Brother's Keeper (Pilot)


September 16, 1984
Repeat Airdates
January 25, 1985
July 28, 1985
July 22, 2006
TV Rating
TV-14 D-L-V
Guest Stars
Previous Episode
Next Episode

"Brother's Keeper", also known simply as "Miami Vice" or "Pilot", is the pilot episode of Miami Vice and the first episode of the first season. The episode (and series) premiered on September 16, 1984, and was rerun on January 25, 1985, July 28, 1985, and as part of a special broadcast (for the release of the Miami Vice film) on July 22, 2006.


A NYPD Armed Robbery "street cop" and a Miami Vice Detective team up to catch a murderous drug dealer named Calderone.


Part I (Syndicated)Edit


Tubbs arrives in Miami

NYPD Officer Ricardo Tubbs is on a stakeout for a Colombian drug dealer. After scaring off some would-be muggers he follows the dealer into a bar, where he pays a waiter to spill the dealer's drinks and force him into the men's room. Tubbs moves to confront the dealer, only to be thwarted by two of the dealer's goons, who fight with Tubbs (one of which Tubbs shoots down) long enough for the dealer to escape out the back door.

In Miami, Vice Detective James "Sonny" Crockett is waiting with his partner, Eddie Rivera, for a meet with Corky, a minor dealer with Colombian connections. Eddie is concerned about his pregnant wife Maria and how he doesn't want her working in a restaurant to support their family. He wants to call her but is distracted by the arrival of Corky, who has severed his ties with the Colombian and started his own business, to the concern of the Vice cops. They stop under a highway to review the product. Crockett drops his sunglasses getting out of the car; as he picks them up, he notices a bomb on the underside of Corky's car, but just as he calls out it explodes, killing Corky and Eddie.

As the police cordon off the scene Crockett briefs the Commander of the Organized Crime Bureau, Lt. Lou Rodriguez, convinced the mysterious Colombian dealer is behind the deaths. When he voices his suspicion of a departmental leak Rodriguez loses his temper and threatens to pull Crockett off the streets unless he does things by the book from now on. Crockett visits the restaurant where Maria works to tell her about Eddie, and she breaks down in agonized tears.

Due to all this, he's late for his son Billy's birthday party, where his friend Scottie Wheeler (Bill Smitrovich), a DEA agent, and his soon to be ex-wife Caroline (Belinda Montgomery) are waiting. Crockett and Caroline discuss his career and how incompatible it is with their marriage. Later, Caroline goes to check in on Billy; finding him asleep in Crockett's arms, she quietly shuts the door.


Tubbs clutches his brother Rafael after his murder by Calderone's men.

Crockett tracks down his connection Leon Mohammad (Mykel T. Williamson) and demands to see the Columbian to settle the score after the deaths of Corky and Eddie. Leon refuses, but agrees to reset the original deal. Meanwhile, Tubbs (who has arrived in Miami using the cover name "Teddy Prentiss") is in a club trying to set up a deal with Wheeler (posing as a dealer) to see Calderone (the dealer from New York), and Tubbs leaves him a phone number, at which he gets a call for a meet that night.

Crockett and Leon boat out to meet for the deal, where they meet Wheeler and Tubbs. Before the deal goes down the police show up; Leon flees but is caught, while Tubbs steals Crockett's Stinger and takes off. Crockett pursues in a car and eventually jumps into the boat from a low bridge. Crockett identifies himself as Miami Vice; Tubbs identifies himself as NYPD. Later, Rodriguez says Tubbs (under the name of Rafael Tubbs) is in Miami on NYPD priority clearance looking for a Columbian drug dealer named Calderone, who has killed two NYPD policemen. As it turns out, the same dealer is responsible for several drug-related murders in Miami. Rodriguez suggests they work together, as they are after the same person.

Tubbs goes to Crockett's boat, the St. Vitus Dance, bringing a copy of his surveillance photo, and is introduced to Crockett's "watch-gator", Elvis, former mascot for the Florida Gators college football team. Crockett leaves to join Wheeler downtown in court for Leon's bond hearing; he is released on his own recognizance for his "cooperation" with the District Attorney--a ruse designed to make Leon beg for protective custody, knowing that Calderone will kill him for cooperating with anyone in law enforcement. Leon calls OCB and Rodriguez tells Crockett to meet him at the beach. Tubbs has tailed Leon on his own; however, a cross-dressing hitman kills Leon before they can speak to him. Crockett and Tubbs agree to a "temporary" working arrangement.

Part II (Syndicated)Edit

Crockett and Tubbs go to Leon's apartment (using a tire warranty as a fake search warrant) and find the place ransacked; Tubbs locates an address book with phone numbers, which they take to OCB to do backtraces. Tubbs said Leon changed cabs several times without any tails but his, meaning the leak in the department told the hitman where Leon was. To Crockett's chagrin, Tubbs mentions that he discovered Rodriguez has recently made a large deposit in his bank account. Crockett asks Gina to do a check on Tubbs to see what comes up. Since Tubbs has all the money from the blown deal, Calderone's lieutenant, Trini DeSoto (Martin Ferrero), calls to set up a meet with him and Crockett in a nightclub later that night. At the nightclub, Crockett and Tubbs enjoy a night of partying with Gina and Trudy, during which time DeSoto shows up and introduces Tubbs to Calderone (Miguel Piñero). Tubbs reluctantly shakes his hand, then leaves with Trudy. Gina tells Crockett that Rafael Tubbs was killed in the shootout with Calderone three weeks earlier in New York. On the St. Vitus Dance, Crockett is upset about Tubbs' deception, but Gina settles him down, and the couple enjoy a night of passion.

The next morning, Crockett wakes up to find Gina gone; Tubbs arrives on the boat, whereupon Crockett pulls him down into the cabin, confronts him with the information about Rafael, and threatens to "light up his whole intestinal tract" with a flare gun if Tubbs doesn't tell him who he really is. Tubbs finally reveals he is Ricardo Tubbs, and he is in Miami (using forged NYPD documents) to avenge his brother Rafael's murder by Calderone and his men. DeSoto calls and sets up the meet for later that night. Crockett has OCB complete the back-trace on the numbers in Leon's address book ASAP, for his eyes only, and plan the bust. Gina gives Crockett the cold shoulder and he finds (after chasing Gina into the ladies' room) that he mentioned Caroline's name in bed. Crockett leaves her a rose later as an apology. He attempts to casually inquire about Rodriguez' cash flow, but Rodriguez tells him to ask outright before saying it's none of his business. Meanwhile Tubbs gets a call from DeSoto to meet immediately, and he goes to the rendezvous in an alley. Crockett gets the back-trace results and finds his former partner, Wheeler, is the leak, as his number appeared in Leon's book.


DeSoto in drag

Crockett races to the alley where Tubbs is meeting DeSoto, and just as DeSoto (in drag) pulls his gun to kill Tubbs, Crockett and the Metro-Dade police show up; they distract DeSoto long enough for Tubbs to shoot him dead. Crockett heads to Wheeler's house to confront him with the evidence, after which Wheeler admits he received $70,000 from Calderone six months ago, with "compliments", and took the money to help catch up his mortgage and pay for his handicapped son's mounting medical expenses. Then DeSoto started pressing him for information, which he provided, undermining Crockett's investigation. Crockett is infuriated that Wheeler betrayed his trust and caused Eddie's death, and Tubbs has to pull Crockett away when he tries to strangle his friend and former partner.

Crockett and Tubbs drive to intercept a boat carrying a shipment of drugs for Calderone. Before arriving Crockett calls Caroline, just to ask if what they had was real. Caroline tells him they did. At the docks the Vice cops get the drop on Calderone's men; Tubbs is hit as he and Crockett shoot down the thugs. After nearly escaping during the fight, Calderone finds himself staring down Tubbs' double barreled shotgun. Tubbs - though sorely tempted, with Calderone egging him on - refrains from shooting Calderone, and they take him to jail. Before transferring him to a different prison, a judge (that Calderone bought) springs him and he flees in his seaplane, with Crockett and Tubbs only arriving in time to watch him fly away. Tubbs decides to pursue a career in "Southern law enforcement" and remain in Miami.


Guest StarsEdit





Brother's Keeper Part II Title Card

  • When aired in syndication, "Brother's Keeper" is aired as two parts instead of a single two-hour episode (this is often the case for feature-length episodes of television shows). Strangely, this is how the episode is presented on the UK DVD releases of the series, despite the fact the other feature-length episodes from the series ("The Prodigal Son" and "Freefall") are presented in their original double-length form, and DVD releases in other regions have the pilot as a single episode.

Miami Vice 1985 VHS

  • This episode has had the greatest number of distinct titles of any episode in the series. Originally it was simply called "Miami Vice" when first aired; when it went into syndication it received it's now official title of "Brother's Keeper"; it was released on home video as Miami Vice: The Movie in 1985; Hulu and list the episode as "Brother's Keeper - Pilot"; the UK DVD set, meanwhile, splits the episode into two parts and labels them as "Pilot (Part I)/(Part II)", and when it carried the series, Netflix also listed the episode in two parts as "Brother's Keeper (Part I)/(Part II)".
  • This episode aired on Sunday night before the show moved to its normal 10:00 Friday night time slot for "Heart of Darkness". It aired again on Sunday, July 28, 1985, as the NBC Sunday Movie of the Week, and had higher Nielsen ratings than its' initial repeat in January, 1985.
  • The title cards for the two-part version of this episode are in a different font style and size compared to the rest of the series proper, as a result of them being added just prior to the episode going into syndication.
  • The so-called "In the Air Tonight" scene, in which Crockett and Tubbs drive through the Miami night to meet Calderone in Crockett's Daytona, the action set to the Phil Collins song of the same name, is often listed as one of television's greatest moments.
  • The scene where the team plans the bust together is a staple of the early episodes, but was quickly phased out as the season 1 progressed.
  • When presenting the transfer order to the guard at the suburban jail, Crockett refers to Calderone as "Orlando Calderone". However, the drug lord's name was changed to Esteban Calderone in subsequent episodes. The first name Orlando was later resurrected for Esteban's son (played by John Leguizamo in "Sons and Lovers" and "The Afternoon Plane"). There are also discrepancies in how the drug lord's surname is spelt throughout the series, with some instances spelling it Calderone (technically the Italian spelling of the name, and therefore unlikely to be adopted by a Central/South American drug lord) and others spelling in Calderon (the Anglicized version of the Spanish spelling, Calderón).
  • Crockett uses his Daytona's car phone for the first time; the device was a novelty in 1984.
  • The Carlyle Hotel Condo (which Crockett and Rivera are standing in front of at the episode's beginning) still exists, and has also featured in the movies Scarface, Bad Boys and The Birdcage.
  • Bill Smitrovich, who also played DEA Commander Burr in "The Prodigal Son", appeared as Lloyd Bowman in Michael Mann's Manhunter, alongside fellow Miami Vice guest stars Garcelle Beauvais (from "Give a Little, Take a Little" and "The Maze"), Bill Cwikowski (from "No Exit"), Chris Elliott (from "Down for the Count (Part II)"), Dennis Farina (from "One Eyed Jack", "Lombard" and "World of Trouble"), Kim Griest (from "Nobody Lives Forever"), Michele Shay (from "Theresa" and "Badge of Dishonor") and Jim Zubiena (from "Calderone's Return (Part I)"), as well as Miami Vice regular Michael Talbott, although his single scene was deleted from the theatrical cut of the film.
  • Martin Ferrero would return in several episodes throughout the series as Izzy Moreno, Crockett and Tubbs' street informant and the only character outside of the principle cast to appear in every season.
  • Olivia Brown is listed as a guest star in the pilot, though in the series her name will appear between John Diehl and Gregory Sierra/Edward James Olmos' names in the opening credits.
  • This was Jimmy Smits' acting debut. He would later come to prominence on L.A. Law and N.Y.P.D. Blue.
  • The video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, amongst its many references to Miami Vice, features two gangs dressed as extras from the scene in which Tubbs arrives in Miami (see image above) -- the Cubans wear the white-and-red t-shirt of the man on the left, whilst the Haitians wear the purple vest and blue jeans of the man on the right.
  • Crockett's gun in this episode is a Browning BDA in .45 ACP. The BDA was actually a SIG Sauer P220 that was branded as the BDA by Browning, who were responsible for importing it into the United States. Once the show was picked up, Crockett's weapon was changed to a Dornaus & Dixon Bren Ten in 10mm Auto, which it would remain for the first two seasons. Various reasons for the change are cited, including the silver finish of the Bren Ten showing up better during night filming, or Michael Mann's preference for the Bren Ten's "flashier" styling, better suited to a supposed drug dealer.
  • New York would reappear again in "The Prodigal Son" (when Crockett and Tubbs go there to solve the Revilla case) and "Better Living Through Chemistry" (when Tubbs travels there to help clear Clarence Batisse's name).
  • This is the first of five times Tubbs is shot in the line of duty during the series. He later takes a glancing bullet to the head in "Viking Bikers from Hell", is shot in the chest (but saved by a bulletproof vest) by Sonny Burnett in "Mirror Image", has his shoulder grazed by a bullet in "To Have and to Hold", and finally gets hit in the arm (similar to this episode) in the series finale "Freefall". In comparison, Crockett was shot only twice during the series -- in "Stone's War" and, most notably, "A Bullet for Crockett".
  • When DeSoto sings, "Only in Miami is Cuba so far away..." he is quoting the song "Only In Miami" by Bette Midler, which appears later in the episode.
  • This is the only episode in which a genuine black Ferrari Daytona Spyder is used as Crockett's car, and only in one scene (where Crockett is sitting in the car, waiting for Leon). According to legend, the real Daytona belonged to a local doctor who had rented the car out to the production crew, but who refused to let the arrangement continue after the car suffered over $1000 worth of damage in an accident on the set.
  • The scenes at OCB headquarters were filmed in a real office building, at 3033 N. NW River Drive in Miami. From the first regular episode ("Heart of Darkness") onwards, OCB scenes were filmed in an entirely different looking office (in fact a soundstage at Greenwich Studios in North Miami, the home of OCB interior scenes for the entire series run). The change of location is never addressed or even acknowledged in the show.


  • The version of the "Miami Vice Theme" used in the opening credits is incorrectly mixed and is missing the distinctive synthesised guitar hook. The problem occurs in every episode up to "Calderone's Return (Part I)". Curiously, this was not corrected on recent DVD releases of the show, despite being acknowledged as an error by producers.
  • The same problem with the "Miami Vice Theme" occurs during the chase scene between Crockett (in the Camaro) and Tubbs (in Crockett's Stinger).
  • In his hotel room, Tubbs gets a call to make the deal, on the bed are guns and an open briefcase full of cash. The shot changes to a close-up of Tubbs on the phone, then shows the bed again and the briefcase is suddenly closed, then Tubbs opens it to check the cash.
  • When the camera follows Leon walking along the street to his car before Sonny catches up with him you see the whole film crew moving the dolly along the street in the shop windows.
  • While being chased by Crockett (in the camaro) Tubbs turns the speed boat to avoid a barge. Front shot shows Tubbs leaning and turning to his left but the backshot shows the boat turning to his right.
  • The judge in Leon's court case is credited as Sumner D. Rupp, yet the name tag seen on his bench in the scene clearly reads Clarence P. Rupp.
  • Mykel T. Williamson is still listed among the guest stars during the opening credits for Part II of the syndicated version, despite the fact he was killed in Part I and never appears in the second part of the episode.

Deleted ScenesEdit

In the two-part version of this episode the following scenes are deleted, likely for time purposes to ensure the two parts fit into two standard-length instalments:

Part IEdit

  • The scene where Crockett explains to Tubbs why Elvis is "ticking".

Part IIEdit

  • Part of Crockett's briefing where he explains when the bust goes down ("Big hand on the 12, little hand on the 6").
  • Part of Crockett talking to Gina about their night of passion, after Gina confesses that Crockett whispered "Caroline" into her ear.

Production NotesEdit

  • Filming: March 5, 1984 - April 5, 1984
  • Production Budget: $5,000,000
  • Production Code: 85304
  • Production Order: 1

Shooting LocationsEdit

  • West 16th Street, New York City (Tubbs staking out Calderone)
  • Jay Street/Staple Street, New York City (Street Tubbs is in looking for Calderone)
  • Omni Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami (Bar in opening where Calderone is, Tubbs in strip club)
  • The Forge, 432 41st Street in Miami Beach (Restaurant shown in main title)
  • The Carlyle, 1250 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach (Crockett and Eddie first appear)
  • 1300 NW 1st Avenue under Highway 395, Miami (Underpass where car bomb explodes)
  • Iberia Restaurant, 763 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach (Cafe where Eddie's wife works)
  • 300 NE 34th Street, Miami (Tubbs' motel room)
  • Bridge NW 20th Street / NW South River Drive, Miami (Tubbs takes off in Crockett's boat)
  • Miami River/Intracoastal Waterway and Miami Beach near Konover Hotel (Crockett (in car) chasing Tubbs (in boat))
  • Railway Bridge between NW 36th Street and NW South River Drive (Crockett jumps onto Tubbs' boat)
  • Dade County Courthouse 73 West Flagler Street, Miami Downtown (Jefferson trial)
  • Miamarina @ Bayside, 401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami (Marina where Crockett and St. Vitus Dance are located)
  • Clay Hotel, Espanola Way, Miami Beach (Where Crockett/Tubbs have lunch with DeSoto)
  • NE 51st Street, Miami (Scott Wheeler's house)
  • 3033 N. NW River Drive (OCB and Calderone's jail)
  • Chalk's Ocean Airways, Watson Island on Mac Arthur Causeway (Calderone escapes in seaplane)
  • I-195, 5km/3 mi. connection between I95 and North Miami Beach (Crockett/Tubbs driving away, Crockett asking Tubbs about pursuing a career in "Southern law enforcement")

Ratings (Original Run)Edit

  • September 16, 1984 (Sunday) - 22.8 (37 Share)
  • January 26, 1985 (Friday) - 14.9 (23 Share)
  • July 28, 1985 (Sunday) - 17.7 (31 Share)


Jan Hammer MusicEdit

  • "Miami Vice Theme" (opening and closing credits, and Crockett chasing Tubbs across Miami)
  • "Flashback" (Tubbs in hotel room thinking about Rafael's murder)
  • "Gina" (Crockett and Gina on St. Vitus Dance)
  • "Chase" (Crockett and Tubbs chase Calderone to seaplane)


  • "5000 street corners in greater Miami, and Gumby here has to pick ours!" -- Crockett

    "One move and you're (Leon Mohammad) history, brother!"

  • "And as for progress reports, I'd just as soon buy radio time!"-- Crockett to Rodriguez after Eddie died in car explosion
  • "The last time I requested back up I nearly got shot to death by Bluto and Lee Harvey Oswald over there!" -- Crockett referring to Switek and Zito
  • "You're all players, Sonny. You get high on the action." -- Belinda to Crockett
  • "Two weeks! Two weeks of legwork I put in on this bust, and three fourths of the dealers turn out to be cops!" -- Crockett to Rodriguez after finding out Tubbs is a cop as well
  • "You know, My badge says Miami, but lately it's been looking a lot like Disney World!" -- Crockett to Rodriguez
  • "Tell me, Dubbs, are you down here for some value to the taxpayers, or are you just working on your tan?" -- Crockett to Tubbs
  • "A glowing testament of our Constitutional right to bear arms!" -- Judge Clarence P. Rupp after the power failure during Leon's hearing when all court personnel drew guns on Leon
  • "You ever forget who you are?" -- Calabrese
  • "Forget who I am? Darling, sometimes I remember who I am." -- Crockett, in response to Calabrese
  • "It's called vengeance my friend, plain and simple. Now I may seem somewhat unorthodox to the untrained eye, but when it comes to being a cop, I am strictly business pal. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna put my life on the line with some outlaw cop on a personal vendetta! Cause when it gets personal, it gets messy, and when it gets messy, the wrong people get killed, Comprende?" -- Crockett to Tubbs about his purpose (revenge) for being there
  • "C'mon, you four-hundred dollar a week cop! It's getting late -- you can arrest me now! Not gonna shoot me, are ya? It's against the law. It's against the law! [Laughs]" -- Calderone taunting Tubbs

    "Hey, Tubbs. ever consider a career in Southern law enforcement?"

  • "Hey, Tubbs...ever consider a career in Southern law enforcement?" "Maybe, maybe!" -- Crockett and Tubbs at the end of the episode
Season 1 Episodes:

"Brother's Keeper" (Pilot) "Heart of Darkness" "Cool Runnin'" "Calderone's Return (Part I)" "Calderone's Return (Part II)" "One Eyed Jack" "No Exit" "The Great McCarthy" "Glades" "Give a Little, Take a Little" "Little Prince" "Milk Run" "Golden Triangle (Part I)" "Golden Triangle (Part II)" "Smuggler's Blues" Rites of Passage "The Maze" "Made for Each Other" "The Home Invaders" "Nobody Lives Forever" "Evan" "Lombard"

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