If you did not notice, one of the elves (Wolf) was played by the same actor who plays Strax (although this might be hard to spot without all the prosthetic makeup).
I liked that the sleigh flew past Big Ben at the stroke of Midnight. They got it right unlike the Norad Track Santa site where they had Santa hitting London at Midnight GMT yet the posted Santacam footage had him fly past Big Ben which read 1:35. There was a tongue in cheek gag in the Santacam voice over saying that Santa checked his watch as he passed Big Ben to make sure he was on time/schedule. I also liked the old Clara gag due to the speculation that this was going to be when she left the show. Happily that turned out to be another dream (or Santa hit the reset button - Pick One) so when she woke her she was young.
This was a different situation. He was drafted not volunteered. Everyone served. He opened a slot for a more combat qualified person since someone had to be a clerk. At he current time, there are enough people that they can reject those who fail their physical. YES they could have allowed him to serve but there was no need.
I can relate to her situation. I know of a similar situation that occurred where once worked with a time critical program that crashed (if the program did not complete its output on time there would have been major fines for not submitting the data on time to the stock exchange). A Female IBM technician (who lived in the area of the computer center) was called in to handle the problem. She showed up dressed casually (t-shirt and slacks), fixed the problem (getting the data submitted on time with about 15 minutes to spare), and was gone by 7AM. The computer center was managed by an outsourced company who complained to IBM about her attire. IBM supported her (even though they had a dress code) due to when it occurring overnight and her being off premises before the start of normal business hours. The short window for the data submission also helped. They said that her clothing choice was within the dress code for that hour while it would not have been acceptable at 10AM (even if dressing "properly" would have caused a submission on-time failure).
"At the end of that story we learned that, yeah, the guy who killed the guy would get jail time, but basically the writer painted him as somewhat of a sympathetic person - someone who wanted to serve but couldn’t." Too bad Robert Heinlien's service idea in his "Starship Troopers" was not in effect which would have taken care of the guy who failed his physical. In that book you had the right to serve if you wanted (note: Serving in the book was a prerequisite for being granted full citizenship). They just had to provide a job that you were capable of doing. The example of such non-military alternate service given was the hypothetical case of a blind wheelchair bound person. He could have been asked to count the hairs on caterpillars. The idea of non-combat alternatives to military service has been forgotten. There are stateside positions that he could have filled with his medical condition (freeing up some fully medically qualified person for other service). Note that I do not justify what he did but given the background at least part of the reason was that the government and the military had failed him by not allowing him to perform some (alternate) service in lieu of a full combat role.
Comment modified at December 21, 2014 18:00
"The second thing is something that always bugs me: remember when Bower first escaped the team when his girlfriend picked him up on her motorcycle? LaSalle drew his gun but then stopped when he saw a bunch of other people in the laneway. Now tell me: was his intent really to shoot a man who was escaping? If he had done so, surely he would have been court-martialed." He might have drawn his gun to try to do something that only gets done infrequently on shows when someone takes shots at a fleeing vehicle - Shot Out The Tires. I cheered earlier this season when on NCIS:LA a car was actually stopped by having its tires shot.
Ducky lost his mother. She appeared in a few episodes.
I agree. She has made a big deal about caring for her students and that she was at heart a teacher.
Even more he wrote the letter to deal with his inability to have the last chance to talk to his father before the father's death due to working the case (note the symbolic act of placing the letter in the coffin).
It has been established that Neal has money hidden away so he does not need to tap Mozzie's money. I am sure that as part of the plan that he took care of the money situation.
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