Miami Vice Mondays: "Definitely Miami"


Episode:  Season Two, Episode Twelve: “Definitely Miami
Original airdate: January 10, 1986
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Written by: Michael Ahnemann and Daniel Pyne

Summary:
Crockett becomes involved with Callie, a beautiful bad-news blonde (Arielle Dombaselle) with a dangerous scuzzball of a husband, Charlie (Ted Nugent, yikes). Believing Crockett to be his criminal alter ego, drug runner Sonny Burnett, Callie and Charlie run a scam on him, one they’ve executed successfully many times before: Claiming that Charlie is abusive, Callie seduces shady men and maneuvers them into in sketchy deals with Charlie under the pretense of protecting her, whereupon Charlie murders them and steals their money.


Also, there’s a crippling heat wave going on. Everybody sweats a whole hell of lot in this episode.



Meanwhile, the rest of the Vice squad works with Agent Dalva (Albert Hall), an overly-ambitious assistant director of the Organized Crime Task Force, to convince reclusive crime lord Sergio Clemente to surrender to the police and turn state’s evidence against his fellow miscreants in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Before turning himself in, Clemente has one demand: He wants proof that his younger sister, Maria Rojas (Kamala Lopez), who has been hiding in the witness protection program after testifying against Clemente, is still alive. When Maria flatly refuses to meet with her brother (as her attorney puts it, “My client declines to cooperate. She feels it might greatly shorten her lifespan”), Dalva goes over Castillo’s head to force her to fall in line. Upon seeing her brother for the first time since testifying against him, Maria stabs him to death, then is promptly shot and killed by a sniper working for Clemente.


Iconic Moments:
This episode features a classic opening sequence in which Charlie meets Callie’s latest target in a sand quarry, murders him, steals his cash, and buries him in his Porsche under tons of sand. At the end of the episode, after Crockett kills Charlie in self-defense in the same quarry, crime scene investigators find multiple cars buried beneath the sand, suggesting that Charlie and Callie have been pulling off their scam for a very long time.


Themes:
While Crockett figures he’s being manipulated by Callie from the start, he’s still crushed to realize his suspicions about her motives were correct. As long as he’s stuck always pretending to be sleazy, amoral Sonny Burnett in public, there’s every chance his love interests will turn out to be sleazy and amoral as well. As Tubbs gleefully tells him, “You attract some of the weirdest women in the western hemisphere.” True words.

It’s All in the Details:
To catch Crockett’s attention, a sunbathing Callie douses her t-shirt in Perrier before slipping it over her bikini (and then slipping off the bikini).



Eighties fashions are frequently derided (often with good reason), but all of Callie’s pastel beachwear ensembles are on point. The woman knows how to dress. It helps that French actress Arielle Dombasselle is such a knockout, of course.



Sign of the Times:
Sergio Clemente’s messenger’s getaway driver has a phenomenal haircut. This dude has no lines, and he’s only onscreen for a second or two, but nonetheless I think I love him.



Music Notes:
Ted Nugent’s “Angry Young Man” plays over the opening sequence. Very famously, Godley & Creme’s “Cry” closes the episode out, while a glum Crockett stands on the beach watching the police lead Callie away. Fun fact: While “Cry” was a big hit on the pop charts, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme are perhaps best known for directing some of the most popular music videos of the eighties, including both “Girls on Film” and “A View To a Kill” for Duran Duran.

Rating:

Three and a half flamingos. 

Comments

Anonymous said…
It's "Cry" from The History Mix Volume 1 -- best version of the song, and you can't listen to it now and not think of this episode. One of the best episodes, too.
Morgan Richter said…
Anonymous -- yeah, the song and the episode are now inextricably linked in my brain, too. It's one of those perfect mixtures of song and images.

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