JAG

Season 5 Episode 13

Life or Death

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Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 18, 2000 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Life or Death
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Mac is assigned the personally distasteful task of representing a fellow Marine who is appealing his death sentence for the murder of three other Marines. She believes that the defendant, Kaleb Farmer, should receive the death penalty, but she must argue otherwise in court. Brumby, who doesn't believe in capital punishment, must argue in favor of it. However, in attempting to overturn the original guilty verdict, Mac must argue inadequate counsel by the corporal's previous lawyer: then-Commander A.J. Chegwidden. The appeals court lets stand the original guilty verdict, but orders a new sentencing hearing. Mic is recalled by the Royal Australian Navy and must leave within 72 hours. As a result, Harm is assigned to replace Brumby at the new sentencing hearing. Despite Mac's arguments to the defense of Corporal Farmer that was not raised by then-Commander Chegwidden, Corporal Farmer is again sentenced to death. Admiral Chegwidden throws a goodbye party for Mic at the local bar. Everyone takes their turn saying goodbye to Mic, including Harm who despite their troubled past together, is very cordial to Mic. As Mic is ready to walk out the door, Bud begins to sing and is then joined by the rest of the JAG staff: In tribute to Mic, everyone sings "Waltzing Matilda" as he walks out the door and down the sidewalk.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "Life or Death" is an emotional episode that allows the viewer to consider his own perspectives, while saying good bye to a wonderful character.

    9.9
    "Life or Death" will be an emotional episode for many viewers. We lose one of our favorite characters (at least for awhile). Viewers must deal with their feelings on putting someone to death. Finally, we watch as the Admiral must reflect upon his past actions and what might have been.



    Gunnery Sgt. Victor Galindez begins to show his personal side, which is nice but not surprising. The Gunny gives allows us to reflect upon how many people the defendant affected by his murderous actions. Victor acts as any friend would to another friend brutally attacked by encouraging and supporting him. Semper Fi, Marine!



    Are there times to put someone to death? Are there crimes so outrageous we must send the person back to God as soon as possible? These are the questions this episode raises, but leaves unanswered. They are questions of the soul and only each person can answer them and only for themselves.moreless
  • Mac represents a Marine who is appealing his death sentence.

    8.0
    I think the viewers see a different side of Gunnery Sergeant Victor Galindez in this episode. Before this we mostly see him as a Marine who is very "squared away" and professional. This is the first time we really see an emotional side to him. We learn how much he cares about people. His friend Alex Kryler is one of the Marines who was shot by Corporal Farmer and the shooting left him paralyzed. He is called to testify against Farmer and Victor brings him into the courtroom in his wheelchair. Before Kryler is sworn in, Victor touches him on the shoulder and says "Semper fi." His military career has ended, but Victor still sees him as a good Marine. I think Victor is also trying to make him less afraid of facing the man who shot him. This was one of the episode's many dramatic moments. I also liked the last scene with "Waltzing Matilda." Nice sendoff!moreless
Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell

Lt. Colonel Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie

David James Elliott

David James Elliott

Commander Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr.

John M. Jackson

John M. Jackson

Rear Admiral Albert Jethro "AJ" Chegwidden

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Lt Bud J. Roberts, Jr.

Matt Sigloch

Matt Sigloch

Mstr. Sgt. Lochsig

Guest Star

Paul McKenna (I)

Paul McKenna (I)

General Perry

Guest Star

Michaela Morgan

Michaela Morgan

 

Guest Star

Nanci Chambers

Nanci Chambers

Lt. Loren Singer

Recurring Role

Harrison Page

Harrison Page

Rear Adm. Morris

Recurring Role

Rif Hutton

Rif Hutton

Lt. Cmdr. Mattoni

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • This episode may have been inspired by a real-life incident. In 1995, US Army Sergeant William Kreutzer opened fire on a group of soldiers at Fort Bragg while they were doing calisthenics. He killed one person and injured 18 others, including one man who was left paralyzed from the waist down. Like Cpl. Farmer in this episode, Kreutzer claimed that fellow soldiers had harassed him and that he had been denied adequate mental health treatment before the shooting. Kreutzer was sentenced to death but his sentence was later changed to life imprisonment.

    • Mac refers to Renee Peterson as "Cecilia B. Demille," a reference to famed director Cecil B. Demille.

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