Original air date:  02/01/1985

The episode starts out on the bridge to Brickell Key in downtown Miami. SE 8th Street/Brickell Key Drive. A suspect drops a bait pail off the north side of the bridge into a passing go fast boat that is headed northbound. The pail is believed to be full of money. As the suspect runs away we get a good view of the Mutual of Omaha building on Brickell at 12th Street. This view is no longer available due to development.

The white arrow points to the Mutual of Omaha building that we saw in One Eyed Jack and more recently in the Burn Notice episode #8, Wanted man where Sam Axe shoots from the top of this building.

Crockett and Tubbs follow the drop off man. We next see them tailing him on Watson Island. He pulls up to a house boat. This house boat was docked near where we see Lombard’s boat in One Eyed Jack. Several sources have reported that this boat had belonged to Bette Davis but was long abandoned and rotting in place when the city let Miami Vice use it. Bette Davis’ boat was reported to have been named the Merry Christmas. In this filming the name on the boat clearly ends with LAINA.  Possibly it had been renamed.

Goof: we see the guy working to untie the hostage mannequin. Then just before the boat blows, all we see is the mannequin. No guy.

Next we see the opening montage which has now become standard/unchanged since Glades.

Then we see an establishing shot of the exterior of the O.C.B. (Gold Coast Shipping) and then go inside the station (studio set).

This leads us to a meet with D.E.A Agent Ed Waters. Thanks to DanJ at Miami_Vice.org for showing me this location. It was the Biscaya Hotel, at 540 West Ave. just onto Miami Beach by the MacArthur Causeway. Sadly it was torn down years ago. We see it again in the Vice episode, Trust Fund Pirates.

At different points the MacArthur Causeway bridge and Star Island can be seen in the background.

Then we go to a drug den. Location unknown.

Then we go to meet Jimmy the pilot. This was filmed at old San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico.

Then we see Tubbs drop off his “wife” Trudy. This was filmed at 1036 Ocean Drive, South Beach.

Then we see Crockett and Tubs near a canal or pond where Tubbs uses a magnet to attach a revolver to the undercarriage of his car. This was filmed at Opa-locka West Airfield in the Everglades about 4.5 miles NE of Draft Dodge Island.  We will see this location again in this episode.

Then they are back at the airport. This was filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  They must have figured that the viewer would not notice them or maybe not know that there are not any mountains in Florida.

They better put their parachutes on because they are about to leave the ground. Isla Grande Regional Airport, San Juan. More developed now but most of the old buildings remain.

Then we arrive in Cartagena. This was also filmed in San Juan. As we first see them they are going up hill with Fuerte San Felipe Del Morro in the background. They are in an area called La Perla. They come up Cll Bajada matadero and turn east onto Bulevar del Valle.

They arrive at their hotel. The hotel is no longer there having been torn down sometime before March 2003.

Then they have a meet across the street on the fortification’s wall.

Then street bandits try to rip them off in the hotel alley.  Crockett and Jimmy get away but the police pick up Tubbs.

Crockett and Jimmy go back to the hotel room where they bond while Tubbs is taken to jail. The jail was filmed at El Morro, the old Spanish fort dating back to the 1500’s.

Tubbs is released and returns to the hotel room. There he informs Crockett that they have a meet with Grocero in 20 minutes according to the corrupt Chief of Police.

They walk to a nightclub called La Arana. This location was unknown for a long time but thanks to daytona365 at miamiviceonline.com we now know that this was filmed at 213 Call Del Sol, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. There Grocero is watching a young boy pole dancing. The buy meet is set with Crockett and Tubbs controlling the action. Thanks to Rick Bravo who worked on the series we know that the interior scene was also filmed there on location at 213 Calle Del Sol. This is the only scene I know of where a T.V. show used real cocaine in the filming.

Then we go to the buy. This was filmed at the Saint Mary Magdalene Cemetery in San Juan.

Then we go to the airstrip. This was filmed back in Florida at Opa-locka West Airfield. Back in the 1980’s this field was actually used by some police officers to smuggle cocaine into the United States. When the shipment flew over, if all was clear they would put their “rollers” or overhead lights on to signal all was clear and the drugs would be dropped. The police would then load the drugs into their cruisers. Some racket until they were caught. Life imitating art.

A few times we see power lines in the background. These are along Highway 27.  Which makes sense because at one point Crockett jumps into the Mustang to cut off the approaching bad guys. As he drives around the plane we see the large 9 painted on the runway, indicating the plane is facing 90 degrees or due east, placing the plane at the far west end of the runway near 27.

Then we see an old control tower. Location unknown.

They make the drop by Opa-locka West Airfield and continue on. We get to see some great vintage shots of Miami from the air. I was surprised to see a baseball field where the old Grand Prix course is.

Next Crockett and Tubbs pick up the drugs but get jumped by the kidnappers. Jimmy shows up and bails them out. This was filmed in the NE corner of Opa-locka West Airfield.

Then we see C+T bring Davey to a phone booth to contact the ring leader. This was filmed near Associated Photo on SW 6th Street in Miami near S. Miami Ave.

Next we go to an undeveloped lot. They used the tracking device on Trudy to locate her. She is tied up in a trailer by the Miami River off of SE 5th Street by S. Miami Ave. Only about 100 yards from where the phone booth was located.

Tubbs goes to make the money drop. This was filmed on Brickell Key Drive bridge, same as in the opening teaser.

Then it cuts back to the trailer. This shot was taken considerably earlier than the rest of the filming. Just look at the Bank of America building in the background. In this shot there is no facade on the parking garage. Earlier shots showed the facade complete.

Then we cut back to Brickle Drive Bridge where Tubbs is faced with a tough decision that only he can make. He decides to go boating.

Tubbs is able to take out the ring leader and finds Crockett and Trudy have escaped just in time. They pull the body out of the water and find the ring-leader was Lt. Jones. This was filmed on Brickell Key just north of the bridge.

The episode ends with Crockett and Tubbs taking care of Trudy.



Red arrow points to where Tubbs was in jail.

White arrow points to where Drug deal occurs.


This episode was the main basis for the 2006 Miami Vice movie.

Please click on the picture below to continue to

Episode 16

Rites of Passage

1st Revision: 06/10/2012


If you recognize any of the unknown locations or have something else to add, please let me know at: cglide@floridamovielocations.org

If you recognize any of the unknown locations or have something else to add, please let me know at: cglide@floridamovielocations.org

Modified 07/06/2013 for new site, and 08/04/2020 for arana site



      Miami Vice
     Episode 15
Smuggler’s Blues