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Rock and a Hard Place


11 (79th Overall)
January 22, 1988
TV Rating
TV-14 D-L-V
Guest Stars
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"Rock and a Hard Place" is the eleventh episode of Miami Vice's fourth season. It premiered on January 22, 1988.


Fremont and Wiggins are back and try to derail Caitlin's comeback by exposing Crockett as his drug-dealing cover Burnett.


Shortly after Tommy Lowe's death, Caitlin is beginning her comeback tour, appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone, flying to Los Angeles with Crockett. They arrive, among a throng of fans, press & paparazzi, meet up with Caitlin's PR man Josh Durrell, and run into a press room...but Crockett isn't allowed in, even though he has a good reason to come in.

Caitlin sees Gordon Wiggins and Paul Fremont after the press conference, and are pleased with her new album. Crockett seems overwhelmed at all the crowds, but gets a few minutes of alone time with Caitlin before attending a party hosted by Fremont & Wiggins, who speak with Jerry Lee of the tabloid National Inquisitor, who wants to dig dirt on Crockett (known as Burnett). While Caitlin is called away to meet old friends, Crockett sits at the bar and chases away an over-eager agent wanna-be. Crockett is leaving for Miami the next afternoon, but not before assuring Caitlin that he wants her new album to do well, for her to continue singing, and for their future to be bright. Fremont & Wiggins are wanting the album promoted through the roof, but there is a clause that Caitlin loses money if she fails to tour. Crockett sees Caitlin off to the throngs of fans & press before returning to Miami, where Tubbs is waiting. Back at OCB, the team shows him a picture of Caitlin and Crockett in the newspaper, and Crockett angrily throws it in the trash. Castillo & Mahoney from the D.A.'s office asks Crockett if he heard anything about Tommy Lowe from Caitlin, as Lowe was going to roll over on Fremont & Wiggins before he was murdered, and rumor is they were responsible for a murder of a DJ in San Diego, and Crockett agrees to investigate undercover from his end, as he is best positioned.

Crockett meets Tubbs' at his & Caitlin's place, Crockett is concerned Caitlin will be angry he is getting involved

Burnett in the Inquistor

in her business, after they agreed not to get into each other's profession. Tubbs asks him why he didn't hand the case off, even though Crockett will have a tough time tying Fremont & Wiggins to Lowe's murder, but Crockett feels he has the inside track and also protect Caitlin. Lee starts to dig up dirt on "Burnett" and flies down to Miami to speak with the unsavory characters Crockett/Burnett hang out with, and calls his publisher with the results. Crockett flies back to LA and arrives at Caitlin's room, where a strange guy comes out before he walks in, Caitlin indicates he's "damage control" and shows him the Inquisitor article about her being married to a "drug dealer", which she fears will hurt her "squeaky-clean" image. They arrive at a restaurant where an over-zealous reporter gets punched out by Crockett when he asks Caitlin "was it love or (Quaa)ludes?"

Crockett slugging the papparazi

The pic of Crockett's punch-out is in the regular paper the next morning, and Durrell thinks it's best Crockett flies back to Miami to prevent her further damaging her rep. Crockett & Caitlin both despise the business side of her profession (while both love the music), but Caitlin knows she has to "go with the flow" to get airplay, therefore record sales, then Crockett tells her that Fremont & Wiggins are under investigation for the murder of Tommy Lowe, and Caitlin can't believe it, saying he owed several drug dealers in Miami, then is more shocked that Crockett is the one doing the investigation, and lets him know that she is not getting involved, and not to tell her anything about Fremont & Wiggins unless he has proof they killed Lowe. Fremont & Wiggins are told their record company has 60 days of cash left before they go under, they need to move Caitlin's new album fast to maximize profits or else, and plan to use Crockett (as Burnett, who's been calling Fremont constantly) to their advantage. Caitlin (to the recording engineer) and Crockett (to Tubbs) talk about their current marriage issues, then Fremont & Wiggins meet with Crockett about moving 100 keys of drugs down in Nassau to Miami with little notice, Crockett leaves, but the real plan is to have Caitlin be in the crossfire of the deal, meaning she can't tour and the company gets their money back.

Crockett sees Angie who lets him know Caitlin's hurting inside because he's not there for her, and thinks they should spend more time together. At the pool, Crockett expresses his concern about Fremont & Wiggins, but Caitlin is upset Crockett is getting involved in her career, which she fears could go downhill if she's not with the executives, but finally admits she needs Crockett, and Crockett needs her, and they fly to Miami so Crockett can do his deal with them. Wiggins sets up the meet at the Haulover Pier that night, then Caitlin's photo shoot was moved up to earlier that night in Coral Gables. Caitlin asks Crockett to stay for the shoot, and the photographer asks them to wait while he finishes up another client. While Crockett waits outside, Fremont & Wiggins drive by, but he realizes it's a trap, that the "photographer" and "client" are actually hitmen, and they begin shooting. Crockett kills both, then goes out after Fremont & Wiggins, causes their car to flip over, and drags Wiggins out and arrests him before the car explodes, killing Fremont. Caitlin prepares to leave for her tour, Crockett plans to see her in New York in a few weeks, and they kiss good-bye.


Guest Stars



  • Sheena Easton would return for a final appearance in "Deliver Us from Evil", although she is mentioned in several episodes in between, including "A Bullet for Crockett", when Crockett is gravely wounded and the team tries to contact her on her concert tour to inform her of the situation.
  • Among the establishing shots for Los Angeles include the famous HOLLYWOOD sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and the Capitol Records building, which is now owned by EMI, Sheena Easton's record label at the time before she left for MCA in 1988.
  • Several times in the episode it becomes rather obvious that very selective, tight camera angles have been chosen to disguise the fact filming is not actually taking place in Los Angeles. This contrasts with the likes of "The Prodigal Son" from season 2, in which the cinematography made the most of the fact filming was taking place on location outside of Miami.
  • In a nice touch of continuity, several of the Miami clubs Jerry Lee visits whilst digging up dirt on Burnett have actually featured in cases on previous episodes of the show, including Sex World (where Jackie McSeidan worked in "Little Miss Dangerous") and Raoul's (where Izzy was working as a male stripper in "Walk-Alone").
  • Payola was a big scandal in the 1950s, as DJs and executives alike were put in jail.
  • Crockett's affinity for Ferrari's continues -- he rents a black 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS during his visit with Caitlin in Los Angeles.
  • This episode features one of Crockett's rare trips out of state on Miami Vice. Over the course of the series, he also travelled to Saint Andrews Island (in "Calderone's Return (Part II)"), Colombia (twice, in "Smuggler's Blues" and "The Prodigal Son"), New York (twice, in "The Prodigal Son" and "Heroes of the Revolution") and Costa Morada (in "Freefall"). He also mentions trips to Orlando and Atlanta that happen off-screen.
  • Among the illegal activities Wiggins finds Burnett involved in are torture, double-crossing and murder. It's easy to see where the latter rumors come from, but it's difficult to see what "Burnett" has done that qualifies as torture.
  • Typical of Sonny's luck in relationships, his marriage with Caitlin is not particularly healthy, and not just because their professions clash constantly. They have a pattern of one of them being unhappy, having a dispute, and then one or both of them going off to sulk. They don't really talk issues out with each other and tend to consider their own point of view's before the other's. In addition to their poor communication, as Angie suggests, they are not there for each other when they are needed, not just physically but emotionally.
  • The Sex World Club had a Previous Appearence in season 2 episode Little Miss Dangerous, where Serial Killer Jackie McSeidan and her Lover Cat have Worked before.
  • When Crockett opens fire on Fremont and Wiggins in their car at the end of the episode, he is essentially shooting at two unarmed men who are making no attempt to attack him, and are in fact trying to flee. While the pair are undoubtedly criminals to be apprehended, it seems difficult to justify Crockett's actions as anything other than unjustified use of force, especially given his personal emotional involvement with the case (and Caitlin). Either that or he actually tries to shoot at the engine and the tires of their car to stop them as there are no shots actually breaking the windscreen.
  • The way in which the black car window slowly rises to obscure Crockett's last view of Caitlin as she leaves on tour is particularly poignant when viewers know what is to come.
  • Most of the clips in the opening montage for the US season 4 DVD menus come from this episode.
  • When Jerry Lee is digging up dirt on Crockett, on his list of connections the very first name is Ochoa. This is presumably a reference to the Ochoa family, some of which were members of the Medellin Cartel.


  • In the intro sequence, when the limo is pulling up in front of the hotel in L.A., you can see rope wrapped around the palm tree fronds during the overhead shot, tying them down, likely to improve visibility of the scene below.  

Production Notes

  • Filmed: November 30, 1987 - December 8, 1987
  • Production Code: 63512
  • Production Order: 79

Filming Locations

  • Dezerland Surfside Beach Hotel, 8701 Collins Ave, N. Miami Beach (Crockett/Caitlin at L.A. Party)
  • Haulover Pier, North Miami Beach (Crockett/Freemont/Wiggins doing deal at pier; pier demolished by Hurricane Andrew in 1992)
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel, 57 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables (Hotel in L.A.; Pool area, Suite on 14th floor, driveway, theater, sauna, reception)
  • Criteria Recording Studios 1755 NE 149 Street, North Miami (recording studio interior)
  • Miami Skyline shot from Watson Island, 1450 Collins Ave, 3500-3600 SW 8 Street, Miami, Raoul´s 19850 Santa Monica Bvd/LA, Club Pizazz 3208 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Collins Ave and 19th street northbound, JJ´s 5850 Sunset Drive, Coconut Grove, 21 Street/Collins Ave, Miami Beach southbound, Club Deuce 222 14 Street, Miami Beach (Dirty Laundry Montage)
  • NW-corner of Salzedo and Miracle Mile, Coral Gables (Freemont and Wiggins at news stand)
  • Miracle Theater 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables (Jerry on the phone)
  • 317 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables (Crockett punches reporter in front of restaurant)
  • Dennis Jenkins&Associates, 5813 SW 68 Street, South Miami (Reporters surrounding limo, Crockett closes limo door on the manager)
  • 3952 Douglas Road, Coconut Grove (photo shooting and shootout; location partly rebuilt and address changed to DeGarmo Lane)
  • 10900 SW 83 Court, Kendall (Crockett and Caitlin´s home, final scenes).



  • "Not the Mr. Slick? Your reputation sucks! -- Crockett to Slick at party
  • "This guy makes Scarface look like Mr. Rogers!" -- Lee to his publisher about Crockett/Burnett
  • "I'm not flattery operated, in case you hadn't noticed."--Crockett to Wiggins and Fremont
  • "Our job has always been a bitch on the matrimonial state!" -- Tubbs to Crockett
  • "I know it's different worlds, Sonny, but tell me we can make it work!" -- Caitlin to Crockett
  • "Or die tryin'!" -- Crockett in response
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"