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Miami Vice - Season Five



DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007 (Universal Studios Home Video)
MSRP: $59.98
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 21
Running Time: 17 hours, 40 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles
Special Features: None


Crockett and Tubbs are back for one last battle against the roughest and toughest lowlifes of Miami in Season Five of Miami Vice! The fifth season winds down the entire series all throughout the season, beginning with Crockett believing he is on the “other side” (a storyline that began at the end of the fourth season) and essentially marking the point where he isn’t interested in dealing with the hassles of being a vice detective in Miami anymore!

We actually see less of Crockett and Tubbs working together this season, and instead, we see them working individually (or sometimes we don’t even see Crockett or Tubbs on some of the cases) on cases and even get to see Castillo working hard to get the bad guys. Crockett has bigger concerns on his mind now besides doing the best job he can on the vice squad, including his own mental health and the well-being of his son. But in any event, the fifth season, while markedly different from the previous seasons, basically sets up the entire ending for the series!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The final season begins where Season Four left off, with Crockett believing he really is Sonny Burnett... and possibly out to get his partner... in the episodes “Hostile Takeover” and “Redemption in Blood.” Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler guest stars in “Hostile Takeover.” With Crockett recovering, it is time for a vacation in “Bad Timing,” but will he really get a vacation when he meets a girl at a bar that gets kidnapped by homicidal maniacs? Tubbs and Castillo intervene in a drug deal--against the advice of government agents--in “Borrasca.” Something isn’t quite right when a major cocaine dealer is set free in “Fruit of the Poison Tree,” and Crockett and Tubbs are determined to find out what that is.

Belinda Montgomery makes her final appearance as Caroline in “To Have and To Hold,” where Crockett’s son is getting in trouble in school--and Crockett is determined to not have his son’s fighting at school have him turn into the kind of scum he gets off of the streets in Miami. Rita Moreno guest stars as an anti-drug congresswoman whose son is involved in the theft of drugs in “Miami Squeeze.” Tubbs gets invited to dinner with a reformed killer--but how reformed is he? Find out in “The Cell Within.” Castillo encourages Crockett and Tubbs to let a vigilante group of former police officers join them in “Over the Line.” Is this really wise? In “Leap of Faith,” a professor that has been creating a designer drug suddenly has students disappearing--and it isn’t pure coincidence. The series ends with “Freefall,” where Crockett and Tubbs face one of their most challenging tasks ever. Will they succeed?


Hmm, this packaging looks a little too similar to the packaging from the previous seasons… which looks great when you have all five sets sitting on your shelf! Basically, we (again) have an outer box with Crockett and Tubbs above the Miami Vice logo, then on the bottom another snapshot of Crockett and Tubbs in front of Crockett’s car. The digipak inside has the same artwork, and just like seasons 3 and four, lists all of the episodes (along with episode descriptions) on the box. The set once again uses five single ­sided discs that just have the Miami Vice logo on each disc. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-4, Disc 2 contains episodes 5-9, Disc 3 contains episodes 10-13, Disc 4 contains episodes 14-18, and Disc 5 contains episodes 19-21. Unfortunately, since the set uses a three panel digipak, this means that Discs 2 overlaps with Disc 3 and that Disc 4 overlaps with Disc 5, but this isn’t a major inconvenience.

Menu Design and Navigation:

Here we are five seasons later and the menus are barely changed from the menus that were used on the first season set! Consistency is always a good thing, and this set does a good job of that. Just like every other season, the main menu has the options of Play All, Episode Index, and Subtitles. It is all self-explanatory, with the Episode Index presenting you with a screen with all of the episodes from that disc (when you select the episode, the episode plays, there is no episode description or scene selection menu) and Subtitles giving you an option to turn on the English subtitles. There are chapters placed at pretty much all of the appropriate places within the episodes, but I can’t understand why there isn’t one placed right before the opening credits! Oh well...

Video and Audio Quality:

The video on these Miami Vice sets improves with each season, but I don’t think that is because Universal is doing a better job on these DVD sets each season, but rather because these are newer episodes... and newer film holds up better than older film. There is still the issue of occasional grain, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was for Season One. The audio sounds great for a show this age, and is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (but, if you are an average viewer that doesn’t have the fanciest audio system for my television, that won’t mean much more than “it is in stereo”), and although it isn’t displayed as prominently on the package this time, the original music is all said to be included (I checked a handful of episodes and found every song that should be there intact). English subtitles are available for those that need them.

The episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes running roughly in the 46-49 minute range. Exact runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. Hostile Takeover (46:15)
2. Redemption in Blood (48:52)
3. Heart of Night (47:51)
4. Bad Timing (47:32)

Disc 2:
5. Borrasca (47:24)
6. Line of Fire (46:53)
7. Asian Cut (48:38)
8. Hard Knocks (46:03)
9. Fruit of the Poison Tree (47:52)

Disc 3:
10. To Have and to Hold (48:35)
11. Miami Squeeze (48:39)
12. Jack of All Trades (48:15)
13. The Cell Within (49:27)

Disc 4:
14. The Lost Madonna (49:21)
15. Over the Line (47:59)
16. Victims of Circumstance (48:18)
17. World of Trouble (47:59)
18. Miracle Men (48:39)

Disc 5:
19. Leap of Faith (48:37)
20. Too Much, Too Late (48:37)
21. Freefall (01:34:54)

Special Features:

No special features... one of Universal’s biggest sellers on DVD and no special features. Shame on Universal for that. Maybe if they release a “complete series” collection or something in the future, they will include some special features.

Final Comments:

Overall, the way that Universal has presented the episodes on the DVDs has been great, and this set is no exception. It is extremely disappointing, however, that Universal admits that this is one of their biggest sellers on DVD, yet they failed to provide any special features at all for seasons 2-5! It is somehow fitting how this series ended in the 1988-89 season… it was such an 80s show (even in the final season) and just wouldn’t have been the same had it continued into the 90s. The changes that took place this season almost gave the show a totally different feeling from the earlier seasons. We see less of Crockett and Tubbs working together (sometimes there are episodes where one or both of them barely appear at all, with storylines focusing more on other characters) and the storylines become much more serious in this season than they ever really were in the past, with very few of those lighter moments such as the ones seen in earlier seasons. Plus, the whole music style, while still great, is nothing like the much better music of the time when the series began in 1984. With all that aside, however, this is another great season of a great show, but those that are more accustomed to the earlier seasons must be aware of the fact that the feeling of the series is totally different in this season.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 06/06/07

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