Miami Vice Wiki
This article is about the Miami Vice episode. For the song by Don Johnson, see Streetwise (Song).


10 (54th Overall)
December 5, 1986
Repeat Airdate
May 22, 1987
TV Rating
TV-14 L-S-V
Guest Stars
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"Streetwise" is the tenth episode of Miami Vice's third season. It premiered on December 5, 1986, and was rerun on May 22, 1987.


Crockett and Tubbs use an on-the-edge undercover cop and the hooker he's in love with to locate the source of pharmaceutical-grade cocaine.


The Vice squad and Metro-Dade police are executing search warrants on the Ramrod hotel, They burst in on a hooker, Carla Cappoletti and her man Vic Romano), a Metro cop. They find a gram of cocaine in Carla's purse, which Romano insists is his, and haul both (along with numerous other prostitutes) to jail. Carla won't reveal where she got the cocaine from, believing Romano will protect her. Tubbs has the lab run tests on the cocaine and finds it's 100% pharmaceutical grade. Romano is from Overtown Vice, and claims that he got the cocaine from a confidential informant named Roxanne Young. Before Gina and Trudy can locate her, she is nabbed by a pimp named Silk, who is furious that Roxanne gave Carla the cocaine. Roxanne tries to attack Silk with a razor blade, but he overpowers her and pulls a knife of his own.

Meanwhile, Castillo interviews Romano, who is fully aware of Carla's "job" and insists they are in love. Crockett feels Romano's story about the cocaine is bogus. Castillo is ready to call in IAD, but Crockett asks him to hold off and use Romano to locate Carla's drug source. Trudy finds Roxanne dead, her throat cut. Castillo agrees to hold off as long Romano doesn't try to contact Carla, otherwise he will be busted. Romano seems reluctant to help, even after Crockett tells him that he's the only thing keeping Castillo from taking his badge, so Crockett tells Romano about Roxanne, and they head to the scene. They find cocaine under Roxanne's nails that match what was found on Carla, and Roxanne's wallet, with a bus station locker key - Gina is checking those out. With Silk as the main suspect, Romano agrees to help them.

Crockett and Romano are at the Checker Club in Overtown, observing. Romano says he's about to pull Carla off the street, but has a cover to protect. Crockett doesn't believe it and asks Romano how his wife feels about his associations with Carla; Romano responds that that is a separate life, but gets upset when Crockett continues to press him on the issue. Crockett tells him he's crossed the line and not even realized it, before he meets Silk (as Sonny Burnett) in the club to make a deal. Silk turns him down and goes to see his source, Leo Cryson, who informs him the last shipment of cocaine is missing and orders Carla bailed out of jail. Castillo wants Tubbs to lean on Carla, and places Romano under house arrest. Crockett takes Romano home and his wife Jennifer says IAD called and wants to see him inside. Crockett speaks to her and learns that whenever Romano calls he sounds burned out, yet refuses to be called in from his assignment; no matter what, she is firmly on his side. Carla calls Romano from jail and they talk for a bit, then Gina starts talking to Carla about going with her man, Butch, who is taking over all Silk's action.

Trudy is working the streets, spreading the word that Butch will be taking all the street action. They bust a pimp named Sugarbear and Butch (Tubbs) acts like he owns the police, then gets a call that Carla wants Tubbs to get her out of jail. He does before Silk and his goons arrive to do the same. Silk stops by the club and tries to take Carla with him, but Tubbs beats him up and forces a meeting at the Excelsior Hotel if he wants Carla back. Gina discovers a full bath of pharm cocaine in the bus locker, which no one has come to get, and the prosecutor has given Vice full license to use it to stop the leak. Crockett proposes using Carla to deliver the cocaine to Silk and bust him in the process, but she doesn't trust any cops (other than Romano), so Tubbs gives Carla the locker key to give to Silk. Carla refuses and Tubbs is forced to get loud, and then rough. Carla falls to pieces at the threat of violence, and Tubbs, taking pity, admits he's a cop.

Castillo's alternate plan involves Crockett getting Romano to help. Silk calls Leo, who tells him to take out Tubbs and Carla while he takes care of Crockett. Romano speaks to Carla to convince her to take Silk the locker key. She agrees, and sets the meet at the Checker Club. Crockett tells Romano he and Tubbs will be in Romano's corner when IAD delivers the heat for what he did. Leo and his men attempt a drive-by shooting on Crockett, who shoots down a couple of the guys and catches one who fills Crockett in. Romano takes the dead shooters' guns and takes off. Crockett cannot reach Tubbs on his phone, but gets a call from Switek saying they have Leo. Crockett takes the shooter over to Leo who confirms his story, then Crockett leans on Leo to get the meet location.

Tubbs and Carla are waiting at the Checker Club. Carla excuses herself to the ladies' room and slips out the back door, to find Silk and his goon waiting. Romano drives up and a shootout starts; Romano is hit, Tubbs shoots Silk's goon and Crockett kills Silk. Romano dies in Carla's arms, and she cries inconsolably. Switek confirms the source was a chemist from Gold Coast University behind on gambling debts, using the cocaine as interest. Crockett and Tubbs offer Carla assistance and a full walk so she can clean up. The Vice Squad finishes up their paperwork on the case, and request Romano's suspension be lifted before his funeral and put it in his record that he died trying to get Carla off the streets. Just after Crockett and Tubbs pass by the strip Carla appears, back hooking again.


Guest Stars



  • John Diehl (Zito) does not appear at all in this episode, the fifth time so far this season. His regular absence is no doubt linked to his desire to leave the show, culminating in the death of his character in "Down for the Count (Part I)".
  • Trudy's response to Tubbs (posing as her pimp) asking her to give him a kiss -- "Aha! You had your chance!" -- is presumably a reference to the episode "Walk-Alone", in which she was seemingly disappointed that she did not get to act out her conjugal visit with Tubbs in Bolton Prison.
  • Wesley Snipes (in his first TV appearance) shows his "tough-guy" side, as he would later in Passenger 57, Boiling Point and the Blade franchise.
  • Tom Mardirosian played FBI Agent McIntyre (who was afraid of Elvis) in the season 1 episode "No Exit".
  • Olivia Brown and Whoopi Goldberg performed backing vocals on Don Johnson's song "Streetwise". In fact, Brown performs her spoken lines from the song live in the episode, the second time a main cast member would sing live on the show (Philip Michael Thomas sang his song "Livin' the Book of My Life" in the episode "The Maze"). Saundra Santiago would later two jazz standards in "Heroes of the Revolution".
  • This episode aptly sums up the futility of the Vice Division's job, despite the best intentions of its officers; Tubbs asks Crockett, "If Carla can clean up, that's worth it, isn't it?" and Crockett replies, "It has to be. It's all there is." -- at the end of the episode, Carla is back on the streets and nothing has really changed.
  • Despite the fact that this was the tenth episode of season 3, the opening sequence does not have the Testarossa night drive clip; instead, "Also Starring Saundra Santiago" is shown over the aerial pan of the Miami beach front.


  • When Tubbs approaches Castillo in the hallway of OCB, Crockett's name is spelled "CROCKET" on the top of his locker door. (The names that are visible on other lockers are centered while CROCKET is not, so presumably the second "T" might have been there and fallen off.)
  • When Tubbs and Carla argue in the hotel room there is an obvious jump cut -- she tells him her boyfriend is a cop, and they abruptly start struggling.
  • During the scene when Crockett and Romano are shot at by Leo's goons, Crockett's Testarossa is clearly been replaced by a DeTomaso Pantera with a Testarossa body kit, judging by its slightly altered body shape, weird wheel fitment and different rims. This was likely done to prevent a real Ferrari from being damaged in that scene.
  • During the shootout in the parking lot of the Checker Club, Tubbs fires 13 shots (five of them heard off-screen) from his five-shot revolver.
  • When Crockett shoots Silk, he falls with both of his arms outstretched above his head, but in the wide shot of the parking lot shown later, the chalk outline where he fell indicates his left arm was down by his side.
  • At the end of the episode, when writing the report in the café, Crockett is seen closing the file twice.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: October 17, 1986 - October 27, 1986
  • Production Code: 62002
  • Production Order: 52

Filming Locations

  • 1450 Collins Ave, S. Miami Beach (Opening exterior shot of Sex World)
  • Front of Sasson Hotel, 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach (Opening with Trudy walking through streets)
  • St.David Court Apartment-Hotel, 56 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (Raid of Ramrod Hotel)
  • Frank's Restaurant, 1041 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach (Duane forces Roxanne into car, Carla working the street in final scene)
  • 1235 Collins Court, Miami Beach (Checker Club rear entrance where Tubbs tunes up Silk, Crockett shoots Silk)
  • 41 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach (Romano's house)
  • 10th Street/Washington Avenue, Miami Beach (Trudy with hookers as Tubbs plays pimp named Butch)


  • "Streetwise" by Don Johnson (Opening sequence on streets and end sequence in bar)
  • "Make Me a Memory (Sad Samba)" by Grover Washington Jr. (Tubbs and Carla having dinner)


  • "Oh, sorry, must be the fantasy suite!" -- Switek to an S&M couple in a room at the Ramrod Hotel during the raid
  • "You took a walk on the wild side, only you forgot to come back!" -- Crockett to Romano
  • "Sugarbear--sounds like some kinda popcorn pimp!" -- Trudy to Sugarbear's girls
Season 3 Episodes:

"When Irish Eyes Are Crying" "Stone's War" "Killshot" "Walk-Alone" "The Good Collar" "Shadow in the Dark" "El Viejo" "Better Living Through Chemistry" "Baby Blues" "Streetwise" "Forgive Us Our Debts" "Down for the Count (Part I)" "Down for the Count (Part II)" "Cuba Libre" "Duty and Honor" "Theresa" "The Afternoon Plane" "Lend Me an Ear" "Red Tape" "By Hooker by Crook" "Knock, Knock... Who's There?" "Viking Bikers from Hell" "Everybody's in Showbiz" "Heroes of the Revolution"