Over the Line

Episode #105

Air Date: 28 Apr 1989 (NBC)
Director: Russ Mayberry
Teleplay: Terry McDonell
Story: Robert Ward & Scott Shepherd

Episode Summary

Crockett and Tubbs sit on a stakeout waiting for mid-level dealer Tommy T, hoping to catch him and find out who his new boss is. As they move in to corner him, an ice cream truck driver sings a warning over his loudspeaker that the cops are closing in. The dealers make a break for it, with Crockett chasing after them, and Tubbs chasing after the ice cream truck. But without any backup nearby, everyone gets away.

Castillo meets with Richard Highsmith, a police captain with political ambitions, and they discuss Highsmith’s proposed radical department cuts. At OCB, the squad discusses how Tommy T might have been tipped off. They are also informed about the proposed budgets cuts, and they’re not happy about how deep they run.

Izzy is pitching a questionable sun block product to poolsiders when Crockett and Tubbs come to squeeze some information out of him about Tommy T. While he doesn’t know why the ice cream driver tipped them off, Izzy does tell them that Reginald Hawkins is who Tommy’s working for now, a dealer
Tubbs knows of from New York.

Burnett and Cooper introduce themselves to Hawkins, and pitch themselves as in the market to buy product. But just as they’re about to start talking deal, the ice cream truck driver shows up and tells Hawkins that Burnett and Cooper had ripped off Tommy T in the past. Hawkins threatens to kill them, but ends up telling them to get lost. As Crockett and Tubbs are discussing why the driver didn’t blow their cover, they’re ambushed and forced into a car.

A shadow council tells Crockett and Tubbs that they’ve both been watched, and they can tell that they’re the same kind of cops they are… tired of putting in hard work trying to catch the bad guys only to see them skate free. They invite Crockett and Tubbs to join their cause.

Hawkins meets with Victor Escalante and agrees to fill out his shopping list of guns and explosives. When Johnny reminds Hawkins that they don’t have any guns or explosives to sell him, Hawkins tells him that they’re going to steal them for him.

Crockett and Tubbs go to a prearranged meet, to witness a “demonstration” of the secret crew’s operations. They’re taken by limo to a warehouse, where they witness Johnny leading a quick hit operation to steal the guns Hawkins needs.

After leaving the ripoff scene, a voice tells Crockett and Tubbs that they could just walk away, since they haven’t seen any faces yet, and there wouldn’t be any repercussions. But if they do join up, they can’t ever get out. When both Crockett and Tubbs tell him they want in, Sgt Walter Stevens introduces himself, and welcomes them into his organization.

Crockett and Tubbs meet with Castillo to talk about this new development, asking his advice on how to play this operation. Castillo is worried that since they might not be able to take everyone down, someone could get hurt.

Johnny tells Stevens how much he hates what he’s been doing, and that he doesn’t know if this is the right thing to do anymore. Crockett tells Johnny that he is doing the right thing, then tells a story about the collateral damage Escalante once caused by taking out a arms dealer he felt had crossed him in a crowded mall, and how he never did a minute in jail for the eleven innocent bystanders that were killed.

But Crockett himself has started feeling conflicted about having to play both sides in this game.

Stevens tells Crockett what led him to start this organization, and how he wants to create real justice that truly enforces and protects. Crockett agrees that he’d love to see that, and Stevens tells him he hasn’t seen anything yet.

Crockett and Stevens observe Johnny and Hawkins buying the plastique they need, with Tubbs and another vigilante in another car nearby. A couple of uniformed officers are canvassing door to door, gathering signatures to promote Captain Highsmith for County Supervisor. The cops scare the buyers into bolting, both getting shot by Hawkins while he and his crew run out of the house. Hawkins also shoots the seller, who’d thought he was being shortchanged.

A stunned Crockett starts to radio in a call for help for the downed officers, but Stevens stops him, saying that using the radio would only raise suspicions about why they were there. Crockett calls it in over the phone anyway, and Stevens gloats that they now have the perfect chance to take Escalante down.

Switek and Castillo process the scene of the shooting, Castillo blaming himself for what happened. Highsmith shows up, demanding an explanation, and Castillo tells him that the problem with this case is that it’s connected to bad cops. Highsmith asks Castillo to keep him informed about everything that’s going on in finding the rogue cops.

Johnny tells Stevens he can’t take working with the organization anymore, that he wants out. Sonny tries to tell him that he knows how he feels, and Rico tries to talk him into staying just through that evening’s job, but Johnny’s mind is made up. He packs and leaves. While Stevens is explaining to Crockett how hard it is to make the tough decisions, Johnny is killed in a drive-by only a few minutes after he’s left the compound. Both Crockett and Stevens hear the shots and the car losing control.

Castillo and the rest of the squad stake out the area where Hawkins’ deal with Escalante is going down [I’m Life]. The vigilante cops, with Crockett and Tubbs, are also moving in to take down both Hawkins and Escalante’s people. Crockett and Tubbs take down the rogue units they were with, bringing them to a holding area with Castillo.

Tubbs breaks into the main house, getting Hawkins and Escalante in the act, while gunplay ensues outside between the dealer’s crews and the rogue cops.

Sonny shoots his way through the compound to confront Stevens as he’s packing away Escalante’s cocaine, to resell to continue funding the organization. Sonny has the drop on Stevens, who reminds him that this stretches much higher than Sonny realizes. Before Sonny can arrest him, Stevens is shot dead by Captain Highsmith, claiming he just saved Sonny’s life, despite Sonny’s protests that Stevens wasn’t a threat.

After the shooting, and later watching a promotional speech by Highsmith on television, a disgusted Sonny realizes how far up it goes, and how little he can do about it.

Guest Cast
Tomas Arana
Robert Fields
Anthony Barrile
John Galateo
Martin Ferrero
Additional Cast
Ed Amatrudo
Shawn Burke
Carol Cadby
Kevin Corrigan
Ruthe Geier-Price
Marlon E. Hoffman
Nelson Oramas
Kevin Quigley
Tony Vila, Jr.
Featured Music
The Fixx, I’m Life



Production Credits

Music by

Tim Truman

Supervising Producer

Scott Shepherd


Donald L. Gold

Michael J. Attanasio

Created by

Anthony Yerkovich

Executive Producer

Michael Mann

Co-Executive Producer

Robert Ward

Co-Executive Producer

Richard Brams


Bonnie Timmermann

Associate Producers

Thomas Cajka

Diane Sillan

Executive Story Editor

Peter McCabe

Executive Story Consultant

Ken Solarz

Story Editor

Raymond Hartung

Theme by

Jan Hammer

Director of Photography

Oliver Wood

Art Director

Pam Marcotte

Edited by

Michael B. Hoggan, A.C.E.

Unit Production Managers

Lou Fusaro
Ellen Rauch

First Assistant Director

Robert D. Simon

Second Assistant Director

Chip Scott Laughlin

Miami Casting by

Lori S. Wyman
Cheryl A. Louden

Casting Assistant

Majorie W. Morhaim

Set Decorator

Robert J. Lacey, Jr.

Supervising Sound Effects Editor

Mark P. Stoeckinger

Music Editor

Dino A. Moriana


Joe Foglia

Costume Designer

Bobbie Read

Costume Supervisor

Kristy Aitken

Stunt Coordinator

Bobby J. Foxworth

Visual Consultant

Joel L.A. Lang

Artistic Consultant

Maria Chavez

Titles & Optical Effects

Howard Anderson Company