9 (9th overall)
November 30, 1984
June 21, 1985
Crockett and Tubbs have to recover a witness in a major drug dealer's trial, who has ran off to the Everglades and must testify in 48 hours.
In a rundown Miami hotel, Crockett and Tubbs are protecting Joey Bramlette (Keith Szarabajka), a witness in an upcoming trial, and he is driving Crockett crazy watching Deputy Dawg cartoons. Switek and Zito relieve Crockett and Tubbs and bring the mail, including a letter to Bramlette that obviously shakes him up.
Tubbs testifies in court against the dealer, Enrique Ruiz, who tells how Bramlette led them to Ruiz. Then court is recessed until Monday. Ruiz has a smirk on his face, Crockett feels that is Latin machismo, and Bramlette's testimony will put Ruiz away. While Switek and Zito are arguing over a TV show, Bramlette sneaks out the door and escapes. Castillo is not happy with this turn of events, and Crockett and Tubbs are sent to find Bramlette by Monday or Ruiz walks. They go to Harry's Bar, which is where they picked Bramlette up, watch some female boxing, and see Harry, who tells them Bramlette was at the bar two hours ago, took some money and went to Okeechobee Springs in the Everglades. Crockett and Tubbs dress up for fishing and head there. Crockett says DEA has been to Okeechobee twice before, dressed as fishermen, and never came back. As Sonny Bates and Leroy Reese, Crockett and Tubbs make contact with the locals, they meet Floyd Higgins (John Pankow) and his brother Billy Joe (Jay Patterson), who buy them a beer, and the Vice cops ask about locating Bramlette. Floyd and Billy Joe drive Crockett and Tubbs over to his place, but they end up deep in the swamps, knocked around and left for themselves.
Crockett and Tubbs are lost, getting bit by bugs, avoiding snakes, and grumble at each other trying to get out. They run into more armed men who take them prisoner, and they are led to a woman, Cassie (Margaret Whitton), who tells their real names, then they go through the swamp to a house with a number of armed men, including Bramlette.
Bramlette says Cassie is his wife, and begins introducing all the armed men when Crockett demands he explain why he left. Bramlette tells Crockett and Tubbs that Ruiz's men has his daughter Tammy (Shannon Unger) and will kill her if he testifies, even if he shows up in court and does nothing. Bramlette says that the Higgins brothers are watching Tammy along with twenty Colombians, and they only have eight men, but they want Crockett and Tubbs to help them get rid of the Ruiz men and save Tammy. With a shipment coming in, most of the Colombians will be gone at that time. Bramlette says his family are smugglers, but that Ruiz's men are killers, and Crockett and Tubbs agree to check out the house. Crockett asks Clem (Al Cox), the older gentleman there, to find out where and when the shipment will arrive. While Clem finds out the info, Bramlette tells Crockett and Tubbs about their history, how they were marijuana smugglers before Ruiz came in and forced everyone to work for him, and killed anyone who wanted to work for themselves. Clem finds out (by buying Billy Joe a few beers) where the drop is, and he drops Billy Joe off at the house, where he takes Tammy a bologna sandwich and a beer.
The seaplane carrying the drugs will arrive at dawn, and Crockett and Tubbs devise a plan to rescue Tammy, by Tubbs and some of the Bramlettes keeping the Colombians occupied at the seaplane while Crockett and the others wipe out the ones at the house. Clem brings "his daddy's gator getter" with Crockett, but it constantly misfires while the gunfight goes on at both the offload site (where Tubbs is) and at the house. Most of the Colombians are killed, when Crockett goes in to get Tammy. Billy Joe is waiting, his gun held to Tammy's head, threatening to kill her if he so much as twitches. Crockett says he won't even twitch and shoots him down. Tammy is reunited with her family, then a Colombian rises up to kill Crockett, but is saved when Clem's gator gun does fire, killing the Colombian, and Crockett and Tubbs rush Bramlette back to Miami just in time to testify.
- 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 (credit only)
- Michael Talbott as Metro-Dade Detective Stan Switek
- John Diehl as Metro-Dade Detective Larry Zito
- Olivia Brown as Metro-Dade Detective Trudy Joplin (credit only)
- Edward James Olmos as Metro-Dade Lieutenant Martin "Marty" Castillo
- Margaret Whitton as Cassie Bramlette
- John Pankow as Floyd Higgins
- Jay Patterson as Billy Joe Higgins
- Keith Szarabajka as Joey Bramlette
- Tom Bishop as Bobby
- Al Cox as Clem
- Jorge Gil as Ramon
- William Kerwin as Paul
- Shawn McAllister as Wendell
- Ray Nikolaison as Hank
- Michael Sandler as Pa Ryan
- Shannon Unger as Tammy Bramlette
- Saundra Santiago (Gina) and Olivia Brown (Trudy) do not appear at all in this episode.
- This is the first of three consecutive episodes (along with "Give a Little, Take a Little" and "Little Prince") that open with establishing shots of the seedy areas of Miami, many of which are located in the South Beach area before the revitalization that took place there during and after Miami Vice was on the air.
- Deputy Dawg cartoons were made by Terrytoons (Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle) and aired on network television from 1959-1972, after which they were syndicated.
- This is one of the few times Crockett and Tubbs don't use their normal cover names of Sonny Burnett and Rico Taylor/Cooper.
- Billy Joe and Floyd misquote Clint Eastwood's famous line, "Go ahead, make my day..." by saying "Go ahead, ruin my day!"
- The season 5 episode "Line of Fire" has a similar plot to this episode. On that occasion, the witness is in reality an undercover DEA agent posing as the real witness to distract the attention of the villains.
- The scene where Billy Joe threatens to shoot Tammy if he so much as twitches, only to get shot down by Crockett, is repeated in the Miami Vice film, when an Aryan Brotherhood member threatens to blow up the booby-trapped trailer he and the Vice team are inside if he twitches, only to get shot in the head by Gina.
- When Crockett drops down through the skylight into the Colombians' hideout, he immediately guns down two men, but the man of the left falls to the floor long before Crockett actually shoots him.
- Crockett reloads his Bren Ten after shooting the man through the bathroom door, and is still holding the switched-out magazine in his left hand as he begins to turn through the next doorway. When the camera switches to the other side of the door, he suddenly has both hands on his pistol and the magazine is nowhere to be seen.
- Working title: "Swamp Thing"
- Filmed: September 20, 1984 - October 1, 1984
- Production Number: 59506
- Production Order: 8
- Venetian Causeway (Crockett/Tubbs begin drive to Everglades)
- Alligator Alley (Aerial shots of Crockett/Tubbs drive to Everglades)
- Jimbo's Place, Arthur Lamb Road, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne (Crockett/Tubbs arrive in Everglades)
- Tamiami Trail (Crockett/Tubbs/Bramlette return to Miami, filmed from helicopter)
- "We Got to Get Out of This Place" by The Animals (opening sequence with stock shots of rundown Miami)
- "I Send a Message" by INXS (Girls Boxing)
- "Girls with Guns" by Tommy Shaw (Crockett & Tubbs drive to the Everglades)
- "TGIF, huh?" "F-O-R-G-E-T I-T!" -- Tubbs and the court reporter, Tubbs trying to get a date
- "Let me get this straight, you just let this guy walk out, he didn't tie you up, he didn't pull a gun...". -- Crockett to Switek & Zito after Bramlette escaped from the hotel
- "What's an 'umbrella rig'?, is that in case it rains?" -- Tubbs to Crockett on way to Everglades
- "Is that a foreign job? I buy American!" -- Floyd Higgins after noticing Crockett's Ferrari'
- "Well I buy whatever I feel like buyin!" -- Crocketts response to Floyd Higgins
- "I think we've made an error in judgment here!" -- Crockett after being left in the swamps
- "Aww hell Billy, you know my mind's done gone to hell! What was we talkin' bout anyhow?" -- Clem probing Billy Joe for intel