Miami Vice Wiki
Nobody Lives Forever


20 (20th overall)
March 29, 1985
Repeat Airdate
September 13, 1985
TV Rating
Guest Stars
Previous Episode
Next Episode

"Nobody Lives Forever" is the twentieth episode of Miami Vice's first season. It premiered on March 29, 1985, and was rerun on September 13, 1985.


Crockett is distracted by a new romance while three crazed punks go on a mayhem spree.


Three wild punks--Ace, Snake and an unnamed third punk--drive through town in a 1968 Plymouth GTX convertible, with "Death, The Ultimat High" painted on the side, ramming other drivers off the road. They make a stop on the beach and hit a hot dog stand, killing a bookie and stealing his money.

Crockett is in the middle of a hot romance with Brenda, a local architect. Tubbs begins reciting Crockett's entire social calendar while he waits for Brenda to answer the phone; he leaves a message and checks out the scene of the bookie shooting. The punks have since abandoned their car (reported stolen in Fort Lauderdale), leaving behind whiskey bottles, roaches, and comic books. Crockett and Brenda have dinner at her place and settle in for a night of passion, making small talk in bed afterwards. The punks steal a Cadillac and are off and running again. Tubbs gets a list of all stolen vehicles to review, while Gina asks him about Crockett's romance with Brenda, clearly concerned. Zito hears from Robbery that they found a Buick stolen two blocks from where the GTX was ditched, and Tubbs goes to check it out. Meanwhile, Morgan, who owns the hot dog stand the punks hit previously, has put a price on the punks' head. Crockett and Tubbs go to a hangout to track down the punks; while Crockett is on the phone the punks, who were inside, come out shooting and escape. The phone didn't completely disconnect, and Brenda hears the shooting, panicking about Crockett.

While Tubbs gives a description of the punks to a sketch artist, Castillo asks Crockett why he wasn't inside with Tubbs; he admits he was on the phone. Castillo says that the punks robbed a convenience store, killing the clerk, and wants Crockett and Tubbs to monitor Morgan's wagon operation. Crockett expresses his concern about screwing up, keeping his mind on Brenda, while they relax in her pool. Gina is very upset about Crockett seeing Brenda, keeping her around as a "pit stop" until something better comes along. Crockett and Tubbs meet with Izzy and ask him to let them know if he sees the punks. Crockett thinks the investigation is going nowhere and wants to turn it back to Homicide. Tubbs is against this and suggests Crockett take some time off to clear his head...because he doesn't want his "butt blown off because of it". Crockett takes Tubbs' advice and has a boat ride with Brenda, where they talk about his life as a Vice cop, his relationship with Gina, etc.

Izzy spots the punks in a restaurant, where they dump green relish on his shoes and pull a gun on him. He calls Morgan, who sends two thugs, but the punks are unfazed by their threats, killing Morgan's men and shooting up the restaurant, which causes a ketchup bottle to explode in Izzy's face. Tubbs stops by Brenda's place for breakfast, picking up Crockett to see Izzy about the punks. When Crockett steps away to get dressed, Tubbs expresses his concern that Brenda is out of Crockett's league and that she's too good for him; their social statures are completely different. Brenda is annoyed by what she feels is his condescending concern, but has clearly listened. Izzy tells Crockett and Tubbs the punks are going to hit more of Morgan's hot dog wagons and can't be stopped, as they fear no one and nothing. They head to Morgan's place to do surveillance, trying to stay out of security's sightline.

The wagons leave and return without incident, and Crockett and Tubbs plan to resume surveillance at 6am the next morning. Crockett goes to Brenda's place for dinner. Afterwards, she begins asking him how he envisions their future life together. He starts to have concerns about their relationship, thinking Brenda wants her life to consume his own, and goes to bed with the intention of waking up early. However, he does not, and Tubbs, alone in the car, is caught off-guard and roughed up by Morgan's security. Crockett wakes up 90 minutes late and rushes out the door to find Tubbs standing there, bleeding, bruised and bitterly disappointed.

At OCB, the Vice squad plans to shut down Morgan's operation in retaliation, and use a truck to bait the punks, who obviously are not afraid of anyone or anything. Crockett is given afternoon paperwork by Castillo, visibly upset by Crockett's failure to aid his partner and his recent shirking of his job. Crockett heads to his boat to sort things out in his mind, and decides to slow things down with Brenda, much to her relief. The punks need more money to continue their rampage, so they decide to hit another wagon -- the one that the Vice squad is manning. Ace goes to Tubbs, who is holding the bag and playing a sax, pulls a gun and demands money. Tubbs shoots him down, Zito shoots and kills Snake, and the third takes off in the stolen car after Tubbs. Crockett comes to the scene and shoots the third one down before he can run Tubbs over.





Castillo Staredown at Crockett

  • Crockett is the recipient of the famous "Castillo Staredown" (his second this season) for shirking his duty in favor of romance.
  • When Tubbs is talking to Brenda, he says that he likes the renovation of Art Deco buildings in South Beach that was taking place at the time. This renovation trend is often said to be partially influenced by Miami Vice as, in early seasons of the show, producers would repair and re-paint damaged buildings so that they would form an acceptable background to the footage they were filming. Other initiatives subsequently followed suit, eventually leading to the revitalization of the South Beach area, a process that continues today. One example of this is the Tides Hotel, seen in the background when Crockett shoots down the third wild punk; the building is now The Tides South Beach and is a luxury hotel.
  • Morgan questions whether the hit at the beach was the work of Al Lombard, marking the second time this season Lombard has been mentioned in passing since he last appeared in person in "One Eyed Jack". Later in the episode, Castillo also mentions that the Vice department's investigation into Lombard is still ongoing. Lombard would be the only villain on the show to be so repeatedly brought up in dialogue even in episodes where he did not actually appear.
  • The song "Heartbeat" is apparently a personal favourite of Michael Mann's. As well as accompanying a prominent scene in this episode, it also appears over the end credits of his 1986 film Manhunter, which, like "Nobody Lives Forever", features Kim Griest in a major supporting role.
  • As well as Griest, Manhunter also featured Miami Vice guest stars Garcelle Beauvais (from "The Maze"), Bill Cwikowski (from "No Exit"), Chris Elliott (from "Down for the Count (Part II)"), Dennis Farina (from "One Eyed Jack", "Lombard" and "World of Trouble"), 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.
  • This episode evidently marks the end of Crockett and Gina's romantic relationship. In fact it is the first time their relationship has been brought up since "The Great McCarthy".
  • Although Crockett and Brenda elect to remain together at the end of the episode, their relationship clearly does not last, as by the time of the season 2 premiere "The Prodigal Son", Crockett is single once more, becoming involved with Margaret in New York.
  • Brenda's house would reappear as one of the cat burglar's targets in the season 3 episode "Shadow in the Dark".
  • During the opening sequence, Ace (Frank Military) tells one of Morgan's bookies, "You don't look so bad, here's another!" This line was allegedly spoken word for word by the vigilante subway shooter Bernhard Goetz, which caused over 50 complaint calls to NBC following the broadcast, mainly from New York City. According to NBC's then-head of Broadcast Standards, the line was ad-libbed by Military and was not in the script, and the scene in question was actually filmed two days before Goetz's admission was made public.
  • The Jan Hammer music featured throughout the episode in scenes featuring Crockett and Brenda is actually a simpler, precursor version of the track "Theresa" that would feature heavily in the episode of the same name from season 3.
  • Crockett mentions to Brenda that he must give up cigarettes one day -- he would actually do this during season 2.


  • When the episode starts we see the three punks in their stolen Plymouth convertible without a rearview mirror, but later at the beach the mirror appeares.
  • When Snake shoots the bookmaker's bodyguard at the beach, a single white frame has been inserted into the footage to simulate the shotgun firing, as he clearly doesn't actually discharge the weapon.
  • When Crockett and Tubbs are staking out the hotdog vendor yard, the gates are partially closed when the man comes out to buy a newspaper. In the next shot, the gates are open again.
  • In the scene where Izzy is wearing white cloggs - while sitting on the car - he throws the 'same' cigarette away twice.
  • It looks as though a Crockett stand-in is operating the speedboat at sunset.

Crowd in background

  • When Crockett and Tubbs get into the Ferrari on the city street, a crowd of people can be seen behind them, obviously lined up to watch the shoot.
  • When Crockett takes an early morning cruise in his boat, the sun rises up and down in the sky.
  • When Crockett returns to Brenda’s house to tell her to slow things down, she’s wearing earrings, but if we see her from the side her right earring is disappeared.
  • Tubbs is very obviously played by his stunt double, Ernest Robinson, in the scene where the last of the punks tries to run him down with his stolen car.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: February 26, 1985 - March 6, 1985
  • Production Number: 59520
  • Production Order: 20

Filming Locations

  • JJs Restaurant, 1450 S.Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables (Punks shoot up restaurant)
  • 3067 Jefferson Street, Coconut Grove (Brenda's house)
  • Tommy's Deck Bar, 627 Fifth Street, Miami Beach (Crockett makes phone call on the corner while Tubbs goes into hangout where punks come out shooting)
  • Dinner Key Marina height Aviaton Ave/S. Bayshore Dr, Miami (Izzy meets Crockett & Tubbs after shooting)
  • Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Vice team mans hot dog wagon, punk tries to mow down Tubbs with car, Crockett shoots third punk)


Jan Hammer Music

  • "Theresa (Early Version)" (Crockett in pool with Brenda, Crockett breaks up with Brenda)


  • "Your idea of fun is putting catnip in Elvis' kibble!" -- Tubbs to Crockett

    "Ever notice how fetching Betty and Veronica look in miniskirts?"

  • "It's not love, it's L.W.P. -- Lust with Potential!" -- Crockett to Tubbs describing his feelings for Brenda
  • "Notice how fetching Betty and Veronica look in mini-skirts? -- Switek looking at the comic books left behind in the car
  • "You can't kill 'em, man, they're already dead! -- Izzy to Crockett and Tubbs about the punks
  • "Can you imagine a bunch of tired cops and their wives on your veranda? How many softball games and barbecues are you gonna attend?" -- Tubbs to Brenda
  • "Nobody Lives Forever!" -- Punk before Crockett shoots him down
  • "How do you go from this... tranquility to that violence?" Brenda to Sonny
  • "I usually take the Ferrari." Sonny responding to Brenda
Season 1 Episodes:

"Brother's Keeper" (Pilot) "Heart of Darkness" "Cool Runnin'" "Calderone's Return (Part I)" "Calderone's Return (Part II)" "One Eyed Jack" "No Exit" "The Great McCarthy" "Glades" "Give a Little, Take a Little" "Little Prince" "Milk Run" "Golden Triangle (Part I)" "Golden Triangle (Part II)" "Smuggler's Blues" Rites of Passage "The Maze" "Made for Each Other" "The Home Invaders" "Nobody Lives Forever" "Evan" "Lombard"