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Missing Hours


7 (75th Overall)
November 13, 1987
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"Missing Hours" is the seventh episode of Miami Vice's fourth season. It premiered on November 13, 1987.


Trudy has an encounter with UFOs and a body disappears from the morgue.


In front of the Grove Harbor Cinema, "Vorchak the Repressor" (a.k.a. Izzy Moreno) and his "space deputy" (a.k.a. The Noogman) are having a sword fight (with toy swords) while Trudy & Switek are staking out for a porn dealer, a second man named Akers appears with the porn dealer, he looks at Noogie's outfit and has a panic attack, drops 24 jars of peanut butter, tears his shirt off and dives at Izzy & Noogie, and goes through a plate glass window into the cinema lobby and dies.

At the autopsy, the coroner determines the cause of death as a heart attack, though Trudy swears his neck was sliced by the glass, the corpse showed only superficial wounds on his neck. Switek throws Noogie & Izzy out of OCB without any money because the setup came apart (his fourth), and nothing found in Akers' possession has his name on it except a credit card, $1000 cash, and the peanut butter. Trudy finds a picture of a houseboat called the Saprophyte in Akers' possession, and checks it out, she finds jars of peanut butter arranged in a circle, when suddenly the sky turns orange and a man appears, Lou DeLong. Back at OCB, Castillo has a woman claiming to be Akers' wife wanting to see Trudy, but no one knows where she is and hasn't called in. Crockett speaks to her and she claims to have been separated from her husband for two years, since the night "they" took them in Nevada, her husband never came back, and she described an alien encounter. Crockett is having trouble believing her, and they take her to ID the body, but the body is gone—Trudy signed a request from Biscayne Mortuary before any autopsy was done, but there is no Biscayne Mortuary in the area, and she has not been back to work. Carson from Central Records said the incident was the talk of the computer bulletin boards, when Castillo asks him about it, he said only Trudy showed up, the board is for those that study UFOs, and was about to explain the Nevada disappearances when Trudy then shows up singing "I Feel Good" and not acknowledging anyone, takes Carson's lighter and burns the picture of the Saprophyte.

Trudy said she never signed off on any body, that she met Lou DeLong on the boat and they went to a disco, but doesn't remember anything about the disco. Carson says he knows about what happened and that he knows where to find DeLong, Castillo has him removed back to Metro (but asks Tubbs to get Crockett to check it out), and has Gina take Trudy to Metro infirmary and to stay with her until she's coherent. Crockett & Tubbs attend a seminar called "Astrolife" where DeLong is interviewing a couple about their alien experience. While DeLong speaks, Carson sneaks through the curtains and sits with Crockett & Tubbs in the audience. After his speech (and soliciting donations--"major credit cards accepted") Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) ask him about Trudy, he denies knowing Trudy or taking her to any club the previous night, having spent his evening at home in his easy chair. After leaving the auditorium, Carson tells Crockett & Tubbs that Akers was a charter member of Astrolife, then the Vice cops take DeLong to meet Trudy again, who is at her apartment with Gina, Trudy swears she & DeLong spent the night out, and he signed her album she's had since she was 13, but no autograph is on the album. DeLong talks about his Astrolife experience with Trudy and sees purple eyes and hears music, just as she did on the houseboat.

Crockett and Tubbs encounter an unidentified flying object...

At OCB, Castillo wants the Astrolife "con" and the houseboat where Trudy went looked into, but Trudy didn't note the address or location of the houseboat on any reports, the dispatching officer doesn't have the address either, and the black-and-whites sent there swear they were having coffee & doughnuts with Mamie Van Doren. Castillo is frustrated about OCB's recent sloppy procedures and wants to contact the dispatcher. Carson gets a call to get back to Metro, before he leaves he suggests they contact Akers' wife to find the houseboat. Crockett & Tubbs find her at the Tropic Motel, with the "no" in "No Vacancy" flickering on and off, two suited men are dragging her out of the hotel, when Crockett starts his car it won't respond, then when they get out to stop them a bright light stops them cold.

While Tubbs is on the payphone reporting the incident, Crockett's car starts up again, no problems, and the "No" in "No Vacancy" goes out. They check Akers' wife's room and find no forced entry, and nothing abnormal. They begin to suspect Carson may have something to do with these strange "occurances", and Crockett will pull his jacket before he checks for a "zipper up his back". Trudy is reading DeLong's book Missing Hours in her apartment when she hears music and cannot turn it off until she finally beats her radio to stop playing, then she hears someone at the door and has her gun ready, when Gina stops her and saves the paperboy from a really bad Christmas tip. Trudy hears the music and sees shapes in her mind and she blocks some of them out. Gina takes her to the Metro infirmary and Trudy sees all the shapes, including peanut butter jars, cuckoo clocks, and finally DeLong's book and hellfire before she snaps out of it. She remembers the houseboat's location and Gina goes to check it out. Switek and the newspaper report numerous sightings of unidentified lights the same time Crockett & Tubbs saw theirs. Gina & Trudy find the houseboat cleaned up, and Akers' wife dead on the deck, neck shaved the same way as her husband's, but Gina also notices Trudy's neck is shaved the same way, watching from afar is Travis, the co-founder of "Astrolife", who takes Carson from a show with him. Tubbs finds DeLong sitting in a patch with three dark filled-in circles around one large one, which he calls the Jacob's Ring, which is the spot where the "ship" landed, and he's there to meet his "sponsors" that Travis sets him up with each week. The same two men who took Akers' wife away now are watching Tubbs, and as he leaves so do they. Tubbs plays "chicken" with the men and they run off the road, flipping their car, and they surrender to Tubbs.

Tubbs finds the two men are working with DeLong on a secret government project, and that all of the recent odd occurrences can be explained as coincidence. Tubbs surmises that they were responsible for taking Ayers' body from the morgue, drugging those (like Trudy) who knew too much and tidying up loose ends (like Akers' wife) but the men challenge Tubbs to prove it. Carson calls Trudy down to Metro because his computer bulletin board keeps sending the same message: "26 degrees, 11 minutes, 40 seconds north latitude", and they need to go check out the houseboat because there is some ham radio equipment there. Crockett found nothing on Carson's jacket, but he did attend a no-credit class at Northeast Nevada Junior College two years ago, in Elko, where a lot of disappearances happened at that time. Switek called to let them know about Trudy and they go to Metro and find Carson's computer still printing out the coordinates earlier—for the Hurricane Hole, where the houseboat is located. They find the boat at sea, being towed by Travis, and board it, where Trudy is laying on the top deck, beside where Akers' wife's body was found, still incoherent, and Crockett finds Carson below deck, who said he & Trudy were on board when Travis began towing it, and Travis presents papers indicating the boat belongs to Astrolife, given to them by Akers before his death. Crockett tells Travis to enjoy his boat but he was taking Trudy & Carson with him, and as they leave Crockett's boat engine dies, and the houseboat blows up behind them, then Trudy wakes up in a start...she dreamed the whole incident, walks to OCB, looks through her messages and opens her drawer to find peanut butter and a picture of the houseboat...


Guest Stars



  • This is the second episode in the past four that delved into science fiction, and is often cited as the moment the show "jumped the shark". It also regularly tops worst episode lists, along with "The Cows of October".
  • When asked in an interview years later which were his favorite episodes that he produced during his involvement in the show, Dick Wolf named this episode, saying that he generally liked the episodes that were a bit "out there".
  • Carson gets the "Castillo Staredown" for getting involved in things out of his area.
  • Starting with this episode, John Petersen joins Jan Hammer for music credit in 14 of the remaining 16 episodes of season 4.
  • Izzy's shtick this episode is Shakespeare, such as when he quotes Hamlet: "Now approaches the subject of our watch," and, "The world is all at sixes and sevenses."
  • Mamie Van Doren (born 1931) was a Hollywood sex symbol in the 1950s, appearing in the movies Teacher's Pet, High School Confidential, and Vice Raid, among others.
  • This marks the final appearance of Charlie Barnett as the Noogman. This is also the only appearance of the character since the season 2's "Trust Fund Pirates".
  • Carson mentions "computer bulletin boards". Otherwise known as BBS's (from Bulletin Board System) these were text-only and were the precursor to the internet and web chat rooms that became so popular later.
  • Despite its unpopularity, the episode presages the postmodernist trend that would become more acceptable during the next decades' The X-Files and similar "unreality" shows. These shows are also indebted to the supernatural/paranormal series Kolchack: The Night Stalker, which aired in 1974-75.
  • The way in which the men in black never blink adds to their unsettling appearance in a tip to standard UFO legend.
  • The abandoned hangar in which DeLong's lab is located, seen in a very brief shot, previously appeared in season 1's "Evan", as the location where Evan Freed gives a demonstration of the MAC 10, and in season 2's "Phil the Shill", as the location where Rivers has two dealers executed. It would appear again in season 5's "To Have and to Hold", as the location where Tubbs (as Cooper) and Ramon Pendroza are ambushed while making a deal. The hangar also appears prominently in the 1995 film Bad Boys, where it is the location of the climactic shootout (and in which it is obliterated by explosion).
  • The episode uses the video effect of luminance keying to show the bizarre occurrences at the houseboat. Notably, DeLong's face is keyed out and Trudy's keyed in to illustrate her "out of body" experience. 

Production Notes

  • Filmed: September 23, 1987 - October 3, 1987
  • Production Code: 63515
  • Production Order: 75

Filming Locations

  • Tropical Motel 1349 NE 109th St, North Miami (Opening with Akers' rampage)
  • Sand dunes in the north of Virginia Key (Jacob's Circle)
  • Miami Space Transit Planetarium (Where Crokett and Tubbs meet Delocha)



  • "Creamy, (together) or Crunchy?" -- Tubbs & Switek asking which peanut butter Akers had
  • "Does the word 'undercover' mean anything to you?" -- Tubbs to Carson at the Astrolife seminar
  • "His vision is really narrow, but also very clear!" -- Tubbs about Carson
  • "I am not going chasing little green men with you!" -- Crockett to Tubbs
  • "Get out of here, pal.  I'm just checking you for a zipper!" --Crockett to Carson
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"