Episode: Season One, Episode One: “Brother’s Keeper”
Original airdate: September 16, 1984
Directed by: Thomas Carter, whose film credits include Save the Last Dance, Coach Carter, and—god help us all—Swing Kids.
Written by: series creator Anthony Yerkovich
Here’s where it all begins: After New York Vice detective Raphael Tubbs is murdered by vicious drug lord Calderone (Miguel Pinero), his vengeance-bent younger brother Rico, a street cop from the Bronx, heads south to
Miami, hot on Calderone’s
trail. His path soon crosses with undercover Miami Vice detective Sonny
Crockett, whose partner (played by Jimmy Smits!) has just been blown to pieces
by Calderone. Crockett and Tubbs spend most of the two-part episode bickering
and punching each other in the face before deciding to join forces and bring
their common enemy, Calderone, to justice. Which, by the way, they totally fail to do: They bust Calderone,
but a crooked judge lets him out on bail, and Calderone flees the country. Having
burned all his bridges in New York, Tubbs
decides to partner up with Crockett and stick around Miami for a while. And a legend is born.