Miami Vice Mondays: Junk Love


Episode: Season Two, Episode Six: “Junk Love”
Original airdate: November 8, 1985
Directed by: Michael O’Herlihy
Written by: Julia Cameron, best known to creative types as the author of the mega-popular self-help book, The Artist’s Way. (Fun fact: Cameron also used to be married to Martin Scorsese.) 

Summary:
After Vice conducts a raid on a brothel run by former smuggler Ivory Jones (jazz great Miles Davis), Crockett becomes personally invested in the welfare of a self-destructive, drug-addicted prostitute named Rosella (Ely Pouget), who’s been hiding in the brothel to escape from her patron/lover, a volatile crime lord named Juan Carlos Silva (Jose Perez).  Rosella claims to despise Silva, who routinely murders anyone who gets too close to her, and yet she seems dependent upon him in ways Crockett struggles to understand.



With Ivory’s aid, Crockett and Tubbs, posing as their criminal alter egos Burnett and Cooper, befriend Silva and infiltrate his organization. Strung out and reckless, Rosella exposes them to Silva. Silva promptly murders Ivory, but offers to spare Crockett’s life to prove his love to Rosella. As a further gesture of his love, Silva—who, horrifyingly, is actually Rosella’s father—hands her his gun and offers her the chance to kill him. No fool, she takes him up on it.

Iconic Moments:
This is in many ways a tawdry, sordid little episode, what with the brutal and nonconsensual father-daughter incest, but Pouget leaves a visceral, searing impression with her performance as Rosella, who stumbles through her scenes in a self-loathing, drug-addled daze. She’s riveting.

Themes:
Crockett’s determination to help Rosella puts him at odds with Tubbs, who has limited patience with Crockett’s well-established soft spot for loopy, damaged, dangerous women. It’s a grim pattern: Whenever Crockett pulls his white-knight act, despite his best intentions, it ends in disaster.

It’s All in the Details:
Gina and Trudy look pretty outstanding in their undercover-as-hookers garb:


Gina even accessorizes her outfit with her detective's badge and wears it casually around Vice HQ, which is a nice touch:

Rosella, too, wears some amazing ensembles. Shiny, shiny!:


Sign of the Times:
On the other hand, this particular outfit, which is sported by one of the prostitutes in Ivory’s brothel, could only exist on a Miami Vice episode. Is it lingerie? Sportswear? Whatever it is, it’s highly confusing and deeply impractical.

Music Notes:
Both Bryan Ferry’s “Slave To Love” and Robert Plant’s “Little By Little” are used to good effect, but the true standout track is Wang Chung’s blistering, ironic “True Love”.

Rating:
Three and a half flamingos.

Comments

DKoren said…
Hm. You're making me want to watch Miami Vice now. This is a show I have somehow not seen a single episode of. Isn't that amazing?
Morgan Richter said…
You'd probably enjoy it. It's a great deal grimmer and more surreal than expected. Since it became so iconic (and genre-defining) in the 1980s, I think a lot of people have this image of it being much brighter and bouncier than it actually is -- overall, Miami Vice is some dark, weird stuff.

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