Down for the Count (Part I)
12 (56th Overall)
January 9, 1987
May 15, 1987 (as a two-hour movie)
"Down for the Count (Part I)" is the twelfth episode of Miami Vice's third season. The episode premiered on January 9, 1987, repeated on May 15, 1987 as a two-hour movie. It is a turning point in the series in that it features the death of Larry Zito.
Zito goes undercover as a boxing manager to get close to a bookmaker, but pays the highest price for it.
Zito takes Crockett, Tubbs and Switek to a boxing match featuring Bobby Sykes (Mark Breland), who is trained by a man named Moon (Randall "Tex" Cobb), and in the crowd is Oswaldo Guzman (Pepe Serna), whom Crockett considers "one bad man", and apparently has an interest in the fight. Sykes wins his fight, but the previous fighter had a draw, and he goes to see Guzman about his cut. Guzman only pays $250 of the $400 he promised, and when the fighter threatens to leave, Guzman has his hand crushed, ruining his future as a boxer, then has him killed anyway.
At OCB, the Vice squad find Guzman was a former drug importer who got out of the business and has been clean for the past three years. Crockett was very close to busting him, now he's been in boxing for the past two years, came in strong with a ton of cash. Crockett wants him taken down, no matter what charge, for both business and personal reasons (he killed an informant of Crockett's previously in a particularly vicious and violent manner) and goes to see Don Cash (Don King), who informs them Guzman is bad news, and has changed from drugs to gambling, making book on fights in the Southeastern US, and making a killing, as he is setting the lines and betting on his own fights, with no competition, and suggests Crockett and Tubbs offer Guzman a satellite sports network to get close to him. At OCB, Crockett presents his plan to be part of the "Sunbelt Satellite Sports Network" to promote and air Guzman's fights, provided he sends the next big thing (like Muhammad Ali or Sugar Ray Leonard), referring to Bobby Sykes. Zito feels Moon won't want to use Sykes that way, but thinks Moon will take him in to help train Sykes.
Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) see Guzman and offer their proposal, who agrees to provide Sykes, if he can get a signed contract. Meanwhile, Moon is hesitant on Zito's plan, especially since Sykes hates cops (his brother was killed by one). Moon agrees, threatening Zito with bodily harm if anything happens to Sykes. Sykes and Zito get into the ring for a sparring session, and Sykes knocks Zito out, much to the amusement of Switek and Moon. One of Guzman's lawyers comes in and offers $50,000 to take Sykes' contract. Moon chases him out of the gym, then asks Zito to show Sykes a few things, because Moon was impressed with how he handled Sykes in the ring. Sykes talks to Zito and tells him how he and Moon met - Sykes was stealing the tape deck out of Moon's truck - and that Moon has really helped him in the ring since then. Moon goes to Guzman's place after Guzman leaves, ties up his goon, ransacks his office and takes a gator-skinned book with him. Guzman returns and see what Moon did, which prompts a visit by Guzman and three other goons, and ups his offer of $75,000 for Sykes' contract. Moon tells Guzman he'll have to kill him to get Sykes, and that the book he took was Guzman's gambling book. Guzman replies the book is all in code, and his goons kill Moon.
Zito is very upset that Moon got killed, as he didn't want Moon involved, and is concerned with how to tell Sykes. Sykes said he will kill Guzman if he finds he was involved in Moon's death, Zito agrees to take up where Moon left off. Another Guzman associate, George Sordoni, stops by offering Zito $1500 per month, a free apartment, and other perks for his contract. Zito knows Guzman is behind it, and tells him he needs to sweeten their offer because of the sports deal going down. Crockett and Tubbs ups the offer to $15,000 per fight, and they will arrange the fights. At the arena, Crockett tells Guzman they have signed a contract with Sykes, and that the satellite deal is dead if Guzman can't do the same. Guzman asks Crockett for 48 hours.
Crockett wants Zito to counter Guzman's anticipated offer with a piece of Guzman's book action; Zito is concerned about screwing with Sykes' career. Sordoni returns before Sykes' next fight and offers $200,000 for Sykes' contract. Zito counters with $250,000 and a piece of Guzman's book action. Sordoni denies knowing about any book action, but will meet with Zito the next morning, and Zito fills Crockett and Tubbs in. Sykes fights WBC #3 contender Hector "Bazooka" Hidalgo and knocks him out in the tenth round. Switek arranges a celebration. At the gym, Guzman's goons corner Zito, who is alone. Switek returns and, concerned Zito is not responding, searches the gym to find Zito in the shower, killed by a forced drug overdose. Switek tearfully embraces his partner...and friend.
- 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
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Randall "Tex" Cobb as Moon
- Mark Breland as Bobby Sykes
- Don King as Don Cash
- Pepe Serna as Oswaldo Guzman
- Harry W. Brennan as First Referee
- Antoni Corone as George Sordoni
- Kenneth Daron as Caribe
- Hector Echavarria as Batista
- Kenny Enriquez as Echevarria
- Joe Hess as Javier Escobar
- Tom Paul Loftus as Whetson
- Alfredo Delgado Martinez as Hector "Bazooka" Hidalgo
- Kel Sheldon Robin as Stringer
- Alfredo Roja as Eldorado
- Clemento Rojas as Foley
- Bernardo Solo as Second Referee
- William Hill as Corner Man
- Curt Lavarello as Corner Man
- One year after this episode aired, the "Sunshine Sports Network" launched, now called "Sun Sports", owned by Fox Sports Net.
- This is the only two-part episode that was actually originally aired in two parts. "Brother's Keeper", "The Prodigal Son" and "Freefall" originally aired as two hour episodes that were changed to two part episodes in syndication; "Calderone's Return (Part I)/(Part II)" and "Golden Triangle (Part I)/(Part II)" were initially separate episodes with different titles ("The Hit List"/"Calderone's Demise" and "Score"/"Golden Triangle" respectively) that only became two part episodes in syndication.
- Zito reveals he has four sisters, and one brother that overdosed.
- Zito's overall portrayal in this episode is also noticeably deeper and more serious than in his previous appearances. The same thing would happen later in the series with Switek, who becomes a far more troubled character in the show's final season.
- Switek's devastated expression upon finding Zito dead is considered one of the most moving scenes in the entire series.
- The reason behind John Diehl leaving Miami Vice varies. One report had Universal and NBC doing cost-cutting because ratings were down, another said that Diehl was tired of the rather underwritten role, and yet another stated that Diehl enjoyed the role but wanted to go into theater and expand his creativity. Diehl himself has said that a combination of the last two was his main motivation.
- For some reason, Zito does not appear to have access to a weapon when Guzman's goons arrive, even though the other detectives are always shown to be armed when operating undercover.
- This is one of several episodes that does not end on a freeze frame.
- On the DVD releases of the episode, the line "Bigger than Don King" was glaringly redubbed "Bigger than Don Cash" (a rather strange alteration given that it was Don King himself who originally said the line).
- When Guzman's heavy strikes Moon for the second time, kicking him in the side of the head, Moon comes up with blood coming from his nose. After a quick cut to Guzman, Moon suddenly has blood all down the right side of his face, too.
- During the first fight, you hear the announcer introduce a fighter in "white trunks with pink trim," yet neither fighter has those color trunks.
- Filmed: October 6, 1986 - October 14, 1986
- Production Code: 62020
- Production Order: 57
- 1415 North View Drive, Miami Beach (Guzman's Home)
- Virrick Arena on Charthouse Drive, Coconut Grove (Boxing arena, Sykes/Zito at Marina)
- "Oswaldo Guzman, un hombre muy malo!" -- Crockett
- "Hey, Bobby, white boy says you're dog meat!" -- Moon to Sykes before Zito steps in spar
- "I didn't stop it son, you stopped it!" -- Moon to Zito after Sykes knocks him out
- "You know, I see your lips moving, but I hear Guzman talking." -- Zito to Sordoni
| Season 3 Episodes:|
"When Irish Eyes Are Crying" • "Stone's War" • "Killshot" • "Walk-Alone" • "The Good Collar" • "Shadow in the Dark" • "El Viejo" • "Better Living Through Chemistry" • "Baby Blues" • "Streetwise" • "Forgive Us Our Debts" • "Down for the Count (Part I)" • "Down for the Count (Part II)" • "Cuba Libre" • "Duty and Honor" • "Theresa" • "The Afternoon Plane" • "Lend Me an Ear" • "Red Tape" • "By Hooker by Crook" • "Knock, Knock... Who's There?" • "Viking Bikers from Hell" • "Everybody's in Showbiz" • "Heroes of the Revolution"