22 (90th Overall)
May 6, 1988
October 28, 1988
"Mirror Image" is the twenty-second episode and season finale of Miami Vice's fourth season. It premiered on May 6, 1988, and was rerun on October 28, 1988 (the final repeat of the fourth season). The first episode of the Sonny Burnett story arc, it is the only season-end cliffhanger of the series.
After an explosion on a dealer's boat, Crockett suffers amnesia. Taken in by the very drug boss he had been investigating, he comes to believe he truly is Sonny Burnett and goes to work for the dealer.
Crockett (still reeling from Caitlin's murder) and Tubbs are observing a drug lord summit on a boat between Alejandro Gutierrez and people from a rival organization. Crockett is going aboard undercover to try and turn Gutierrez against his boss, Miguel Manolo, hoping that doing so will further his investigation. While Crockett is fishing, he tells Gutierrez he has info on Manolo's plan to squeeze him out, but fails to pass on the full details. Gutierrez toasts to peace and prosperity to both groups... before going below deck to activate a bomb he's planted, hoping to wipe out not only his opposition but a sizeable chunk of his boss' men too, thereby setting himself up as a major player. He urges Crockett to leave with him, but Crockett is too involved in the Marlin he has hooked to take the hint, and the boat explodes as Gutierrez escapes in a waiting speedboat.
Castillo wants Crockett's files turned over to Homicide, as they are handling the case. The whole team is stunned at what happened. Tubbs goes through Crockett's file on Manolo to begin his own investigation. Meanwhile, Crockett is at an unspecified location with a concussion that has brought about amnesia; Gutierrez wants him better ASAP, anxious to learn Manolo's plans for him. When Crockett begins to function properly again, the on-site doctor tells him he's Sonny Burnett, a drug dealer, and warns him about Gutierrez. Burnett (whose memory is still foggy) arrives at Manolo's place in Fort Lauderdale and meets Polly Wheeler, Manolo's assistant. While observing his cockfighting birds, Manolo assigns Burnett to get to the bottom of his peace conference debacle. Gutierrez (who has his arm in a sling from the explosion) is still trying to get out of Burnett what he was about to tell him on the boat, but Burnett cannot remember what it was. Tubbs goes to Manolo's Miami locale and finds it abandoned save for a bunch of mail, including a letter to a Doris Gumble, who tells Tubbs Manolo moved up to Lauderdale. Gutierrez continues to badger Burnett (interrupting a conversation with Polly) about the boat info when Burnett remembers that he (Gutierrez) lit a cigar at the hospital with his "bad" arm. He tells Manolo that Gutierrez was behind the boat explosion.
Tubbs takes some time off to continue his own investigation; Castillo prefers that Homicide handle it but wants Tubbs to find the body, as it hasn't turned up. Burnett (at a meet) stops a potential rip-off of Manolo's drugs by shooting one of the dealers and throwing the other two in the trunk of their car. The next morning Polly, after an attempt at flirting with Burnett, lets him know he's expected with Manolo in an hour. Manolo wants Gutierrez to take Burnett with him to meet the Arzamenis, who have set up a deal. Tubbs stops by Lauderdale PD to meet his old friend Sgt. Rolando Jordan and Detective Jimmy Hagovitch, asking for help with Manolo. Jordan says there's a leak in the department regarding Manolo and IAD has the lid clamped on it. While waiting for the Arzamenis (who don't show because no deal exists), Burnett gets a call from Manolo. Gutierrez can guess what it's about and tries to convince Burnett to go into business with him, but Burnett has none of it and shoots Gutierrez in the face, blowing out the driver-side window.
Manolo expresses approval at Burnett's effectiveness, while Tubbs gets a call from Jordan, who tells him about Gutierrez's death
and directs him to Manolo's art gallery. Tubbs meets Polly and asks for a meet with Manolo (while he watches/listens), leaving his contact number. Tubbs asks Jordan for $10K in front money; Jordan agrees on the condition that Tubbs wear a vest. Hagovitch (who is the leak) contacts Manolo to tell him that both Burnett and Cooper are cops, and Manolo arranges to have Cooper meet in an alley behind his gallery, to see where Burnett's loyalties lie. Tubbs arrives, only to be met—and shot—by Burnett.
Burnett begins to have strange dreams of his former life, seeing Castillo and Switek in black, first Tubbs then himself in a coffin, and awakens in bed with Polly. Tubbs is saved by the vest, and knows he saw his partner shoot him. Tubbs calls Castillo while Hagovitch calls Manolo to confirm Tubbs is alive, and that he needs to do what's necessary. Manolo sets Burnett up with a deal and has Hagovitch tag along. Castillo checks with Lauderdale IAD and they have fingered Hagovitch as the leak, but he's already left to meet Burnett at the gallery marina, offering to be his partner. Tubbs and Jordan rush to the gallery and search frantically for Burnett and Hagovitch. When Hagovitch pulls a gun and confronts Burnett about being a cop, Burnett shoots Hagovitch dead and takes off in a boat, with Tubbs calling out to him from the gallery.
- Don Johnson as Metro-Dade Detective James "Sonny" Crockett/Sonny Burnett
- 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
- Chris Cooper as Fort Lauderdale Detective Jimmy Hagovitch
- Antonio Fargas as Alejandro Gutierrez
- Brent Jennings as Fort Lauderdale Sergeant Rolando Jordan
- Tony Azito as Miguel Manolo
- Julia Roberts as Polly Wheeler
- Ellen Beck, Robert LaGamba, and Michael George Owens as Interns
- Gino Cabanas and Robert Escobar as Manolo Goons
- Artie Malesci as Diver
- Jon Matchen as Hood
- Camille Sands as Doris Gumble
- Freddie St. Jude as Business Suit
- This is Jan Hammer's final musical appearance on Miami Vice. Tim Truman will take over in season 5, although Hammer's opening theme would remain. Some of Hammer's classic Vice tracks are featured in this episode, including the music when Crockett and Tubbs meet Grocero in the smoke-filled room in the episode "Smuggler's Blues" (used during Burnett's dealings with Manolo and Gutierrez, as well as when he first wakes up after the explosion) and "Rico's Blues" (used when Rico is visiting Manolo's Miami HQ). Additionally, the Hammer track featured during the scene where Crockett/Burnett drives off in his speedboat with Tubbs calling out to him is a mixture of the haunting melody first used when Tubbs remembers his brother's death in "Brother's Keeper" and "Crockett's Theme".
- This was Miami Vice's only season-end "cliffhanger" episode. Previous to 1980, cliffhangers (shows with unresolved endings that carry over to the next season) were unheard of in television. However, after Dallas' "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger in 1980 captured the nation's imagination (and became the most-watched TV show in America until the 1983 M*A*S*H series finale), networks began using cliffhangers as a way to pique interest in a series over the summer reruns. Of course, sometimes cliffhangers were implemented and then a show was cancelled anyway, leaving fans and viewers "hung out to dry", as was the case with Michael Mann's other 1980s television series Crime Story.
- Manolo's gallery is the same house used by Tony Amato in season 1's "No Exit".
- Antonio Fargas (Huggy-Bear) is the third member of the cast of Starsky & Hutch to be involved in Miami Vice. Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) and David Soul (Hutch) directed several early episodes of the series.
- Tony Azito notably plays Manolo differently to many of the average drug bosses featured in the show, moving in rapid, jerky rushes, then standing completely still, often cocking his head at odd angles. In fact, his body language largely parallels that of the fighting cocks with which he identifies.
- Don Johnson shows such a total change in personality when he portrays Burnett that even his walk is different -- more constrained and intent and less rhythmic than Crockett's easy stride.
- Burnett's noticeable restlessness, being unwilling to sit or rest for any period of time, reflects his lack of peace with himself and perhaps his sense that he actually belongs somewhere else.
- The dream sequence on the beach seems to be a salute to the surrealistic filmmaker Federico Fellini. Tubbs' body in the glass coffin calling out to Crockett seems to be his conscience upbrading him for shooting Tubbs, while Crockett seeing himself in a coffin suggests that his unconscious is trying to tell him that his current actions are killing his true self.
- The episode was repeated one week before the fifth season premiere "Hostile Takeover".
- The visual style of this episode is more formal and mannered than recent season 4 episodes, recalling the deco landscapes, buildings and careful and closed compositions particularly of season 1.
- Sonny's final line (spelling out "Burnett") was previously spoken by him in the episode "Rock and a Hard Place", when Crockett agreed to a drug deal with Caitlin's managers.
- This is the third time Tubbs is shot in the line of duty during the series. Previously, he was hit in the arm in the pilot "Brother's Keeper" and took a glancing bullet to the head in "Viking Bikers from Hell". Subsequent to this episode, he has his shoulder grazed by a bullet in "To Have and to Hold" and gets hit in the arm in the series finale "Freefall". In comparison, Crockett was shot only twice during the series -- in "Stone's War" and, most notably, "A Bullet for Crockett".
- The explosion of the boat hosting the meeting between the rival organizations has very obviously been created using a rather crude model.
- The address of Manolo's Miami Beach headquarters is shown as "1020 Ocean Drive", both on the upper edge of the case file that Rico reads on Crockett's desk at OCB and on the envelope addressed to "INTERKEY c/o Doris Gumbel" that Tubbs finds. However, when Tubbs is questioning Doris about her involvement with Interkey Corporation, he mistakenly states the address as "one-twenty Ocean Drive", instead of the correct 1020.
- When Tubbs first starts questioning Doris, she is twirling her umbrella in a frontal shot (as she is saying, "I love Vice!"), but when the camera cuts to behind her the umbrella is suddenly still.
- When Burnett is staring into the mirror after his nightmare, there's no sign of the scar on his chest from when he was shot in "A Bullet for Crockett".
- Filmed: March 9, 1988 - March 18, 1988
- Production Code: 63526
- Production Order: 90
- 913 Crandon Bvd/Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne (Marina in teaser)
- off Key Biscayne (boat scenes in teaser)
- The Edward Hotel 953 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (Crockett in hospital)
- Edison Hotel 960 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Tubbs enters Crockett´s house)
- NE79 Street/JFK Causeway/Pelican Harbor Park (Burnett kills at shoreline)
- Clevelander Hotel, 1020 Ocean Drive (Tubbs speaks with Doris)
- Spear House 9325 N. Bayshore Drive in Miami Shores (Manolo's gallery, Burnett shoots Hagovitch)
- rear and northside of Breakwater Hotel 940 Oean Drive, Miami Beach (Tubbs is met and shot by Burnett)
- 9190 SW 57th Avenue, Miami (Manolo’s house)
- beach in front of 1757 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (the dream sequence)
- "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo" by Echo & The Bunnymen (at Manolo's party)
- "Money God" by Big Pig (Burnett meets and shoots Tubbs in alley)
- "Alpha Centauri" by Tangerine Dream (Burnett dream sequence with Tubbs in coffin)
Jan Hammer Music
- "Marina" (Opening with Crockett onboard boat with Manolo/Gutierrez meeting)
- "Rico's Blues" (Tubbs searching Manolo's Miami location)
- "Airport Swap" (Burnett meets and shoots dealers)
- "Angelina Flashback" (Burnett shoots Hagovitch and drives off in boat)
- "What else is there to do around here?" Burnett to Manolo, then suggestively locks eyes with Polly Wheeler
- "That's B-U-R-N-E-double-T!" -- Burnett to Hagovitch before shooting him down
- "SONNY!" -- Tubbs to Burnett as he leaves in the boat