This episode of JAG begins with some Marines riding on Zodiacs in the Indian Ocean along with black fatigues clad Indian Navy MARCOS special forces troops. The Zodiacs capsize due to a rising surf, a Marine 2nd Lt is dead and a Marine Major in charge of the operation is brought up on charges of negligence. Harm is designated to defend the marine major, but he hires a civilian attorney, who butts heads with Harm. Mac who is prosecuting, is surprised to see Harm there, and must deal with some probing questions from him about why she "ran" by taking this seaborne assignment.
In the meantime, Admiral Chegwiden's goddaughter whose mother is at sea, has apparently decided to crash at his place, because she was chafing under the rules her mother set for her with her aunt. Problem is, the Admiral decides to impose those same rules, causing the teenage girl to run away.
- Fridge Brilliance / Truth in Television : The Indian "marine" shown training with the US Marines is shown wearing a beard, which is against regulations in nearly all the militaries. However, this Indian "marine" is most likely a member of the Indian Navy's Marine Commandos or MARCOS for short, as India doesn't have a dedicated naval infantry branch. The MARCOS are India's equivalent of the Navy SEA Ls and they are known for sporting beards. This is because the MARCOS are often used for counterterrorism operations in Jammu & Kashmir and sport beards so they can blend in better among the local Muslim population.
- It's All About Me: The marine major accused of endangering his men, apparently had a reputation for being generous with gifts towards his men, and in return, they take the heat for his screw ups.
- It Was A Sandbar: A sandbar was what actually caused the boat to capsize, not the ten foot swells that the major insisted his marines conduct the assault exercise in.
- Never My Fault: Harm discovers that multiple little mistakes compounded to cause the marine's death - from the corporal who made copies of a map but shrunk it down so an important terrain feature was missed, to a marine lieutenant ashore who placed chemical lights to aid the assault team in finding their way, not anticipating that those lights would be washed away by the tide, to the amphibious ship's skipper delaying the operation for an hour. His client also made a little mistake - by insisting on conducting the assault exercise under stormy weather. If he had taken his share of responsibility, and shown some contrition, as both Harm and his civilian lawyer advised him to do, he would have been cleared. But by refusing to do this, he didn't make a good impression on the court martial board - and is consequently found guilty of dereliction of duty.