Season 1 Episode 20

The Prisoner

Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 08, 1996 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary


On a sailing trip near Hong Kong, Harm is captured by the Chinese military. They want him to reveal the United States' position in case the Chinese should take two islands - which are claimed by Taiwan - by force. To get this information, they employ various mind games, including his father supposedly being held in a adjacent cell. Cmdr. Krennick and Lt. Austin are offered a deal which includes Harm's freedom and asylum for a Chinese military person. Locations: Hong Kong; Nantou, China.


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  • Great series, but poor excuse of an episode

    JAG was a great series. But "The Prisoner" was a poor excuse of an episode.

    JAG was part action adventure, part legal procedural. Legal procedural stories need to be authentic. This episode was anything but. It was bogus from the opening subtitle:

    Nantou, China

    Xi Chang Province Army Garrison


    There is a Nantou in the Taiwan Region of China. There is also a Nantou in the Mainland Region of China, in Guangdong Province.

    There is a Xichang City in Sichuan Province, but there is no "Xi Chang Province."

    Another scene subtitle reads:


    United States Consul General

    Hong Kong


    A "Consul General" is a person, not a place. He or she is the highest-ranking official at a "Consulate General," the office headed by a Consul General.

    The episode hinges on the notion that Beijing planned to move on Taipei controlled Quemoy and Matsu. Talk about being behind the curve! The last time that had any relevance was in 1958, and before that, in 1954.

    Beijing and Taipei have long since come to an armed truce. Quemoy and Matsu are offshore islands of Fujian Province, but they are under the control of Taipei. Local authorities on Quemoy (aka Kinmen) and Matsu are in fact carrying on quasi-official trade with local authorities on the mainland.

    I won't even get into the "Red Corner," Rocky and Bullwinkle "Boris and Natasha" caricatures of mainland Chinese.

    One can be a patriot without embracing racist stereotypes of rivals, real or perceived.

    JAG writers should have either stuck with domestic US issues, or boned up on world affairs before writing episodes such as this.moreless
  • Ham was captured in China for interrogation about US position with respect to China possible invasion to Taiwan

    HKPD uniform was early 70's, not 90's. No short at least 20 yrs. Scene of HK was outdated in general, it looked like 70's instead of mid-90's. However, background information indicated that it was shortly prior to hand over back to China from Britian. Should do more research regarding the location.
Page Leong

Page Leong

Captain Lishi

Guest Star

Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson

David Bair

Guest Star

Aki Aleong

Aki Aleong

Col. Yang Chee

Guest Star

Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson

Cmdr. Allison Krennick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Cmdr Krennnick: (when the Secretary balks at cooperating in Harm's rescue) Mr Secretary, you will guarantee this person asylum tomorrow or...
      Sec. Bair: Or what, Commander?!
      Cmdr Krennick: Or your wife will find out you've been having an affair in Hong Kong...
      Sec Bair: That's a lie!
      Cmdr Krennick: With me.
      Sec. Bair: She'll never believe you!
      Cmdr Krennick: 'Dear Mrs. Bair, I've been getting up the courage to write this letter for a long time. I love your husband, and he loves me. It all began in Cuba...'
      (the phone rings)
      Meg: We put in a call to your wife. Would you like me to get that?

    • Krennick: Excuse me, Lieutenant, are we having a competition over who cares more about Harm? I'm just as upset as you are. I'm just not as good at showing it as you are. I never was. I've grown to care very much about Harm.
      Meg: I understand.
      Krennick: I'm not sure you do, Meg. (she sees Meg's upset by what she said) I know how that sounded. Now you're wondering if Harm and I were sleeping together.
      Meg: No, ma'am... Yes, ma'am.
      Krennick: Unfortunately, no... Were you?
      Meg: We never slept together.
      Krennick: But you thought about it.
      Meg: Yes.
      Krennick: Too bad.
      Meg: Why? For admitting to the same desires as you?
      Krennick: No, for telling me. You wouldn't say it if you thought he was still alive.

    • Prisoner: Remember what I used to tell you when you were little?
      Harm: Always address adults as sir or ma'am and never play with matches?

    • Harm: Are you a prisoner?
      Prisoner: No, I'm here on vacation. I wanted something dank and dark for a change. Of course I'm a prisoner.

    • Captain Lishi: Will the United States interfere when we take back the islands? And this time, a one word answer will not suffice.
      Harm: Harmon Rabb, Jr. Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. 989548301 October 25, 1963.

    • Captain Lishi: 'Commander' sounds so formal. What do your friends call you?
      Harm: 'Harm'... 'Rabb'... 'Pain in the butt'...

  • NOTES (1)