Death and the Lady
3 (71st Overall)
October 16, 1987
January 29, 1988
Accusations of a murder on screen prompt Crockett & Tubbs to investigate the film's director.
The 11th Continental Erotic Film Festival is going on, and the top film, Death and the Lady's director, Milton Glantz (Paul Guilfoyle) is being honored when a deranged man, Tulane Knox (Michael David Morrison) screams that the end scene is a murder, and is escorted out by Gina & Trudy.
At OCB, Knox continues to claim the girl at the end of the movie was really killed, not a fake. Crockett found his rap sheet with a ton of obscenity arrests and on parole. He claims the girl in the movie named Blondie was brought into the scene by Knox and a lighting person with a wolf mask on, and then Glantz excused everyone except the three, and the man in the wolf mask killed Blondie for real. Crockett believes the whole thing is a publicity stunt to get more ticket sales. Trudy finds info on Glantz that he did more classic-style films before delving into porn, Gina mentions he called it "Erotic Performance Art". While poring over evidence found in a cocaine lab bust, they find a kitten in the box and Crockett gives it to Gina to replace a lost cat of hers. Tubbs wants to pursue Knox' claim about the murder, and so does Castillo, because the mayor has ties to some of Glantz' paintings. Crockett goes to see Glantz, who says Blondie's name is Lori Swann, and she's around the festival promoting the movie. During their discussion Glantz paints an erotic picture, then puts it to the torch with no comment. Tubbs speaks to the crew of the film but no one speaks about the ending. Crockett & Tubbs go to a sex bar to track down Lori Swann (Kelly Lynch), and Crockett finds her on the other side of the glass. Crockett & Tubbs go see Knox with their info and he still claims Glantz killed her.
The squad is watching the film when Crockett looks at the closeup of the girl's eyes and says she is dead, but needs proof. Crockett and Tubbs go to a porn archivist who finds Swann made two films with Glantz, the other called Twins and shows Crockett and Tubbs a still from the movie, where the two actresses look alike. Crockett goes back to the club and finds out from Swann that the other girl is named "Blaize," and that they met at art school. Gina & Trudy go to the art school and find the other girl's real name is Amy Ryder. She had a locker there. A sketch book is inside with a drawn picture of disturbing dead people.. Crockett (as Burnett) goes to Amy's apartment to return the sketch book and finds Amy's sister Jill (Penelope Ann Miller), who says Amy just stepped out. Crockett & Tubbs visit Glantz at a party and ask him about how the cameraman wasn't present during the final scene. Then he shows them the person that did the still scene, Margot Frank (also Kelly Lynch), who says it was "fun" to play someone raped and then "murdered." Glantz eagerly "stabs" the lady in a cake to celebrate his movie.
Crockett looks over some still photos of the movie on the St. Vitus Dance while listening to an interview of Glantz about the use of violence in his movies, in which he says the public has an appetite for violence and that his movies walk the fine line between reality and fiction. Tubbs stops by, and as Crockett reviews the edge numbers on the stills, he realizes that someone is lying. He goes back to see Jill, who says Amy moved out a couple of months ago to do the movie with Glantz but refuses to say more, so Crockett takes her & her father to OCB. Tubbs asks the coroner to pull records on unclaimed DB's with stabbing as cause of death. Jill says Amy had terminal cancer, and that Glantz gave her a lot of money to cover her dad's medical expenses, but he paid in cash. Crockett & Tubbs arrest Glantz.
One of the unclaimed DB's is Amy Ryder who turned up in an alley 11 days after the film wrapped. The DA (Miguel Ferrer) doesn't want to press charges, because the evidence is circumstantial and the jury could be sympathetic to Amy's illness, and besides, Glantz wasn't present when the killing occurred. Glantz gloats to Crockett about getting off on the charge. That night Crockett drives aimlessly through streets and begins having haunting flashbacks of Amy's death in the film. Unable to bear it any more, Crockett makes a detour at Glantz' house. He stares at the still of Amy's face while Glantz watches and talks about committing the "perfect murder" and claims Amy would have died from her cancer anyway, to which Glantz says nothing. Crockett grabs him by the shirt and furiously slaps him several times across the face while asking him if he thinks violence is chic, artistic, and fun. Coming back to his senses, Crockett lets go of the stunned Glantz and leaves. On the way, he grabs the Erotic Film Festival award and shoves it at a drunk outside.
- 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
- Paul Guilfoyle as Milton Glantz
- Kelly Lynch as Lori Swann
- Miguel Ferrer as D.A.
- Michael David Morrison as Tulane Knox
- Penelope Ann Miller as Jill Ryder
- Hal Bennett as Hayward
- Marc Macaulay as Brookings
- Mark McCracken as Asch
- Gerald Owens as Coroner's Assistant
- This episode was pre-empted one week due to NBC airing Game 3 of the 1987 National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants.
- The first shot of the gang in the office is another of the lengthy one-takes that Vice so frequently and skilfully used.
- Gina had a cat in the episode "Bought and Paid For", which was evidently lost between then and now.
- When Castillo asks about the kitten and Crockett replies, "Evidence," Castillo looks over at the cat and smiles for one of the rare times in the series. The cat is seen in his office (apparently roaming around behind his desk) later in the episode.
- This is one of a handful of episodes where Crockett snaps and gets violent with a suspect without provocation, culminating in "Deliver Us from Evil" when he is driven to cold-blooded murder.
- This is also one of a very few episodes where no one gets shot or even fires a gun.
- We find out in this episode that Crockett has quit smoking, which had been gradually phased out among the characters since the start of season 3.
- Glantz's penchant for burning paintings is very similar to that of Eric "Rick" Masters, played by Willem Dafoe in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A. (which also starred Debra Feuer, John Pankow, Dean Stockwell and John Turturro). When Michael Mann saw the film, he sued director William Friedkin for plagiarism, stating that it ripped off the entire concept of Miami Vice (the movie depicts two Secret Service agents going to extremes in their pursuit of a master counterfeiter); Mann lost the lawsuit. However, Friedkin has since stated that this is untrue, and he and Mann have been friends for years.
- Don Johnson and Penelope Ann Miller would later appear together in the film Dead Bang.
- Most of Jan Hammer's soundtrack for this episode was previously used in the episodes "Little Miss Dangerous" and "Shadow in the Dark".
- Although Crockett's interrogation of Jill Ryder is hard-hitting, when he realizes that she mourns for her sister, who died to help her father, he wraps his arms around her, one of the only times Crockett makes such a gesture of sympathy in the interrogation room; today such contact would be considered illegal under sexual harassment laws.
- Kelly Lynch actually performed as three different characters in this one episode: she first appears as Lori Swann in the peep show visited by Crockett and Tubbs. She then plays Amy Ryder in the film's "dead-eyes" scene, and lastly appears as Margot Franck at the roof-top film party. This is the only time in the entire Miami Vice series that one actor performed three different characters in the same episode.
- Crockett's motivation for pursuing justice in this case -- his conscience haunting him because he should have taken down the explicit photograph of the girl posted by his fellow high school football players -- is much like his motivation for avoiding Evan Freed in "Evan" -- another instance in which his conscience plagues him for something he feels he should have done, in that case standing up for a gay fellow office whom Evan tormented.
- This is one of several episodes that does not end on a freeze frame.
- During the screening of Death and the Lady that opens the episode, the event's announcer is clearly standing in front of the cinema screen while addressing the audience, but when the footage cuts to a wide shot, he has disappeared.
- Shots of Crockett inside his Testarossa while he is driving around Miami at night having visions of Amy's murder have clearly been reused from season 3, as Crockett has his shorter, spiked haircut and is wearing different clothing compared to later at Glantz's house. Specifically, the footage used was taken from "Shadow in the Dark", from the dream sequence when Crockett is driving to the Jefferson Street area to search for the Shadow.
- Working Title: "Death and the Maiden"
- Filmed: August 3, 1987 - August 11, 1987
- Production Code: 63501
- Production Order: 69
- Wall picture of Fontainbleau Hilton Hotel, 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (Crockett drives through night)
- 1235 Club, 1235 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (Glantz's house)
- "Vet for the Insane" by Fields of the Nephilim (Opening sequence when film is played)
- "Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)" by Depeche Mode (Crockett goes to see Glantz)
- "The Story Never Ends" by Naked Prey (Crockett & Tubbs go to sex bar)
- "Pleasure, Little Treasure" by Depeche Mode (Crockett & Tubbs at Glantz' party)
- "The Edge of Town" by The Truth (Crockett drives through the night)
- "What's this?"--Gina as Crockett brings her a box.
- "That's evidence for the warehouse bust we made last night while you and Cinderella were at the sleaze ball."--Crockett's reply
- "What's that doing here?" -- Castillo referring to the kitten found in the evidence box
- "Evidence!" -- Crockett's reply
- "Crockett, you're fixated on dead people, are you a necrophiliac?" Glantz to Crockett
- "What's the rating?"—Switek asking about the film.
- "On the Deep Throat scale of violence to women, about an 11."—Trudy's reply.
- "This isn't mercy killing. This is bloodless, brutal exploitation. Even if she wanted it, she was his victim."—Crockett on why the case should be pursued
- "Another day, Detective." --- Castillo telling Crockett to give up on Glantz for the moment