11 (101st Overall)
February 17, 1989
A go-fast boat pulls into a marina for a drug drop, but the Vice team is waiting and move in, while from a helicopter English drug lord Sebastian Ross is watching with concern about his transportation plans being interrupted. Three young men escape the boat with 40 keys of drugs worth over a million dollars. One smuggler named Michael is fatally shot by Crockett but the other two carjack a truck and drive away. Crockett is surprised that Michael is just a kid, but Tubbs indicates he was holding an automatic weapon.
Castillo is having breakfast with the newly appointed police commissioner, Henry Williford, talking about Michael "Miguel" Santiago, the dead shooter in the raid worked for Congresswoman Madelyn Woods' campaign. Williford wants Castillo to meet her, especially to help out with funding for the department. Crockett's psychiatrist (Jayne Haynes) pressures him to see her that afternoon to continue his therapy after a referral from Dr. Samantha Phillips. Tubbs finds the men taken off the drug boat work for Ross and won't talk. Crockett finds out Santiago ran with a man named Ricky DeMaria), and Castillo wants them to investigate but they will need a young undercover person since DeMaria is 19. Crockett calls someone who owes him a favor and who he thinks would fit the bill.
Ross (who has a bulldog named Edwina) and his associate Maury Bergman go to see a man named Morales about his lack of security, then gives him a beatdown with his cane and tells him to find where the two boys live. Woods and her campaign manager Dan Shaw are reviewing her latest campaign appearance when Williford and Castillo stop to see her, and Woods asks Castillo to share his information with her. Castillo isn't comfortable with doing so because it's an ongoing investigation despite hers and Williford's request to do so (while reminding Castillo she controls the funding for the DEA and other police agencies).
Crockett goes to see Joey Hardin to set up his undercover assignment, and gives him some pointers. DeMaria talks to his partner Lewis Woods saying that Ross will never find them because Morales won't give up their location and that they'll get some women, move their score and make money. After DeMaria hangs up with Lewis, Hardin (as Joey Chandler) makes contact and makes an offer for his shipment. Then DeMaria gets a visit from Ross who doesn't buy his story about the load being lost and his bulldog Edwina helps him find some of the load at DeMaria's place. Because half of his load is still missing, Ross takes a TASER to DeMaria who promptly gives up Lewis.
Tubbs and Hardin arrive at DeMaria's place to make a buy but find him dead. Tubbs finds two paystubs on the body signed by Morales. Meanwhile, Crockett arrives at the psychiatrist's office for intensive therapy, joking it's the same process as interrogation of prisoners in Vietnam. He talks about how even after the therapy is over, he still has to live his life, which he isn't happy with, including his recent shooting of Santiago. Ross' muscle picks up Lewis in an alley, while Shaw takes Woods to a shooting range to work on her technique (and to help her election). Lewis (who is Woods' son), Maury and Ross show up unexpectedly and Ross shows her how good a shot he is. Ross educates Woods about Lewis' drug activities and that Lewis stole from him and he wants his remaining drug shipment returned. Ross threatens to derail her political career and kill Lewis if she doesn't cooperate. Shaw intervenes and agrees to meet with Ross over drinks.
Lewis tells Woods he got into drugs because his mother wasn't there for him due to her obsession with her career. She lashes back that he wasn't there for her, out partying all the time spending her money. Lewis breaks down and begs his mother for help and she promises to think of a way to help him. Crockett continues his marathon therapy session talking about the people he has to deal with, how he's a junkie to the street and that he no longer believes in his job. He speaks with affection about his past work with Vice. Castillo and Woods meet on her yacht for lunch and she apologizes for her earlier attitude. She makes a peace offering, information on a drug shipment and where it will be dropped off. Castillo makes a note of it and leaves to follow up. Later, a bunch of men rip off the drugs, spraying gunfire while a worker watches. When the team arrives, the worker claims Castillo was in the limousine before the shooting took place. Morales is with Switek and Hardin, getting Morales drunk while Hardin goes through his papers and he finds a picture of Lewis and DeMaria. While Castillo is heading for a meeting with Woods, the team realizes that Castillo is being set up. On Woods' yacht, she plays a doctored tape of Castillo and a dealer setting up the drop (using tape Woods made of Castillo during their earlier lunch date). She wants his resignation or she will give the tape to IAD. Castillo threatens to arrest her if she doesn't cooperate (since he can prove it was a setup), and asks her why she's doing this. Just then, Shaw shoots Castillo, then tells Woods he's done everything for her and that they can set up Castillo like they planned. Crockett & Tubbs move in and arrest Shaw and they rush Castillo to the hospital.
Castillo keeps talking about "the tape" to Crockett as he's rushed into emergency surgery, and the team waits for news. The doctors come out to say he's critical because he bled internally during surgery and all they can do is wait. Morales is being grilled at OCB. Switek says the tape was recorded on DAT and dubbed to cassette on a digital taping system, meaning they cannot prove it's a fake, Crockett and Tubbs head over to pressure Woods, who is told that Lewis is being sought by the police for running dope for Morales and Ross and that they have evidence to prove it. Lewis is found and taken to OCB for questioning where Crockett threatens Lewis with the electric chair if Castillo dies. Lewis acts cocky, thinking his mother will get him out of this, but she shows up and will not get Lewis out of it, and agrees to help Crockett and Tubbs get Ross. Castillo comes around and asks for Crockett, so he heads to the Lieutenant's bedside while Tubbs and the team go to Ross' house. Wearing a wire, Woods goes inside and tells Ross that Castillo has died. Ross says he will provide the best defense for Shaw, then Woods asks Ross why Castillo was made to look dirty. Ross says he had to eliminate Castillo due to the unit cutting his profits, but Woods' wire has feed back and Ross finds it. Ross and Maury pull their guns and Switek and Tubbs move in and shoot Maury. Edwina is struck in the crossfire and Ross cowers on the floor next to her in tears begging them to save the dog.
At the hospital, Castillo has awakened. He feels he made a mistake by going to see Woods alone, and that all he could think about was the tape and how it made him sound dirty. He asks what Sonny and the team thought about it. Crockett assures him no one would have thought he was a dirty cop and that he's the glue that holds the unit together: He's been there for them and the team will be there for him. A grateful Castillo thanks Crockett as the screen freezes and the episode ends.
- 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
- Robert Joy as Sebastian Ross
- Daniel Villareal as Lewis Woods
- Justin Lazard as Metro-Dade Detective Joey Hardin/Joey Chandler
- Paul Provenza as Ricky DeMaria
- Conrad Roberts as Police Commissioner Henry Williford
- Peter Nelson as Dan Shaw
- Jayne Haynes as Psychiatrist
- Rita Moreno as Congresswoman Madelyn Woods
- Deborah Allison as Doctor
- David Armstrong Roberts as Night Watchman
- Gregg Todd Davis as Maury Bergman
- Jim DiBernardo as Policeman
- Michael Lazar as Michael
- Sherrie Rose as Jenny
- Mario Ernesto Sanchez as Morales
- Anthony Correa as Decoy
- Philip Michael Thomas invented the term EGOT to describe the achievement (that, to date, Rita Moreno and 15 others have achieved) of winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony for acting. Thomas planned to accomplish this task himself within five years, but ultimately he never received a nomination for any of the awards. However, the term he coined lives on, and was even used as a plot device in several episodes of the comedy 30 Rock.
- Just as in "Vote of Confidence", this episode is another example from later seasons of politicians trying to influence police action to protect their campaign.
- We continue to see Crockett tipping toward burnout on the job, expressed in his therapy session, only to be brought back after Castillo's near murder.
- DAT stands for Digital Audio Tape, a fairly new technology in 1989, designed to be a tape equivalent of a compact disc, but congressional regulations and advances in technology rendered it obsolete, and the last DAT machine was made in 2005.
- Although never explicitly stated in the episode, it is reasonable to assume that Justin Lazard's character "Joey" is the same Joey Hardin he played in "Line of Fire", now working for the Metro-Dade police after his time in the DEA. He mentions that he has just "started working Vice" and that Crockett helped him to secure the job, while his given surname, "Chandler", is likely just a cover name, as it is used in the presence of criminals he is investigating undercover. Lazard would return as Hardin a third time in the "lost" episode "Leap of Faith".
- Crockett uses his famous "clear my desk" line -- slightly paraphrased to, "I will clear my desk of all my other cases and spend every waking hour making sure you fry for the murder of a cop!" -- for a final time in this episode. He would use the line a total of four times over the course of the series -- the other three occasions being in "One Eyed Jack", "French Twist" and "By Hooker by Crook".
- Continuing the theme from "To Have and to Hold", the relationship between Crockett and Castillo is seen to have grown closer and more personal in this episode, particularly when Crockett visits Castillo in hospital at the end of the episode.
- There is a restaurant in Miami actually called "Miami Squeeze"that has been open since the 1990s.
- During the opening sequence, the radar arch is missing from the Scarab.
- At the indoor shooting range scene, the dog handler can be seen covering the dog's ears when Ross is demonstrating his accuracy to Woods, but in the next shot the man is standing behind Ross.
- When Madelyn and Lewis first stop walking and start to argue on the helipad, the background behind them is clear. When the camera cuts to a frontal shot of Madelyn, a helicopter can be heard starting up off-screen and the resultant downdraft begins to blow Madelyn's hat, to the point where she reaches up to stop it potentially blowing away. When the camera cuts back to the side, the draft is suddenly gone, while the tail of a helicopter has suddenly appeared behind them where previously there was none. Furthermore, this helicopter is then seen starting up as they continue to talk (its tail rotor begins to rotate), indicating it could not have been powered up previously and generating the draft that was seen.
- After Ross' men have shot up the nighttime cocaine deal, one of them is seen removing the magazine from his Sten gun and throwing it on the floor. Not only does this make no sense, as he never tries to reload a fresh magazine afterwards, he clearly performs the action with no gloves on his hands -- meaning he has just dropped samples of his fingerprints on the floor. This blatant carelessness would be illogical at the best of times, but doubly so given that the entire point of the ambush is to frame Castillo. Castillo even produces the magazine when he confronts Madelyn later, correctly pointing out that it would help prove his innocence.
- Working Titles: "True Brit" and "The Squeeze"
- Filmed: January 5, 1989 - January 13, 1989
- Production Code: 63917
- Production Order: 101
- Nuta's Boatyard, 1884 NW N. River Dr., Miami (Opening drug deal)
- Venetian Causeway Bridge (Crockett meets Hardin)
- 485 W Matheson Drive, Key Biscayne (Madelyn/Lewis talk)
- Cameo Theater, 1445 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (theater)
- Alexander Orr Water Treatment plant, 6825 SW 87 Ave, Miami (attack at plant 31)
- 3467 N. Moorings Way, Coconut Grove (Ross residence)
- "Working on It" by Chris Rea (Opening sequence with boys running off with drugs)
- "Hard Left" by Gary Clail and Tackhead (in bar with Chandler & DeMaria)
- "Can't believe how much work there is to keep from losing your mind!" -- Crockett about his psychiatrist appointment
- "They've got an incentive clause in their contracts, you talk, you're dead!" -- Tubbs about the men on the drug boat
- "The only way to get over on them is to make them want to be you. You've got to hypnotize them. You've got to make them think that if they were you, they'd be a little more hip than what they are."--Crockett explaining his undercover technique--and possibly Don Johnson's acting style
- "If the Lieutenant dies, I will clear my desk of all my other cases and spend every waking hour making sure you fry for the murder of a cop!" -- Crockett to Lewis
| Season 5 Episodes:|
"Hostile Takeover" • "Redemption in Blood" • "Heart of Night" • "Bad Timing" • "Borrasca" • "Line of Fire" • "Asian Cut" • "Hard Knocks" • "Fruit of the Poison Tree" • "To Have and to Hold" • "Miami Squeeze" • "Jack of All Trades" • "The Cell Within" • "The Lost Madonna" • "Over the Line" • "Victims of Circumstance" • "Freefall" (Series Finale)