Miami Vice Mondays: "Bought and Paid For"


Episode: Season Two, Episode Nine: “Bought and Paid For”
Original airdate: November 29, 1985
Directed by: John Nicolella
Written by: Marvin Kupfer

Summary:
A young Haitian housecleaner named Odette (Lynn Whitfield) is raped by Nico Arroyo (Joaquim de Almeida, at the very start of his long and fruitful career of playing ridiculously handsome scumbags), the pampered son of her former employer, a wealthy Bolivian general. Fearing deportation, Odette is reluctant to identify Nico as her attacker, until Gina talks her into it. As Odette is a close friend of Gina’s, and as the rape occurred in Gina’s apartment, Gina takes the investigation very, very personally. 



Gina arrests Nico, but his father pays Odette’s impoverished family a small fortune in exchange for dropping the charges. A free man, Nico immediately rapes Odette again, claiming his father’s money has made her his personal property. Odette kills herself to escape his influence. Confident his father can buy him out of any trouble, Nico breaks into Gina’s bedroom at night, intending to rape her. It’s a damn fool move: He’s got a knife, but Gina sleeps with a gun. She shoots and kills him.

Iconic Moments:
As the women of Miami Vice often get the short end of the stick* in terms of screen time, Gina-centric (or, even rarer, Trudy-centric) episodes are always welcome. Crockett has some nice moments of verbal sparring with fellow alpha-male Nico (including, inevitably, a race through the streets of Miami, with Crockett’s Ferrari going up against Nico’s Lamborghini), but it’s definitely Gina’s episode. A sexual assault victim herself (back in season one’s “Give a Little, Take a Little”, when her undercover assignment went horribly wrong), Gina goes after Nico with everything she’s got. She outmatches him in every encounter.

(*Strictly on an episode-by-episode basis, it’s not like Switek and Zito get much more screen time than Gina and Trudy, but over the course of the series, the guys both end up with complex, if tragic, character arcs. Trudy and Gina end the series in the same manner as they started, i.e. as a matched set of gorgeous, competent badasses.)

Themes:
Power. Like many Miami Vice villains, Nico’s money shields him from the law, which is exactly the sort of thing that makes being an honest Vice cop so damn difficult.

It’s All in the Details:
Zito is reading Charles Willeford’s 1984 crime novel Miami Blues, which is often credited right along with Miami Vice for bringing sleaze and glamour to the public perception of Miami.

Sign of the Times:
Vice HQ has the worst break room ever: a dinky wire cage smack in the middle of the squad room. It’s so cramped that Crockett bumps into the snack machine while trying to slither behind Gina to give her his patented “friendly coworkers who sometimes sleep together” back rub.

(Oh, yeah, Crockett and Gina are boinking. Not all that often, and never exclusively, but their flirtatious and fairly low-key romance reemerges sporadically throughout the early seasons.)

Music Notes:
Crockett and Gina and Odette and Tubbs go out for a double date at a glitzy club, at which the adorable sibling funk-soul act DeBarge performs their upbeat, effervescent hits “Rhythm of the Night”  and “You Wear It Well.” 

For something with a little less pep, both Fleetwood Mac’s “I’m So Afraid”  and Karla Bonoff’s “Cold Wind Blows” are featured. 

Rating:

Three out of five flamingos.

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