Friday, January 31, 1997

Crossing the Line - 29

[An interesting, but a bit exhasperating episode. The authors do not provide adequate 'closure'. It does introduce a major character and Bud's love interest.] Lt Marilyn Isaacs, an excuse-ridden, incompetent female pilot, called the sexual harassment hotline against Capt Tom Boone (CAG) after he grounded her aboard the Seahawk. She claimed that she was embarrassed by master chief Sullivan and others during the "crossing-the-line (equator)" ceremonies. Harm (H) and Mac (M) were assigned to do an "impartial" investigation. H said that during his own ceremony he "was hosed, did about 1000 sit ups, dunked twice, slow-danced 30 minutes with Bob Fredericks, and crawled blindfolded through the tunnel of moral courage. Chegwidden (C) said that the CAG had been selected for a "deep-draught" command and it was being held up. Ensign Harriet Sims was their escort and said that Bud (B) "was a legend" aboard the ship. B spent the rest of the episode acting like a bumbling fool around her, culminating in her finally giving him the "green light" to kiss her.

Isaac's claimed that the CAG was behind all her troubles and "had it in for her" because he "didn’t think women belonged aboard ship." H saw right through her whining, manipulating, exaggeration, embellishment and lies; but M bought into her story that the CAG had told Master Chief Sullivan (Neptunus Rex) to "mess me up" so she would foul up on her quals. Then she blamed her RIO for messing up. H & M reviewed the tapes and found that it really had been she who had screwed up her landing. The CAG had written in the log book: OSCB, EGAR, DNKH. Translated, that meant: 'overshot, came back; eased gun at ramp; damn near killed herself.' He had grounded her pending review board. The arrogant, rude, and blundering Congresswoman DeLong manipulated and bullied Admiral Drake into letting her aboard with her "women in combat agenda." She deliberately offended nearly everyone on the ship. She also bought into Isaac's whining and blaming everyone else (including other "jealous" females), then bullied Admiral Drake to override Hs investigation, CAGs duties, the captains command and Chegwidden's advice to reinstate Isaac's flight status. When H told her she had no business interfering, she knifed him with "you killed your RIO, who are you to judge." No one would be Isaac's RIO so CAG had to actually order "skates" to go up with her. In the air Isaac's made sloppy maneuvers, and Skates had to continually advise and remind her. She made excuses on an open mike and was resentful at the mission being cut short due to a weather squall. True to her past experience she was making another crappy landing and, blaming the autopilot, she shut it off then crashed into the fantail in a fireball. Fortunately Skates ejected before impact, but her chute was coming down toward the flames on deck then just missed the side, going toward the water. H dove off the ship (onto and unrevealed net) and pulled her dangling parachute aboard.

Friday, January 24, 1997

Heroes - 26

[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) 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." H & Ms litigation became personal. H suggested M think of "ricochet" and then, when she used it, made her look foolish. He said "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. H & B felt Connors was hiding something and noticed that Harrington's parents weren't at the trial. B 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. M 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. 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." He 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 him that her husband demanded perfection and could turn his back on anyone." H asked "even his son?" H surreptitiously took some pills from the apartment. Mrs. Harridan, later, brought H her son's last letter, delivered 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. 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. H recalled the weapons expert to testify about the gun jamming and M rebutted him. H 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 found that the pills they took from the apartment were AZT, AIDs medicine. H 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. H 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. H 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. H threw his drink in Harridan's face and walked away.

M 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."

Friday, January 17, 1997

Jinx - 27

[Another very complicated plot] Bud answered his cell phone while flying with Harm in his stearman. Mac asked them to meet her and then told H that Lt Tess McKee was killed when her F-14 hit a flock of birds during a low level flight practice mission and spun into the ocean. McKee had held on long enough for her RIO, Lt Peter Ayers, to eject. She had been recommended, by several members of congress, to be appointed as the first female member of the Blue Angels. Ayers was then the last surviving member (out of 8) of the Howler squad, who accidentally blew up a mosque in gulf war. SadDAM claimed that 100 were killed. Intel later confirmed that a radio link to the missile had shut off and SadDAM had parked a SAM missile truck right in front of the mosque. H visited Annie Pendry and Josh, wife of deceased pilot friend Lucas Pendry and helped her around the house. Josh had his arm in a cast from a hockey injury. A reporter came to Annie asking about a supposed "Jinx" of the squadron and seemed to know information about the mosque, which Luke had sworn her to secrecy about. B "ticked-off" H by buying into the "bad Karma" of the unit so was assigned some "busy work" in a brusque manner. Later he asked H if he was "still mad at me," and H said "I was never mad at you B, it's M who is always complaining about you." Staying at Annie's, H had a dream of being in a bar and talking with his old friend Luke who told him that it was alright if he wanted to "be with" Annie, but to "not start anything that he didn't intend to finish." H's long time feelings for Annie began to come to the surface and they kissed several times. She was offered a transfer to the Baltimore area but didn't know if she was going to take it. She finally told him that she had decided to "go for it" to get her life back on track. She said that she would call H when she was on her feet.

Ayers was assigned on a mission with pilot Lt Vanderway and panicked going through a storm, then was hit by lightening which started a fire. They landed ok but Vanderway told the captain he didn't want to fly with Ayers anymore because he was a jinx. The captain told him to not talk of it again because "this stuff feeds on itself, and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy." H bristled at an obnoxious reporter trying to find a "scoop" over the Jinx aspect so told M that he was going to "take a couple of days." He stayed with Annie fixing up the house and pursuing their relationship. She wondered to him if Luke would want her to have another relationship, "especially if it was with you." M appeared at the house and caught them kissing. M informed H that Ayers had turned in his wings when he was asked to fly the missing man formation the next day for McKee's funeral. B tailed him to a mosque where H caught up with him. B calculated that of the 7 Howler crashed since the Gulf War, 6 of them were on Islamic holy days. The funeral was on another Holy day and "I wouldn't want to fly either," B said. H finally convinced Ayers that it was up to him to "put an end to this or it will destroy the Howlers." No one would fly with him so H said that he would. H pulled the missing man then went for the "standard" refueling practice. During the refueling the basket hit and broke the Plexiglas canopy wounding and partially blinding H. Ayers was panicking and demanding to eject but H ordered him not to. They diverted to El Toro and Ayers had to talk H down reading out the instrument values to him. H landed "blind" and afterwards Ayers found that a Plexiglas shard had fouled his ejection mechanism and his seat wouldn't have fired so Hs "would have fried" him. H told him that he would fly with him anytime because he was "untouchable."

Friday, January 10, 1997

Secrets - 28

[A very complicated plot, but gives background for Webb and the CIA connections which will be used in upcomming episodes] Mac (M) was in her new office at JAG and shown helping Bud (B) study for a law exam. Corporal Jason Magida, who had been in the brig for eight of his twenty year sentence for espionage, poisoned the water supply to overwhelm the brig's infirmary and escape during the confusion. He made a beeline for the man who had put him there, Admiral Chegwidden (V) , and took him hostage- "to clear his name." Chegwidden, who had wanted to see Harm (H) on the Russell file, told him he wanted the Clawson file (which was a code for someone who had taken their CO hostage). H picked up on the reference, with B's help, and cleared the building. C played the tough guy, trying to catch Magida off guard, and refused to cooperate. Magida had H bring his court-martial records to the office but H found they were classified "Top Secret." He called Webb (W) , who was dancing with his mother, for a favor and got the records. W accidentally let slip that he had to give the security codes to obtain the information so H realized that W was really a CIA agent instead of with 'state'. Magida took M & B hostage to hold another trial for him. M assigned to prosecute, B to judge and C to defend. W refused to aid H any more and was leaving until he saw Gayle Osborne come as the leader of the "special response team." W told H that, the sunflower chewing, arrogant, Osborne was CIA and was probably there to "neutralize" Magida. Osborne used a fiber optic scope to "target" Magida from under the door but H took him down and C stepped on the scope when he heard that Osborne had been sent. C said that "if Osborne is involved you probably were set up and so was I." C told Osborne to stand down but he wouldn't, giving him only an hour. C asked H to try and get Malka Dayan, the Moussad Israeli agent who was supposed to have received documents from Magida. H asked W to go get her but he angrily refused, only to go get her eventually.

H found that Osborne was lying, and not up on the roof like he claimed, just as W drove up with Dayan. Osborne's men wouldn't let H in with Dayan so H took one man down and W slugged the other. Dayan said that the CIA had blackmailed her into lying and promised her that 'nothing would happen to Magida.' H realized that she had been a double agent. CIA was afraid that she was about to be discovered as a double, so they exposed her as a Moussad agent to avoid embarrassment of being caught spying on an ally. C said that he would present the case to the SECNAV and that it would be dropped. Just as Magida was giving H his gun, H saw sunflower seeds coming from the air conditioning vent and pushed him out of the way of Osborne's shots. H yanked Osborne down out of the vent and they had a stand off, pointing their guns at each other. C told Osborne that, "he will do it." Osborne said "you've never lied to me, AJ. I think he will," and stood down. Magida then told H that he was glad that he didn't fire the gun because it had no bullets! C was shown defending Magida where the espionage charges were dropped, but he was found guilty on hostage taking etc., and sentenced to the eight years he had already served.

Friday, January 3, 1997

We the People - 25

[A bit 'far fetched'; but none-the-less a significant episode in that Mac's history and family is further elucidated. Unfortunately, it was never followed up on except a cursory tangential mention. This episode also introduced Hs new partner and an explanation for a frequently used 'excuse' for his odd personal behaviors.] Harm (H) was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross by President Clinton for rescuing the unconscious Capt Thomas Boon (the CAG) and landing on a carrier despite his 'night blindness'. Bud Roberts, (B) attending law school at night, was introduced as a new JAG assistant in Hs section. He had been recommended by Meg (Mg) before she left. Sarah Mackenzie (M) was introduced as Hs new associate, to replace Mg. Clinton told H that he may single-handedly give lawyers a good name and when B acted the "doofus" Chegwidden (C) had to tell him that "joking was Admiral's Privilege." H had flashbacks to Lt Diane Schonke, a fiancé' who had been killed, every time he looked at M; because, she was a "dead ringer" for Schonke. And, he now has a new loft apartment that he is renovating himself.

The US Declaration of Independence was being transferred to a document restorer in California and the "mail truck," which was carrying it, was hijacked, by Ms paramilitary militia uncle flying a marine helicopter. Webb (W), posing as an assistant to the State Department, told C that the investigation was "States" and he should butt out. C, however, said: "yes but it's my navy" then forced W to take B along with H & M. B continually annoyed W by interjecting facts which proved to be true. When M tried to "ditch" H, he landed in a helicopter in front of her car. He was upset with her for not telling him that it was her uncle, Matthew O'Hara, who had stolen the document. She said that she thought he already knew because "someone had pulled her off a double murder investigation" to do this... so they must have known. Her former Marine Col. uncle had won the medal of honor in Vietnam and was a "politically principled" man, she claimed. They went to find O'Hara together. O'Hara took over a ZNN van and transmitted a television message that the "defenders" had the document. One of his men, Cahill, phoned the government later and said they wanted $500 million ransom. H called the stranded tag-along, B, who whined that W wouldn't let him in a van which had all kinds of antennae. H then realized that their conversations were being "bugged" so told B, in 'code' that if W gave him trouble he had permission to use "admirals privilege" on him. Then they swapped cars with a gas station attendant to avoid the "bugs." The attendant used Hs phone in the swapped car, which tipped off W. W wouldn't take B with him to find H; and, when asked why, recounted that it was "admirals privilege!" B then knew that he had a "wire tap" in place and threatened to tell C that his people were being bugged, which is illegal. B got to go with him.

H discerned that W had 'set up' M, knowing her connection with O'Hara. They flashed their headlights at the base of Devils Tower to signal her Uncle, who was hiding out in the cave where he had taken the 16 year-old M to "dry out" and hunt for dinosaur track fossils. M faked taking H prisoner to fool the 'defenders'. H convinced O'Hara that he'd made his point and to give up an return; but, his mercenaries wouldn't let him because of the $500 million they expected to get. When O'Hara claimed that he hadn't known anything about the ransom, Cahill was killed. The men forced O'Hara to fly them out in the helicopter, taking M with them as hostage. H jumped and held onto the skid as it flew off devils tower! M fought off the mercenaries and threw one of them out the door, all the while H just held on to the skid. The document dropped out of the helicopter, but was in its case and was recovered by W. H offered to defend O'Hara in court and was shown doing it at the end; but no outcome was given.