7 (7th overall)
November 9, 1984
The Vice team has arranged an arms sales bust on Ocean Drive, but the dealers are running late. Seeing that there are too many civilians in the area, Castillo attempts to call the operation off, but at that moment the dealers arrive. They meet with Crockett, waiting in his Daytona, to check the money; he pulls one of the dealers into his car and speeds away, taking him in. The rest of the Vice squad moves in, but the remaining dealers escape in their van, opening fire with an M60 machine gun as they take off. No one is hurt, but Tubbs is angered by the criminals' use of a machine gun, which he hates.
The guy Crockett took for the ride gives up fellow gun dealers Ramone and Gentile under interrogation, but they are just middlemen for the main supplier, international gun runner Tony Amato. Crockett, Tubbs and electronics whiz Lester break into Amato's waterfront home and plant several bugs, planning to keep the house under surveillance from the bay. Later that day, Crockett moors the St. Vitus Dance offshore, and while Lester is installing surveillance equipment, the yacht is suddenly boarded by Agents Pappas and McIntyre of the FBI, who attempt to take over the stakeout. They reveal that they are chasing a consignment of Stinger missiles that were stolen from a National Guard armory; they suspect Amato has them and is planning to sell them to terrorists who could potentially use them to bring down a commercial jetliner. After a little power play, the two groups reach a compromise: the FBI will allow the OCB operation to remain in place so long as McIntyre is allowed to join the stakeout (despite his fear of Elvis). The Vice cops will get Amato, the FBI will get the Stingers.
While observing Amato, the group on the St. Vitus Dance find he is physically and mentally abusive to his wife, Rita, throwing her into the pool because he disapproves of her dinner dress, then taking off without her anyway. Afterwards, they monitor Rita calling a friend to arrange hiring a hitman to kill Amato. The Vice cops take the tape of Rita's conversation to OCB where they play it for Pappas, but the Federal agent does not share their assessment that Rita plans to have her husband killed and takes no action. Continued surveillance reveals that Amato's Jamaican contact, DuPass, is heading into Miami to arrange for the sale of the Stingers. As Amato has never met DuPass, the Vice unit intercepts him at Miami International Airport and replaces him with Tubbs.
Meanwhile, Crockett overhears Rita receiving a call from the hitman arranged by her friend. He goes to the meet and scares the hitman off with his badge before meeting Rita in his place. She tells Crockett that she hates her husband and fears for her life, but has no way to break free -- when she hired a divorce lawyer on the advice of the police, Amato had his men rape the lawyer's wife, then threaten to do the same to his daughter if he didn't drop the case. Despite her situation, she concludes that she cannot bring herself to have Amato killed. A somewhat relieved Crockett reveals himself as a cop and takes her to OCB. There he and Tubbs ask for Rita's help in bringing down her husband legally. They tell her that she will have to go back to him and act as though everything is normal, but assure her that they have the house bugged and will be close by should anything happen. Castillo tells Crockett and Tubbs that he feels as though there is someone waiting in the wings regarding Amato, and orders them to watch him closely.
Tubbs (as DuPass) meets with Amato, Ramone and Gentile and is shown how the Stingers work; Gentile test-fires one as a passing light aircraft to prove their effectiveness. They meet in a bar that evening to finalize the deal. Amato returns home and Crockett (who is observing) has to stand by in cold fury while Amato beats Rita and forces her to have sex with him. At OCB, Pappas makes it clear he intends to bust Amato now to recover the Stingers, but Crockett, Tubbs and Castillo point out they do not yet have enough to secure a serious conviction against Amato. When they remind Pappas that Tubbs has arranged a meet with Amato for the sale of the missiles, the agent relents and gives them the opportunity to finish their case so that they can all get what they want. Castillo continues to express his concern about "another element" in the case that the Federal agents won't discuss, but the deal is set for the next day.
That night, Amato slams down his phone after an angry call and discovers one of OCB's bugs. Witnessing this from the St. Vitus Dance, Tubbs quickly calls Amato, claiming that he is also being monitored and intends to walk out on their deal; a panicked Amato promises they can still do business and movies their meet up to that night. Tubbs and Amato rendezvous in an airport restroom and forcefully frisk each other, telling each other that they are "just checking!" Finding no wires, they go to a ship at a deserted dockyard to close the deal. Tubbs is still securing the transaction when the FBI move in early, desperate to recover the Stingers; despite their rash actions, the Vice cops manage to arrest Amato and the missiles are recovered.
Crockett, Tubbs, Castillo and Pappas deliver Amato to the courthouse the next morning, only to be intercepted by another group of agents (likely from the CIA) who present them with a court order securing Amato's release, explaining that he helps them supply arms to "certain factions in Central and South America" without embarrassing the Federal government. Rita arrives just in time to see Amato being released; distraught that they are letting him go, she pulls a gun on her husband. Crockett lunges ineffectually as she pulls the trigger.
- 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
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin (credit only)
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Bruce Willis as Tony Amato
- Norman Parker as FBI Agent Nick Pappas
- Tom Mardirosian as FBI Agent McIntyre
- Coati Mundi as Ramone
- Bill Cwikowski as Gun Dealer
- Katherine Borowitz as Rita Amato
- Vinnie Curto as Tony's Bodyguard
- Al Garrison as Gentile
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Metro-Dade Policeman Lester Kosko
- Robert Paisley as FBI Agent Paul
- Julian Voloshin as Pensioner
- Olivia Brown (Trudy) does not appear at all in this episode.
- This episode was called "Three Eyed Turtle" when it originally aired, but the name was changed to "No Exit" when it went into syndication. 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. It is possible the name was changed due to "three-eyed turtle" being slang for a position in sexual intercourse.
- Jan Hammer's score at the beginning of the opening scene is an approximation of the song "I Don't Care Anymore" by Phil Collins, which appears later in the same episode. This would not be the only time an episode's score music emulated one of the songs it used; Hammer would sample Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" in "Better Living Through Chemistry", while Tim Truman would copy Eric Clapton's "She's Waiting" in "The Lost Madonna".
- The instrumental track playing at the club where Tubbs and Tony Amato finalize their deal is not an outside piece of popular music, but rather an untitled Jan Hammer composition written for the scene. This kind of "fake" song would become more prevalent in season 5, when the show's new composer Tim Truman would compose several such pieces for use in various episodes.
- This episode marks the first time the St. Vitus Dance is actively used in one of the Vice team's operations, rather than simply acting as Crockett's home.
- Zito has a close-cropped beard in this episode. He would later grow a more substantial beard for the first half of season 2.
- Bruce Willis gives a preview of the "tough-guy" persona he would take to the big screen in the Die Hard series of movies.
- This was Willis's first-ever credited television role. He was cast as a guest star on recommendation by Don Johnson. The two knew each other from a bar in New York, where Willis had a night job as a bartender at the time.
- The episode was repeated on three other occasions during Vice's run, the most of any episode.
- The plot of preventing the use of Stingers to take down commercial aircraft would be recycled in "When Irish Eyes Are Crying", except in that episode an IRA terrorist names Sean Carroon is the person attempting the attack.
- This is the first episode for which Michael Mann would be the only Executive Producer (listed at the end of the episode). Series creator Anthony Yerkovich was listed as a co-Executive Producer on the first six episodes.
- Bill Cwikowski is one of several Miami Vice guest stars to appear in Michael Mann's 1986 film Manhunter, alongside Garcelle Beauvais (from "The Maze"), Chris Elliott (from "Down for the Count (Part II)"), Dennis Farina (from "One Eyed Jack", "Lombard" and "World of Trouble"), Kim Griest (from "Nobody Lives Forever"), Michele Shay (from "Theresa" and "Badge of Dishonor"), Bill Smitrovich (from "Brother's Keeper" and "The Prodigal Son") and Jim Zubiena (from "Calderone's Return (Part I)"). Miami Vice regular Michael Talbott also had a small role in the film, although his single scene was deleted from the theatrical cut of the movie.
- When Crockett grabs the arms dealer at the beginning of the episode and throws his Daytona into reverse, the man is very obviously played by a stunt double when Crockett spins his car to a halt and throws the man to the floor.
- When the van speeds off with Ramone firing a machine gun out the back, a group of spectators can be seen watching the filming.
- When Crockett, Tubbs and Lester go to bug Amato's house, Lester says they have 30 seconds from when he opens the door to deactivate the burglar alarm before it goes off. In real time, it takes Lester more than 50 seconds to shut off the alarm.
- At Amato's house, Crockett looks out the window and says that they should surveill the house from the bay. At that point, however, the St. Vitus Dance, from which the Amato residence is indeed watched later on in the episode, can already clearly be seen in the background, anchored in the bay right in front of the house.
- Alternate Title: "Three-Eyed Turtle"
- Filmed: September 7, 1984 - September 19, 1984
- Production Number: 59508
- Production Order: 7
- Winter Haven Hotel, Ocean Drive / 14th Street (Opening gun deal)
- Spear House, 9325 North Bayshore Drive, Miami Shores (Amato's house, used again in episode "Mirror Image")
- Miami International Airport (Swap DuPass for Tubbs)
- Jose Marti Park 351 SW 4 Street near 2nd Avenue at Miami River (Crockett heads off, then poses as hitman)
- Virginia Key Northeast end (Test of missiles)
- Ukulele Bar, 10950 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami (Amato & Tubbs in bar)
- Shipyard SW 2nd Avenue (Ship scenes for arms deal)
- Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, Miami Downtown (Scene where Amato is brought, then released)
- "Stay with Me" by Teddy Pendergrass (Amato slapping Rita around in house)
- "I Don't Care Anymore" by Phil Collins (Crockett and Tubbs bust Amato)
Jan Hammer MusicEdit
- "Airport Swap" (DuPass and Tubbs are switched at airport)
- "And the satafortis and the ratabum and the hantoon rantoon!" -- Crockett to Lester after Lester tries to explain surveilance equipment to him
- "What we are is here! What we're not is leaving!" -- Tubbs to the FBI agents
- "Just what is your mission, Mr. Phelps?" -- Crockett to FBI Agent Pappas
- "Let's nail this pig!" -- Tubbs to Crockett after watching Amato's abusive treatment of Rita
- "I tried to tell you fellas - I got the juice! -- Amato to the Vice cops after being released