Air Date: 3 May 1985 (NBC)
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: Paul Diamond
Three female mannequins, strung up by their necks with chains, hang in a row inside a warehouse. A man, later identified as Evan Freed, arrives on the scene in a car with another man, walks up to one of the mannequins and kisses it on the torso [Rhythm of the Heat]. More men arrive at the warehouse, and Evan demonstrates a Mac-10 for them by obliterating the mannequins. The vice squad, doing surveillance, rushes into the warehouse. Evan takes off in a car with two of the men. Almost maniacal with excitement, if not glee, Evan manages to crash into another car and blow it up before escaping with his now-terrified passengers.
Thus begins “Evan,” widely regarded as one of the best episodes of Miami Vice. This episode served to yield more insights into Sonny Crockett than almost any other, cemented the friendship between Sonny and Rico, and by virtue of its subject matter, laid much of the groundwork that kept slash fiction writers busy even well into the ’90s after the show went off the air.
A small time snitch had told Miami Vice that the warehouse meet involved a minor buy; unfortunately, it turned into a mess. Working back at the OCB, on the basis of an ID found at the warehouse, Switek recognizes one of the men from a picture in the files. His name’s Guzman, and he’s got quite a history in the third-world gun-trafficking business. Sonny, posing as Burnett, pays a visit to an old “friend” named Kern, a Neo-Nazi known to deal in the same circles as Guzman. Maybe there’s a connection. Sonny shoots the breeze with Kern, playing along with the Neo-Nazi rhetoric, and eventually gets around to asking Kern about the possibility of getting some Mac-10s. Kern puts him in touch with Guzman.
Sonny and Rico, posing as prospective buyers, pay Guzman a visit. Evan is with him and gives the vice cops an especially rough time, though Guzman appears interested in doing business. As Crockett and Tubbs leave without making a deal, Tubbs says, “I’m going to enjoy poppin’ that dude, Evan,” to which Crockett replies. “We’re not gonna pop him… he’s a cop.”
Back at the OCB, Castillo summons Sonny and Rico to meet an ATF agent, who tells them that Evan Freed is one of their most important agents. Crockett and Tubbs can make the weapons buy, but Evan must be allowed to set it up. Sonny meets with Castillo in private and asks to be relieved from the case. Castillo refuses him, at least partially because Sonny won’t provide any reasons for his request. Rico also senses something going on between Freed and Crockett, but when he queries Sonny, Sonny refuses to talk about it. Freed, meanwhile, tells Guzman that he doesn’t like Burnett, but Guzman tells him he intends to make the deal anyway.
Evan pays a visit to Crockett’s boat. Crockett isn’t at all happy to see him. Evan claims they’re friends, but Crockett denies it, and says the current operation is strictly business. Evan pulls a gun on Sonny, horsing around in a twisted, sick way. He repeatedly points the gun at himself, then at Crockett, suggesting a duel. He pulls a bullet out of the gun, jesting that the bullet has Crockett’s name on it. Sonny appears both angry and a little scared of Evan. After this little scene, Evan tells Sonny that Guzman will sell him five guns on a “dry run,” and sets up the meet.
Rico’s asked Gina to find out what’s going on between Evan and Sonny. She checks some old records and tells him that both Crockett and Freed worked at one time with a guy named Mike Orgell, who was killed in the line of duty. After that incident, Evan signed up for every suicide mission there was. On the way to the meet, Rico confronts Sonny with this information. Crockett becomes livid and insists that Rico is merely his partner, not his priest, and that Tubbs doesn’t need to know about his personal life. Rico pointedly asks Crockett if he wants to drop their friendship and just be working partners; Crockett angrily accepts the offer.
At the meet, Guzman plays hardball, saying the price per gun is now $3000, not the $2400 Evan had quoted. Evan intercedes on the undercover cops’ behalf, and almost goads Guzman into shooting him before Guzman finally agrees to the deal at $2400 per piece.
Following the deal, Rico is seen relaxing with a lady in a bar. Crcckett shows up and wants to talk. At first, Rico gives him a hard time, telling Sonny to see him during business hours. Crockett walks away but Rico, reluctantly, leaves his lady friend and follows Crockett into the parking lot. At this point Crockett levels with Tubbs. Orgell got killed trying to face down a guy high on angel dust. Orgell went without back up, effectively committing suicide in that situation. At one point, Freed, Orgell, and Crockett had been close friends. Early in their careers, the three were assigned to shake down some dance clubs. Orgell had begged off on the assignment. A couple of the clubs turned out to be gay bars, and Evan started razzing Orgell about avoiding the assignment because he was gay. After a while, Orgell admitted he was gay. Evan freaked out and began treating Orgell badly. Crockett, in contrast, did nothing. He didn’t harass Orgell, but he didn’t stick up for him either. Sonny feels that Mike Orgell was out to kill himself because he couldn’t cope with the situation. Rico comforts the obviously guilt-ridden Crockett.
Evan, later, shows up drunk at the OCB. Crockett leads him into the conference room. Freed owns up to his mistake, and confronts Crockett with the fact that he has never forgiven Evan and is still trying to make him pay. Evan grabs Sonny in a bear hug and begs forgiveness, weeping on Sonny’s shoulder. But Crockett can’t quite bring himself to say the words Evan needs to hear. At this point, Tubbs walks in, Evan quickly releases himself from Crockett’s arms, announces that the final deal for the rest of the guns is set for that evening at a shipyard, and walks out.
Crockett and Tubbs show up for the meet; Guzman is late. While cooling their heels, Rico talks with Sonny about laying the issue with Evan to rest once and for all. Sonny says that he can’t, but that he’ll think about what Rico’s said. Finally, Guzman and Evan arrive. Guzman doesn’t see the money; Crockett and Tubbs don’t see the guns. A helicopter soon arrives with the guns, and the exchange takes place. The remainder of the vice squad moves in, posing as rip-off artists – they’re after the guns, not Guzman. They grab the guns and take off, leaving Evan, Sonny, Rico, and Guzman alone in the shipyard [Biko]. Guzman heads for his car; Sonny and Rico turn in the other direction, to head for their boat. Freed literally doesn’t know where to turn. He turns towards Guzman, then back towards Sonny and Rico. While Evan’s back is turned Guzman grabs a gun from his car. Evan finally begins moving towards Guzman. Sonny sees the gun and yells to Evan, but Crockett doesn’t have a clear shot at Guzman because Evan is in the way. Evan is shot and, as he falls, Sonny and Rico fire and kill Guzman. Seconds later, Evan dies in Sonny’s arms.
— Daryle Gardner-Bonneau
Peter Gabriel, Rhythm Of The Heat
Peter Gabriel, Biko
Fashion, You Only Left Your Picture
Jan Hammer, Evan
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