Amen... Send Money
2 (70th Overall)
October 2, 1987
A feud between two teleevangelists boils over when Tubbs is under suspicion for raping a parishioner.
PlotEditReverend Bill Bob Proverb (Brian Dennehy) is preaching the gospel through his IGG (In God's Glory) Ministries, wanting money for his ministry, and for himself to buy the "better things". Meanwhile, Tubbs (undercover as a drug dealer) is approached by a woman in a Mercedes wanting drugs (but Switek is having trouble picking up what Tubbs is doing), and is busted, then the woman tries to rabbit and runs into a TV shop running the IGG program on the TV's there, and they find the suspect and the woman singing on the TV are both Proverb's wife Leona (Anita Morris).
Leona is claiming the devil made her buy the drugs, and the DA refuses to drop the charges since she has walked on three previous busts. Rev. Proverb proceeds to blast the Vice department on his show for persecuting Leona and beg for money for a defense fund, then reams into Leona for her drug habit and tells her this is the last time he will cover for it. Tubbs gets an anonymous call from someone in Proverb's church to reveal some info about the church, and wants to meet him, and he goes to see her (unwisely alone) at Proverb's church, identifies herself as Faye Nell (Jo Anderson) who talks nonsense, then lunges toward Tubbs, cries rape, her top is torn while Tubbs is trying to restrain her, and the watchman (conveniently showing up) pulls his gun on Tubbs. At OCB, IAD Officer Stroh has Tubbs in a room, but allows Crockett to see him. Crockett says they have nothing on him but Tubbs is concerned about a white churchgoing girl pointing a rape finger at a black off-duty cop, and IAD doesn't buy the fact that Proverb set Tubbs up because he busted his wife. Castillo has the squad run a make on Proverb, Faye undergoes a lie-detector test and she passed, saying God put her up to it through her headphones on her walkman. Crockett goes to see Mason Mather (James Tolkan), Proverb's rival, who says they compete but only in the "Earthly sense", that Proverb has a group of wayward girls called "Angels" and he has fallen for his own celebrity. Crockett gets a call from Gina that Tubbs found Proverb's address and went over to see him, though he's not permitted to. Proverb maintains he had nothing to do with the rape charge, and is prepared for battle, and after Crockett and Tubbs leave, Billy Bob & Leona hold court with the press and Leona claims that Tubbs tried to rape her when he arrested her, and Crockett has to drag an irate Tubbs out. Switek, Gina and Trudy follow Proverb around and find the man is true to the Word, helps out in shelters and in drought-stricken Third World countries, which is inconsistent with someone trying to set up Tubbs on a rape charge.
While Crockett has trouble with vending machines, he and Tubbs review who might have the most to gain if Proverb goes down for setting up Tubbs, and they go see Fast Eddie (Ben Stiller), a seller of religious merchandise, to lean on him, who says that Mason Mather has the most to gain if Proverb goes down because Proverb jumped on satellite broadcasting and he can't get on unless Proverb is off. Crockett and Tubbs go to see Mather but the Deacon said Mather is not available but to check out channel 60 for an important message, which was that the sky would part and fire & lightning were going to strike in over 2 hours and destroy Proverb's ministry, then faints on live TV.
Proverb won't back down and goes on live for his show as normal, but, just as Mather predicted, lightning strikes and destroys Proverb's studio, then Crockett and Tubbs go to see Mather at the hospital and find he's been in a "coma" (one of Mather's famous "comas") since his previous night's broadcast. Crockett and Tubbs go see Proverb while he looks through the remnants of his studio, and swears revenge on Mather for his studio's demise, thinks he sabotaged it, and learns the DA is still going to prosecute Leona. Switek finds a lunchbox at the transmitter site (containing liverwurst and onion sandwiches and schematics to Proverb's microwave transmitter) and finds one of his engineers, Carl Becker, could have been responsible. They confront Becker at an outside restaurant and flees, they catch him and he admits Mather set Tubbs up, and he wired the station, as he was being paid by both preachers. They go back to Mather's studio and find he has come out of his "coma" and climbed up on a transmission tower saying God has called him home, but while Crockett tries to talk him down, Mather is electrocuted when someone inside the building keys a mic. Proverb has another broadcast from his destroyed studio to say he will have to sell everything to rebuild and pay for Leona's drug rehab, and solicits donations. Crockett and Tubbs watch in amazement as the donations increase in a very short time to over $100,000.
- Don Johnson as Metro-Dade Detective James "Sonny" Crockett
- Philip Michael Thomas as Metro-Dade Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs
- Saundra Santiago as Metro-Dade Detective Gina Calabrese
- Michael Talbott as Metro-Dade Detective Stan Switek
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Brian Dennehy as Reverend Bill Bob Proverb
- James Tolkan as Mason Mather
- Jo Anderson as Faye Nell
- Anita Morris as Leona Proverb
- Ben Stiller as Fast Eddie
- James Dybas as IAD Officer Stroh
- Dan Fitzgerald as Dr. Ollinger
- Joel Goodman as Carl Becker
- Michael George Owens as Deacon
- Ryvers Wright as Brother Jason
- Ilse Earl as Lieu
"Ripped From The Headlines'Edit
This episode draws from the controversy (in 1987-88) regarding tele-evangelists such as Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts and Jim Bakker.
- When Miami Vice was first syndicated, the toll-free number (1-800-555-LOVE) for IGG Ministries was blocked out. Recent airings (most recently Centric, Hulu, El Rey Network, and COZI) and the DVD releases display the number in full. Depending on the search engine, the number brings up a baby clothes company in Canada, or various pornographic sites in the United States.
- IGG (the abbreviation for Proverb's "In God's Glory" ministry) is also an abbreviation used for "Ill-Gotten Gains", the term used for monetary or other personal gains obtained through illicit means.
- This episode was the first filmed for season 4 (and some TV listings actually had it listed for airing on 9/25/1987), but NBC wanted to start the season with Crockett in jail in "Contempt of Court".
- In a sarcastic mock of television fundraising (in which the cause or recipient displays the accretion of their donations "on screen"), when the Reverend and his wife are appealing for donations for their "Defense Fund" at the end of the episode, the figures at the bottom of the screen proceed upward in the following ridiculous sequence: $000.00... $64.00... $1,564.00... $7,564.00... $42,564.00... $142,564.00.
- Immediately before Mather is electrocuted, he can be seen gripping the radio mast with one hand and gesturing with the other in a closeup shot, but in the following long shot he is suddenly clinging to the mast with both hands.
- The central plot of the episode -- the alleged rape of Faye by Tubbs, and IAD's investigation of it -- is never actually cleared up. It is implied that Mason Mather was behind the accusation, but he is killed before this can be legally proven. It is made abundantly clear earlier in the episode that Faye will never admit the incident was staged, and Becker clearly states that he knows nothing of the plot beyond his involvement in sabotaging Proverb's studio. It's therefore unclear how Tubbs is exonerated. Indeed, the episode never even clarifies that he is.
- Filmed: July 23, 1987 - July 31, 1987
- Production Code: 63502
- Production Order: 70
- 30's Promenade, 1201 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (Tubbs arrests Leona, later Fast Eddie's shop)
- Love94 194 SW 187 St., Miami (Bill Bob's Studio)
- 19 Star Island Drive, Miami Beach (Bill Bob's house)
- Nemo Hotel, 116 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (Mission Proverb visits)
- Tropics International 960 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Bar where Crockett/Tubbs watch Mather's prediction)
- Mount Sinai Medical Center, 4300 Alton Rd, Miami Beach (Mather in hospital)
- Breakwater Hotel, 940 Ocean Drive (Becker's Apartment)
- Edison Hotel, 960 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Becker - Pool scenes)
- Waldorf Towers Hotel, 860 Ocean Drive (Chasing Proverb, later chasing Becker)
- WKAT, 1759 Bay Rd, Miami (Antenna Mather climbs up)
- "Wrapped Up" by Anita Morris (sung on Bill Bob Proverb's show, Crockett and Tubbs bust Leona)
- "Satellite" by The Hooters (Switek & Gina trail Proverb)
- "Black Book" by Rank and File (playing in bar)
- "Together As One" by Anita Morris (sung on Bill Bob Proverb's show)
- "The IGG (In God's Glory) message is: "Feel Good, Send Money!" -- Reverend Billy Bob Proverb
- "She (Faye) says I wanted to know her in the Biblical way!" -- Tubbs to Crockett
- "Nobody wants to be saved by some obscure, threadbare, raggedy-butt preacher anymore, so I am forced to martyr myself on the cross of luxury!" -- Proverb to Crockett & Tubbs
- "These two may be world-class hustlers, but as criminals, bozo-time!" -- Switek about Proverb and Mather
- "Night School, there is life after Vice!" -- Tubbs after explaining to Crockett how the transmitter works
- "One good thing about TV, you can always turn it off" -- Crockett after watching Proverb's show