The Ninth Season
JAG's ninth season starts on a similar note as past ones. There was a major climatic cliffhanger in the previous season and the new season picks up right where it left off. In the past, the storylines have been racy, dramatic, and action packed. This season's opener is no different and a little edgier than most. Needless to say, it is a blast and sets up some interesting season nine plotlines. As for the rest of the season, it continues to build with a lot of excitement as there are some really big changes on the horizon for the cast. Fans will not be disappointed with this fun-filled season.
In the final episodes of season eight, Harm resigned his commission to go to Paraguay. Webb and Mac went undercover as husband and wife to catch a really bad guy. In "A Tangled Webb, Part 2", their lives hang on a tight rope and Harm risks everything to save Mac. When he arrives, he learns some disturbing things. Mac and Webb have gotten too close for comfort. It creates an awkward tension between the leading co-stars. Galindez is present and assisting them in the mission. As the episode concludes, the bad guy Sadik Fahd gets away.
In "Shifting Sands", Harm asks Chegwidden for his job back. Unfortunately, he says no. Meanwhile, JAG is in disarray: Tyner is moving on and Coates takes over his duties, Turner's reputation is shot due to Bud's mistake, Mac re-assimilates after her tough CIA detail, and Chegwidden tries to keep his sanity. Harm approaches his CIA handler who "sanctioned" his mission in Paraguay. He wants to make him a field operative, but he declines. They work out something better and Harm ends up flying special missions for the company. In the following episodes "Secret Agent Man", "The One That Got Away", and "Touchdown", there are some fun plotlines with Harm undergoing death-defying missions. At the end of "Touchdown", he is let go from the CIA.
In "Back in the Saddle", Harm is once again without a job. He meets a young girl named Mattie Grace, who has been running an airfield all by herself. She hires him to fly planes for crop-dusting. Mattie becomes an important reoccurring character as the season develops. When Harm learns of her living situation, he decides to become her legal guardian, which has its ups and downs. He has to prove his capability as father, and even more so, he has to be a father. Meanwhile at JAG, Carolyn Imes is brought on board to replace him. Unfortunately, everyone finds out she falsified having passed the bar. She is immediately put on trial. In the aftermath, Chegwidden is forced to reconsider his position on Harm and hires him back in "Close Quarters". At this point, things in JAG slowly start to go back to normal.
As for the rest of the season, there are a number of developments for the cast. Harm struggles trying to be a parent. Fortunately, Coates helps him out on a number of issues. Mac and Webb's relationship continues, but faces many roadblocks. She also struggles emotionally when Sadik Fahd returns in "Persian Gulf". Chegwidden and Meredith prepare for the upcoming wedding, which Coates assists in the preparation. There is also some interesting melodrama between the happy couple. Bud continues to excel as a lawyer. Mikey plays a bigger role as he goes through the Naval Academy and is involved in a situation that threatens Bud and his friendship. Turner tries to get his life back on track, which is impeded when he is charged with racism.
Overall, JAG's ninth season is very strong. The season continues to build upon its past strengths, which is exciting drama/action from military court cases and subsequent investigations. However, this season seems stronger than some of the earlier ones as the character development really steps up. There are a number of dramatic occurrences from the Harm-Mac-Webb love triangle, Harm becoming a parent, Bud starting to give his superiors a run for their money in the courtroom, and Chegwidden coming to terms with several aspects of life. In addition, Coates as a regular character gives the season a fun edge. She is a good character and compliments the entire cast with her overzealous personality. In the end, fans of JAG will get a lot out of this season. It starts of with a bang and finishes with a lot of drama.
1. A Tangled Webb (Part 2): In Paraguay, Harm recovers from the plane crash but finds Mac Missing. Clayton Webb continues to search for the terrorist who tortured him.
2. Shifting Sands: A female Petty Officer who married a sheik is tried for desertion. Tyner leaves JAG and is replaced by Jennifer Coates, and Harm is recruited by the CIA.
3. Secret Agent Man: Harm's first assignment with the CIA is to deliver a rigged limo to a military strongman. Meanwhile, Bud's brother Mikey testifies at an honor code hearing.
4. The One That Got Away: Harm's test flight for the CIA turns into a dangerous mission over North Korea. In Iraq, a Marine survives the desert, but is charged with dereliction of duty.
5. Touchdown: Harm and his co-pilot use a transport plane to rescue a CIA agent and his family. But when they run into trouble, the only landing strip is on an aircraft carrier.
6. Back In The Saddle: After Harm leaves the CIA, he becomes a crop duster and grows close to Mattie, his teenage boss. Harm's replacement at JAG lied about taking the bar exam.
7. Close Quarters: An American submarine rescues the crew of a North Korean sub, but soon regrets it. Harm returns to JAG and comes to the aid of a homeless war veteran.
8. Posse Comitatus: A Marine helicopter pilot is charged with unlawfully aiding the police in a hostage situation. As Harriet organizes a Christmas show, Turner has a crisis of faith.
9. The Boast: A Marine denies killing an Iraqi POW, even though he bragged about it to a reporter. And the Admiral defends a baseball player who threw a dangerous pitch.
10. Pulse Rate: Aboard a carrier, a Petty Officer's smoking habit may have contributed to a radar technician's death. Mikey unexpectedly falls for his roommate's sister.
11. A Merry Little Christmas: Harm is investigated after petitioning to become Mattie's guardian, but then her real father shows up. Turner falls for a famous singer who entertains the troops.
12. A Girl's Best Friend: The Admiral discovers the engagement ring he bought contains a controversial diamond. Harm asks Jennifer to become Mattie's new roommate.
13. Good Intentions: A drunken Petty Officer is charged with killing a female officer, but he claims he doesn't remember a thing. Bud investigates a SEAL who stole from the Navy.
14. People vs. SECNAV: When a US bombing in Iraq kills civilians, the Secretary of the Navy is charged with war crimes. Bud's son goes missing while at a video arcade with Mikey.
15. Crash: After a pilot crashes his jet into a carrier, Mac suspects suicide. So charges are brought against his commander, who knew that the pilot was depressed.
16. Persian Gulf: The terrorist Mac pursued in Paraguay is now in DC and he tries to convert Mac to his way of life. Harm loses his hearing when his car battery explodes.
17. Take It Like A Man: While defending a Marine who claims to be a war hero, Mac spins out of control and is ordered to therapy. Bud loses a piece of evidence, a deadly snake!
18. What If? : At A Chinese restaurant, the JAG staff reads their fortune cookies, wondering what life would be like if they had all chosen the road not taken.
19. Hard Time: Mac is ordered to accompany a violent female prisoner to the brig. And Harm and Bud seek justice for a master chief whose HIV status was made public.
20. Fighting Words: A high-profile general, instrumental in fighting the war on terrorism, is court-martialed after he makes inflammatory remarks against Muslims.
21. Coming Home: After a young Marine is killed in Iraq, Harm and Mattie comfort his grieving mother and sister. Meanwhile, Bud investigates the soldier's armored vest.
22. Trojan Horse: Mac meets a British agent during a drug bust at sea and tries to gain insight into her relationship with Webb. Bud helps a singing Marine get out of his contract.
23. Hail And Farewell (Part 1): As the Admiral plans his retirement party, Harriet resigns from JAG. Mac worries about Webb and her health. And Harm worries that he might lose Mattie.
The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.
The audio track supplied is an English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo surround sound track. The track is pretty clean sounding. Spoken dialogue is audible throughout the episodes.
There are no extras included with this DVD set.
JAG's ninth season is strong. It offers twenty-three exciting episodes with the cast dealing with some pretty big situations. The cast itself undergoes several major changes, as relationships change and new characters are introduced. I felt that this season was stronger than past ones, partly due to the growth and development of the main characters. This season set is highly recommended.