Miami Vice: Season 3, Episode 11

Forgive Us Our Debts (12 Dec. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 141 users  
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New evidence leads Crockett to fight against the execution of Frank Hackman, put on Death Row for murdering Crockett's old partner.



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Title: Forgive Us Our Debts (12 Dec 1986)

Forgive Us Our Debts (12 Dec 1986) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Brown ...
Tommy Barkley
Olga Karlatos ...
Carmen Albierro
Lázaro Pérez ...
Father LaFranco (as Lazaro Perez)
Gus Albierro
Steve Geng ...


When a man who was suspected of killing Crockett's partner, who was eventually convicted and sentenced to death, whose about to be executed. A priest calls saying that someone claims that the man is innocent. When the priest refuses to say who it was. Crockett and Tubbs keep an eye on the church. They discover that the person was the key witness at the man's trial who claims he wanted to get back at him for something he did. When they bring to the D.A. who prosecuted the man, he is hesitant to help because, he is planning to run for public office. Written by

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Release Date:

12 December 1986 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Crockett struggles to prove a man's innocence before he is executed
4 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This episode opens in 1980 where we see Crockett's old partner being gunned down by a masked assailant. After the title credits we learn that Hackman, the man convicted of the crime, is due to be executed and Crockett isn't exactly upset. Somebody however has told his priest that Hackman couldn't be guilty as they were together in Daytona at the time of the killing. They manage to find the man but DA refuses to grant a stay of execution as it suits his political goals to see Hackman die. If they are to save Hackman they must find further witnesses; there is one but he is in federal custody and doesn't want to talk.

This was a cracking episode; it might not have had shootouts, car chases or explosions but it was just as tense as Crockett worked against the clock to save the life of the man he'd put on death row. The system is clearly conspiring against him as the DA wants to execute Hackman; not because he believes he committed the murder but because it suits his political goals to be seen as tough on law and order. Don Johnson gives one of his best performances yet as Crockett works to get a man out of prison rather then put one in and Guy Boyd does well as Hackman; a character we know is a killer whether he was guilty this time or not. As the end approached we get constant reminders of the fate that awaits Hackman; we see his head being shaved in readiness and repeated shots of the electric chair. There are a few nice twists along the way and it builds up to one of the best endings yet; I won't spoil it but it does come as a real sucker punch.

I had feared that the politics of the episode would lead to it preaching either for or against the death penalty; thankfully it didn't... not that I don't have opinions on the matter; I just think the episode would have been weaker had it been overly preachy rather than concentrating on telling a good story.

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