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Recap / JAGS 02 E 01 We The People

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In the second season premiere, and after having received his Distinguished Flying Cross from President Clinton at a White House ceremony, Harm to joins Major Sarah ’Mac’ MacKenzie, Lt. Bud Roberts and State Department Special Assistant Clayton Webb to track down Colonel Matthew O'Hara (played by Carmen Argenziano), a Medal of Honor recipient who in an act of protest has stolen the Declaration of Independence. Colonel O'Hara, who turns out to be Mac's uncle, claims he's temporarily taken control of the document as a wake-up call to politicians who have lost sight of its true meaning. However, despite his patriotic sounding rhetoric, Colonel O'Hara's asking a ransom of one-half billion dollars for its return. It's up to Harm, Mac and Bud to figure out the good guys from the bad guys and safely reclaim the Declaration of Independence.


This episode marks the first time when;

  • JAG aired on CBS;
  • Catherine Bell joined the main cast as Major Sarah MacKenzie;
  • Lieutenant JG Bud Roberts (Patrick Labyorteux) is now stationed at JAG Headquarters and part of the main cast;
  • Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) is also now part of the main cast;
  • the first of forty appearances of Steven Culp as the recurring CIA Officer Clayton Webb;
  • and JAG Headquarters in-verse location is now Falls Church, Virginia.


We the People contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alphabet News Network: ZNN, the CNN stand-in, is shown here for the very first time on JAG. It would also appear many years later in plenty of NCIS episodes.
  • Anti-Villain: Colonel Matthew O’Hara is a Marine Corps legend who earned the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, but he’s grown tired of American degradation of society with street crimes and corrupted politicians, so he and a few other Marines snatches the Declaration of Independence transported in a mail truck on its back from a restoration job. What no one knows at the outset is that the Colonel is the uncle of Major Sarah Mackenzie.
  • Continuity Nod: Harm is presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in the pilot movie. The fact that those actions happened over a season previously is a nod towards how long it can take for some medals to pass through the review process in Real Life.
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  • Grade System Snark: On Clayton Webb's first appearance in "We the People", he gives a rating of Mac's beauty. When someone asks, You go into fractions? Webb replies, I use the Richter Scale.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Admiral Chegwidden hints at the possibility of such reassignment:
    Lieutenant JGs don't joke with admirals, son, it could get him transferred to a supply ship in the Aleutians. Joking is strictly an admiral's privilege only.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In JAG tradition, Harm has yet another snarky female partner, this time a badass Marine. Unlike Pike and Austin, Mac will be around for the rest of the show.
  • Tracking Device: Used by Clayton Webb in his first dealing with Harm and Mac, in "We The People", to track their rental car. However, they're Genre Savvy enough to get rid of it.
  • The White House: Harm & Mac first met in the Rose Garden in "We The People", following an presidential awards ceremony where Harm recieved his first Disthinguished Flying Cross for the heroics he pulled off in the Pilot Movie.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: When Harm first meets Major Sarah MacKenzie, who is a dead ringer for Lt. Diane Schonke, a murdered Naval officer Harm used to know ("Skeleton Crew").
    Mac: Sounds like I have a twin out there.
    Harm: Not anymore.

As you were...

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