Heart of Darkness


2 (2nd Overall)
September 28, 1984
Repeat Airdate
April 19, 1985
TV Rating
TV-14 D-V
Guest Stars
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"Heart of Darkness" is the second episode of Miami Vice's first season. The episode premiered on September 28, 1984 and repeated on April 19, 1985.


Crockett and Tubbs work with an undercover (and possibly over the edge) FBI agent to bring down a pornography ring.


Crockett and Tubbs, as pornographic film distributors from New Jersey, visit the set of a film starring Penny McGraw (Suzy Amis), apparently just off the bus from Kansas and possibly underage. She expresses reservations about the actual sex to Jimmy Conway, who gently convinces her. He takes Crockett and Tubbs into a warehouse stacked with porn film canisters, to discuss a meeting with Jimmy's boss, Artie, and Artie's boss, Sam Kovics, about moving in bulk. Just then Switek and Zito raid the warehouse and take everyone to jail, including Crockett, Tubbs and Jimmy.

Artie bails out Crockett, Tubbs and Jimmy, sending a car to pick them up. The Vice cops are getting tired of having to deal with Artie after being told they would deal with Sam Kovics. Suddenly the meeting is cut short and the three are dropped off. Jimmy tells them Artie was driving, and the meeting was cancelled due to the Feds tailing Artie. Back at OCB, Rodriguez says Penny McGraw was sprung by Kovics. Later, FBI agents Dennis Doyle and Mark Russo stop by and try to arrange a file exchange, as they are also after Kovics, but won't reveal why. Crockett politely tells the agents to get lost, and asks Trudy to do a check on Artie Rollins. Penny McGraw is later found dead due to an overdose, in the pool of a house with rent paid for by a Kovics holding company. She was a 16 year old runaway from Kansas who answered an ad in the paper for models in Miami. Trudy comes in, having found that Rollins is really Arthur Lawson, an undercover FBI agent.

Rodriguez gets nowhere with the FBI trying to find any info on Lawson. He asks Switek to talk to a contact he has there that owes him, due to Switek cutting his nephew a break on a drug bust at a UB40 concert. Tubbs gives Switek and Zito tips on setting up a sting operation for stolen goods without getting popped. Switek gets a hold of his contact, Calman Clayburn, who tells Crockett and Tubbs the Bureau thinks Artie has gone over, due to being cut off from the FBI completely, and to tell Switek they're even. They meet Jimmy, Artie (Ed O'Neill) and Sam Kovics (Paul Hecht). Artie goes outside to meet Renny, who is making a late payment. Artie pretends to be okay with it, but then proceeds to beat and kick Renny until Crockett and Tubbs pull him off. Artie screams at Crockett and Tubbs to never interfere again, and suddenly becomes friendly, saying he wants their money ready for tomorrow.

Crockett has trouble getting the money for the meet, as Rodriguez refuses to give it until they can prove Artie hasn't crossed over. They go to see Artie's wife (Cheryl Giannini), who says Artie asked to be brought in and the FBI refused, saying he had to stay under until they nailed Kovics. She begs Crockett and Tubbs to bring him back to her. They get back to the pier and find Elvis the Gator has wreaked havoc. Agents Doyle and Russo stop by to tell Crockett and Tubbs that Kovics is moving to Mexico, but is cleaning up shop first - Crockett and Tubbs are buying Kovics' entire inventory. They go to see Artie, who has figured out that Crockett and Tubbs are cops. Artie has sufficient evidence to charge Kovics with pornography, but wants enough to lock him up forever, and he knows nothing about Penny McGraw's murder. He will call them later in the day to arrange the bust of Kovics. Gina and Trudy pick up Artie's "girlfriend", a porn star who shows them tickets to Mexico for herself and Artie, for when Kovics moves down. Rodriguez wants to bring Artie in but Crockett and Tubbs insist he is their only chance to get Kovics. Rodriguez authorizes their money, but when they go to meet Artie he's cleaned his apartment out and disappeared.

Back on the St. Vitus Dance (after Elvis destroys Crockett's entire Buddy Holly record collection) Artie calls to arrange for the Kovics meet that night. Tubbs is set up with a wire, but due to Lester not being available, another techie fixes up the bug. In the limo with Artie and Kovics, Tubbs' wire starts playing radio music, which blows their cover, and the limo goes to a remote place (where a raising drawbridge cuts off their backup), where Kovics wants Artie to shoot them. Artie throws the gun to Crockett and pulls his own. During the ensuing shootout Artie grabs a machine gun and empties it into Kovics' limo, killing him.

The FBI takes Artie in for debriefing, maintaining he had nothing to do with Penny McGraw's murder - though Crockett and Tubbs believe otherwise - and are unsure if he can go back to his married life after "living an adrenaline high" during the Kovics operation. During a get-together at a bar, Rodriguez steps in to tell Crockett and Tubbs that Artie hung himself in the men's room during a break in the debriefing.


Guest StarsEdit



  • Charles Castilla as Detective
  • Rod Ball as Renny


  • Jan Hammer's "Rain" music (later used prominently in "Milk Run") is used when Artie is speaking to Crockett and Tubbs before the FBI takes him for debriefing.
  • The end credits feature still images taken from the episode itself instead of the usual stock footage of Miami landmarks used in virtually every other episode of the series. "Down for the Count (Part II)" and "Leap of Faith" also featured this style of end credit imagery.
  • This episode is arguably a loose interpretation of the novella from which it takes its name, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. In both cases, the principle supporting character (Kurtz in the novel and Artie in this episode) has used questionable methods to accomplish the aims of a large organization that employed them, and has rooted himself successfully in a new culture, before ultimately being killed. The novella was famously adapted as the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now (with Laurence Fishburne). Artie's angry rebuke to Crockett in the episode, "Don't question my methods!" parallels Kurtz' questioning, "Are my methods unsound?" in the book and film. Coincidentally, Ed O'Neill, who plays Artie, is friends with John Milius, who wrote the screenplay for Apocalypse Now.
  • It is never stated who killed Penny McGraw, although it is strongly implied that Artie had her killed, or perhaps even committed the act himself.
  • This episode features Suzy Amis' acting debut. She later appeared in the high-profile 90's films The Usual Suspects and Titanic before marrying director James Cameron in 2000; she has not acted since.
  • The car dealership the police pass when they are trying to save Crockett and Tubbs from being killed by Kovics, Tropical Chevrolet, is still in business at the same location.
  • Another Miami landmark shown (when Zito and Trudy join in the tail after Kovics' limo) is Pumpernick's Deli, which is where retired CNN reporter Larry King got his first celebrity interview, with 50s singer Bobby Darin. Pumpernicks no longer exists, having been demolished later.
  • This is the first episode of the series to end on a freeze frame, a stylistic technique that would become one of the show's hallmarks (although roughly one-fifth of episodes do not end on a freeze frame).


  • 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.
  • In the scene where Kovics' limo jumps the bridge, it is clearly visible that the normal barrier arms have been removed and replaced with a fake fixed to the road for the limo to crash through. In the subsequent shot of the limo landing, the barrier on the far side of the bridge can be seen raised, when it should be closed if the bridge is opening.
  • At least two of the limo's hubcaps fly off when it lands, yet in the next scene of it arriving at the docks all four hubcaps are in place.
  • During the shoot out at the docks, Tubbs fires seven rounds from his Model 38 revolver, which only holds five (as seen when he is loading it up earlier in the episode).

Production NotesEdit

  • Filmed: July 12, 1984 - July 25, 1984
  • Production Order: 2
  • Production Number: 59501

Filming LocationsEdit

  • 6300 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach (Duncan/Artie in car with Crockett/Tubbs)
  • NW 13th Street /NW 6th Avenue, Miami (Artie/Duncan drop Crockett & Tubbs off after being tailed)
  • Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade, near MacArthur Causeway (Crockett/Tubbs meet Clayburn)
  • La Carreta Restaurant, 3632 SW 8th Street (Crockett/Tubbs have lunch with Artie)
  • 1000 Venetian Way, Miami Beach (Artie's apartment)
  • Bridge 63rd Street, Miami Beach (Car stunt at end)



  • "If all else fails, we can pop 'em for felony bad dialogue!" -- Crockett to Tubbs on the porno set
  • "Don't you EVER interfere with me again!!" -- Artie to Crockett and Tubbs after they stop him beating Renny
  • "I don't know who you guys are, but you're dead!'" -- Kovics to Crockett and Tubbs after their cover is blown
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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