Big Love
Miami Vice: “Streetwise”

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: A | Grade It Now!
The Hapless Hooker Goes To Miami
Back on the street, Trudy has donned yet another fabulous hooker get-up and is spreading the word among her fellow street-walkers about how Butch offers a modern-day workers' paradise for harlots. Equal work for equal pay! Free dental! Matching 401K contributions! Telecommuting! A modicum of vicious beatdowns! Yea, Butch is verily the Starbucks of pimping. "Butch is the man in town now," Trudy brags. "He owns the streets, the corners, and the Man." And his ESOP program is off the hook, y'all. Just as rival pimp Sugar Bear arrives on the corner to defend the honor of his benefits package, Switek swoops in to arrest the cereal spokesman gone bad. At the same time, Tubbs pulls up in full pimp regalia to complete the pantomime. Actually, apart from the jaunty Panama hat, it's really hard to tell the difference between Pimpin'-Ain't-Easy Tubbs and Law-Abiding Vice Cop Tubbs -- though the transparently fake Caribbean accent also helps. Down at the jail, Wesley Snipes arrives to find a dreadful surprise: Carla, the hooker he has been tasked with bailing out, has already been bailed out -- by a man in a jaunty Panamanian hat with a transparently fake Caribbean accent! This might well cost Wesley Snipes the primo parking spot that Mr. Leo doubtlessly awards to his Pimp of the Month. It all makes no never mind to Tubbs, who is wining and dining Carla at the Checker Club with the fervor of an SEC football coach recruiting a linebacker. "Tell me about this chump that you used to be with," Tubbs coos in a Jamaican? Dominican? Puerto Rican? accent. Carla isn't the sort of hooker to run down previous employers, but Tubbs is having none of it: "Word has it that he's got some dynamite connections." This talk of connections makes Carla uneasy; she transparently fibs that she has to go make a phone call at the phone way in the back that's barely visible, thus making it easier to flee down the alley -- that alley right there. Fortunately, even Tubbs has enough moxie to see through this clever ruse. "Make a call in my car," he helpfully suggests in an Aruban? Barbadian? Trinidadian & Tobagoian? accent -- doubtlessly on a phone the size of mini-fridge, since this is in 1986. No, Tubbs wants to sit and chat and the topic on tonight's agenda is Wesley Snipes and his involvement in the drug trade. If Carla feels guilty about talking about Wesley Snipes behind his back, she needn't be worried -- he's just arrived, looking none too pleased about having to chronicle this turn of events in his daily reports to Mr. Leo. "How you doing, baby," Wesley Snipes asks, in the detached way that supervisor you don't much like asks how your weekend went. "Let's go." He reaches to grab Carla, only to have Tubbs slap -- yes, slap -- his hand away like a cat batting at a ball of yarn. "You want that hand broken?" Tubbs asks. Judging by the ferocity of that slap, I'm guessing he subcontracts out the carrying-through-on-threats part of the gig. "That's my woman," a chastened Wesley Snipes says. "She's got something I want." "It belongs to me," Tubbs snarls in a Venezuelan? Haitian? Cuban? accent. "I bought her from the state." I'm pretty sure that the bail system does not work this way, but the argument seems to convince Wesley Snipes. He turns to leave...only to wheel around to try and sucker-punch our man Tubbs. Unfortunately for Wesley Snipes, he has not yet developed those cat-like reflexes that will serve him so well in the Blade franchise; Tubbs blocks his punch and drops Wesley Snipes like a bad habit. Even trying to bash Tubbs' head in with a prop liquor bottle doesn't seem to work, as Tubbs ducks out of the way and shoves Wesley Snipes into a table full of patrons. That causes the bartender -- think a smaller, less-tonguey version of Gene Simmons -- to order Tubbs and Wesley Snipes to take their fight outside. Now that is a bar with a firm-yet-fair brawling policy: "You guys can't fight here! Go fight over there!" Maybe Lebanon should try that.

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Big Love




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