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Recap / JAGS 01 E 03 Shadow

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During a test of a prototype long-endurance torpedo called the "Shadow", the weapon is hijacked and held ransom by Mr. Grover, a disgruntled civilian technician aboard the submarine USS Tigershark. The Navy is given two options: Pay him $40 million in gold and guarantee him safe passage to Cuba within 12 hours, or the torpedo will strike its target: one of 17 unsuspecting cruise ships sailing in the Caribbean. Harm and his new partner, Meg Austin, are dispatched to determine if Grover is bluffing, and to negotiate with him if necessary. Things are further complicated when Harm learns that Austin has not been entirely forthcoming with him.


"Shadow" contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Batman Gambit: In the climax, the crew informs Grover that they have seized control of the torpedo only to realize it has locked onto the Tigershark as a new target. Grover instructs Meg on how to disable the torpedo, only to find they had never been able to gain control of his laptop or the torpedo to begin with.
  • Back Story: When asked how he went from flying Tomcats to being a lawyer, Harm summarizes by saying he "broke a Tomcat" and they wouldn't give him another.
  • Bad Boss: Admiral Drake is more than a little abusive to Commander Lindsey.
  • Everything Is Online: Grover claims to control the torpedo via his laptop, and is able to set off various bombs he has concealed throughout the ship. It is lampshaded that the only way he is able to do this is because he arranged for extra pieces of equipment to be installed in the ship while it was still under construction.
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  • Fish out of Water: Both Harm and Meg. Meg is claustrophobic and finds the cramped confines of a submarine terrifying. Harm is a fighter pilot. More importantly, Harm is tall and the doorways are not.
  • Funny Background Event: Harm painfully hitting his head on hatches and ceiling supports due to the sub's confines can potentially distract a viewer from noticing Meg's increasing discomfort with being on a submarine.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Meg's failed attempts to seize control of Grover's computer lead to various responses, ranging from an animation of Grover giving a raspberry, to other concealed bombs being armed.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Grover relishes in saying "In Harm's Way" to Harm. It doesn't help that Admiral Brovo used the exact same pun in the previous episode.
  • Interservice Rivalry: A crewman aboard a helicopter asks Commander Lindsey if the case he is escorting really contains a hundred million in gold. Lindsey demands to know where he heard that, and the sailor admits he heard it from a Marine. Lindsey jokes that the sailor should never listen to Marines. And it's only forty million.
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  • I Shall Taunt You: After Grover's plan falls apart.
    Grover: We're not at the rendezvous?
  • Low Clearance: After they first board the submarine, Harm manages to smack his head on low ceiling support twice within five minutes. He ruefully lampshades this.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Like many ships featured in JAG, the USS Tigershark is not named for any real ship in the United States Navy, and in fact isn't even named using the same Theme Naming as Real Life nuclear submarines. While US subs used to be named for sea creatures, most modern submarines are named for cities (attack subs) or states (missile subs).
  • Pet the Dog: When Grover first notices Meg suffering a claustrophobia attack, his first reaction is to try and comfort her, before he goes back to taunting her. Meg is able to exploit this by convincing him to let her play games on his computer, giving her a chance to take it away from him.
  • Prop Recycling: This episode recycles the sets from Crimson Tide.
  • Put on a Bus: Kate Pike has been reassigned to serve as Admiral Brovo's aide, with Meg Austin replacing her as Harm's Number Two. As a matter of fact, while Admiral Brovo gets mentioned, he's never seen on the show again.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Commander Ted Lindsey evidently got caught in the crosshairs during the Senate hearings after the events of the pilot episode, so Admiral Brovo reassigned him to serve as Harm's boss. Or as Lindsey puts it, Brovo felt that Lindsey should "get the hell out of Dodge."
    • Admiral Drake informs Lindsey that if Harm and Meg can't resolve the situation before the US government ends up paying the ransom, Lindsey will be hit with this trope again.
  • Stock Footage: Some carefully edited footage of Bill Clinton (making it look like an awe-struck Harm passed him while out for a run) as well as from The Hunt for Red October (with Meg Austin replacing Jack Ryan being lowered to the sub from a helicopter).
  • They Call Me Mr Tibbs: Grover mandates that the naval personnel address him as either "Sir" or "Mr. Grover". He gleefully notices when Meg manages to do exactly that while making it sound as disrespectful as possible.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Harm is furious that Meg didn't tell anyone that she was claustrophobic before accepting a mission that involved her having to board a submarine at sea, and rightly points out that her inability to cope with it is putting the entire mission (and thousands of lives) at risk.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Meg is claustrophobic. It has never been a serious problem for her before, but being aboard a submarine causes her to go into a barely concealed breakdown.

As you were...

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