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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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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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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There Goes the Neighborhood – 213

[Again, this JAG plot seems to “stretch” and ignores such obvious responses to accusations from characters, that it seems contrived and unbelievable.]

A girl from Coates’ (Co) past, Pia Bonfilio, showed up at Co’s apartment wanting to stay – “just for awhile.” She played on Co’s sympathy and honest nature to manipulate her. She barged into Harm’s (H) apartment without knocking and made small talk; then, asked if he had a gun. Then she began dressing like Co, braiding her hair like Co, “borrowing” Co’s hair comb and trying on Co’s uniform! She made plans to spend the night at the apartment with Co; but, then stood her up, so she would be alone and without anyone to corroborate. Vince Dolan, an old boyfriend, broke into Co’s apartment looking for Pia, rifled her suitcase and took a manila envelope (containing money). H came the next morning and found Co’s door broken. Just after Co told H that Pia was gone, and had stolen her uniform, detective Morris and Jimenez showed up, investigating the killing of Dolan. They found the evidence “set up” by Pia to frame Co for the murder.
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Whole New Ballgame – 209

[Introduction of Chegwidden’s replacement. Unfortunately, the “writer’s” made a big mistake in what character types JAG viewers would tolerate!]

Marine Col. Gordon Creswell (Cr) saved Gen Bixby from a helicopter crash in Iraq and was then made counsel to the joint chiefs of staff. He became the president’s candidate for JAG, now that Chegwidden had retired. The SECNAV claimed that “no one wants to saddle our good JAG lawyers with someone so bereft of people skills that they alienate all of them.” [Too bad he didn’t tell that to the writers] He then appointed his long time friend, Admiral Tom Kly, as president of the selection board, consisting of 2 marine and 2 navy admirals – despite Kly’s warnings of its appearance of impropriety. Bud (B) was appointed clerk of the board by Turner (T), and was asked stupid questions during the very heated debates. Creswell was finally selected.
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Trojan Horse – 204

[“Navy SEAL’s come under the microscope when a large amount of heroin is intercepted and confiscated, only to have a kilo of it turn up missing. And JAG officer Bud comes to the aid of a Marine singer who is being harassed by the record company that he is under contract to, when they object to him serving in the war.”]
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Take It Like a Man – 199

[A couple of moderately interesting plots; but, not the JAG that got us all hooked on the series. Ms. Meyers should have had a psychologist review her script, or at least talk to one before submitting it. Dialogue is unrealistic and contrived.]

Marine Corporal Hal Strange was bilking schools and organizations out of speaking fees, claiming that he had received a silver star when he hadn’t. The SECNAV decided to throw the book at him and JAG officers Mac (M) and Harm (H) were assigned to defend and prosecute respectively… although not always with respect. Mac acted glib, rushed and childish to Admiral Chegwidden (C) as well as others and continually picked fights with people. Even though defending him, M advised Strange to change his plea to guilty; however he said that “he deserved the medal” and refused. He condescendingly told M that he “doubted she had any idea of what combat was like and had ever killed anyone.” Her look told him otherwise and then there was stupid dialog about how “didn’t she think she deserved one?”
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Girl’s Best Friend – 194

[The first JAG episode of the new year. Chegwidden (C) has, under the recommendation of the wife of a colleague, purchased a diamond engagement ring for Meredith (Mer) (so large the stone can easily be seen in several medium shots. Pleasantly, the episode also rids the series of a poorly understandable, and annoying recurrent character.]

Meredith made arrangements to wine and dine professore Selvaggio during his teaching trip to DC and was upset at the JAG, Chegwidden (C), for not wanting to be “the third wheel” in all her “outings” with him. She knocked the diamond out of its setting and demanded that Coates (Co) not tell the admiral “or he would think I’m clumsy.” Selvaggio looked at it with a magnifying glass and implied that it might be stolen because it didn’t have a laser etched serial number on it. Meredith got upset with C, that it might be stolen, but completely ignored his question about Selvaggio. Mac (M) told C that it “looked good to her” and they wondered if Selvaggio was just trying to stir up trouble. Chegwidden said he’d never met him but there was “just something about the guy” that he didn’t trust. Mac said “at least you show you’re romantic” which some guys “can’t get right.” Chegwidden said that he “thought you and Harm (H) had decided to forgive and forget,” thinking it was H she was referring to, but she responded “I’m not talking about him.”
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Pulse Rate – 192

[It looks as though they feel having several intertwined plots in each JAG episode is something that they need to do this year. There are at least four in this episode. It does have a “stinger” ending.]

Seaman Duncan was electrocuted when the radar rig he was attempting to repair on the USS Gillcrist had its power turned on by PO Ferrier when she didn’t see the “work order tag” on her console. During the JAG investigation Lt. Jourgensen, information division officer, told Mac (M) that any repair required three signatures: his, the lead interior comm tech and a “second man.” He saw the tag on the console 10 minutes earlier. PO Demato, Duncan’s partner, told Harm (H) that there was no way they could tell if the power was off, they just had to trust that no one wanted them dead. When M asked PO Atwood, the “second man,” why he just stood there and let Ferrier turn on the console if he knew they were making repairs, Atwood said he didn’t know what she intended. Everyone, she said, had several things going on at once but no one had the job of watching the tagged console! PO Miles Yates, whose job it was to be at the console, gave many excuses of repair to other damaged equipment, and that the test wasn’t supposed to have been started until 10:10 (not 8:30). Harm bent down and found the red tag inside the vent grate to the console (about 4 inches from the floor). They decided to call it accidental and were leaving when Atwood asked them to reconsider and tattled on Yates having done the same thing before, two weeks prior. They decided to stay and interview people again.
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Secret Agent Man – 185

Harm (H) was fired from JAG and is now flying for the CIA. Blaisdell (Bl), his new boss, assigned him to fly a “drop” into the Philippines; then, H found that he was “second” to Cdr Beth O’Neil who had been flying for them since H got her cleared of harassment charges. Felix Paraiso was a former colonel in the army who had previously tried two coups against sitting presidents and still had enough support to be elected to the House of Representatives. He “was planning something” and had tortured and killed the CIA’s previous agent Greg Ortega. As Ortega did most of his business in his car, Blaisdell was going to switch cars with one having implanted GPS, Surveillance and chemical sniffing equipment. Harm and O’Neil were only to fly a C130 to a remote, lawless area and drop it but their contacts had also been killed; so, Blaisdell told them to land and make the switch themselves. They almost crashed landing on a short strip. They stole clothes from a farmer for their disguise but H left some money. O’Neil posed as a hooker and enticed Paraiso’s driver, Petto Santos, into the woods while H made the switch. She tried to leave and needed to knee him in order to get away but was arrested and charged with attempted murder. They used the homing device to track Santos to a massage parlor and H confronted him there telling him he was working for Santos’ wife. Santos thought O’Neil had been hired by his wife and made a deal with H so he wouldn’t tell his wife about the massage parlors.
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Fortunate Son – 176

[Part 1 of a pivotal episode in the “back story” plot of JAG]

A Marine Corps aviator, Lt Bao Hien, was caught in an INS raid at a warehouse where a sweatshop found and told the police that he was “looking for something to steal.” Completely out of character for a “hero,” Harm (H) didn’t believe the story but he was not forthcoming with Harm, Turner (T) or Coates (Co) either. After H confronted him with people smuggling he said that he had been rescued from Vietnam by soldiers when Saigon fell and he was merely trying to rescue those inside. His Vietnamese wife of one year also denied people smuggling but didn’t know why he would steal. She had met him through Sunshine Brides a company who arranged mail order brides. Two of the sweatshop girls, Suong Khui, 15 years old, and Ly Truong, 14, refused to speak unless they were granted asylum. INS told T that Hien’s credit card had been used to pay for four shipping containers thich they believed had been used to smuggle people. Turner found that Mrs. Hien had worked in the sweatshop. Coates obtained a computer list from the secretary at “sunshine brides.” When H talked to the sweatshop girls he had flashbacks of the 14 year-old Vietnamese girl, Gym, who he met when he ran away to Vietnam to look for his father with a man named Stryker when he was 16. She had been killed by Laotian border guards.
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Each of Us Angels – 172

[A well written role playing JAG episode which used Iwo Jima footage for inserts]

Near the JAG headquarters, an old man visited a grave in Arlington and found a young girl sitting on the gravestone. In a role playing episode, he told the story of whose grave she was sitting on. Bud = Dr Rayburn, an arrogant, abusive ships doctor who diagnosed several people dead who weren’t; Mikey = PO Rowe, a wounded corpsman who lost an eye and hit on Connors = Coates; Harriett = Joni, a compassionate nurse at odds with Rayburn over corporal James Tanner, an 80% burn victim who he was just letting die; Turner = seaman Thomas, orderly, who talked to dead soldiers as though they were alive while taking them to the morgue so their buddy’s didn’t feel bad; Chegwidden = Catholic chaplain dispensing advise; Harm = Lt Ron Graham who was declared dead by Rayburn, but stopped his nurse (Mac) from pulling the blanket over his head; Mac = Beverly, a nurse who fell in love with Graham; Coates = Ens Jane Connors, a flustered, “greenie” nurse chased by Rowe; and Meredith = Lt Marianne, an unfeeling, distant, chief nurse.
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When the Bough Breaks – 167

Bud (B) is preparing to return to JAG. He routinely Emails Coats (Co), still aboard the carrier Seahawk with Singer (S), and was standing up “for practice.” Harriet (Ht), still worried about B “overdoing it,” whined to Meredith (Md) about it when she was visiting Chegwidden (C). So Meredith came up with “sit down” busy work in order to coerce C into coercing B to do: reading 6 major volumes of work by Shakespeare. Chegwidden was very concerned not to make B feel like his own choice of reading (comic books, star trek stuff) wasn’t “good enough” but Meredith persisted. Bud was able to rapidly return the books because he said he “already knew the stories.” Macbeth, he said, was “Dagger of the mind,” Tempest was “Requiem for Methuselah” and Hamlet was “conscience of the King” all Star Trek episodes. He said that he was writing a fan fiction story himself for a web magazine based on Richard the Third called “Picard the Third.”
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