Miami Vice: Season 3, Episode 19

Red Tape (13 Mar. 1987)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 142 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Crockett and Tubbs along with a couple of other cops were about to make a bust but instead are ambushed and one of the cops is killed. It seems that this was not the first time this ... See full summary »



(creator), (teleplay) (as Jonathan Polansky) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Red Tape (13 Mar 1987)

Red Tape (13 Mar 1987) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Episode credited cast:
Olivia Brown ...
Detective Glen McIntyre
Detective Eddie Trumbull
Michael O'Gorman ...
Onofrio Avila
Detective Bobby Diaz
Bodyguard #1
Dick Callinan ...
D.E.A. Agent Ayres (as Rick Callinan)
Geoffrey Gill ...
Asst. D.A. Kaplan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


Crockett and Tubbs along with a couple of other cops were about to make a bust but instead are ambushed and one of the cops is killed. It seems that this was not the first time this happened. It's evident that someone on the inside is giving dealers info on busts. Tubbs then loses it. Later he is approached by a cop who wants him to work with him. The partner of the cop who was killed is determined to find out what happened. And when he sees Tubbs with the cop, he follows him. Written by

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title directed by female | See All (1) »




Release Date:

13 March 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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The Formula
Written by Rupert Hine and Jeannette Obstoj
Performed by Thinkman
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User Reviews

Has Tubbs Gone Over the Other Side...
20 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After a perfect, superior, and gritty opening where a young Vice cop is bleeding to death in the arms of Tubbs after an explosion of a rigged hotel room, accompanied in the background of an awesome and striking tune of Thinkman's Best Adventures. The episode then focuses on a Tubbs that we haven't seen before. Tubbs who shocks the audience, quits the force and tosses his badge away and gives Crockett, Castillo, and Switek the cold shoulder and teams up with the bad guys. Is Tubbs really now going over to the other side or is this a game he is playing to snuff out the leak of this major problem?

This is the riveting story that is told in yet another perfect episode from 3 and is thrilling and exciting than any episode from the first two seasons or last two. Nothing beats 3. NOTHING! Another gem! Red Tape tells another great story, with superb characters, sizzling music, perfect and slick action set pieces, along with beautiful and moody cinematic cinematography from the master Oliver Wood. The episode has many first's of Miami Vice, that include the character Tubbs. It's usually Crockett who gets most of the spotlight, but in 3 it was the only time where Tubbs was included in many juicy story lines. The other seasons of Vice which were very weak, had many thin and uninteresting stories that involved Tubbs. Not 3! This story really showcases Tubbs, I mean Philip Michael Thomas talent as an actor.

There are so many great scenes in this episode that involve Tubbs that you don't see the other characters ever perform in the show. Memorable scenes such as:

1. Tubbs throwing his badge on the ground in rage in front of Castillo and walking away with satisfaction. The line he tells him is classic, "I rather play the lottery in New York City, than Russian Rollutte in Miami. I quit."

2. Tubbs going insane at a loan business office and throwing a chair against a glass panel and breaking it in pieces and screaming, "I want my damn money and I want it now!!! CLASSIC!

3. Another memorable scene of Crockett and Tubbs having a discussion in the interrogation room about Tubbs mishap. A great moment in the scene is when Tubbs pushes Crockett's arm away and yells out, "I don't have a partner anymore". Then Crockett says to him, "Let me tell you something pal. You start dealing with loan sharks and Castillo will do more than suspend you. Tubbs replies, "Who's Castillo."

All these great moments tells us one thing. Has Tubbs really gone over the edge? Are the Producers intention is to kill off Tubbs? Has Philip Michael Thomas had enough of this show? That was hotter than ever. What's happening here? All these questions would be answered as the episode progressed with an all out thrilling and emotional climax. The climax that is highlighted by the Alan Parson's Project's gripping and great song "Closer to Heaven" which is used to pace the climax and editing together so perfectly and emotionally. What a climax! Pure Vice! Pure classic. You won't be able to take your eyes off this episode. A lot of surprises and another reason why 3 is the greatest of Vice!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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