Calderone's Return (Part I)
4 (4th overall)
October 19, 1984
May 24, 1985 (as part of a two-hour movie)
"Calderone's Return (Part I)", also known as "The Hit List", is the fourth episode of Miami Vice's first season. The episode premiered on October 19, 1984, repeated as a two-hour movie (with "Calderone's Demise") on May 24, 1985, and features the return of the Calderones and the death of Lou Rodriguez (Gregory Sierra).
Calderone is back, and he has a hit list with Crockett's name on it.
Crockett and Tubbs, on surveillance detail for a drug dealer named Castranova, are relieved early in the morning by Switek and Zito, as Crockett has to appear in court with his soon to be ex-wife Caroline (Belinda Montgomery). The Crocketts (after their lawyers go at it) decide to give it one more try. Castranova leaves his home to visit the tailor, and sends for his limo. A man posing as their chauffeur pulls up in the limo, then shoots everyone in it dead. The real chauffeur stops the shooter by pulling a gun, but the fake one blows him away when he is briefly distracted. The shooter, Argentinean assassin Ludovici Armstrong (Jim Zubiena), calmly drops the gun and latex gloves used in the killings and strolls over to a waiting 1983 grey Camaro, before Switek and Zito can arrive on scene. The police give chase but lose the car; it is traced to a hotel, but before it can be surrounded, a police siren alerts the shooter and driver. They leave behind $20,000, two pistols and a small memo-book which contains a hit-list. Crockett and Caroline spend an afternoon of reconciliatory love-making, but are interrupted by Tubbs and Rodriguez, who inform Crockett of the shooting and that (Crockett's) name is number 8 on a hit-list of 10, and all but 2 are now dead.
At OCB, Gina pulls DEA files on the hit list names, and finds all were mid-level dealers trying to expand. The prints on the getaway car match those for a man (Armstrong) with an INTERPOL file containing a long list of professional assassinations, but no name. Paperwork found in the hotel room was linked to a Carlos Mendez. Rodriguez wants Crockett to stay at the Safe House until they locate the killer, and decides to escort Crockett there personally. They stop by the St. Vitus Dance to pick up clothes, not knowing Armstrong has a bead on the boat from the Freedom Tower, passing the time with a doughnut and coffee. Trudy pulls surveillance photos of Mendez and deduces that he's linked to Calderone, a drug-dealer that got away and now seeks revenge on Crockett. The getaway car also contains a sheet of paper with Crockett's (docking) address on it. Armstrong fires upon the boat, and Rodriguez is gravely wounded shoving Crockett out of harm's way.
While Rodriguez is undergoing surgery, the Vice cops learn that all six dead dealers had ties with Calderone, but were branching out on their own (like Corky Fowler did previously--and suffered the same fate), so they search for Linus Oliver (Ron Taylor), number 7 on the hit list. Crockett and Tubbs corner Linus, find a briefcase full of drugs in his car's trunk, and set up a meet with Mendez at Linus' bar. Crockett is so wired up about being on the hit list that he pulls a gun on a civilian who stopped him because he dropped his cigarettes. Crockett meets Caroline and Billy at the Safe House and reassures them that everything will be OK.
The Vice cops set Linus up at the bar and wait to meet Mendez. During this time two men want Trudy to dance, and refuse to take "no" for an answer. Zito steps in and the confrontation escalates into an all-out brawl on the dance floor. During the fight Linus spots Mendez in the crowd and the cops take him in as the real assassin - Armstrong - watches. Crockett, thinking he's safe, takes his family home. Tubbs intensely questions Mendez, until Linus is found shot dead in front of his apartment, meaning the shooter is still out there. Mendez refuses to talk, but Tubbs realizes the killer's going after the last name on the list - Crockett.
Tubbs speeds to Crockett's house to warn him. Crockett sees the shooter's trademark doughnut and coffee spilled in the room, and pulls his family out of the way just as Armstrong comes out shooting. Tubbs storms in to help Crockett, and Armstrong shoots his way through a window, only to be stopped by a phalanx of police; he goes down firing. Caroline tells Crockett things cannot work out with his way of life, and Crockett agrees to reschedule the divorce hearing. Tubbs gets word that Rodriguez died from his injuries, while Mendez finally broke down and revealed that Calderone is in the Bahamas. Crockett and Tubbs prepare to go after the dealer.
- 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
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin
- Gregory Sierra as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez
- Jim Zubiena as Ludovici Armstrong
- Ron Taylor as Linus Oliver
- Belinda Montgomery as Caroline Crockett
- Jim Borelli as Felix Castranova
- Tara King as Susan Castranova
- Tito Goya as Carlos Mendez
- Raymond Forchion as Don
- Will Knickerbocker as Fields
- Ken Little as Monahan
- Ryan St. Leon as Billy Crockett
- Bobby Harwell as Civilian who found Crockett's cigarettes
- William Wolff as Policeman
- This episode was called "The Hit List" when it originally aired, but the name was changed to "Calderone's Return (Part I)" when it went into syndication, presumably to better link it with the following episode, which continues the story. This second title is now its official one, and has been used on the show's VHS and DVD releases, and online.
- The original 1980s VHS home video release of Calderone's Return was not split into two parts. Also, there is no freeze frame at the end of what is part one on other releases. Instead, the camera just pans over and follows Crockett and Tubbs as they drive off Caroline's driveway and down the street.
- This marks the final appearance of Gregory Sierra as Lou Rodriguez. Sierra had requested to be written out of the show because he didn't like living in Miami.
- The episode was pre-empted one week due to NBC airing Game 3 of the 1984 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres.
- Belinda Montgomery would return as Caroline Crockett in season 4's "Child's Play" and again in season 5's "To Have and to Hold".
- Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme" is first heard in this episode, during his time on the beach with Caroline and Billy. This piece would become one of the hallmarks of the series, often featuring prominently in Crockett-centric episodes.
- Jim Zubiena, who played hit-man Ludivicio Armstrong, was a shooting expert in his own right. Genuine proficiency with firearms is one of the most noteworthy aspects of Michael Mann's productions, and Zubiena uses several expert shooting techniques in this episode, including the "Mozambique Drill" (shooting a victim twice in the chest and once in the head in order to absolutely guarantee a kill). This technique also features in Michael Mann's films Thief, Heat and Collateral.
- Jim Zubiena also appeared in 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 Bill Smitrovich (from "Brother's Keeper" and "The Prodigal Son"), as well as Miami Vice regular Michael Talbott, although his single scene was deleted from the theatrical cut of the film.
- During the shootout in Crockett's home, the blank adapter fitted on the AC556 assault rifle used by Zubiena came loose and was propelled form the barrel at considerable speed directly towards the camera crew shooting the action; fortunately they were protected by a thick perspex screen. Zubiena, however, was not so lucky, as the adapter ricocheted off of the screen and struck him in the shoulder with enough force to spin him around and knock him to the floor. Fortunately, he suffered no long-term injuries.
- Another accident during the same scene almost injured Don Johnson. One of the electronically-triggered squibs that simulate bullets impacts was fired too early (originally, the squib in question was supposed to go off after Johnson had backed away from where it was attached to the wall) and the explosive detonated in Johnson's face. While he was fortunately uninjured, the squib blew the face out of an expensive watch he was wearing. The shot is included in the episode.
- Many characters in this episode wear "Members Only" jackets, such as Carlos Mendez, Ludivicio Armstrong, and a few members in the club.
- The hotel identified as the "Desiree Hotel" where Armstrong and Mendez were located after the Castronova hit is actually the Nassau Hotel, which was renovated and upgraded after its appearance on the show and is now called the "Nassau Suite Hotel".
- Tubbs drives Crockett's Daytona in this episode, the only time in the series he would drive one of Crockett's Ferraris. The footage of him speeding through the night to save Crockett from Ludivicio Armstrong is recycled from "Cool Runnin'", and would be used again in "Give a Little, Take a Little".
- We see Crockett in a tie for the first time at his divorce hearing in this episode, one of the few times he would wear one in the series. He also wears one at Robbie Cann's son's baptism in "Buddies", at Angelina Madeira's funeral in "Sons and Lovers", at Zito's funeral in "Down for the Count (Part II)", and for his wedding to Caitlin Davies in "Like a Hurricane". He would be seen with a tie more frequently during his time as Sonny Burnett in seasons 4 and 5.
- The version of the "Miami Vice Theme" used in the opening credits is incorrectly mixed and is missing the distinctive synthesized guitar hook. This is the final episode where this occurs. Curiously, this was not corrected on recent DVD releases of the show, despite being acknowledged as an error by producers.
- When Ludovici Armstrong shoots Nicky the chauffeur, the wiring from the body rig is clearly seen from the bottom of his pants leg.
- At the end of the episode when Tubbs says, "Calderone's in the Bahamas," the movement of his lips doesn't seem to match the dialogue.
- It is sometimes speculated among fans if it was a plot hole or oversight by the writers and therefore a goof that Calderone would have Crockett on his hit list, and not Tubbs, considering that it was Tubbs who arrested Calderone at the end of the pilot episode "Brother's Keeper" and arguably quite nearly fired a double barreled shotgun in his face. This is even addressed by the characters in the episode, when Trudy asks why Crockett and not Tubbs, and Crockett assumes that it's because he's Miami police and Tubbs was just a New York street cop. A similar inconsistency arises when Orlando Calderone wants to avenge his father's death in Sons and Lovers. It was Crockett who fired the deadly shots at Estebán Calderone at the end of the second part of Calderone's Return, and not Tubbs. And yet, Orlando Calderone puts a price on Tubbs's head.
- Filmed: August 7, 1984 - August 15, 1984
- Production Number: 59504
- Production Order: 4
- Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Str, Miami, Downtown (Crockett, Caroline and their lawyers meet)
- Atlantis Building, 2025 Brickell Avenue, Miami (Castranova killing)
- Brickell Avenue (Hitman car chase)
- Nassau Suites Hotel, 1414 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach (Armstrong's hotel)
- Miami Beach Marina, 300 Alton Road, Miami Beach (Marina where St. Vitus Dance is located)
- Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Boulevard (Tower where Armstrong shot at Crockett, hit Rodriguez instead)
- Biscayne Boulevard, Miami and Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach (chasing Linus Oliver)
- Cape Florida Lighthouse / Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne (Safe House for Crockett's family)
- Disco 'Heaven' in Fort Lauderdale (Linus Oliver's Bar/Mendez arrested)
- Brickell Ave, Julia Tuttle Cswy, Rickenbacker Cswy (Tubbs racing to save Crockett--footage re-used in other episodes)
- 100 Harbor Drive, Key Biscayne (Exterior of Crockett's house).
- "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters (at bar)
- "Tush" by ZZ Top (during bar fight)
- "In The Night" by Russ Ballard (Tubbs rushing to Crockett's house)
Jan Hammer MusicEdit
- "I figure you'll be out sometime in the 21st Century!" -- Crockett to Linus Oliver
- "You move, even breathe, you're dead!" -- Tubbs to Mendez
- "Where is he, Gina? He's goin' after number eight! He's goin' after Sonny!" -- Tubbs realizes Crockett is next on Armstrong's list
- "(The Bahamas) are only sixty miles away, when can you be ready?" "I'm always ready!" -- Crockett and Tubbs after Rodriguez' death
| 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"