Written by: Dana Coen; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon
[Lots happening in this episode. Joseph MacKenzie, Mac’s estranged father and Deanne, her mother, are introduced. Harm has surgery to restore his night vision.]
Father Genaro, a priest in a hospice center called to notified Mac (M) that her father, Joseph MacKenzie, was in a hospice dying and wanted her to be there. Harm (H) gave her an eloquent talk about obtaining “closure.” He asked “why is it that we think it’s a good thing to bury things, pretend they don’t matter.” She got upset when he told her that much of her life, Marine Corps, alcoholism, and relationships with men, had been influenced by her father. He said unless she got closure “every time a man got close you’ll push them away.” She arrived just after her father went into a coma and was so upset she retched as she re-lived abusive situations as a child. She pounded on her father saying he couldn’t die then attacked a soda pop machine.
Genaro tried to break through Ms defenses. She said she was offended by his “wimpy-ness, naiveté, your sanctimony, your presumptions and your thinking you can walk into the middle of a family and heal all wounds.” There are scars there, she said, and “what’s left of my soul is covered with them.” Genaro had a sappy grin and she warned him “don’t turn the other cheek, it just makes me want to smack it.” Genaro argued back that he agreed he was a wimp, but he used naiveté to get what he wanted and he preferred the term “sanctified.” He told her that her father “hated your boyfriends because they had your respect;” then, “when you ran away he went into a downward spiral drinking more.” “Abandonment was a recurring theme of his life,” he told her.
Mac’s mother arrived, she said it was only to see M not her ex-husband. She had abandoned the family when M was 15 and away at a sleep over. Joe came home drunk, held a paring knife to her throat, drew blood and threatened to cut her into little pieces. She got on a bus and rode until it stopped. She tried to call home and talk to Mac for a month, but Joe always picked up the phone. Then later she didn’t call because she was afraid M would be angry and reject her. Genaro pressured M to go in while he was dying and gave her his wallet to look through. It had clippings of all Ms accomplishments which he had followed, proud “that she was able to rise above his failure as a father.” Her mother refused to go in with M, and her father, still in a coma, squeezed her hand just as he died.
Genaro quoted a Buddhist verse and said not to tell the monsignor. Her mother belittled M by saying: “he got to you didn’t he?” Mac, crying, asked to be held; then, remembered that it was always her father who had held her when she cried as a child. She told her mother “he was a confused, miserable drunk but made a home for me in his own pathetic way” which meant more to me than you finally coming back to see me. Her mother got self-depreciatory and M told her to “stop it” then knelt in front of her and said “I forgive you.”
Chegwidden (C) and Bud (B) were trying to do a video-conference call to a ship. Tiner, trying to make it happen, by-passed a faulty fuse which he had learned from stealing power in college. He said it wouldn’t last long and it eventually blew out the power in the whole building. Harm nearly crashed in his Stearman during a dusk landing and decided to have an exam from another ophthalmologist. He was told that the original diagnosis was incorrect and that he had retinal scaring from a bout of toxoplasmosis which could probably be corrected. He asked C for time off to have surgery and C asked if it had career implications. Harm assured him the decision had nothing to do with his feelings about JAG. The surgery went well but H was anxious over the results. He told the doctor that he had destroyed a $55 million aircraft and his RIO had been killed. The surgery was probably a “fools errand” if he thought he would ever be let back flying. The doc told him that “no one can fault you for trying to complete your dream.” Harm showed that the surgery had worked by catching Harriet in a dark stairwell when she fell down the stairs.