Leap of Faith
20 (110th Overall)
June 28, 1989
"Leap of Faith" is the twentieth episode of Miami Vice's fifth season, the third of four "lost" episodes aired after the series finale "Freefall" aired, and the final first-run episode aired on NBC. The episode premiered on June 28, 1989.
Crockett & Joey Hardin work with a unit of young policemen to investigate a college professor who has created a new designer drug.
Crockett and Tubbs are at a club and spot Joey Hardin (Justin Lazard) and a kid named Peter Ladd, who they are trying to loosen up. Hardin is working on Ladd while Crockett & Tubbs make a drug buy, but someone at the bar recognizes Crockett and a brief barfight ensues, which allows the people Hardin were following to get away. Ladd is taken blindfolded (and under the influence of drugs) to a rooftop where a professor named Terrence "Terry" Baines (Keith Gordon) is waiting. He tells him how wrong it is to think all his problems are related to drugs and to prove he's "one of them", he has to take "that one step", Ladd sees a drug-induced hallucination of a road ahead, but his next step is actually off the roof and down to the street, killing himself.
Crockett gets the toxicology report on Ladd, which showed that he had 1500 mcg of hallucinogens in his blood during his failed flying attempt, and Crockett tries to pull his file up, but it has a priority code preventing access. While running it down, Crockett sees his old partner,llater adversary Captain Paul Cutter (Kiel Martin) to find out why he accessed his files on Baines. Cutter tells him about his new YCU (Young Criminals Unit) who can access places that older cops can't touch. Crockett is skeptical of his efforts and reminds him he has Hardin under already. Cutter tells him Baines got his degree at 16 and can off Hardin quickly if he's made. Cutter's team consists of Ray Mundy (Adam Storke), Jack Andrews (Cameron Dye), and Tania Louis (Laura San Giacomo), Cutter introduces Hardin to them, and it's apparent there are some philosophical differences. Tania has done research on Baines, he teaches dream reality at Bradfield College, but he bases his interpretation of dreams on Poe's Eureka, not Freud, and he's developing a new designer drug called Bliss, which the college originally funded because of its' value to terminal cancer patients, but his funding was cut off because of more conservative elements in the school, and that set him off. Cutter wants Hardin to contact him if he needs them. Hardin (as Fallon, his cover name) attends Baines' class, and speaks with him but has to leave suddenly to meet with a student named Claire (Jennifer Rubin), who was speaking with Mundy (attracting Baines' attention) and tells Hardin he got an invite to Baines' party this weekend (as did Hardin), who feels Mundy is undermining what he's doing, and Mundy tells him to butt out.
Andrews, Mundy, Tania & Hardin are all at Baines' party, Hardin goes inside Baines' house, breaks into a room to snoop around, Baines walks in and is about to enter the room that Hardin went into when Mundy and Claire were messing around and distracted Baines just long enough to allow Hardin to get away, then he brings him back inside and pulls a knife on Hardin, who denies being in his room, and reminds him about his lack of funds, he has a buyer to help him with his "magic pill", and gets a meet the next day. Mundy & Claire start messing around again and make love, then Claire starts talking about Baines' work with students, including a girl named Lisa who he cared about which was killed in a boating accident, and Ladd. Claire originally thought Baines was really teaching her things she never thought of, but recently is afraid of him. Hardin introduces Baines to Cutter (as Dan Hoffman), and they work on a deal. Hardin calls Mundy thanking him for the save, and asks him to have Tania do a search on Lisa, the girl Claire was referring to earlier. Claire calls Mundy wanting to meet him at Baines' office in 30 minutes regarding his files. They arrive and Mundy is reviewing his files on the drug Bliss when Baines and his goons Pig and Antonio show up, and they both end up dead on the waterfront, apparently from an auto accident.
Cutter's team is falling apart, feeling they will never get Baines now, but Cutter feels Hardin can pull them together, and he goes to talk with Tania & Andrews, who talk about their experiences with Cutter, and the team stays together. Cutter finds Baines was accepted to a fellowship to the Menniger Clinic but left under a cloud after his roommate committed suicide, and Tania pulled info on Lisa (surname Wells) who was a patent lawyer working for Baines, pressured him to marry her and she ended up dying in a boat accident, and she, like Ladd and Baines' crew, were from broken homes and a similar emotional makeup, including spending time in psychiatric clinics. Andrews stops by to see Baines, showing him a bruise made by his father (a drinker), who is the mayor in a small town, is having suicidal thoughts, and wants Baines' help.
Andrews is given a drink laced with Baines' drug and starts having hallucinations while Baines, Pig & Antonio watch. When they go in to get Andrews, he attacks Pig & Antonio and runs away, and wanders onto a highway, thinks he is seeing a cruise ship, but is actually a semi-truck, and Hardin pulls him away just in time. Hardin stops to see Baines who says his buyer left due to the heat, with the recent deaths on campus, he's not likely to find another, and wants to meet with Hardin that night, who appears with Andrews, blindfolded, to take the same walk as Ladd. During this time, Baines admits to killing Lisa and Ladd and getting kicks from doing it. Then Andrews & Hardin pull their guns and arrest Baines (Andrews was wearing the wire), but a security guard shows up and Baines pulls a knife threatening to kill the guard if they don't drop guns, when they do Pig & Antonio pick up theirs and plan to kill the cops and plant drugs on them. Then Andrews insults Pig to the point the cop grabs his gun and shoots him, then wrestles with Antonio while Hardin & Baines go at it. When Cutter arrives, Baines is flipped over the roof, then slips out of Hardin's grip and falls to his death. Cutter is happy with his team's performance and plan to continue working together.
- 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
- Justin Lazard as Metro-Dade Detective Joey Hardin
- Kiel Martin as Metro-Dade Captain Paul Cutter
- Cameron Dye as Metro-Dade Detective Jack Andrews
- Laura San Giacomo as Metro-Dade Detective Tania Louis
- Adam Storke as Metro-Dade Detective Ray Mundy
- Jennifer Rubin as Claire
- Keith Gordon as Professor Terrence "Terry" Baines
- Stephen G. Anthony as Pig
- Andrew Deutsch as Peter Ladd
- Rene Rokk as Antonio
- Donna Rosea as College Girl
- Tony Tracy as Biker
- Alonna Shaw as Detective Mills
- Andy Sottilare as Party Guest
- This episode was a backdoor pilot for a planned Miami Vice spin-off focusing on a younger group of officers, but the series was not picked up. As a result, the on-screen credits after the opening sequence list three "Starring" roles ahead of the usual "Guest Stars". The series would have resembled another young police drama at the time, 21 Jump Street, which ironically is one of the shows credited with Vice's demise.
- As a result of the episode being a pilot for a new show with a different cast, Tubbs only appears in the opening scene while Crockett is only featured in a couple of scenes after that. Saundra Santiago (Gina), Michael Talbott (Switek), Olivia Brown (Trudy) and Edward James Olmos (Castillo) do not appear at all.
- The episode deals with designer drugs, a subject previously touched on in "Better Living Through Chemistry". Coincidentally, at one point Baines uses the line, "Joey tells me that you are interested in, shall we say, bettering the world through chemistry?"
- This episode contains another example of a "fake" song composed by Tim Truman filling in as popular music in one or more scenes -- specifically, the rock track playing in the bar where Cutter (as Hoffman) meets Baines. Such tracks would appear quite frequently throughout the final season, no doubt indicative of the show's shrinking music budget.
- 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. "Heart of Darkness" and "Down for the Count (Part II)" also featured this style of end credit imagery.
- While this was the last first-run episode aired on NBC, the network aired repeats of Vice until July 26, 1989, after which the show left network television. During this episode, a phone-in poll encouraged fans to choose their favorite episode that would air the following week (July 5, 1989).
- This marks Justin Lazard's third appearance in the fifth season of Miami Vice as Joey Hardin. (While his name in "Miami Squeeze" was stated to be Joey Chandler, this is likely just a cover name as he was operating undercover at the time, similar to Crockett's "Burnett" or Tubbs' "Cooper".)
- In the opening sequence at the bar, several women are shown barebacked and you can even glimpse a side view of one woman's breast, another example of how lax the censorship rules had become by the fifth season.
- The truck that almost runs Jack over on the freeway makes no attempt to stop or swerve, despite Jack standing right out in the middle of the road in plain sight and waiting for it.
- Filmed: March 2, 1989 - March 13, 1989
- Production Code: 63923
- Production Order: 109
- Big Fish Restaurant 55 SW Miami Ave Rd, at Miami River (Crockett meets Cutter about his YCU)
- Kitchen Club 100 21st St Miami Beach (Opening club scene)
- 12100 NE 16th Avenue Greenwich Studios (Target practice)
- "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses (opening at club)
- "Kiss Me When I Get Back" by Tom Tom Club (at Baines' party)
- "What I Am" by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians (Claire and Mundy making love)
- "All we need is Janis, Jimi, and a little social conscience!" -- Crockett talking about the club