor meet to arrange a currency deal. The recording of Duddy's call to Scanlon is played at OCB and taken to Duddy, who says the voice is altered beyond his ability to reconstruct it. Duddy then takes some recordings he's gotten of Dykstra on the phone and splices them together into a tape which gives the impression Dykstra is planning something with McGregor. Meanwhile, Dykstra meets with McGregor, shoots him, and kicks his body into the bay.
Duddy attaches a device to a wall of Dykstra's house and plays the altered tape, which Switek picks up on his laser mic. When McGregor's body is found the next morning Castillo requests an estimated time of death from the coroner, which is about 11–12 hours. Crockett determines that both Lucardo and MacGregor had more cash than they could launder, so Dykstra must have been moving it for them. They play the recording Switek monitored and found it took place 90 minutes after McGregor was killed; Crockett immediately suspects Duddy. They confront him and he is indifferent about the deaths he has caused, concerned only with the bottom line: getting paid. They go to Dykstra's place and find a new sweeper, LaGuardia; he says he found one of Duddy's specialized bugs and showed it to Dykstra, who then left, presumably to kill Duddy. Dykstra and two of his goons show up at Duddy's, where he has the advantage of his elaborate surveillance system. Duddy (using a video monitor) and Crockett (who has arrived with Tubbs) each kill a goon; Dykstra is tricked into shooting a TV showing a recording of Duddy, before the real Duddy blows him away.
Crockett takes Duddy in for interfering with their investigation but Castillo, under orders from the DA, lets him go, much to Crockett's incredulity. Switek suggests Duddy needs a taste of his own medicine. When Duddy sits down at his home console and switches the power on he is met, to his horror, with a recording made by Crockett. He tells Duddy that they both know what he did, and he'll have to live with it, but not alone—they'll be watching him.
- 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
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- John Glover as Steve Duddy
- Martin Ferrero as Isadore "Izzy" Moreno
- Neith Hunter as Trace
- Anthony Holyen as McGregor
- Yorgo Voyagis as Alexander Dykstra
- James Finnerty as Leon
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Tommy
"Ripped From The Headlines"
In this episode, the evolving world of increasingly sophisticated electronic surveillance and counter-surveillance is explored.
- Several of the night scenes appear as though they were filmed with night-vision, as evidenced by the green tint in the shots. However, it is evident that green lighting was used to give this effect, as other colors can be seen in the shots which would not be present with real night vision.
- Voice Stress Analysis (fairly new at the time of this episode) has become an area of dispute for its accuracy and scientific value for the past few years.
- Bruce Willis was a lead actor on the show Moonlighting when he sang one of the songs used in this episode. He appeared as Tony Amato in season 1's "No Exit".
- Once again, the St. Vitus Dance plays an active role in one of the Vice unit's operations, serving as a floating base from which they can surveil Dykstra's mansion.
- Glover's Steve Duddy character was under consideration to be part of the season 4 episode "The Big Thaw", in the role of the "thawer" of Robillard Nevin's body, but the part was re-written as Izzy Moreno when John Glover proved unavailable.
- Dykstra's house was previously used as Guzman's house in season 1's "Evan" and was used later as Palmo's house in season 4's "Honor Among Thieves?"
- The opening scene with the plane flying in was taken from the season 2 episode "Trust Fund Pirates".
- Much like how the previous episode "The Afternoon Plane" was based on the classic western High Noon, "Lend Me an Ear" is loosely based on the Francis Ford Coppola film The Conversation, in which the character Harry Caul, played by Gene Hackman, meets the same fate as Duddy.
- Near the beginning when Crockett and Tubbs visit Izzy, Crockett holds up some male stripper chaps. These seem to be the same from a previous episode when Izzy moonlighted as a male stripper.
- A few shots of the opening boat chase have clearly been sped up to make it seem faster than it really is.
- A clumsy jump cut reveals that the car screeching to a halt after the boat skids across the road was filmed separately.
- After Dykstra asks Trace whether she has slept with Jo Gabro, he walks away with the voice stress analyser held in both hands, and he clearly does not have a gun anywhere on him. When he turns around, he is suddenly holding a pistol in his hand.
- The weapon Dykstra uses to shoot Trace is clearly fitted with a suppressor, yet the gunshot is loud and clear.
- Duddy passes the faked phone call to the Vice team by playing it through one of Dykstra's windows, allowing Switek to pick it up with the laser mic he is using for surveillance. However, this method of passing on the message would mean Switek must also have picked up the original calls that Duddy recorded and used to create his faked message. It would be fairly obvious that the new call has been constructed from fragments of previous telephone conversations, yet at no point does Switek realise this.
- When Crockett and Tubbs go to Dykstra's house and are met by LaGuardia, both Crockett and Tubbs can be seen opening their doors and stepping out of the Testarossa twice.
- When Crockett and Tubbs arrive at Duddy's house for the final time, there is a shot of Dykstra's thug dead outside the front door. In the last second of the shot someone's hand can be seen moving into the bottom right of the frame on the railing (it's neither Crockett nor Tubbs' hand because they are still downstairs).
- Working Titles: "Hear No Evil" and "The Better You Hear With... Lend Me an Ear"
- Filmed: January 7, 1987 - January 15, 1987
- Production Code: 62027
- Production Order: 62
- Venetian Cswy Bridge between Belle Isle and Miami Beach to Collins Canal along to crossroad Collins Avenue to 24th Street in Miami Beach (Opening boat chase)
- 1727 W 27th Street, Sunset Island 2, Miami Beach (Dykstra's house)
- Big Fish Restaurant, 55 SW Miami Ave Rd, at Miami River (Crockett/Tubbs/Duddy have lunch)
- Southeast end, 842 San Pedro Avenue, Miami, Gables by the sea (Duddy's house)
- "Be My Enemy" by The Waterboys (Crockett and Tubbs chase boat)
- "Respect Yourself" by Bruce Willis (Duddy sweeping Dysktra's place)
- "The Ballad of the Little Man" by World Party (Crockett and Tubbs visiting Duddy)
- "Climb" by Peter Himmelmann (Crockett, Tubbs and Switek sneak into Dykstra's to install new bugs)
- "A lousy 32 a year, probably twice what the little finger-counter makes, and he's telling me I can't have a loan!" -- Crockett to Tubbs after being rejected for a loan
- "This is America. You gotta be in debt!"--Tubbs to Crockett
- "Everything is easy, Mr. McGregor... Given the know how." -- Dykstra to McGregor
- "Listen, Mallet Head! I'm trying to help here!" -- Duddy to Homicide Detective Scanlon
- He's (Dykstra) got a voice stress analyzer, you lie, you die! -- Duddy to Crockett
- "EVEN PARANOIDS HAVE REAL ENEMIES!" -- Duddy (via TV) to Dykstra
- "I know where the line is. I didn't cross it."--Steve to Crockett
- "Yeah, you just leaned across and looked over it a little."--Crockett to Steve
- "Hello, Steve. You know what you did -- you'll have to live with that. But I just want you to know -- you won't be alone. I'll be watching you." -- Crockett's video message to Duddy