In this episode of JAG, Harm receives some bad news. Once this deployment ends, Harm is going to be reassigned to a desk job, and it may be quite some time before he can go to sea with an air wing again. This was because he spent too much time out of naval aviation, missed two wars, and therefore has too few flight hours and carrier traps compared to other aviators at his rank and age. They will therefore be given priority for deployments and eventually command billets instead of Rabb. He is then forced to reconsider his return to naval aviation. At around the same time, his RIO Skates is getting antsy and jittery. After snapping at a flight deck crewman over a minor thing, Harm talks to her, and she reveals her actual issue - she feels that she survived one too many harrowing experiences, and is scared that the next time she won't make it. Harm reassures her that he went through the same thing, but recovered in time to take his night blindness induced crash in stride.
At around the same time, a petty officer naval aircrewman on a Carrier Onboard Delivery cargo plane disembarks, escorting a pregnant Albanian woman. It turns out that not only is she not supposed to be on that plane, but the petty officer had knocked a fellow crewman out to smuggle her onto the aircraft. He is subsequently put on trial, and Harm agrees to defend him.
Finally, Harm and Skates fly what may well be their last mission together - a simple recon mission. However, his wingman takes damage from a flak gun and Harm has to execute a daring maneuver involving both aircraft to get his wingman to safety. This act could very well earn Harm everlasting fame as an aviator - if it works!
Tropes found here are
- Pardo Push: Harm executes one.
- Passed-Over Promotion: Due to Harm having spent eight years out of Naval Aviation and missing two wars - presumably, the 95 Bosnia campaign and the 99 Kosovo campaign, he is warned that he will be passed over for plum assignments and promotions. Harm decides to return to JAG to avoid this.—CAG Pike:"Numbnuts over there with the doll will be commanding a squadron before you ever will.'
- Status Quo Is God: This show's novelty was about a Navy lawyer who occasionally flies a Tomcat off a carrier, not a show about carrier pilots. So, Harm needs to somehow be returned to JAG HQ as a lawyer.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Andrew "X-Man" Buxton decided to resign his commission instead of going before a FNAEB and being grounded.