Miami Vice Wiki
Whatever Works


2 (24th Overall)
October 4, 1985
Repeat Airdate
May 30, 1986
TV Rating
TV-14 L-V
Guest Stars
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"Whatever Works" is the second episode of Miami Vice's second season. It premiered on October 4, 1985, and was rerun on May 30, 1986.


Castillo consults with a Santería priestess to solve a cop killing. Crockett teams with Izzy to get his beloved Ferrari back from a police administrator.


Two South Beach policemen are found dead in their car in Miami, outside their jurisdiction. The inside of their patrol car is littered with paraphernalia relating to the Santería religion. Officers Tommy Solen and David Blakeney storm onto the scene, demanding to know what happened; when they see their dead colleagues they vow to get revenge.

On the St. Vitus Dance, Crockett is entertaining a lady when Police Administrator Maxwell Dierks stops by to confiscate his Ferrari Daytona, so it can be auctioned off to

"Section 1013, Paragraph 2!"

raise money for the department. Izzy stands up for Crockett, who has Elvis scare Dierks off. Izzy gives him some information about a dealer named Orville Rivera who may have a connection with the cop killings. Then Dierks has Crockett's Ferrari towed away. An extremely irate Crockett storms into Castillo's office, demanding the return of his car, before he and Tubbs drive over to check out Rivera's house. At first the men out front play dumb, but when Crockett flashes his badge they pull guns and start firing. When backup arrives, however, they quickly give up. They inform Castillo that they found drugs and a lot of Santería symbols in the house. Castillo looks over the symbols and determines that while Rivera hates cops, he's no cop-killer. They question Rivera, who references "dirty cops" but then clams up, electing to spit on Tubbs before he's taken to jail.

Crockett, Tubbs and Castillo go to see Santería priestess Chata to get an explanation of the symbols left at the crime scene. Chata believes whoever killed the officers considered them not cops but criminals. Castillo asks Crockett and Tubbs to run credit checks on the dead cops, so as to not alert South Beach as to what they are doing. Chata says the killer is out of control, in defiance of his gods, and will try to help Castillo find him. Izzy, accompanied by his driver Manny, disguises himself as a rich marina owner to try to get Crockett's Ferrari back; Crockett stops him before Izzy gets them both in trouble, but then finds the Ferrari was exposed to the elements (because Dierks couldn't figure out how to work the top) and the interior and exterior are damp, covered in bird droppings, and populated by a litter of kittens. Two men cruising along the beach in a convertible are stopped by Metro-Dade police for dubious probable cause. One of the men, restrained by the other, attempts to pull a submachine gun, prompting the officers to freak out and blow them away.

Tubbs runs the credit check on the South Beach dead cops, noting that for the past six months their credit histories were clean, credit cards continually maxed out then paid in full, after a spotty prior history. Tubbs also finds that Blakeney and Solen have almost identical histories. Crockett spots a group of South Beach police in a bar and confronts them with what they know, causing a brawl that is eventually broken up by the bouncers. Crockett accuses South Beach as a whole of being dirty. Blakeney and Solen vow to get Crockett if he doesn't back off from his investigation. Later Ramon Morandez and Victor Davila discuss what the cops did to Davila's son, and he vows to continue his killings for revenge (and nearly comes to blows with the cautious Morandez). Chata tells Castillo that Morandez wants to meet him, with her approval. Tubbs, driving through the streets, notices a South Beach patrol car tailing him. Frustrated, Tubbs challenges them, saying they are out of their jurisdiction, and they pull out.

Castillo meets with Morandez, who tells him that Davila killed the cops because they kidnapped his son, and the South Beach cops have been dirty for some time; when Davila refused to pay he and his wife were beaten, and his son was kidnapped for $100,000 ransom. Castillo, despite saying that someday he will bury Morandez as well, decides to act on the tip. IAD is handling Blakeney and Solen, leaving Vice to take Davila. Castillo tells Crockett he "took care of his car". Blakeney stops by Solen's house, and finds he and his wife dead. The Vice squad are standing by at Davila's place when Blakeney roars in, wrecking his 4x4 and prompting a gunfight. Davila and some of his men are killed, the remainder surrender. Blakeney barely survives the crash, and the Vice squad find a Santería symbol in his pocket, which he found at Solen's house.

Crockett heads over to City Property to get his car back; when Dierks tries to leave for the weekend, Izzy (acting like someone with considerable political influence and threatening him with a visit from Elvis) gives him a bunch of fake papers to sign (Castillo mailed in the real ones) so he won't have to wait any longer, and Crockett says that he and Izzy are even.


Guest Stars




  • When Tubbs visits the computer room to check on the dead cops finances, the computers inside are IBM Model 5150s. Each one cost $3,000 dollars in 1985, equivalent to around $7000 each in 2018.They had 64 kB of RAM and used 5.25 inch floppy discs.
  • This episode marks the debut of Izzy's sidekick Manny. Manny would go on to appear in several further episodes of the series, making his last appearance in "Too Much, Too Late", one of the "lost" episodes from season 5.
  • The Santería religion was previously referenced in the episode "Milk Run", in which cocaine was smuggled inside statues of the Santerían god Changó.
  • The role of the Santerían priestess was reportedly offered to Tina Turner first, then to Eartha Kitt when Turner declined.
  • When this episode was repeated in May, 1986, it marked the final time that Vice would air in its original 10:00pm time slot until 1988.
  • The Power Station performed live on this episode, one of five such live musical performances (along with Cleavant Derricks, El DeBarge, David Johansen, and Suicidal Tendencies) during Miami Vice's second season. Vocalist Michael Des Barres and bassist John Taylor from Duran Duran (or, as Crockett calls him, "J.T.") both appear as themselves in conversation with Crockett and Tubbs at the bar. Taylor even mentions that Des Barres is the band's new lead vocalist -- he joined The Power Station in 1985 after Robert Palmer left to resume his solo career, performing at Live Aid in July 1985. Andy Taylor, also from Duran Duran and guitarist of the Power Station, was featured playing guitar during the performance at the bar.
  • "Dirty" South Beach cops would again be a plot point in the episode "Badge of Dishonor" from season 4.
  • In the club, one of the dirty cops mentions that Crockett "used to be a hot-shot in robbery", tying into the episode "The Home Invaders" from season 1, in which it was revealed Crockett used to be a robbery detective before joining vice.
  • In the scene where Crockett takes a look at his confiscated Ferrari at the City Property lot, you can see a high-rise building under construction in the background. This is the Miami Tower, which was completed at the end of 1986. A nighttime shot of the newly completed building was used in the opening credits from season 3 onward, when Philip Michael Thomas's name appears on the screen.
  • Toni Mooney, who plays Laura, was the girlfriend of Jon Roberts at the time of filming. He was involved in the Cocaine trade in Miami at that time. Roberts makes reference to this fact in his book "American Desperado" and in the documentary "Cocaine Cowboys".


  • Castillo blew out the candle on the dash of the cop car and a little less than a minute later the candle is burning bright again.
  • During the briefing at OCB, Castillo incorrectly give's Davila's last name as Davilo.
  • When Izzy reclines in his limo at the very end of the episode and says, "These people respect me," his lips clearly aren't moving.

Production Notes

  • Filmed: July 16, 1985 - July 26, 1985
  • Production Code: 60025
  • Production Order: 24

Filming Locations

  • West end of Dodge Island (Opening)
  • Miamarina @ Bayside, 401 Biscayne Blvd (Marina in opening)
  • 10337 East Broadview Drive, Miami Beach (Crockett/Tubbs being shot at by Rivera and his men)
  • Elbo Room Las Olas Blvd/A1A in Fort Lauderdale (Metro-Dade stop convertible along beach)
  • Marina East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale (Morandez and Davilla meet)
  • Nepenthe Club, 3937N Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale (Nightclub where Power Station perform)
  • Villa Vizcaya, 3252 S. Miami Ave, Coconut Grove (Castillo meets Chata)
  • SW 3rd Street/SW 2nd Ave (Crockett's Daytona in storage)
  • Ultramont Mall 100 SE 1st Street, Miami (Tubbs gets in his car and South Beach police follow)
  • 2730 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale (Tubbs gets out of car and confronts SBPD)
  • SW 64th Street / SW 82nd Avenue (Vice squad stakes out Davila)



  • "Never is a long, long, long, LONG time!" -- Crockett to his overnight date, after she says he will never call her
  • "I'm not going to stand around and let a man of his reputation be treated with as much respect as this... live bait!" -- Izzy, holding up Elvis' fish, to Dierks after he tells Crockett he was taking his Ferrari
  • "This man plunges hisself into the murky waters of the underworld... to risk life and limb to try and stem the crime flow... and keep us all from drowning in a cesspool of lawlessness... susussudio!" -- Izzy to Dierks regarding Crockett
  • "Elvis, you want a little dork meat for breakfast?" -- Crockett
  • "You're interfering with me performing my job effectively!!!" "Dammit, that car is part of my cover, and I WANT IT BACK!" -- Crockett to Castillo after his Ferrari was towed
Season 2 Episodes:

"The Prodigal Son" "Whatever Works" "Out Where the Buses Don't Run" "The Dutch Oven" "Buddies" "Junk Love" "Tale of the Goat" "Bushido" "Bought and Paid For" "Back in the World" "Phil the Shill" "Definitely Miami" "Yankee Dollar" "One Way Ticket" "Little Miss Dangerous" "Florence Italy" "French Twist" "The Fix" "Payback" "Free Verse" "Trust Fund Pirates" "Sons and Lovers"