Miami Vice

Season 1 Episode 1

Brother's Keeper

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 16, 1984 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Jimmy Smits' brief appearance at the beginning of the episode was his first credited acting role.

    • The Ferrari Daytona Spyder convertible featured in the pilot episode and the first two seasons of Miami Vice was actually one of two replica kit cars, built on a 1980 Corvett chassis with Ferrari hardware by Tom McBurnie for auto importer Al Mardikian. Miami Vice's producers purchased the two replicas after Mardikian lost them to the IRS.

    • We learn that Sonny has a six-year-old son named Billy.

  • Quotes

    • Sonny: You ever consider a career in southern law enforcement?
      Rico: Maybe. (laughs) Maybe.

    • Scottie: Six months ago some guy comes up to me in Little Havana. Hands me a suitcase. He says, "Compliments of Mr. Calderone." Nothing else. Just compliments. I didn't even open the damn thing for two weeks. Sonny--
      Sonny: How much? How much to buy you, Scottie?
      Scottie: 70 grand. The calls from DeSoto started about a month later. Information. That's all they wanted was information.
      Sonny: Information?
      Scottie: I tried to pull out at least a dozen times, but it was too late. I mean, I never expected anyone to get killed.
      Sonny: They changed the game plan on us, Scott. Is it still goin' down tonight?
      Scottie: Yeah.
      Sonny: Where?
      Scottie: You gotta help me, man. You gotta help me, man. I got a family. (Cop cars pull up) I got 15 years as a stand-up cop.
      Sonny: Where? Where?
      Scottie: I got two medals of valor. I took a bullet for you, for God's sakes. (sighs) They're runnin' a sports fishing boat out of Keys Marina. The drop-off's up river.
      Sonny: Am I, uh, am I missing something here, or what, Scottie? I don't get it. I don't understand this. You were my partner. I had you and Donna and the kids over to dinner, what, 20 or 30 times. (starts gritting his teeth out of anger) Thanksgiving, birthdays. I trusted you! (grabs Scottie's throat) I trusted you, you bastard! I trusted you! (Tubbs pulls him off of him, Scottie cries)

    • Rico: Crockett. James "Sonny" Crockett.
      Sonny: Very good, Tubbs. Next week we'll work on your name.
      Rico: University of Florida. All-American wide receiver number 88? Am I right or what?
      Sonny: Oh, that was a long time ago.
      Rico: You were sensational. I remember one time I watched you run a screen pass 90 yards with 10 seconds left on the clock, man, for the winning TD against Alabama.
      Sonny: It was 92 yards, Tubbs. Six seconds remaining.
      Rico: Yeah, well, excuse the hell outta me. You know, not that Vice isn't the most glamorous gig in the world, Crockett, but what happened, huh? I mean, you must have had half the scouts in the NFL on your tail.
      Sonny: Traded it all in on two years in the Southeast Asian Conference.
      Rico: 'Nam?
      Sonny: No, Coney Island.

    • Sonny (on them working together): Well, I don't know how this is gonna work, Tubbs. I mean, uh, you're not exactly up my alley--style and personawise. Heaven knows I'm no box of candy. But with all things considered, I think we may have to consider some type of temporary working relationship.

    • (After Elvis, the alligator growls at Rico)
      Rico: Hey, call him off man. I don't even like alligator shoes!
      Sonny: Hey, hey, don't talk like that man, you're gonna hurt his feelings. (pats Elvis' head) Don't mind him, Elvis he's from New York.

    • (Sonny wakes up)
      Rico: Hey, Crockett it's a great day to be alive, man.
      Sonny: Yeah, or beat someone to death, dependin' on your dispositon.

    • Sonny: 2 weeks! 2 weeks of leg work I put in on this bust, and three fourths of the dealers turn out to be cops! Me, Scotie Wheeler and (motions to Rico) Dr. Voodoo here putting in a surprise guest appearance direct from Fun City.
      Lt. Castillo: Crockett--
      Sonny: Not ot mention Heckle and Jeckle jumpin' the gun by a good five minutes. Is that what you mean by team playin', Lou?
      Lt. Castillo: What I'm trying tp tell you is there was a foul-up--
      Sonny: You know, my badge says "Miami," but lately it's been lookin' a lot like Disney World.
      Lt. Castillo: Shut up, Crockett! And I'll explain. Now, Tubbs is here on priority clearance per direct request of the NYPD. Interagency memo, Crockett. Confidential.
      Rico: I'd sorta like to keep it that way, if you catch my drift. Hey, no offense, but when it comes to security leaks, this town of yours ain't exactly Pentagon South.
      Sonny (to Lt. Castillo): Interesting perspective. Now, tell me somethin' 'Dubbs.'
      Rico: Tubbs. My friends call me Rafael.
      Sonny: Are you down here for some specific value to the taxpayers, or are you just workin' on your tan?
      Rico (laughs dryly): Well, hush my mouth! He's so funny.

    • Sonny: I've been takin' an informal survey of my unit this week, marriagewise. It seems out of 16 Vice cops, we're barely bttin' .250.
      Caroline: It's not the job. Oh, sure it's got a lot to do with it. (sighs) Seeing you shot that time. And your drinking. (exhales) I've been doing a lot of thinking about it.
      (They start talking over each other)
      Sonny: I've been doing a lot better--
      Caroline: You know it's funny. In a lot of ways you and your Vice cop buddies...
      Sonny: ---than when I started in plain clothes.
      Caroline: ...are just the flip side of the same coin--
      Sonny: I mean--
      Caroline: --from these dealers you're always masquerading around with. (That silences Sonny, they both sit, quiet for a minute) You're all players, Sonny. You get high on the action.

    • (Shortly after Eddie got killed)
      Lt. Castillo: You haven't changed much from your old football days have you, Sonny?
      Sonny: Listen, Lou--
      Lt. Castillo: No! You listen! I haven't heard word one from you for a whole stinkin' week. No case reviews, no updates, no progress reports.
      Sonny: I was under. I was settin' up--
      Lt. Castillo: And no backups!
      Sonny: The last time I requested a backup, I nearly got shot to death by Bluto and Lee Harvey Oswald over there. And as for progress reports, I'd just as soon buy radio time.
      Lt. Castillo: Hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Are you implying that I've got a bad cop in my department?
      Sonny (sighs): All I know is, every time I've gotten within 20 blocks of this Colombian, I've had the pavement pulled right out from under me.
      Lt. Castillo: By the book. By the book, Sonny, from here on or I swear I'm pullin' you off the street.

    • (Sonny punches Rico)
      Rico: Guess I asked for that, didn't I?
      Sonny: No, you didn't. That was way out of line.
      Rico: You mean that?
      Sonny (As he helps Rico up): Yeah.
      (Rico punches Sonny)
      Rico: Couldn't let you handle all that bad karma by yourself!

  • Notes

    • In conjunction with the 2008 Emmy awards, Crockett and Caroline's phone conversation was in the list of the Most Memorable Drama TV Moments. However, it didn't make it to the top 5.

    • The German episode title is "Heißes Pflaster Florida", meaning "Hot Florida Pavement".

    • In syndication, this two-hour pilot has been divided into two separate episodes.

    • The premiere episode was listed as number 99 in TV Guide's "100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History" in the June 29-July 5, 1996 issue.

    • Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas edged out Gary Cole and Jimmy Smits for the roles of Crockett & Tubbs. Smits would star in two series with "city-centric" titles: "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue".

    • This premiere episode of the series was named #100 on TV Guide & TV Land's "The 100 Most Memorable TV Moments" in December 2004.

    • When this pilot script was being considered at NBC, an executive wrote the note "MTV Cops" to summarize the show. That nickname stuck.

    • Songs Included: "Miss You" (from boombox at begin) by Rolling Stones from their album Some Girls; "Body Talk" (in New York club) by The Deele from album Street Beat; "Somebody's Watching Me" (in Miami strip club) by Rockwell from the album Somebody's Watching Me; "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (on the beach) was originally performed by Cyndi Lauper from her album She's So Unusual (cover); "Only In Miami" (sung in resturant) by Bette Midler from her album No Frills; "All Night Long (All Night)" (performed by band in resturant) by Lionel Richie from his album Can't Slow Down; "In The Air Tonight" (as Crockett & Tubbs drive to bust) by Phil Collins from album Face Value

    • Working series title was "Dade County Fast Lane." The pilot episode was not called "Brother's Keeper" until the series reran on USA in 1988.

  • Allusions