Fair Winds and Following Seas – 227

Harm and Mac coin flip imageCresswell (Cr) announced the big news of both Harm (H) and Mac’s (M) promotions and reassignments. Everyone (nearly) vies for selection by either H or M who are supposed to choose their own staff – and Cr said that “all JAG employees are fair game!” Mac “psychically” told H that they will be 5489 miles and 10.5 hrs flying time apart. Coates (Co) wanted to “stay the same” until coaxed by Vukovick (V) to be “adventuresome.” Turner (T) congratulated H on making captain & his appointment. Surprised, H said “It sounds like you mean it”; then “you were qualified too.” Turner replied “the captains board didn’t think so. But perhaps I’ll be JAG after you.” Mac sublet her apt to Vereese, who was moving to DC in order to see how it worked out with T. Bud (B) commented that Hs new position is a “straight shot into JAG” then fumbled when Cr advised he “didn’t plan on retiring anytime soon.” Harm told Mattie he wouldn’t go anywhere without her & Tom isn’t contesting custody.
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Dream Team – 226

Petty Officer Ferro caught PO Sanhuinius stealing a candy bar from their ships store; then suffered continual harassment after that because Sanhuinius was twice his size. After shore leave from the USS Carl Vincent in Japan, Sanhuinius picked another fight. Ferro knocked him out and later Sanhuinius died. The captain requested JAG to investigate. Vukovick (V) told Cresswell (Cr) that he didn’t need any help defending; but, Cr said “I think you do” and assigned Harm (H) as the 2nd chair. Vukovic played the same arrogance with H that he had with Mac (M) and H set him in his place; but V spit back. Barnes, the original prosecutor, went to Iraq & Bud (B) was assigned to take his place. V kept showing his arrogance & inexperience, H kept bringing him back on track and B became annoyed about them being “buddies” – the “dream team.”
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Unknown Soldier – 225

Cresswell’s (Cr) brother Wallace (a former Vietnam SEAL who was traumatized and disaffected from his Vietnam service) asked him to investigate the found remains of a soldier he believed to be a Marine helicopter pilot Lt. Joe Johnson. Creswell gave JAG attorney Vukovick (V) 5 days to investigate and ostensibly “see the jazz festival.” Lt. Catherine Graves (Gr) was also assigned and she had to “coerce” V into “doing his job” as he wanted to slack off all the time. They drove to Johnson’s hometown Vicksburg while V was asleep in the car. A newspaperman told them that Joe’s brother Elroy (they needed his DNA for ID of the remains) was a blues guitarist and knew Loretta McKeely in Tutwiler. Then Loretta told them that Elroy had divorced her for some “Jezebel” (actually her sister April-Dawn). Then April-Dawn said Elroy had divorced her for “Candy Graham” another singer and gave them a home made record.
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Two Towns – 224

[This episode was skillfully written to compare incidents in two towns: Kresge OK and Talasura Iraq; along with two people undergoing trials. It is actually the same plot in two different settings with differently named characters; and, is quite good considering Harm (H) and Mac (M) are in “parallel play,” again.]

Lance Cpl. Scott Van Arsdale and two of his buddies saw Ma’Mun Al-Reza hurry distractedly out of their platoon mess tent just before a bomb had exploded. Scott had stopped to tie his shoe so was the only one of 17 reservists from Kresge not killed. JAG officers Harm and Bud (B) were sent to Kresge to help process survivor benefits, so happened to be in the story line to investigate the fire bombing of the Reserve Center which happened while they were there. The whole town turned out to see Scott’s homecoming. Mayor Hazlet, an attorney turned real estate agent, said that all of the boys had worked on their parents farms and had joined the reserves together in support of their country and families. They were combat engineers and none complained when they were called up. Within minutes of the center burning, the sheriff caught Scott nearby, smelling like gas, and guiltily, preemptively saying “you’ve got the wrong man.” Harm heard that Scott had a “strong moral center” but had refused to talk to his pastor. Cliff Pardee, the military rejected brother of Scott’s dead friend said that Scott was a “goody, goody” who “even picked up litter on the way to school.” However, they heard nothing which would exonerate Scott so they recommended article 32. The town, however, blockaded his removal to Washington saying “we’ve given up enough of our boys, you’re going to have to fight for this one.”
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Death at the Mosque – 223

[Except for Vukovic’s arrogant, know-it-all character, this was an episode reminiscent of the “real” JAG that we all used to know and love.]

Coates (Co) spruced up Vukovic (V) before he went in to see Cresswell (Cr), and was told to “call me ‘Vic.'” Co later told Mac (M) that V “was kinda cute” to which M responded: “He clearly shares your opinion of himself.” Cresswell sent V, alone, to defend PFC Hoke Smith, who had been charged by General Hugh Cardworthy with the un-premeditated murder of a civilian – an incident which just happened to be caught on ZNN videotape. Col Bootney presided [he was judge last week in San Diego] and Marine Maj Atkins prosecuted. Atkins had been a tank commander in Desert Storm and went into JAG after “he lost some body parts.” Cardworthy told V that he would need to “‘be there’ in order to understand, even a little, what a marine is and does and why.” Smith said that their six men went through a raging gun battle to neutralize the sniper in the minaret of the mosque. They shot some terrorists on the ground floor, then Brad Holliman’s cameraman wanted to get a shot from the tower so ran on ahead. He was blown back, dead. Smith and PFC Quick went up the stairs, threw a grenade, then shot a terrorist who they saw raising his gun. Holliman then brought the camera up just as another man was raising his arm and was shot by Smith. Later he wasn’t found to be armed or booby trapped. Holliman threw the video all over the airwaves, “just doing his job.”
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San Diego – 222

[Apparently this was supposed to be an important JAG episode on several levels]

Cresswell (Cr) held his annual JAG conference in San Diego instead of Washington and relied on Cathy Graves (Gr) as his “advance person” and Lt. Tali Mayfield (Mf) as a keynote speaker on “the JAG involvement in combat operations.” Turner (T) and Bud (B) were left behind “for trials” but then not seen again. Harm (H) was made “acting” JAG and stayed behind. He was shown exhibiting much more trust for Ts opinion than T ever showed for his. Mac (M) prosecuted Corporal Caden Duran who was accused of manslaughter when a civilian in a mob he was trying to control died. Vukovic (V) defended and Mf was assigned as 2nd chair. Cr told them “you have a history” but “consider this a test that neither of you wants to fail.”Vukovic was his usual arrogant, smug and pontifical self throughout, demanding his client not to accept a settlement which M had offered. Mf had to back V down just to be able to even hear the client get a chance to talk! Disagreements and condescending attitudes got to point where Mf told V “I don’t’ know which drives you more your ego or libido,” “It’s one thing to be cocky with your own life but quite another to showboat with someone else’s,” and “You don’t just use people, you use people UP.”
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Straits of Malacca – 221

[Another one of this seasons JAG episodes with poorly defined new characters made worse by writers untrue to existing characters, and insulting to viewers, by merely telling us we should overlook what they’ve done so far instead of giving us a storyline which would develop our change of mind.]

A ship, the Palau, became disabled and asked for the assistance of Captain Manning Donovan of the USS Condon. When they arrived, assistance was refused making Donovan suspect pirates. The JAG, Cresswell (Cr), sent Mac (M) to negotiate the release of the crew and capture Akay Anwar who had a reputation of killing the entire crew of a ship if any person resisted. Cr made her take Vukovic (V) with her, explaining: 1- he is a surface officer, and 2- to “make a man out of him. He just needs direction and discipline.” She said he was “too much a man and not enough lawyer.” Cr said that V and Harm were “too much alike” [Huh?] to be assigned together. Cr told M to “consider it a vote of confidence.” She said it was “more like a plaque of locusts.”
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Bridging the Gulf – 220

[Yet another episode with barely believable dialog and contrived conflict. New cast member touted as “the new Harm” (DJE leaving the show after this season) shown to be unethical, inconsiderate, full of himself –  the complete antithesis of Harm; neither he or Cresswell are believable characters]

Lt. Vukovick (V) arrived at JAG, knocked into Mac (M) flinging her papers, ogled her while he helped pick them up and announced that “I’m the new guy.” Cresswell (Cr) assigned him to second M in the case of Gunnery Sergeant Genuzzi who was charged with illegally commandeering a civilian vehicle in Iraq. Vukovic came in late, brusquely acknowledged Tali Mayfield (Mf), prosecutor, then led and directed Genuzzi in telling his story. Genuzzi said that his (Lt. Revere’s) vehicle had broken down and they had time sensitive intel; so, when a local, Azzam, came down the road after curfew in a SUV they commandeered it. Azzam became belligerent and drew a crowd so they drew weapons. Revere was killed in the vehicle by a land mine. V tried to push him to say that Lt. Revere had ordered him to take the vehicle, but Genuzzi refused. Mac asked Cr if V had “any experience with litigation at all” [he certainly was unbelievable to the audience) and, unbelievably, Cr said: “he’s got something better, he’s got fire in the belly, and we need that around here.” Then Cr played his tiresome manipulation game of “can’t you handle it M.”
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Fit For Duty – 218

PFC Jeff Kilpatrick was killed when his unit was ambushed and taking fire from all sides. He had stood up in a daze and walked directly toward insurgents firing on them. His COC blamed navy psychiatrist Cdr Lucy Maron for “incompetence.” Mac (M) was antagonistic from the beginning, even Cresswell (Cr) told her that she looked like she was “on a mission” against psychiatrists. Harm (H) got Dr Elgin (Jordan’s friend) to review the case. However, when H asked her to be a witness she told him that M had already asked her to be a witness for her side. Then, on cross-examination H had to discredit her. Then, Maron’s private diary was found on a navy computer, she used and forgot to erase, which revealed SHE was under “secondary stress” as well. Kilpatrick had “combat addiction” with adrenalin rush and wanted to go back to the fighting and “it was so easy to let him” Maron told H.
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Heart of Darkness – 217

Capt Jack Ramsey who went UA (after the battle of Tora Bora & bin Laden was “allowed” to escape) was leading a mujahadeem and trying capture bin Laden. Ramsey was charged with killing 5 Zaran village men after they lied to him about the whereabouts of Fahim Khalili a pharmacist in Moquot who Ramsey believed was tied to bin Laden. After the incident the Afghan people turned against Ramsey so his sources dried up. He offered to clear his name of deaths if he could speak with US legal personnel at JAG first and avoid Afghan trial.
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Editorial comment – sorry!

[The show has a list of producers as long as your arm – what are they doing? Harm and Mac’s relations have long been an interesting side issue; but, now they have become a giant elephant in the room, preventing the series from progressing until resolved!! Cresswell’s character is sucking enjoyment out of the program. Why, on earth, bring such arrogant, continuous, antagonism inside the circle? Didn’t the “powers” learn anything from the terrible first year ratings, and cancellation, when it was basically only Harm against not only the villians, but the entire rest of the cast? [i.e. the disinterested and condescending Brovo; simpering, deceptive fool “teddy”; “king of the hill” Pike; and, angry, “agendized” SECNAV.] This show works when: “it’s all of US” (insiders) against THEM (outsiders); uses military related action plots; and, when it’s still based on the ideals (as Harm told Xman) “we didn’t get to be the good guys by shooting first.”

Yes, the military (especially politics and the world) is full of: agenda, deception, adults acting like children doing “parallel play,” and arrogant “short men”; but, we don’t invite them into our living rooms after a hard day at work – (for very long anyway.) And, please, plot development should, at least, be within 100 nautical miles of believability!]

The Sixth Juror – 219

[Weak (actually, completely stupid) plot with “contrived,” gratuitous tension. Not up to the standard of the previous JAG series.]

the JAG, Cresswell (Cr), sent Harm (H) and Mac (M) to Key West to investigate PO 2nd class Russ Foyle, who was charged with the “love triangle” murder of civilian Ben Hewitt over Lt. Eve Sorrens. Cresswell forced Coates (Co) on M as an assistant and kept Bud (B) in the office to continually bait him (as if it would make B jealous?) and assign him scut work. When H called and asked B for help deciphering a log book of the victims, Cr belittled B even more.
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Automatic for the People – 216

[The “elephant” is still in the room and the new JAG, Creswell’s, attitude has long ago become tiresome. A new character was introduced, as well as yet another new “love option” for Harm.]

Bud (B) went to his mandated anger management meeting and was baited by another participant, Korski. When another participant, PO Mooney, tried to defend B, Korski started a fight. B stood up, but knocked his chair over. As B picked up the chair, Korski rammed the instructor, Lt Harriman, into it, breaking his jaw. Cresswell (Cr) told Turner (T) that “he didn’t like loose cannons in his department”, and T agreed (probably thinking it was Mac (M) and Harm (H) ). When Cr mentioned he was thinking about B, T showed surprise; so, Cr asked him who “you did you think I meant,” but T wouldn’t answer. T was assigned to investigate Bs activities, and assumed that B was at fault. Harriman explained the incident and told T flatly that B “doesn’t need to be in this class!” When T exonerated B to Cr, Cr belittled him saying “you aren’t objective.”[!?] Finally, Cr related to B a story of a disabled veteran that he knew, who was demoralized by being the brunt of a joke. He admitted that “I was small for my age” as a child. He then, condescendingly, told B that he would “cut him some slack” (basically because he was “crippled” on duty, not because he believed him).
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