Death Watch – 57

Written by: Donald Bellisario; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[An important JAG episode which explains Harms back-story on Diane Shonke as well as flushing out Krennick’s story using flashbacks. It also gave producers the ability to use much of the footage shot for the final episode of year one but never shown due to cancellation of the series by NBC]

JAG officer Harmon Rabb (H) looked at his letters, cards and memorabilia about Diane Shonke, his former girlfriend who had been murdered – and who was the “spitting image” of his current partner Mac (M). As he was loading his weapon, M came to his apartment for a planned working dinner. He tried to put her off but she saw the weapon, the pictures of Diane and demanded an explanation. Harm told her the story (with flashbacks).

He had met Diane at the academy. He went for his wings and she to “crypto” school. They “missed more than they connected” but were going to spend the week at her parents cabin to “discuss their future together.” Diane had stood midwatch on the bridge of the Seahawk with Cdr Holbarth on their first night back in port, then had left the ship followed by an anxious Lt Lamb. Then Ensign Bud Roberts was a watch officer as well. The next morning, coming back from breakfast at a diner, B had found Diane dead in her car.

Harm and Meg (Mg) had investigated along with NCIS agent Brian Turque (tur – kay) who continually tried to protect his turf from the “hot shot.” When he realized H and Diane knew each other he demanded H be released from case. Chegwidden (C) said “only God and I can release one of my investigators- and he hasn’t asked.” Krennick (K) suggested that she go take lead and H take orders from her. Chegwidden told her she “was devious,” but said ok.

When M ragged H about K being enticing, H said that it wasn’t about sex. “I was a rival, the hotshot. It was about power and she wanted to control me with sex.” She wanted the “admirals chair.” Mac said that B had told her: “H threw her more red lights than on the beltway at rush hour.” Harm said “I wouldn’t get involved with a superior officer any more than you would.”

Krennick excluded H from interviewing Lt Lamb, a key witness who had lied and said he had been chasing Diane because he had a date with her that weekend. Lt Sarah Williams said Shonke felt that she was being stalked. Krennick confronted Holbarth about not reporting Shonke’s harassment complaint and H ran after Lamb who had left the ship. He confronted Lamb in the diner and accused him. When he denied it, H slugged him and told a chief to report his indiscretion to the XO. Lamb declined to press charges. Mac took Hs weapon from him and said “it was lucky that you didn’t have a weapon or you might have shot an innocent man.” Harm told her that Krennick was going to send him to a captains mast to “distance myself from you.” When he said it could ruin his career, she said “better yours than mine.”

But then K started being stalked! She thought it was Lt Lamb doing the stalking but then they found him dead with a suicide note on his computer. Mac told H “but you didn’t believe it was suicide did you?” Harm said the computer keys had been wiped, the gun was different, and the gunshot was on the right side but Lamb was left handed! Harm left his apartment into the rain and into his car but M followed him still demanding that he “prove his case” to her. She claimed that she already was an accessory – especially if he pulled the trigger tonight. Harm said he had just found out two weeks earlier by checking Lambs service record. Mac exclaimed “why would all THREE of you miss that?!” Harm said because “we were too busy dealing with each other.”

Turque had returned Shonke’s letters to H, after he had read them of course, ostensibly in an effort to “part like men.” Harm led M into the conclusion that Turque was on the Seahawk during the trip and his change of attitude was because the case was closed. She surmised that Turque was the killer and H said he had a letter in the apartment which proved it. So, M got out of the car and H drove off.

Dripping wet from the storm, M had B come into JAG. He had the passwords and codes necessary to use government databases. He admitted that he had been on the Seahawk and knew about the case and that Turque was NOT on board! In fact he wasn’t even in town at all. Mac asked B “what was she like?” He replied that Diane looked “identical to you but talked different, and was a lot more fun.” [i.e. you’re more squared away.] Bud revealed that the only other suspects were Lt. Williams (for being suspected of being gay) and Holbarth (because when K talked about his not reporting Shonke’s harassment charge- he was really sweating).

The two found from the databases that Holbarth was onboard the destroyer Sheppard which docked tonight at Norfolk. Harm waited for Holbarth to come off the ship and confronted him. He showed him a letter which he had finally read from Shonke’s lock box. It was unsigned, inadmissible in court, but was a draft of the original which had been sent to Holbarth. It said that “your failure to address my complaint leaves me no recourse but to seek redress through channels. I will file a complaint when we dock.” Hobarth claimed that he had tried to talk her out of it while standing watch with her; then, failing that, sent Lamb after her to talk her out of it – thus setting him up as the fall guy. Then he had killed Lamb as a suicide. Holbarth said this assumption would be thrown out of court and H said “I’m not going to court” as he pulled out his weapon. Just then M called “don’t do it harm” through the mist and dressed in Harriet’s dry Lieutenants uniform which she had changed into. Holbarth, thinking she was an apparition, panicked saying “I didn’t mean to… I’m sorry…” and backed up off the dock. He was crushed between the pier and the hull.

As the two stood on the dock Harm kissed Mac. She said, “I know you were kissing her.” He didn’t disagree.

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3 thoughts on “Death Watch – 57

    • Don’t remember ever saying it wasn’t – CBS picked it up and ran with it for 10 years until some toe rag decided that the “older demographic” wasn’t worth the effort. Of course by the end of the series Bellisario had stuffed it with a list of so-called “producers” as long as your arm which must have inflated the costs enormously – and DJE’s ever increasing salary demands and desire to quit didn’t help much either.

      • Actually, now that I ferreted out what page and section you were talking about I see the mistake and it is now corrected. Thanx. (giving me a tad bit more specific about where/what you are referencing makes it a lot easier for me to find)

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