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USA season 4 DVD

UK season 4 DVD

Season 4 of Miami Vice premiered on September 25, 1987 on NBC, with the season premiere "Contempt of Court". The fourth season concluded on May 6, 1988 after 22 episodes, with the Sonny Burnett cliffhanger "Mirror Image". It was released on DVD on March 20, 2007. Season 4 is currently available for viewing on the NBC website.

Regular Cast

Guest Stars

See: List of Guest Stars


See: Season 4 Music


While nowhere near as severe as at the start of season 3, the show nevertheless undergoes several notable changes at the start of season 4, seemingly aimed at recapturing the feel of seasons 1 and 2.

  • The extensive use of dark, gritty storylines is scaled back somewhat, although some nihilistic episodes still remain. At the other end of the scale, some of the lighter episodes veer wildly into science-fiction and comedy, most infamously the seventh episode "Missing Hours", which is often cited as the point when the series "jumped the shark". The disparity between dark episodes and light episodes leads to a decidedly uneven season.
  • Tubbs' involvement in storylines is noticeably downscaled, leading to complaints from fans and causing some people to christen season 4 "The Don Johnson Show".

Tubbs displaying his season 4 beard alongside Crockett

  • Tubbs grows a beard for season 4 and Crockett's hair reverts to a slightly longer and shaggier version of his season 2 hairstyle, and continues to grow slightly as the season goes on.
  • Pastel clothing is largely reintroduced, although some of the darker styles of the third season still appear regularly.
  • Crockett returns to wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers as his sunglasses of choice, after switching to Persol 69218s for season 3.
  • Singer Sheena Easton joins the cast in "Like a Hurricane" as Crockett's girlfriend, later wife, Caitlin Davies. She would appear in five episodes before she is killed in "Deliver Us from Evil".
  • Jan Hammer's musical contribution is noticeably reduced, with many of his cues from earlier seasons simply being recycled. John Petersen takes over much of the scoring workload partway through the season run, although Hammer returns to exclusively score the final two episodes of the season.
  • Dick Wolf is promoted to Co-Executive Producer alongside Michael Mann, but also wrote four of the final five episodes (five overall) of the season. Much like during season 3, Michael Mann's actual impact on the series was minimal because he was busy with other projects outside of Vice, mainly the second season of Crime Story. This left Dick Wolf effectively in charge of the show as such, but he then left Miami Vice entirely after season 4 to focus on developing the TV series Law & Order.


  • Season 4 aired Friday nights at 9:00 pm until April, 1988, when it returned to the 10:00 pm time slot it held in its first two seasons.
  • A recurring "theme" of the fourth season is the Organized Crime Bureau becoming involved in cases that would realistically fall outside of their jurisdiction. While this has happened before in earlier seasons (examples include "The Home Invaders" and "Shadow in the Dark"), such occurrences were rare and often stated to be the result of exceptional circumstances, typically involving the temporary reassignment of personnel due to unusually high public pressure to solve a particular case. In season 4, these ventures outside of OCB's jurisdiction are almost never explained or justified and make it seem as though the Vice squad is the only functioning police unit in Miami, taking on any and all law enforcement details. When arriving at the scene of such cases, Crockett would often ask, "Why were we called?"
  • Several of the episodes in this season are frequently rated by fans as the worst in the series, most notably "Missing Hours" and "The Cows of October".
  • Michael Mann had planned to have episodes of the series set in Paris and Tokyo, but those plans ultimately fell through as ratings continued to deteriorate and brought with them reduced production budgets.
  • This is the only season of the show not to have either a feature-length episode or an episode aired in two parts (although the storylines involving Frank Mosca and Fremont/Wiggins each take place across two separate episodes, and the Sonny Burnett Arc spans several episodes at the end of the season and the beginning of the next).
  • The only season-end cliffhanger in the show occurs this season, with the aforementioned Sonny Burnett story arc carrying over into season 5.
  • Season 4 is the first season of Vice to feature an episode that contains no outside popular music whatsoever ("Hell Hath No Fury..."), perhaps indicative of the diminishing musical budget in later seasons.
  • Miami Vice's year end rating was #41, second lowest of the five seasons.


Ep # Prod. Code Title Director(s) Writer(s) Airdate Rerun(s)
1 63504-03 "Contempt of Court" Jan Eliasberg Peter McCabe September 25, 1987 December 25, 1987
2 63502-02 "Amen... Send Money" James Quinn John Schulian October 2, 1987
3 63501-01 "Death and the Lady" Colin Bucksey David Black October 16, 1987 January 29, 1988
4 63507-04 "The Big Thaw" Richard Compton Joseph DeBlasi October 23, 1987 August 5, 1988
5 63508-05 "Child's Play" Vern Gillum Story: Priscilla Turner
Teleplay: Michael Piller
October 30, 1987 March 25, 1988
6 63503-06 "God's Work" Jan Eliasberg Edward Tivnan November 6, 1987 June 3, 1988
7 63515-07 "Missing Hours" Ate De Jong Thomas M. Disch November 13, 1987
8 63511-08 "Like a Hurricane" Colin Bucksey Robert Palm November 20, 1987 April 8, 1988
9 63506-09 "The Rising Sun of Death" Leon Ichaso Peter Lance December 4, 1987 May 27, 1988
10 63517-10 "Love at First Sight" Don Johnson Peter McCabe January 15, 1988
11 63512-11 "Rock and a Hard Place" Colin Bucksey Story: Dick Wolf
Teleplay: Robert Palm
January 22, 1988
12 63510-12 "The Cows of October" Vern Gillum Ed Zuckerman February 5, 1988 June 10, 1988
13 63520-14 "Vote of Confidence" Randy Roberts John Schulian February 12, 1988 June 17, 1988
14 63522-15 "Baseballs of Death" Bill Duke Peter Lance February 19, 1988 July 22, 1988
15 63514-13 "Indian Wars" Leon Ichaso Story: Carl Waldman and Frank Coffey
Teleplay: Michael Duggan, Peter Lance, Robert Palm, Carl Waldman, and Frank Coffey
February 26, 1988 June 24, 1988
16 63519-16 "Honor Among Thieves?" Jim Johnston Jack Richardson March 4, 1988

September 2, 1988

January 6, 1989

17 63521-17 "Hell Hath No Fury..." Virgil W. Vogel Story: David Black
Teleplay: Michael Duggan
March 11, 1988 July 29, 1988
18 63524-18 "Badge of Dishonor" Richard Compton Story: Dick Wolf
Teleplay: Michael Duggan and Peter Lance
March 18, 1988
19 63523-19 "Blood & Roses" George Mendeluk Story: Dick Wolf
Teleplay: Robert Palm
April 1, 1988
20 63525-20 "A Bullet for Crockett" Donald L. Gold Story: Dick Wolf
Teleplay: Michael Duggan and Peter Lance
April 15, 1988
21 63528-21 "Deliver Us from Evil" George Mendeluk Story: Dick Wolf
Teleplay: David Black, Michael Duggan, and Robert Palm
April 29, 1988 September 9, 1988
22 63526-22 "Mirror Image" Richard Compton Story: Daniel Sackheim and Nelson Oramas
Teleplay: Robert Palm and Daniel Sackheim
May 6, 1988 October 28, 1988