Season 5: Overall Assessment

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This isn't vice to me. Crockett wearing Leather and jeans, Tubbs wearing god knows what.


There's hardly any music, action or sense of production values. Atleast in Season 4 Crockett wore some pastels, there were some cool montages and action(the boat chase in God's work) etc. But this season just feels like a generic A team esque rip off from the late 80s. 


It started feeling less like an NBC network show and more like a USA made-for-cable show of that era. The production values and cinematography plummeted big time, more than any other TV show I can think of. Crockett and Tubbs acting totally out of character in most places, C&T separated most of the time, a generic score, and fewer and fewer soundtrack songs made Season 5 really dismal in places.

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I just just got seasons 4 & 5 so I'll watch some of those for the first time since they first aired.

When was it decided to cancel the show? Was it decided at the beginning? I ask because I remember there being a cloud over the whole season with everything pointing to this being the end. It feels like a completely different show. It feels like this is season 11 rather than 5!! I can't believe the show changed so fast when modern shows last so long with minimal changes.

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The Burnett trilogy is probably the best of MV in my book. But following the return of Sonny's memory he is a changed man, and is never fully accepted back into the OCB fold IMO. He is sulky and cynical for most of the eps in which we see him after this and although this is necessary to convince us that his time (and hence the show's time) is over, it just doesn't make for particularly entertaining viewing. It doesn't help that we see so little of so many of the cast for most of the Season either eg. Castillo, Rico at times. The one thing that Season 5 has to do, and it does it well in my book, is show us how Sonny's total disenchantment with the System must logically end. 


Your whole post was great.  It's been a LONG time since I've seen many of the S5 episodes so I won't comment on the individual eps now.  The Burnett trilogy was excellent and it would ahve been great to carry over some of the fallout through the rest of the season.  This was done to a slight extent but a lot was glossed over in spite of the few times Sonny is shown in therapy.


When S5 aired I was 32 years old and I truly hated Sonny's scruffy S5 look as well as many of the eps.  But after recently viewing episdodes from each season as well as reading some of the commentary, I agree S5 was the logical outcome in terms of Sonny's look and personality, and the relationships within the OCB,  I think many of the episodes could have benefited from stronger writing and if there had really been an effort to show and to deal with Sonny's (and the team's) aftereffects of the amnesia episode, it would have been much more satisfying.

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Tommy Vercetti

I for one always loved season 5. I always enjoyed it a lot. It has a lot of episodes I consider fantastic and I really liked the late '80s/end of the decade look and feel of the season. It's a great season IMO and vastly better than the often abominable season 4 and I completely disagree with some negative assessments of it

Edited by Tommy Vercetti
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i think the writing on season 5 was better than season 4, and the tone was more consistent. a couple dark episodes, but not the silliness . Well there is Jack of All trades and Miracle Man.... Hostile Takeover was the best of the season. To me it feels like Miami Vice climaxes with the Burnett trilogy  and should sort of end there, but goes on. Like a movie where they say it went on 5 or 10 minute's too long. There's a couple episode's, The Lost Madonna , Fruit of the Poisoned Tree, and even To have and to Hold and even Lombard that feel like they would have fit in season 1 and 2.

Tim Truman's music for me is all wrong for MV and adds to the odd feeling of the season. The show overall feels tired. There's much less effort put into the cinematography and music, which started two years earlier under dick wolf. Michael Mann at this point didn't have much to do with the series i don't think. The other producers had changed somewhat. Thankfully it got a good finale. It could have ended worse like so many shows, but at the same time it was only 5 seasons. It was disappointing that the show was really mishandled in the last couple of seasons.

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1 Hostile Takeover

2 Redemption In Blood

3 Heart Of Night

4 Asian Cut

5 The Lost Madonna

6 Freefall

7 Line Of Fire

8 To Have And To Hold

9 Jack Of All Trades

10 Fruit Of The Poison Tree

11 World Of Trouble

12 Borrasca

13 Victims Of Circumstance

14 Bad Timing

15 Leap Of Faith

16 Too Much Too Late

17 Miami Squeeze

18 Over The Line

19 The Cell Within

20 Hard Knocks

21 Miracle Man

This was the hardest season to rank.

This is my least favorite season. The reason is the bleak tone. Serious is one thing. Thats why I like S3. But these episodes just LOOK depressing. There are some great episodes but I just don't watch them much.

The season starts out real good but runs out of steam towards the end.

6/10 overall.

We'll it's been fun reviewing my favorite show. Even though at this point I'm about as burnt out by this season as Crockett and Tubbs.

Now I'm gonna go somewhere where the waters warm, the drinks are cold, the music is loud, the women are easy, and I don't know the names of the players. Cheers.

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I think I just finished watching all the rest of season 5 episodes I hadn't seen before.

Honestly? I think they should have stopped after the third season. Season four was kind of like, "Whoops, we did a couple of things wrong with season 3. People liked the pastels, didn't they? Well, let's bring some of them back". But true to the famous saying that you should never change a winning team, that ship had sailed when Michael Mann left the show and allowed Dick Wolf to goof off with "Missing Hours" and "The Cows of October". What happened in season 4 and 5 was like you trying to bake that awesome cake that your grandma used to bake, but having no real understanding of what ingredients and what ways of preparing it made it so great. You'll end up with something that will half resemble your grandma's cake, but will never be as good.

Well and with season five, it often feels like, "Ok, let's do a few more episodes and then we'll wrap this up". And I don't just mean extended absences of the core cast or dwindling action scene budgets. In the later S5 episodes, you can sometimes just sense that Don Johnson was like, "Alright, a few more weeks of this and I'll be moving on to bigger things". They just weren't trying anymore. Nobody was. And some of the stories just felt like the newly brought in rookie writers were neither understanding, nor even trying anymore to emulate the magic formula of seasons 1 and 2.

It has always felt kind of odd to me that I've been such a huge fan of the show for 30 years, but never even watched season five and only part of season four. That only changed when I got the whole box set. But having watched all of it now, season five to me is about as forgettable as seasons one and two are so massively unforgettable and an enduring staple of 80s pop culture.

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On 7/30/2014 at 4:26 PM, deepundercover said:

I agree about the order on the DVD's.


I'm now going to watch World of Trouble after Freefall, which doesn't really work.

Strange order of episodes. 


Were they originally broadcast in this order?

As for the strange airing order of the last few season 5 episodes:

There were still 3 episodes (World of Trouble, Miracle Man, and Leap of Faith) that the network had not aired yet, when it came time for the May sweeps. They went ahead and aired the supposed series finale Freefall during this time, to try and have one last cash-in on the show.

However, they still had to air these other they were aired after Freefall, going into June of 1989. Many fans don't realize this and think these 3 are "lost" episodes never aired by NBC, when in fact they were aired...just after the show was supposed to have been concluded. 

The only true "lost" episode never aired by the network was Too Much Too Late. It was 1st aired by the USA network in 1990 (the year after the series was cancelled) as USA was the 1st cable network to air syndicated reruns. 

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