Written by: Scott Gemmill; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon
[This is the most often referenced episode in the whole JAG ten year series! It establishes ‘ground rules’ and expectations for Harm and Mac’s relationship.]
A SEAL team had boarded a terrorist ship full of “Symtex” explosives and planted a detonator when the team was surrounded by terrorists. PO1 Mark Harridan charged into the middle firing and saved their unit. On the way out Harridan was shot by CPO Greg Connor in a corridor. Gorski retrieved Harridan’s body and claimed Connor had done it on purpose. Harm (H) was the JAG that prosecuted and couldn’t get past the idea that Connor was too good for it to be an accident. Connor requested Mac (M) as defense because he heard that “after Rabb, you are the best.”
Harm and Ms litigation became personal. Harm suggested M “think of ricochet” and then, when she used it, made her look foolish. He told her: “nothing personal”; but she said she “didn’t turn on and off friendship.” Bud (B), who was helping H, said it was like “watching your parents fight,” and judge Harrington told them to “try taking turns” when they both talked at once in court. Harm and B felt Connors was hiding something and noticed that Harrington’s parents weren’t at the trial. Bud had to track them down to find that the father hadn’t told the mother that there was even going to be a trial. Mr. Harrington was antagonistic to H and said that Connor and his son grew up together and were long time friends, and that his son was up for the navy cross but they didn’t give that to murder victims.
Gorski testified that he saw Connor carry Harridan’s body to the deck and stow it in a compartment to leave it, along with his gun, that he claimed had jammed. Gorski retrieved Harridan and the gun. Back on board he saw Connor going through Harridan’s locker and taking some pills. When he tried to stop him, Connor knocked him down then went on deck and threw the pills overboard. Mac tried to show that Gorski had been angry at Connor for a long time, and was just trying to “get even.” Connor wouldn’t tell M about the pills or other aspects of the case. The JAG, Chegwidden (C), kept coming into the courtroom to watch, then told H that he might have “target fixation” and be “so intent on winning” he might “crash and burn.”
Harm continued his “sniping” with M and suggested that she could “plea bargain.” She said “in your dreams,” and he replied, “you don’t want to be in MY dreams.” She told him “red light,” and he backed her up, saying, “there’s nothing sexual in what I said and if you think so, I should call red light on you.” She told him that “loosing your first case is a right of passage.” He and B went to Harridan’s apartment and found his mother there. She told them that her husband “demanded perfection and could turn his back on anyone.” Harm asked “even his son?” Harm surreptitiously took some pills from the apartment. Mrs. Harridan, later, brought H her son’s last letter, delivered to her two weeks after his death. In it Harrington said he “hoped my death would be courageous and will make dad proud.”
When M slobbered her hamburger catsup on Hs briefcase he told her that she had the “four major food groups: starch, grease, dead animal and catsup.” She suggested that he “eject from this one,” and he told her that she didn’t understand navy pilots. “You end up an inch shorter every time you eject, it’s the last thing you want to do.” He tried to hold the door open for her and was rebuffed so he just whistled Anchor’s Aweigh to her annoyance (she is a Marine). Later H told B that if “she makes one more point, Connor’s will walk, and we’ll never know the truth- and the truth is everything.” Then M whistled the marine hymn to Hs annoyance.
Harm recalled the weapons expert to testify about the gun jamming and M rebutted him. Harm wanted to re-re-rebut but Judge Harrington closed him off. Frustrated, H cocked the automatic weapon and fired it into the ceiling as everyone hit the deck. Before C could read him the riot act, B discovered that the pills they took from the apartment were AZT – AIDs medicine. Harm told C that he couldn’t tell him about the case because as JAG he would be bound to make it public; but, that he was not. Harm talked to Connor’s alone and told him he knew the ‘secrets’. Connors finally told him the true story, that Harridan had been gay since high school. His mother knew and his father had suspected. He developed AIDs and had said that the “best thing that could happen would be for him to be killed on a mission.” He was more afraid of his father than death.
Connor’s had been shooting a terrorist down the hall behind them when Harridan jumped into the line of fire. Harm didn’t know whether to believe the story or not so he talked with Gorski again. Gorski fabricated that Harridan had the “hots” for Connor’s wife, which H knew was a lie so, in court, he apologized for shooting the ceiling and dropped the charges. Later, Mr. Harridan was harassing H so he told him that his son “didn’t die for his country, but for you. He was gay with AIDs and rather than face you he stood in the LOF.” Harm threw his drink in Harridan’s face and walked away.
Mac brought a “peace offering–vegetarian plate” to Hs apartment where he was doing major remodeling. When he commented on how fast she ducked when he shot the gun, she told him that he knew nothing about Marine’s. “Marines don’t duck. We take cover, but never duck.”