Miami Vice Mondays: “When Irish Eyes are Crying”

Episode: Season Three, Episode One: “When Irish Eyes are Crying”
Original airdate: September 26, 1986
Directed by: Mario DiLeo
Story by: John Leekley
Teleplay by: Dick Wolf and John Leekley

While investigating a tip about a possible weapons deal, Gina saves former IRA member Sean Carroon (Liam Neeson) from an assassination attempt, then becomes romantically involved with him. Carroon, who claims to have renounced his violent ways, is now a vocal proponent of peace between England and Northern Ireland. Vice teams up with a Scotland Yard detective (Daniel Gerroll), who is certain Carroon is using his avowed pacifism as cover while he plots an attack on England. Crockett and Tubbs go undercover as weapons dealers and discover that, indeed, Carroon has been purchasing surface-to-air missiles as part of a plot to bring down the Concorde. Heartbroken, Gina tries to stop the attack, and ends up shooting and killing her lover.

Oh, and Crockett’s beloved Ferrari gets blasted to pieces by a rocket launcher.

Iconic Moments:
As I said: Crockett’s beloved Ferrari gets blasted to pieces by a rocket launcher. It’s a perfectly decent episode—it’s nice to see some focus on Gina, it’s fun seeing a pre-fame Liam Neeson—but the death of the Ferrari (and Crockett’s hilariously horrified reaction) is what everyone remembers about this one.

I bet you 99.999% of Miami Vice fans could instantly identify the episode just from the above screenshot.

In other news, The Breakfast Club’s Paul Gleason shows up as an IRA member by the unbeatable name of Bunny Berrigan.

And the sleazebag weapons dealer who blows up the Ferrari? That’d be Jeff Fahey. Fahey has had a perfectly respectable career in film and television, but honestly: If you’d shown me this episode back in 1986 and told me that one of the guest stars would become a huge movie star, I would’ve easily picked Fahey over Neeson, no question. Neeson is fine in this, I guess, but Fahey, in his relatively brief role, is far more charismatic and magnetic.

Here's Fahey:

Here's Neeson:

Yeah. See what I mean?

It’s All in the Details:
Check out Trudy’s nameplate:

It was kind of lost on me when I watched these episodes as a kid, but watching as an adult, Crockett and Gina’s cool, laid-back, deeply affectionate coworkers-with-benefits relationship strikes me as both sweet and sophisticated: Sonny isn’t visibly possessive or jealous when Gina gets involved with Carroon, he’s the first to jump to her defense when the Scotland Yard detective suggests her judgment on this issue might be compromised, and he’s visibly shattered on her behalf when Carroon turns out to be a snake. I like seeing grown adults acting like grown adults on television.

Sign of the Times:
The Concorde! Oh, how I miss the Concorde! I never got the chance to fly from New York to London in three hours, and unless supersonic jets make a comeback in my lifetime, I never will.

Music Notes:
Carroon plays John Lennon’s “Imagine” to accompany a slideshow of images about the violence in Northern Ireland. Patti LaBelle and Bill Champlin’s “Last Unbroken Heart” becomes the official soundtrack of Gina’s romance with Carroon—it’s used twice in the episode. The Pogues’ instrumental “Wild Cats of Kilkenny” provides the proper Celtic punk flair. 

Three flamingos.


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