MIAMI VICE: SEASON 1- EPISODE 4: Calderone’s Return: The Hit List (Part 1)

It’s Friday! You know what that means! Miami Vice day! I’ve loved every episode so far, and today is no different. Each episode is like a really good movie. Let’s get into this, and see what’s up with Calderone, who was the bad guy in the premiere episode, and this hit list.


Summary

This episode was directed by Richard Colla, and written by Joel Surnow. Surnow also directed the last episode, “Cool Runnin'”. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he co-created the hit shows, La Femme Nikita and 24. The original air date for this episode was October 19, 1984.

The episode begins with Tubbs doing surveillance from a hotel room. While he’s doing that, Crockett is in the room getting dressed and ready to meet with his wife, Caroline, and her lawyer about their upcoming divorce. Switek and Zito come in to relieve Crockett and Tubbs, and Switek says, “What’s new today with America’s favorite couple.” I thought that was hilarious. At the time this aired, everyone must have been talking about this awesome new show, and Crockett and Tubbs were probably getting to be household names already.
Next, Sonny and Caroline are meeting outside the courthouse with their lawyers. Caroline wanted to move to Atlanta, and take their son with her. So, both of their lawyers were playing hardball with each other, and Caroline’s lawyer was a real jerk. Sonny and Caroline go off to the side while the lawyers are arguing. Caroline changed her mind about moving. So, they fired both of their lawyers on the spot.

Back to Switek’s and Zito’s surveillance. We see some creepy dude getting into a limo to drive and pick somebody up. We know he is creepy, because there is some creepy music playing. It is almost Michael Myers Halloween music. He goes to pick up a couple of guys who Vice has been watching. They get in the limo. Then the “driver” gets a crazy shotgun, and kills both
men. A cop on the ground was there instantly (since they had been watching those guys), and Creepy eventually shoots him as well. He gets in another car with another creepy dude and takes off just as Switek and Zito get down there. Switek calls it in, and says where the car is headed. Somebody gives chase, but the bad guys got away.

However, the car is seen parked at another building. Tubbs arrives with a couple of other cops. He tells them to wait for backup. Then another police car arrives with sirens blaring. So much for waiting for backup! Tubbs grabs a shotgun and heads in. The main creepy guy takes off on foot, and Tubbs gives chase, but loses him.

All the cops are searching the building for any kind of evidence. The bad guys left behind a briefcase with weapons and a little black book. Somebody gives the commander, Lou, the book. Lou shows Tubbs the book. He looks upset. Then Lou says, “Where is he?” – He being Sonny. Sonny is in bed with Caroline. He was right – their divorce was as much a failure as their marriage was.

Tubbs and Lou catch up with Sonny at Caroline’s house, and fill him in on what happened. And that black book? It’s a hit list, and Sonny’s on it – #8…and the first 6 have already been killed. Cue creepy Halloween music.

They discover that the first six were drug dealers. Somebody is out to eliminate competition. Lou wants Sonny to go into protective custody, but of course Sonny is being stubborn about it. They have no idea who the killer is. They only have one set of fingerprints, and they don’t know whose they are. They belong to somebody on Interpol’s list, but there is no name. [He was the one that was driving the car that Creepy got away in. There is a picture though. Tubbs looks at the picture, and sees that he is with Calderone.

Lou and Sonny are at Sonny’s boat to pick up some things before he goes into protective custody. But, Creepy is staking them out. Lou catches a glimpse when the guy was going to shoot Crockett. So, he went and knocked Crockett out of the way, and got hit himself.

In the hospital, Tubbs fills Crockett in that it is Calderone behind all of this. Since, Lou’s life is on the line because of a bullet meant for Crockett, Crockett cannot just stand by. So, he and Tubbs try to figure out how to get Calderone.

They find out that Linus Oliver, who is #7 on the hit list, has a drug deal in the works. Crockett and Tubbs figure that Calderone is behind it. So, they grab Linus, and have him set up a meeting for that night with Mendez – the name of the guy he was supposed to meet.

They meet at a night club. This means we get music! “Let’s Get Excited” by The Pointer Sisters is playing while they are waiting for Mendez to arrive. Since this is the ’80s, and we are in a club with alcohol, we get a big bar fight (with ZZ Top’s “Tush” playing). Linus manages to point out Mendez, and they get him.

While they are questioning Mendez, they find out that Linus was killed. So, Mendez was not the hit man. And there is one person left on the hit list. Tubbs races to get to Crockett before the hit man does. An awesome song, I had never heard before, is playing during this sequence – “In the Night” by Russ Ballard.
Sonny, Caroline, and their son Billy get home, and the hitman is waiting for them. Now we get our obligatory shootout. Tubbs arrives, and the shootout gets even better. The hitman jumps out a window to get outside, only to find himself surrounded by the rest of the police. He goes out in a blaze of glory.

If there was hope for Sonny and Caroline to stay together, it is now dashed. Oh, and we find out that Lou died. Man, this is ending on a bummer. Then Crockett and Tubbs find out that Mendez finally broke, and said that Calderone is in the Bahamas. Crockett says that it’s only 60 miles away. He asks Tubbs when he can be ready. Tubbs replies, “I am always ready.” Holy crap! That was so awesome!
Oh man! Freeze-frame. To Be Continued…

Music

There were only three songs on today’s episode. But, man they were good ones!

“I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters

 

“Tush” by ZZ Top

 

“In the Night” by Russ Ballard

 

Final Thoughts

This show has me hooked! These episodes just keep getting better and better. There were a lot of funny parts, and there was some intensity. And of course, there were some great action sequences. There were no big name guest stars in this episode. Maybe the biggest guest star (pardon the pun) was Ron Taylor, who played Linus. The best known movie he was in was Trading Places. I kid you not, imdb credits him as “Big Black Guy” in that movie. We mainly get to see the vice squad. I am warming up to Switek. He is pretty funny. He and Zito have had great chemistry with Crockett and Tubbs right from the beginning of the series.

I kind of feel bad for Lou. But not too bad, because I know who is coming to replace him. Lou was serviceable as captain, but there was nothing about him that really stood out. He wasn’t the tough, grizzled type of captain, and he was not a flabbergasted, whiny one neither. So, he wasn’t bad. But he wasn’t great. I’m really looking forward too see the arrival of Edward James Olmos (and not just because he was the first celebrity to follow me on Twitter).

Now I can’t wait to see the next episode! I am going to try to have some self-discipline though, and hold off watching it until next week.


Once again, I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode, or on Miami Vice in general.

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