» » Miami Vice Phil the Shill (1984–1990)

Short summary

Rock icon, Phil Collins of Genesis, plays a British grifter, "Phil the Shill" Mayhew. Phil takes Stan to the cleaners (over Elvis trivia, no less) and gets himself squarely on the guys' radar. Phil the Shill can feel it in the air tonight with pretty, uptown girl Sarah (Kyra Sedgwick). The girlfriend of a very elusive and paranoid coke dealer, Sarah's life is one big party, shopping and selling coke to her uptown friends. When semi-regular Izzy Moreno (Martin Ferrero) moves in on Phil (and Sarah) Crockett, Tubbs and the crew have to get creative.

The "Rat Race" song used in this episode was penned by Collins just for this episode.

Phil Mayhew's distinctive car in this episode is a Lamborghini Jalpa.

The Collins character's name is Phil Mayhew. Ironically, John Mayhew was Genesis third drummer , and he was replaced for Phil Collins.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Reddefender
    I have a soft spot for this episode as, back in the eighties, I seemed to watch it countless times. Back then, the BBC showed the episodes in the wrong order and with various trims for "excessive" violence. Season 2 began in the UK with this episode, presumably because the appearance of Phil Collins would attract new fans. Also, it's an accessible episode for casual viewers - there's a lot going on, there's a mixture of humour, action and drama, and the budget's through the ceiling.

    Phil Collins' character, Phil Mayhew, is a deliberately annoying con artist who takes on who than he can handle when he tries to muscle in on the activities of a drugs dealer, played by Michael Margotta. Kyra Sedgwick plays the kooky "girlfriend", Sarah MacPhail and Emo Philips plays the contestant of "Rat Race" who makes Switek's life a misery for a while.

    There's a curious blend of violence and comedy in this episode but the overall result is, in my opinion, a memorable tale.

    The soundtrack to "Phil the Shill" contains Phil Collins' recorded-for-the-episode "Life Is A Rat Race", Eric Clapton's "Knock On Wood" and Stan Ridgway's "Pick It Up (And Put It In Your Pocket)".

    From a trivia point of view, Crockett refers to his Ferrari's paint-job as "Tuxedo Black" in the opening sequence, a reference to the Chevrolet colour. This is a deliberate mistake - Paul Diamond who penned this tale was mildly outraged that the Daytona was a Chevy powered replica rather than the real deal! 9 out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: Mr Freeman
    After a few darker episodes this episode gave some light relief with Phil Collins guest staring as an English con man who has moved to Miami after life got too dangerous for him in London. Somehow he is hosting a television quiz show on which Switek is appearing and is not happy when he learns the show is rigged so that Phil can get his hands on the cash. With his new cash Phil tries to impress Sarah, he doesn't know that she is connected to some dangerous people who aren't too happy when Phil starts to claim that he can undercut their cocaine prices... of course being a conman rather than a drug dealer he had no intention of supplying anybody.

    Phil Collins puts in a good performance as the conman showing he can act as well as sing a few years before he starred in "Buster" and Kyra Sedgwick was good as Sarah. Being a lighter episode it is not surprising Izzy had a fairly large role, thankfully he manages to be amusing rather than annoying. Just because this isn't as darker episode doesn't mean there is no violence.
  • comment
    • Author: Tam
    Phil Collins in an episode!Hmmm has potential!Switek is swindled out of big money from a game shows (about Elvis of course) by host Phil Collins. Collin's even sings the game show song. Switek in a rage, starts a surveillance investigation which coincidentally finds out Collins with the stolen money sets himself into drug dealer trouble. Crockett and Tubbs now must take over what turns into a real investigation. Collin's actually pulls off perfectly, the small time, swindling, low life character who gets in over his head. There is a comic Emo Philips banter with Collins. Corkett's pulls of the perfect alpha male role with Collins while Izzy adds the comic relief. The mix of 80's style, high rollers, comic moments is a great mix. Collins slithers out of the mess and Switek shoots a T V set just like Elvis for the ending. A classic. Eight out ten
  • comment
    • Author: Narder
    It's hard to shake the feeling that 'Phil the Shill' was written with the guest star in mind. And it's an Izzy episode, which means it's one of the sillier ones. That said, Martin Ferrero's got good material here and Phil Collins fits the con man character to a T. He's a pro within the confines of his limited acting abilities. You just want to strangle the little worm.

    At that time, Collins was linked to 'Vice's cultural impact; you can't have so many of your songs featured on America's hottest show without being asked to appear, so it makes sens It's pretty light-hearted, but everything comes together nicely. It all just works.

  • comment
    • Author: Direbringer
    The whole plot of this episode was pretty silly. A TV show host on a show with questions about Elvis, I mean I get that it has to do with Stan loving the King, but there wouldn't be a show giving out 100 large for answer Elvis questions.

    I thought Phil Collins character was exaturated, and that the plot of this episode was just quickly put together without much thought. The whole time Stan and Larry just angry and acting like bad cobs, ...I din't think this episode fit their character.

    I love this show, but I was very disappointed in this episode, especially since this was the last episode I got cuz i stooped getting the channel it's on, and i haven't seen season 3, 4 or 5 yet
  • comment
    • Author: anneli
    Never liked the show.

    So when I hoid that Phil Collins, who I listened to on the radio, was going to be on the silly show, okay, I'll watch.

    I started watching and I accidentally spilled my glass of iced tea on my comic book, #12 of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I hurried to clean up the comic book.

    Didn't focus at all on the show.

    Miami Vice.

    That wonderful show? Ah well.

    I know he fled or something toward the end, as tho he would return later on? Well, he didn't, so that opening was meaningless.
  • Episode cast overview, first billed only:
    Don Johnson Don Johnson - Detective James Crockett
    Philip Michael Thomas Philip Michael Thomas - Detective Ricardo Tubbs
    Saundra Santiago Saundra Santiago - Detective Gina Calabrese
    Michael Talbott Michael Talbott - Detective Stan Switek
    John Diehl John Diehl - Det. Larry Zito
    Olivia Brown Olivia Brown - Detective Trudy Joplin
    Edward James Olmos Edward James Olmos - Castillo
    Phil Collins Phil Collins - Phil Mayhew
    Martin Ferrero Martin Ferrero - Izzy Moreno
    Michael Margotta Michael Margotta - Tony Rivers
    Emo Philips Emo Philips - Rat Race Contestant
    Kyra Sedgwick Kyra Sedgwick - Sarah MacPhail
    Richard T. Bear Richard T. Bear - Stewart
    Brigid Cleary Brigid Cleary - Tyrell
    Gary Kiefer Gary Kiefer - Bruford
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