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Date Posted: 21:23:38 01/15/07 Mon
Author: Meg
Subject: The Return

This ep just aired on History Channel. I remember when I originally watched, the outcome had me livid, but since I am no longer the ardent addict I was at the time of the episode, I wanted to watch again to see what an unbiased perspective would make the outcome look like. I have to say that from an unbiased perspective, the ep proceeded to still tick me off.

- First of all, re the conversation between Mac and Harm in his office when Harm said something about how he won't assassinate one man's character to get another off. I think Mac was right and I think this wouldn't have been unfair to go after the Captain after what else we knew about the captain's actions.

- Lt. Nelson was an arrogant jerk. I'm certainly not going to dispute that fact. That being said, his C.O. certainly was out of line with his actions of manipulating Lt. Nelson into deliberately disobeying the order. In that case, the order was certainly unlawful. And I'm sorry, but being willing to drop the charges just because someone apologizes seems slightly hypocritical. I realize that it was about Lt. Nelson's attitude and what the apology would symbolize, but the lenghts the C.O. went to in the process were too far. You'll accept an apology and withdraw charges, but if he won't apologize you're going to send him all the way to court martial so that he will probably face losing his career? To me that's a manipulation of the justice system.

- And the C.O. was one to talk about being arrogant. His performance on the witness stand made me even more angry than the outcome of the episode. His whole tone and some of his comments on the stand...AARRRGH! By the time he was finished testifying, I wanted to serve under him for ten minutes, just so he could give me an order and I could tell him at the top of my voice to stick his order up his six. I'm sorry, I would never do that in real life, but the way he talked on the witness stand had to make him one of the most exasperating people we ever had to see questioned during the entire ten years of the series. People who take their authority and deliberately rub other people's noses in it just about send me unhinged. The C.O. talked about good leadership qualities - to me that type of action speaks of poor leadership.

- I suppose the ending was correct given what evidence the jury had versus what we had. Kind of like having to release a killer when you know he did it because the evidence wasn't enough. Doesn't make it any less aggravating to watch though. At the least, I would have rather they left out the fact that the Captain deliberately targeted one sailer a cruise and harassed them nonstop. Since it couldn't come up at court, it just served to make the whole thing more aggravating. The outcome would have felt better and more satisfying if they'd just taken that storyline out altogether.

There's a saying in France "You can't run with the hares and chase with the hounds at the same time" and it felt like the episode did just that. We were supposed to chase with the hounds after the Lieutenant because of how arrogant he was and how he did disobey an order, and yet run with the hounds and applaud that regardless of his attitude in the process, he was taking a stand against an unfair action.

The ending also felt a little rushed. I think they should have taken the Jordan scenes and moved them to the next week or something and allowed more time to be spent on the ending. And at the very least I'd have liked to hear the C.O.'s response to the question about his order being unlawful. He would have had to answer the question in court, no change of scene would save him in real life. I felt gypped.:)

Overall it was interesting, entertaining, and probably an ep I will be avoiding the next time it's rerun for the sake of my own sanity:)

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[> I don't agree. I didn't think that the captain manipulated the Lt. into anything. The Lt. had a free choice to obey orders and he chose not to obey. The captain knew the Lt.'s tendency to think that he was above the chain of command and the Lt. proved him right. In the military you have to follow orders of your superiors. The Lt. had a chip on his shoulders stemming from his childhood. Inside... -- Deb, 11:10:59 01/18/07 Thu

Look how he interacted with his father, the Sec Nev, the boy could not put away his arrogance even with his father. The captain enerned his stripes with his rank and years of service. He doesn't have to bend to a lowly Lt. on his own ship.

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[> [> Your comment about "bending to a lowly Lieutenant" I think pretty much summed up the Captain's attitude. The kid had an attitude and was an insufferable pain in the rear end. But...(inside) -- Meg, 22:28:44 01/19/07 Fri

But the Captain admitted that he gave the order expecting to be disobeyed. Not a "He's goign to raise a stink about this, but it's still an order that needs to be given" sort of knowing. The way the Captain made it sound, it was more like "All right, you stubborn little jerk. Go ahead, I'm just waiting for you to pull attitude again so that I can teach you a lesson." Maybe he didn't intend it that way, but with the Captain's attitude on the Stand, that was the way he made it sound.

Then, he admitted that an apology would have been enough for him, but because the kid wouldn't apologize he'd take it all the way through the court system. That made his action seem less like correction and more like being petty. If it was serious enough to warrant spending time on a trial, then how can you just brush something away with an apology? I don't get that, and how making a comment like that wouldn't get the Captain a reprimand.

I remember reading an article about how they always tried to have the endings of the episodes be the good guy winning, even if their good guy might not be the traditional good guy. This one felt more like we had no good guy and either side winning would have been frustrating and made it feel like justice wouldn't have been served.

The scene with his father didn't make me as angry because it seemed more like a case of "Foot in mouth disease." The SecNav was just about on his way to burying the hatchet and then made the comment about it being in the Navy's best interest or something? Can't remember the specific line. SecNav didn't mean it to, but he basically undid what he was saying with that one comment. As soon as he said it I winced.

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[> [> [> I think that's one of the problems -- p, 21:43:14 02/22/07 Thu

The SecNac's son had a dislike of authority. His first instinct is to rebel against it.

The issue of the apology was, is it important to be right or do something you truly love.

The LT had to be right.

One of the thingd I learned in the service was CO come and go, all you have to do is wait them out. They will be gone soon enough.

As for the Captain, his career is over. He won't move up in the ranks or get better assignments.

That should have been pointed out to the Lt.

As for Mac's advice, she was wrong. As much as I agree it should have been one man's character vs another, the judge wasn't going to let it happen.

Serbing had decided it was going to be about the order, not whether or not the captain had the right to test his junior officer.

I personnally believe that once Harm got the Captain to admit what he had done, the Lt should have been found not guilty.

I would also like to say it was probably the worse written trial. The enlisted people weren't willing to testify.

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