Okay, real talk. This is not only one of the best episodes of season 5, but maybe one of the best episodes of Miami Vice. This story is complex and nuanced. It has several subplots that lead directly into Freefall and for whatever reason it was completely pulled from air until reruns.
To be honest, we’re all in total shock this episode did not air before Freefall on NBC. No jokes here, this episode really is something great. We have Stan’s gambling, Tubbs’ terrible loneliness, Tubbs & Crockett’s strained relationship and the closure of the Valerie story line. All of that doesn’t even include a very real and thoughtful story about a drug addict, child abuse & should a cop lie to take down despicable person.
This is an episode of Miami Vice you can’t miss.
Miami Vice – Season 05 Ep. 20 – Too Much, Too Late
Premiered January 25, 1990 (Never aired originally, only came back on reruns later and they always aired it BEFORE Freefall)
Writer: John Connor (only episode he’s written for anything)
Director: Richard Compton (Down for the Count, which is interesting as he’ll be able to circle back on the Zito storyline. Everybody’s in Showbiz, The Big Thaw, Mirror Image, just to name a few others. )
Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl by Mink DeVille
You Gonna Get Yours by Public Enemy
- Hooker row, how we’re gonna miss you! So many great memories, so many foreign dignitaries caught paying for sex.
- Woman at home, talking to a man named Swain. She wants some drugs, but wants it for free. Swain breaks the table and flips out. He’s pissed. Yvonne already owes him money. Girl watching it go down and goes in her room.
- Lynette calls her Valerie, she’s scared. Her mom is using again and there’s a man she’s scared of. Valerie says stay there, I’m coming to help. She calls Tubbs and asks to keep it family, don’t send a patrol car.
- Meanwhile Swain is destroying the house, then starts beating up Yvonne. Lynette tries to break it up but Swain hits her. Goes back to beating the mom.
- Tubbs pulls up, pulls his gun but Swain runs off like he was expecting it, escapes. Tubbs goes back to Yvonne and Lynette.
- Tubbs comes in, checks on Yvonne. They don’t want to talk to him, won’t give up the name. Lynette tries to say please buy Yvonne tells her to be quiet. Tubbs says fine, but I’m going to keep in touch.
- After Tubbs leaves Lynette says she’s gonna tell Tubbs, but Yvonne says don’t Swain is my only connection and she hurts real bad inside. She asks Lynette just to stay with her mom and she concedes. A true junkie. Not the other ones we’ve had in Vice where they’re just degenerates. Junkies use for a whole bunch of reasons and a lot of times they’re good people who have had bad things happen in their life.
- Valerie flies in
- Sonny is talking to Tubbs but Tubbs is somewhere else. Sonny wants help with a case but Tubbs is barely functioning. Sonny eventually calls him out and that’s right when Valerie walks in. Everyone is happy to see each other but Sonny lets the two love birds have their time, leaves.
- Melissa: She dress up like a mime, is that whats going on here.
- Tubbs is head over heels for Valerie, can see it written all over him. Valerie thanks him, Tubbs asks how Yvonne and Valerie know each other. Valerie tells the story and says we need to help them. Yvonne’s had a hard life and she’s Lynette’s godmother. Tubbs says he tried to get info, Valerie says let me talk to her. She goes to leave and Tubbs says don’t spend all your time working, Valerie says you wanna invite me out to dinner. Tubbs says yeah, sure.
- Valerie is harassing Yvonne about why she didn’t give a name. Lynette still can’t believe her mom won’t stop protecting Swain.
- Valerie says you should go into a program then says we should go out tonight. Yvonne says she has something to do tonight and also can you loan me some cash. Valerie sees right through the request, Yvonne says she hurts inside. Lynette tries to stop it, saying she’ll only give it to Swain. Valerie reluctantly gives her the cash but says tomorrow you’re going into a program
- You know its always best to tell a junkie the date they’re going into rehab, they won’t disappear or anything.
- Stan on the phone placing another bet, Sonny walks in and Stan tries to fake the call but Sonny is suspicious. He then says that his program has turned him around, thanks to Sonny/Rico he needs those meetings bad. Sonny don’t buy it.
- Valerie/Tubbs having dinner. At first talking shop then switch to what’s up with us? Tubbs wants her bad and she’s the only habit he’s got. Start kissing
- Yvonne is trying to buy, pays back the money owed and wants to buy more. He says no way, she says I’ll do anything. Swain says you’d have to pay me but I’ll take Lynette as payment, flashes her a baggy and says someone has to do it why not me.
- Swain goes into the room, Lynette is scared. Yvonne has second thoughts and runs in, Swain throws her on the ground by the drugs. Says we had a deal I’m not breaking it.
- This is one of the most powerful scenes in all of Miami Vice. The junkie, the girl and the dealer. It felt so powerful.
- Next day, Tubbs comes in in a good mood. He feels like he and Valerie are back. Sonny says go slow buddy, Tubbs says everything feels so right this time.
- Valerie calls, Tubbbs goes from happy to frantic. Runs out.
- Valerie is there, Yvonne is dead looks like she had been stabbed.
Valerie talking to Valerie, she feels so responsible for all of it, having given Yvonne money. They try to comfort her, she says neighbors saw Lynette run off. Sonny leaves to put out an APB.
Valerie/Tubbs go down the beach. They’re going to go see Izzy and Manny, who are now dance instructors and selling stocks plus financial advice. Valerie tries to say you need a license and Izzy tries to seduce Valerie. Tubbs gets right to the point and wants to know where someone named Swain is, plays hardball. Izzy caves, says he’ll see what he can do.
- Stan is there, but he really doesn’t like it. He’s really put off, leaves early. Immediately goes outside and places a bet.
- Melissa: Didn’t even wait to get out of the parking lot
- Tubbs/Valerie talking then sexy time.
- Melissa: Tubbs once again taking advantage of the situation
- Tubbs comes dancing in, feels like he’s 18 again. Sonny once again says go slow, you haven’t seen her in three years. Tubbs isn’t listening though, says he’s gonna ask her to marry him.
They argue, Tubbs says ever since Caitlyn you don’t trust your feelings anymore. That was a step to far and things get pretty icy.
Tubbs goes and picks up Valerie, she knows where Lynette would run off too when things got rough at home
- Valerie, Tubbs search the park for Lynette, eventually find her sitting alone, she runs to Valerie tells her Swain raped her.
Metro Dade Headquarters
- Valerie and the duo talk to a doctor sent to talk to Lynette but Valerie says no you can’t talk, let the police find Swain first. Doctor leaves angry, Valerie says you two need to get off your ass and find this guy, storms off.
- Stan watching sports roundup, he lost all his bets. Turns off the TV, looks at a snow globe but hears his car alarm going off. Races outside and sees his car being towed. Driver says we’re taking the car as payment for your loses tonight. Stan fights them off yelling “Stay out of my life” and steals the tow truck.
- Tubbs trying to talk to Valerie, she says she needs some time. Tubbs tells her we’re not young any more and this isn’t the right moment but I love you and will you marry me. Valerie surprised, says I need to be here for Lynette. Tubbs asks did you hear me? Valerie says yes I did but still gives no answer. Tubbs, sad puppy dog gets up, looks back and then leaves.
- Tubbs goes and meets with Sonny, they’re waiting for Izzy. Tubbbs says this case is getting between him and Valerie. Sonny says yeah that can happy and Tubbs gives him a look like “You wanna go?”
- Sonny eventually says he thinks there’s something fishy about Valeries involvement. She’s hiding the kid, she knew exactly where Lynette was, there’s something wrong about this. Tubbs gets angry, goes to storm out and runs into Izzy. Izzy see’s the tension, says Swain is at a crackhouse every night and gives him the address. Tubbs leaves, Izzy tells Sonny Swain is a bad dude.
- Stan gets woken up by some mobsters, they say we won’t tolerate your behavior anymore. You owe us now, we own you and you need to do us a favor. Stan is in deep shit. Mobsters leave.
- Cordero and Swain doing business. Cordero says you’re too small time to be such a pain in the ass, Swain pulls a knife, says once he’s got a new supplier he’s gonna be king of these streets. Swain leaves but duo catch him.
Metro Dade Headquarters
Valerie, Lynette and the duo there to identify Swain. Swain is in the lineup but she says she doesn’t see him.
Later, duo walking out Sonny tells Tubbs a lot of things aren’t adding up here, something is wrong with Valerie’s involvement. There’s no reason why Lynette couldn’t identify Swain
- Tubbs comes in and talks to Valerie. He confronts her about her involvement. She admits she’s been hiding Lynette and protecting her. But, now Lynette is missing and she’s taken Valeries gun.
- Tubbs calls the precinct, they need to get to Swain’s place.
- Tubbs is very mad about all the stuff Valerie hasn’t been telling him.
- Lynette is there and Swain is pretty happy. Lynette pretending to come back to Swain. Swain gets suspicious and asks does your mom know you’re here. She says no, moms’ dead and pulls a gun out of the bag. She says after Swain left she talked to her mom who blamed her for crying and said get used to Swain coming over. Something snapped and she stabbed her mom.
- Tubbs and Valerie come busting in, Valerie slowly take the gun away. Valerie slowly aims the gun at Swain hoping the trigger would get pulled accidentally or something.
- Tubbs says Swain is going to jail for a long time.
- Valerie in the interrogation room, Tubbs comes in. Says Lynette is with a doctor, helping her with juvenile authorities. Valerie says what was I supposed to do, turn her in for murder. Tubbs says so you framed the guy? Valerie says what you’ve never done that before? Tubbs says no, you’re a cop Valerie. She says she’s burned out. Valerie says there’s some things she didn’t fake but its too late for us? Tubbs says “Woman…”
- Valerie says she’s sorry, tries to leave. Tubbs stops her, asks where she’s going. She says after the trial she’s going back to NY to turn in her badge. Leaves.
- Episode fades out on Tubbbs sitting in the room.
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The shows official accounts:
Intro & transition music provided by:
Cuban Sandwich, Voice Over Under
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0