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Madeleine
May 31st, 2005, 09:08 PM
In our series of Polls to find the top Daniel ep, we've identified the best
Loopy Daniel (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=12164)episodes as Legacy, Lifeboat and Absolute Power; the best eps for Daniel the Scholar and Explorer (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=11966) as Torment of Tantalus and The First Ones; the best Daniel the Hero (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=11743) as Meridian and Reckoning pt II; and the best Whumping eps (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=12310) as Evolution pt II and Prometheus Unbound.

Here are some more for you to choose from :)

CKO
May 31st, 2005, 09:35 PM
oh my that is a hard question... but had to go with Forever in A Day.. cuz it shows daniel as he works through his grief after his wife is killed, one chp of his life closes and in a way another begins.

SlytherinGal
May 31st, 2005, 09:54 PM
Hard choice for me as well, and I narrowed it down to The GameKeeper and Forever in A Day, however, I went with Forever in A day....:D

emily_reich
May 31st, 2005, 10:46 PM
ooh! it was a tough tie between forever in a day and threads!! i went with threads though, as it was more development about HIS character and not development of his relationship with sha're :D both on my fave eps list though! :D

L-JADE
May 31st, 2005, 11:04 PM
Gotta go with Threads, it's like the cumulation of all his years in learning, training and communication, and he applied it all in the dinner.

.

Kliggins
June 1st, 2005, 12:52 AM
I am the odd man out; I went with my first instinct and chose Maternal Instinct.

SueS
June 1st, 2005, 05:26 AM
I am the odd man out; I went with my first instinct and chose Maternal Instinct.


I went with Maternal Instinct too. In that episode Daniel started out searching for the Harsesis because it was Sha're's last wish that he find the boy and take care of him; and he believed he could do that. To come to the realization that he isn't cut out for the task takes a lot of growth IMO.


SueS

Tucker Case
June 1st, 2005, 08:16 AM
I’ve been dreading this one. Not because it was going to be a particularly tough choice – Daniel’s little ode on a ballpoint pen alone would have been enough for ‘Forever In A Day’ to snag my vote – but because I actually have to try to put into words what makes this episode is so unutterably special, when usually I just avoid trying to talk about it at all. It’s my “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” episode: The minute I start trying to put any of it into words, the nuns in my head start singing about clouds, and the pinning down thereof, and, really, they’re no help at all.

Michael Shanks, on the other hand, has been a great help. I just love some of the things he’s been saying in recent interviews, about Daniel being this "little child of the universe” and how the search for the Ancients is, for Daniel, about the search for God, the search for answers to his existence.

That’s Daniel as he’s lived in my head and, where L-Jade went with ‘Threads’ as the “culmination of all his years of learning,” I’ve set my sights more on the beginning. And, the way I look at it, ‘Forever In A Day’ is the episode really sets Daniel on that path, the one that takes the holy grail of the stolen bride out of the foreground and opens up the view to include the universe entire and sets about searching, not for Daniel’s wife, but for Daniel’s place. “The meaning of life stuff” is no longer an abstract or ancillary pursuit – some concept Daniel’s interested in (however passionate that interest) – it’s Daniel’s whole story. The meaning of life, the meaning of his life.

‘FIAD’ is also the episode where Daniel went from being my favourite character on ‘Stargate’ to my favourite character anywhere, period, and where Michael Shanks became, for me, the sweet and perfect embodiment of what C. Day Lewis described as “the huge, weak power of grass to split a rock.”

It would have been so easy, for writer, actor and director alike, to haul off and hit on all the outward effects of grief, wring the angst out of the scenes like a little kid torturing the last drop of Colgate out of the toothpaste tube. But the story, in all its mystery, requires something different. It needs the grief, utterly, but beneath the surface, without the adornments. That's a tall order.

Michael knows when to “go big,” knows when to take the stage and work that room, baby, and the show knows when to stand back, give him space and let him own the place. But he knows even better when to go small and pull the audience in, draw them in close, deep down under his skin, and curl them up next to where it hurts (or, as in ‘Maternal Instinct,’ where it wonders).

He understands the power of stillness, how a pebble dropped into the still surface of a glassy pool has a more shattering effect – creates more drama – than a rock hurled into wailing waters, and how the calm allows you to get closer, close enough to see every detail of the ripples, and to see yourself reflected through them. Close enough to smell the sweat and the tea on the breath, to trace the tear tracks, to see the fine little lines under the eyes, hear the tiniest hitch in the breath and see just how thin and brittle the veneer of composure really is.

Michael wraps this translucent veil of control around Daniel’s pain, carries lines and scenes the way you carry yourself on a frozen pond when the ice has begun to creak, or ease yourself down the hallway trying not to rattle a nerve-rending migraine. The tension itself is agonising and completely heartbreaking.

What’s so perfect about this is how that tension plays so deftly into the inherent mystery of the episode, how the stillness enhances its dreamlike quality, creates the sense of unreality so crucial to the story and lends it an elegiac tone.

The camera work is in complete sympathy, the extreme close-ups underscoring the isolation and the intimacy – and can I just say I have never seen a camera adore an actor the way the camera adores Michael here? It gazes on him as lovingly as Daniel gazes upon Sha’re (and sweet, sweet mercy he is just so indescribably beautiful to look at in this episode, has your heart doing back-flips even while he shatters it into a million little pieces). God, the whole thing is this brilliant, three-way relationship between the story, the actor and the camera.

Um…where was I?

What’s even more perfect about this is that it is such a Daniel kind of grief, the withdrawn and self-contained pain of the child – the “little orphan” – who’s learned he has no one to grieve with but himself. It isn’t about being uncomfortable around “feelings;” Daniel’s always encouraging others to talk about theirs, and is right there to listen and help when they do. It’s isn’t a closing off that says, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here, nothing to deal with,” but simply a closing in that says, “I can deal with this on my own, I always have.”

He’s alone with this, even with Sam standing right there at his bedside, and she knows it, and what’s so painful for her is that it’s not that he won’t let her in, but that, in a way, he can’t even see her there. Where someone like Jack throws up a wall, bars the door and boards up the windows, Daniel withdraws, and into a place where there are no doors because there’s never been any need for them, no one’s ever tried to come in and he’s learned not to expect them to.

Four years later, in ‘Heroes,’ he still hasn’t learned to. While Sam is all out in the open with her grief, crying and snuffling and mangling tissues and biting the heads off reporters and seeking out friends and stocking up on those hugs – in short, letting it out and getting what she needs from others – there’s Daniel, tucked away in the darkest corner of a darkened room, working through it, quietly, by himself.

And, with that in mind, then, what’s sooo especially cool about ‘Forever In A Day’ is that Sha’re gets in. That most exceptional girl gets in, which just might be the most beautiful thing about the whole beautiful episode. She finds a way – an extraordinary way – to get into that place with Daniel and give him everything he needs but has never learned to ask for.

What I like, too, is how you can look back on ‘FIAD’ from the vantage point of ‘Maternal Instinct’ or ‘Threads’ or a handful of other episodes and come up with new angles on what Sha’re might have been up to. It might have been all about the child, about making sure Daniel took care of the boy. But, given that the child was in just about the safest hands imaginable, maybe it was less about that than it was about getting Daniel to Kheb. Maybe what she wanted was to bring Daniel face to face with Oma, so that Oma could see who and what he was and take him under her wing as well, and so Daniel could have his first real brush with the Ancients and – wife or no wife, child or no child – choose for himself, for his own sake, to stay the course. I still wonder if this, as well as the proper good-bye and the chance to work through the pain of losing her with her, was part of Sha’re’s gift, and like to think that it was.

Oh, right, and the whole forgiving Teal’c thing. Gah! See?! I knew this would happen. I’ve been babbling away this long already and I haven’t even begun to touch on the subject of Teal’c, and what a major stepping-stone this episode is in Daniel’s most unlikely and remarkable friendship with him; how Daniel’s anger was allowed to play a little more openly than his grief, which seems fitting, since that anger was more about Sha’re and the choices that were taken away from her and the chances she should have been given but wasn’t (because Daniel is always more outspoken when life takes an unfair swing at others than he is when he’s the one who’s been struck); and how staggering it must have been for Teal’c, in those final moments in that tent, thinking he’d sacrificed the friendship in order to save the friend, to hear Daniel tell him he’d done the right thing.

Yeah, the nuns are laughing it up. Let ’em. This little series of polls is going to be their undoing. ‘Maternal Instinct’ is the closest runner-up for me in this one, and I’ll be late for work if I start futzing around with that one. Maybe when I get home, though. I’ll send those nuns packing yet.

Tucker

twiggy
June 1st, 2005, 10:59 AM
i voted heros pt2, but Forever in a Day was really good too

.:Lemon:.
June 1st, 2005, 11:11 AM
It was a tough choice between Maternal Instinct and Forever In A Day, but I went for Maternal Instinct

SimilarCadence
June 1st, 2005, 12:35 PM
I’ve been dreading this one. Not because it was going to be a particularly tough choice – Daniel’s little ode on a ballpoint pen alone would have been enough for ‘Forever In A Day’ to snag my vote – but because I actually have to try to put into words what makes this episode is so unutterably special, when usually I just avoid trying to talk about it at all. It’s my “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” episode: The minute I start trying to put any of it into words, the nuns in my head start singing about clouds, and the pinning down thereof, and, really, they’re no help at all.

Michael Shanks, on the other hand, has been a great help. I just love some of the things he’s been saying in recent interviews, about Daniel being this "little child of the universe” and how the search for the Ancients is, for Daniel, about the search for God, the search for answers to his existence.

That’s Daniel as he’s lived in my head and, where L-Jade went with ‘Threads’ as the “culmination of all his years of learning,” I’ve set my sights more on the beginning. And, the way I look at it, ‘Forever In A Day’ is the episode really sets Daniel on that path, the one that takes the holy grail of the stolen bride out of the foreground and opens up the view to include the universe entire and sets about searching, not for Daniel’s wife, but for Daniel’s place. “The meaning of life stuff” is no longer an abstract or ancillary pursuit – some concept Daniel’s interested in (however passionate that interest) – it’s Daniel’s whole story. The meaning of life, the meaning of his life.

‘FIAD’ is also the episode where Daniel went from being my favourite character on ‘Stargate’ to my favourite character anywhere, period, and where Michael Shanks became, for me, the sweet and perfect embodiment of what C. Day Lewis described as “the huge, weak power of grass to split a rock.”

It would have been so easy, for writer, actor and director alike, to haul off and hit on all the outward effects of grief, wring the angst out of the scenes like a little kid torturing the last drop of Colgate out of the toothpaste tube. But the story, in all its mystery, requires something different. It needs the grief, utterly, but beneath the surface, without the adornments. That's a tall order.

Michael knows when to “go big,” knows when to take the stage and work that room, baby, and the show knows when to stand back, give him space and let him own the place. But he knows even better when to go small and pull the audience in, draw them in close, deep down under his skin, and curl them up next to where it hurts (or, as in ‘Maternal Instinct,’ where it wonders).

He understands the power of stillness, how a pebble dropped into the still surface of a glassy pool has a more shattering effect – creates more drama – than a rock hurled into wailing waters, and how the calm allows you to get closer, close enough to see every detail of the ripples, and to see yourself reflected through them. Close enough to smell the sweat and the tea on the breath, to trace the tear tracks, to see the fine little lines under the eyes, hear the tiniest hitch in the breath and see just how thin and brittle the veneer of composure really is.

Michael wraps this translucent veil of control around Daniel’s pain, carries lines and scenes the way you carry yourself on a frozen pond when the ice has begun to creak, or ease yourself down the hallway trying not to rattle a nerve-rending migraine. The tension itself is agonising and completely heartbreaking.

What’s so perfect about this is how that tension plays so deftly into the inherent mystery of the episode, how the stillness enhances its dreamlike quality, creates the sense of unreality so crucial to the story and lends it an elegiac tone.

The camera work is in complete sympathy, the extreme close-ups underscoring the isolation and the intimacy – and can I just say I have never seen a camera adore an actor the way the camera adores Michael here? It gazes on him as lovingly as Daniel gazes upon Sha’re (and sweet, sweet mercy he is just so indescribably beautiful to look at in this episode, has your heart doing back-flips even while he shatters it into a million little pieces). God, the whole thing is this brilliant, three-way relationship between the story, the actor and the camera.

Um…where was I?

What’s even more perfect about this is that it is such a Daniel kind of grief, the withdrawn and self-contained pain of the child – the “little orphan” – who’s learned he has no one to grieve with but himself. It isn’t about being uncomfortable around “feelings;” Daniel’s always encouraging others to talk about theirs, and is right there to listen and help when they do. It’s isn’t a closing off that says, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here, nothing to deal with,” but simply a closing in that says, “I can deal with this on my own, I always have.”

He’s alone with this, even with Sam standing right there at his bedside, and she knows it, and what’s so painful for her is that it’s not that he won’t let her in, but that, in a way, he can’t even see her there. Where someone like Jack throws up a wall, bars the door and boards up the windows, Daniel withdraws, and into a place where there are no doors because there’s never been any need for them, no one’s ever tried to come in and he’s learned not to expect them to.

Four years later, in ‘Heroes,’ he still hasn’t learned to. While Sam is all out in the open with her grief, crying and snuffling and mangling tissues and biting the heads off reporters and seeking out friends and stocking up on those hugs – in short, letting it out and getting what she needs from others – there’s Daniel, tucked away in the darkest corner of a darkened room, working through it, quietly, by himself.

And, with that in mind, then, what’s sooo especially cool about ‘Forever In A Day’ is that Sha’re gets in. That most exceptional girl gets in, which just might be the most beautiful thing about the whole beautiful episode. She finds a way – an extraordinary way – to get into that place with Daniel and give him everything he needs but has never learned to ask for.

What I like, too, is how you can look back on ‘FIAD’ from the vantage point of ‘Maternal Instinct’ or ‘Threads’ or a handful of other episodes and come up with new angles on what Sha’re might have been up to. It might have been all about the child, about making sure Daniel took care of the boy. But, given that the child was in just about the safest hands imaginable, maybe it was less about that than it was about getting Daniel to Kheb. Maybe what she wanted was to bring Daniel face to face with Oma, so that Oma could see who and what he was and take him under her wing as well, and so Daniel could have his first real brush with the Ancients and – wife or no wife, child or no child – choose for himself, for his own sake, to stay the course. I still wonder if this, as well as the proper good-bye and the chance to work through the pain of losing her with her, was part of Sha’re’s gift, and like to think that it was.

Oh, right, and the whole forgiving Teal’c thing. Gah! See?! I knew this would happen. I’ve been babbling away this long already and I haven’t even begun to touch on the subject of Teal’c, and what a major stepping-stone this episode is in Daniel’s most unlikely and remarkable friendship with him; how Daniel’s anger was allowed to play a little more openly than his grief, which seems fitting, since that anger was more about Sha’re and the choices that were taken away from her and the chances she should have been given but wasn’t (because Daniel is always more outspoken when life takes an unfair swing at others than he is when he’s the one who’s been struck); and how staggering it must have been for Teal’c, in those final moments in that tent, thinking he’d sacrificed the friendship in order to save the friend, to hear Daniel tell him he’d done the right thing.

Yeah, the nuns are laughing it up. Let ’em. This little series of polls is going to be their undoing. ‘Maternal Instinct’ is the closest runner-up for me in this one, and I’ll be late for work if I start futzing around with that one. Maybe when I get home, though. I’ll send those nuns packing yet.

Tucker

Elegantly put, Tucker----a genuine treat to read! :)

Well, anything I write now will sound pedestrian, but here goes! ;)
I also had a hard time deciding between "Forever in a Day" and "Threads", but in the end I voted for "Threads". Both episodes were classic examples of character growth and development for Daniel, but "Threads" really seemed like a culmination (I think L-Jade said this, too) of everything Daniel's life had been leading to over the years.

To me, "FIAD" was Daniel evolving from a "kid" (an extremely brilliant "kid") into a man. "Meridian"-through-"Full Circle" took Daniel the Man far beyond all of that into a totally different sphere of ascended being. But "Threads" took him even further beyond that to a place where he could see past the almost hero worship he had before of the Ancients. He was able to look at them and their ways firsthand and arrive at his own more realistic, not-so-enamored-of-them conclusions, which, in my opinion, took a great deal of character......

Tok'Ra Hostess
June 1st, 2005, 12:49 PM
Whoa, TC! If everyone took the time to look - really look - at the characters the way you do then this forum would be full of nothing but happy thoughts. :)
Thank you!

Scarym1
June 1st, 2005, 01:54 PM
I was torn between Orpheus and FIAD. FIAD was amazing to see how he worked thru his grief and came to forgive Tealc. I chose Orpheus because it is reflects on who he was and why he left and also on who he has become. I think it really shows how much he has changed over the past 7 years. How he has come to realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. That he finally feels at home at the SGC. I just love the scenes between him and Tealc. How they are both having to deal with Big chances in their lives. I think they both realize that the search for meaning in one's life is more of an internal journey.

mazzmatazz
June 1st, 2005, 02:10 PM
Elegantly put, Tucker----a genuine treat to read! :)

Well, anything I write now will sound pedestrian, but here goes! ;)
I also had a hard time deciding between "Forever in a Day" and "Threads", but in the end I voted for "Threads". Both episodes were classic examples of character growth and development for Daniel, but "Threads" really seemed like a culmination (I think L-Jade said this, too) of everything Daniel's life had been leading to over the years.

To me, "FIAD" was Daniel evolving from a "kid" (an extremely brilliant "kid") into a man. "Meridian"-through-"Full Circle" took Daniel the Man far beyond all of that into a totally different sphere of ascended being. But "Threads" took him even further beyond that to a place where he could see past the almost hero worship he had before of the Ancients. He was able to look at them and their ways firsthand and arrive at his own more realistic, not-so-enamored-of-them conclusions, which, in my opinion, took a great deal of character......

I was also torn between FIAD and Threads, but I felt that in Threads, Daniel hasn't learned anything. He stomps and pouts like a temperamental child, and although we share his frustration with the unwillingness of Oma to help, I feel that he still doesn't understand ascension, despite having been there before. FIAD is a much deeper story, and as TC said, MS plays the pain and the grief so well, in that beautiful, understated way, and we see Daniel eventually start to look at the bigger picture rather than think just about Sha're or himself.

Scarym1
June 1st, 2005, 02:10 PM
I’ve been dreading this one. Not because it was going to be a particularly tough choice – Daniel’s little ode on a ballpoint pen alone would have been enough for ‘Forever In A Day’ to snag my vote – but because I actually have to try to put into words what makes this episode is so unutterably special, when usually I just avoid trying to talk about it at all. It’s my “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” episode: The minute I start trying to put any of it into words, the nuns in my head start singing about clouds, and the pinning down thereof, and, really, they’re no help at all.

Michael Shanks, on the other hand, has been a great help. I just love some of the things he’s been saying in recent interviews, about Daniel being this "little child of the universe” and how the search for the Ancients is, for Daniel, about the search for God, the search for answers to his existence.

That’s Daniel as he’s lived in my head and, where L-Jade went with ‘Threads’ as the “culmination of all his years of learning,” I’ve set my sights more on the beginning. And, the way I look at it, ‘Forever In A Day’ is the episode really sets Daniel on that path, the one that takes the holy grail of the stolen bride out of the foreground and opens up the view to include the universe entire and sets about searching, not for Daniel’s wife, but for Daniel’s place. “The meaning of life stuff” is no longer an abstract or ancillary pursuit – some concept Daniel’s interested in (however passionate that interest) – it’s Daniel’s whole story. The meaning of life, the meaning of his life.

‘FIAD’ is also the episode where Daniel went from being my favourite character on ‘Stargate’ to my favourite character anywhere, period, and where Michael Shanks became, for me, the sweet and perfect embodiment of what C. Day Lewis described as “the huge, weak power of grass to split a rock.”

It would have been so easy, for writer, actor and director alike, to haul off and hit on all the outward effects of grief, wring the angst out of the scenes like a little kid torturing the last drop of Colgate out of the toothpaste tube. But the story, in all its mystery, requires something different. It needs the grief, utterly, but beneath the surface, without the adornments. That's a tall order.

Michael knows when to “go big,” knows when to take the stage and work that room, baby, and the show knows when to stand back, give him space and let him own the place. But he knows even better when to go small and pull the audience in, draw them in close, deep down under his skin, and curl them up next to where it hurts (or, as in ‘Maternal Instinct,’ where it wonders).

He understands the power of stillness, how a pebble dropped into the still surface of a glassy pool has a more shattering effect – creates more drama – than a rock hurled into wailing waters, and how the calm allows you to get closer, close enough to see every detail of the ripples, and to see yourself reflected through them. Close enough to smell the sweat and the tea on the breath, to trace the tear tracks, to see the fine little lines under the eyes, hear the tiniest hitch in the breath and see just how thin and brittle the veneer of composure really is.

Michael wraps this translucent veil of control around Daniel’s pain, carries lines and scenes the way you carry yourself on a frozen pond when the ice has begun to creak, or ease yourself down the hallway trying not to rattle a nerve-rending migraine. The tension itself is agonising and completely heartbreaking.

What’s so perfect about this is how that tension plays so deftly into the inherent mystery of the episode, how the stillness enhances its dreamlike quality, creates the sense of unreality so crucial to the story and lends it an elegiac tone.

The camera work is in complete sympathy, the extreme close-ups underscoring the isolation and the intimacy – and can I just say I have never seen a camera adore an actor the way the camera adores Michael here? It gazes on him as lovingly as Daniel gazes upon Sha’re (and sweet, sweet mercy he is just so indescribably beautiful to look at in this episode, has your heart doing back-flips even while he shatters it into a million little pieces). God, the whole thing is this brilliant, three-way relationship between the story, the actor and the camera.

Um…where was I?

What’s even more perfect about this is that it is such a Daniel kind of grief, the withdrawn and self-contained pain of the child – the “little orphan” – who’s learned he has no one to grieve with but himself. It isn’t about being uncomfortable around “feelings;” Daniel’s always encouraging others to talk about theirs, and is right there to listen and help when they do. It’s isn’t a closing off that says, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here, nothing to deal with,” but simply a closing in that says, “I can deal with this on my own, I always have.”

He’s alone with this, even with Sam standing right there at his bedside, and she knows it, and what’s so painful for her is that it’s not that he won’t let her in, but that, in a way, he can’t even see her there. Where someone like Jack throws up a wall, bars the door and boards up the windows, Daniel withdraws, and into a place where there are no doors because there’s never been any need for them, no one’s ever tried to come in and he’s learned not to expect them to.

Four years later, in ‘Heroes,’ he still hasn’t learned to. While Sam is all out in the open with her grief, crying and snuffling and mangling tissues and biting the heads off reporters and seeking out friends and stocking up on those hugs – in short, letting it out and getting what she needs from others – there’s Daniel, tucked away in the darkest corner of a darkened room, working through it, quietly, by himself.

And, with that in mind, then, what’s sooo especially cool about ‘Forever In A Day’ is that Sha’re gets in. That most exceptional girl gets in, which just might be the most beautiful thing about the whole beautiful episode. She finds a way – an extraordinary way – to get into that place with Daniel and give him everything he needs but has never learned to ask for.

What I like, too, is how you can look back on ‘FIAD’ from the vantage point of ‘Maternal Instinct’ or ‘Threads’ or a handful of other episodes and come up with new angles on what Sha’re might have been up to. It might have been all about the child, about making sure Daniel took care of the boy. But, given that the child was in just about the safest hands imaginable, maybe it was less about that than it was about getting Daniel to Kheb. Maybe what she wanted was to bring Daniel face to face with Oma, so that Oma could see who and what he was and take him under her wing as well, and so Daniel could have his first real brush with the Ancients and – wife or no wife, child or no child – choose for himself, for his own sake, to stay the course. I still wonder if this, as well as the proper good-bye and the chance to work through the pain of losing her with her, was part of Sha’re’s gift, and like to think that it was.

Oh, right, and the whole forgiving Teal’c thing. Gah! See?! I knew this would happen. I’ve been babbling away this long already and I haven’t even begun to touch on the subject of Teal’c, and what a major stepping-stone this episode is in Daniel’s most unlikely and remarkable friendship with him; how Daniel’s anger was allowed to play a little more openly than his grief, which seems fitting, since that anger was more about Sha’re and the choices that were taken away from her and the chances she should have been given but wasn’t (because Daniel is always more outspoken when life takes an unfair swing at others than he is when he’s the one who’s been struck); and how staggering it must have been for Teal’c, in those final moments in that tent, thinking he’d sacrificed the friendship in order to save the friend, to hear Daniel tell him he’d done the right thing.

Yeah, the nuns are laughing it up. Let ’em. This little series of polls is going to be their undoing. ‘Maternal Instinct’ is the closest runner-up for me in this one, and I’ll be late for work if I start futzing around with that one. Maybe when I get home, though. I’ll send those nuns packing yet.

Tucker

WOW that is just amazing. You really got a great understanding of Daniel's character. Do you write fic? :)

I had a hard time deciding between Orpheus and FIAD. I voted for Orpheus. If I had read your post first I might just have voted for FIAD.

Frostfox
June 1st, 2005, 02:11 PM
I’ve been dreading this one. Not because it was going to be a particularly tough choice – Daniel’s little ode on a ballpoint pen alone would have been enough for ‘Forever In A Day’ to snag my vote – but because I actually have to try to put into words what makes this episode is so unutterably special, when usually I just avoid trying to talk about it at all. It’s my “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” episode: The minute I start trying to put any of it into words, the nuns in my head start singing about clouds, and the pinning down thereof, and, really, they’re no help at all.

Tucker

Snipped for saving space (too many years on Usenet, I still want to top post as well...) but that was marvelous Tucker, I enjoy every single post you make, always so well thought out and beautifuly written. Are you a writer by profession?

And I concur, I voted FIAD, but it was a close call with Maternal Instinct.
And I loved Sam in FIAD, loved her love for Daniel and her pain in seeing his. Sigh.

FF.

golfbooy
June 1st, 2005, 05:16 PM
I'm surprised that Meridian isn't as an option on this list. It's the episode where Daniel makes the decision to walk away from his life. From his friends. From the team. And he does so because of a belief that his death (and ascension) will allow him to make the contribution he had always longed make, to have a tangible impact on the lives of all people (not just those closest to him).

It is in Meridian where he chooses a new path, where Daniel's original story-arc is left behind for a new one. After Meridian he is no longer just Dr. Jackson, resident archeologist, linguist, and if necessary, solidier. From here onward he is Daniel Jackson, a player on a much grander scale. Whereas before he helped make decisions that shaped the SGC, now he helps shape and defend Earth's place in an ever-expanding and complex universe.

Ultimately his decision, while not being wrong, certainly doesn't work out as he imagined it would. As we learned along with Daniel, the ascended aren't omnipotent, certainly aren't always right, and are seemingly unconcerned with benevolence. It is this indifference towards helping others that Daniel can't stomach. He is a lot of things to a lot of people, but ambivilent isn't one of them.

We know most of what we know about the ascended because of Daniel's choice to explore, to discover a different plane of existence. Daniel made the choice to begin that journey in Meridian. So I guess my point is, I think Meridian should be on the list.

DJFavorite
June 1st, 2005, 07:42 PM
Well, I had a tough time as well. I almost went with FIAD, but finally had to go with Full Circle. I feel that in the episode, Daniel understood what was truly important to him and what his convictions were, to the point he was willing to break the rules to stand by those convictions and protect what was important to him.

Tucker Case
June 1st, 2005, 08:04 PM
I chose Orpheus because it is reflects on who he was and why he left and also on who he has become. I think it really shows how much he has changed over the past 7 years. How he has come to realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. That he finally feels at home at the SGC.

*sigh*

I think I'm counting on having another crack at 'Orpheus' in the Daniel-as-a-Friend poll (provided that one's still up and coming). I love this episode so very, very much, and I think it really is one of those key episodes in the evolution of the character.

Season Three is so often talked about as the one where Michael finally said, "This sucker's mine!" and started moving Daniel in some different directions - in terms of characterization and performance - and began making the character his own. And it's possible - actually, I'd say highly likely - that this is a good part of what I'm responding to in 'Forever In A Day.' That episode might be something of a touchstone for what "Michael making Daniel his own" really means.

Similarly, there's been quite a bit of talk about how different Daniel has seemed in the last two seasons. Not everyone's overly happy about the changes - although many are, and very much so - but I don't think you'd find too many who would argue that the changes aren't there, and 'Orpheus' might have been the point of entry for some of those changes.

I think 'Orpheus' was the episode where the Daniel who dropped out of the sky in 'Fallen' finally landed back in himself, and then began moving that self forward. He might not have found the answers he was looking for, still didn't really know what had happened "up there," but he could at least imagine that he had made the choice to come back - at the very least he was pretty satisified that, given the choice now, coming home is what he would choose to do - and now it was time to make good on that decision.

I think the supremely confident Daniel of 'Enemy Mine' (and beyond) may have come fully into being in 'Orpheus.'

I was so happy for him at the end of this episode. Makes me grin all over just thinking about it. :)

Tucker

Tucker Case
June 1st, 2005, 09:10 PM
And I concur, I voted FIAD, but it was a close call with Maternal Instinct.

The two seem to go hand-in-hand, they're very much of a kind in tone and temper and the one seems to complete the other. And Daniel's so lovely in 'Maternal Instinct' - as gentle in his somewhat "misplaced" confidence as he is in his humility - and "Daniel, shoes" is one of my favourite 'Stargate' moments ever.

I think, and it might not be fair, but because 'FIAD' takes place more or less inside Daniel's head, we get to see him work his way through to forgiving Teal'c, but don't "really" get to see Teal'c go through the whole experience of being forgiven and part of me still looks for Teal'c to have his moment, then, in 'Maternal Instinct.' This is the episode where we see more of the "outside view" of what happened in 'FIAD' and sometimes I think too much of what should have been Teal'c's part in the story went to Bra'tac.

Taken by itself, though, the episode is near-perfect. It probably isn't fair to ask for more from it, based on what was left waiting by another episode, but there it is anyway. My one quibble.


And I loved Sam in FIAD, loved her love for Daniel and her pain in seeing his. Sigh.

I had some, er, "difficulty" with Sam this past season - enough that I'm counting on her absence in early S9 to do that "make the heart grow fonder" thing absences are so famous for - and I've been fairly vocal about it. But, honestly, it never takes much, no more than a few minutes and a bag of cookies, for me to remember that I do love every inch of her.

'Prometheus Unbound' being the lone exception, I think all of my choices in the Daniel polls so far include at least one scene with Sam that makes me want to take that girl out and split a cheesecake.


Are you a writer by profession?

Not unless you count the odd semester where I get paid to teach the senior 'Writer's Craft' class, no. I keep meaning to get around to it. Maybe if I give up the teaching job I only ever took so I could pay the bills while I worked on the writing thing I might actually have time to do more writing. And why do I feel like I just fell out of an O. Henry short story?

(So that would be a no on the fic thing, too, Scarym1. I'd seriously never see the sun again if I tried to take that on. :) )

Tucker

sueKay
June 3rd, 2005, 03:33 AM
That was a toughie Madeline! So many episodes to choose from!

I chose threads, as I think it was the culmination of his 'journey' with the ascendeds...and probably the first time he truely realised his place is with SG1. I was gonna pick forever in a day, but decided against it.

Oh this is tough!!! I really don't know!

mtee1958
June 3rd, 2005, 05:59 AM
I am the odd man out; I went with my first instinct and chose Maternal Instinct.


I too, went with Maternal Instinct. It was fun to watch as he slowly stumbles his way to the real insight. Watching him decipher the wisdom of the monk to thinking he's found a way to make things happen by pure thought to the final realization that he was wrong all along and the only true way to keep his promise is to give the child up. He traveled so far in such a short span -- it was fascinating.
The only thing that slightly bothered me about this ep was the fact that Jack only lowered his weapon when Bra'tac said they must. Teal'c an Bra'tac trusted Daniel and lowered their weapons quickly. Of course Bra'tac had been inspired by the teachings of the monk and their culture is more open to these kinds of events. This was so above Jack's way of thinking.

Sue_Jackson
June 3rd, 2005, 08:36 AM
I'm gonna be different and say Orpheus. I say this because it's in the last scene with Teal'c where Daniel realizes that his life on Earth is far too important to just take for granted, and that he truly believes that he belongs where he is....on Earth with the SGC. Also, I feel that this episode has brought Teal'c and Daniel closer as good friends. :)



"I guess I-I should be thanking you, actually. You see, I used to...I used to feel like I didn't belong...anywhere, really. I think I thought that, uh, this whole ascension thing would change that. And now I'm realizing that the sacrifices were far too great. And my life here is far too important to just leave behind. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, uh, for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm a part of something...something important." -- Daniel Jackson



This was a tough decision, though. All these episodes have big character growth and development in Daniel's life.

Though, I'm not sure about Past And Present. I don't the see character development in there. :confused:

Sue_Jackson
June 3rd, 2005, 08:43 AM
I’ve been dreading this one. Not because it was going to be a particularly tough choice – Daniel’s little ode on a ballpoint pen alone would have been enough for ‘Forever In A Day’ to snag my vote – but because I actually have to try to put into words what makes this episode is so unutterably special, when usually I just avoid trying to talk about it at all. It’s my “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” episode: The minute I start trying to put any of it into words, the nuns in my head start singing about clouds, and the pinning down thereof, and, really, they’re no help at all.

Michael Shanks, on the other hand, has been a great help. I just love some of the things he’s been saying in recent interviews, about Daniel being this "little child of the universe” and how the search for the Ancients is, for Daniel, about the search for God, the search for answers to his existence.

That’s Daniel as he’s lived in my head and, where L-Jade went with ‘Threads’ as the “culmination of all his years of learning,” I’ve set my sights more on the beginning. And, the way I look at it, ‘Forever In A Day’ is the episode really sets Daniel on that path, the one that takes the holy grail of the stolen bride out of the foreground and opens up the view to include the universe entire and sets about searching, not for Daniel’s wife, but for Daniel’s place. “The meaning of life stuff” is no longer an abstract or ancillary pursuit – some concept Daniel’s interested in (however passionate that interest) – it’s Daniel’s whole story. The meaning of life, the meaning of his life.

‘FIAD’ is also the episode where Daniel went from being my favourite character on ‘Stargate’ to my favourite character anywhere, period, and where Michael Shanks became, for me, the sweet and perfect embodiment of what C. Day Lewis described as “the huge, weak power of grass to split a rock.”

It would have been so easy, for writer, actor and director alike, to haul off and hit on all the outward effects of grief, wring the angst out of the scenes like a little kid torturing the last drop of Colgate out of the toothpaste tube. But the story, in all its mystery, requires something different. It needs the grief, utterly, but beneath the surface, without the adornments. That's a tall order.

Michael knows when to “go big,” knows when to take the stage and work that room, baby, and the show knows when to stand back, give him space and let him own the place. But he knows even better when to go small and pull the audience in, draw them in close, deep down under his skin, and curl them up next to where it hurts (or, as in ‘Maternal Instinct,’ where it wonders).

He understands the power of stillness, how a pebble dropped into the still surface of a glassy pool has a more shattering effect – creates more drama – than a rock hurled into wailing waters, and how the calm allows you to get closer, close enough to see every detail of the ripples, and to see yourself reflected through them. Close enough to smell the sweat and the tea on the breath, to trace the tear tracks, to see the fine little lines under the eyes, hear the tiniest hitch in the breath and see just how thin and brittle the veneer of composure really is.

Michael wraps this translucent veil of control around Daniel’s pain, carries lines and scenes the way you carry yourself on a frozen pond when the ice has begun to creak, or ease yourself down the hallway trying not to rattle a nerve-rending migraine. The tension itself is agonising and completely heartbreaking.

What’s so perfect about this is how that tension plays so deftly into the inherent mystery of the episode, how the stillness enhances its dreamlike quality, creates the sense of unreality so crucial to the story and lends it an elegiac tone.

The camera work is in complete sympathy, the extreme close-ups underscoring the isolation and the intimacy – and can I just say I have never seen a camera adore an actor the way the camera adores Michael here? It gazes on him as lovingly as Daniel gazes upon Sha’re (and sweet, sweet mercy he is just so indescribably beautiful to look at in this episode, has your heart doing back-flips even while he shatters it into a million little pieces). God, the whole thing is this brilliant, three-way relationship between the story, the actor and the camera.

Um…where was I?

What’s even more perfect about this is that it is such a Daniel kind of grief, the withdrawn and self-contained pain of the child – the “little orphan” – who’s learned he has no one to grieve with but himself. It isn’t about being uncomfortable around “feelings;” Daniel’s always encouraging others to talk about theirs, and is right there to listen and help when they do. It’s isn’t a closing off that says, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here, nothing to deal with,” but simply a closing in that says, “I can deal with this on my own, I always have.”

He’s alone with this, even with Sam standing right there at his bedside, and she knows it, and what’s so painful for her is that it’s not that he won’t let her in, but that, in a way, he can’t even see her there. Where someone like Jack throws up a wall, bars the door and boards up the windows, Daniel withdraws, and into a place where there are no doors because there’s never been any need for them, no one’s ever tried to come in and he’s learned not to expect them to.

Four years later, in ‘Heroes,’ he still hasn’t learned to. While Sam is all out in the open with her grief, crying and snuffling and mangling tissues and biting the heads off reporters and seeking out friends and stocking up on those hugs – in short, letting it out and getting what she needs from others – there’s Daniel, tucked away in the darkest corner of a darkened room, working through it, quietly, by himself.

And, with that in mind, then, what’s sooo especially cool about ‘Forever In A Day’ is that Sha’re gets in. That most exceptional girl gets in, which just might be the most beautiful thing about the whole beautiful episode. She finds a way – an extraordinary way – to get into that place with Daniel and give him everything he needs but has never learned to ask for.

What I like, too, is how you can look back on ‘FIAD’ from the vantage point of ‘Maternal Instinct’ or ‘Threads’ or a handful of other episodes and come up with new angles on what Sha’re might have been up to. It might have been all about the child, about making sure Daniel took care of the boy. But, given that the child was in just about the safest hands imaginable, maybe it was less about that than it was about getting Daniel to Kheb. Maybe what she wanted was to bring Daniel face to face with Oma, so that Oma could see who and what he was and take him under her wing as well, and so Daniel could have his first real brush with the Ancients and – wife or no wife, child or no child – choose for himself, for his own sake, to stay the course. I still wonder if this, as well as the proper good-bye and the chance to work through the pain of losing her with her, was part of Sha’re’s gift, and like to think that it was.

Oh, right, and the whole forgiving Teal’c thing. Gah! See?! I knew this would happen. I’ve been babbling away this long already and I haven’t even begun to touch on the subject of Teal’c, and what a major stepping-stone this episode is in Daniel’s most unlikely and remarkable friendship with him; how Daniel’s anger was allowed to play a little more openly than his grief, which seems fitting, since that anger was more about Sha’re and the choices that were taken away from her and the chances she should have been given but wasn’t (because Daniel is always more outspoken when life takes an unfair swing at others than he is when he’s the one who’s been struck); and how staggering it must have been for Teal’c, in those final moments in that tent, thinking he’d sacrificed the friendship in order to save the friend, to hear Daniel tell him he’d done the right thing.

Yeah, the nuns are laughing it up. Let ’em. This little series of polls is going to be their undoing. ‘Maternal Instinct’ is the closest runner-up for me in this one, and I’ll be late for work if I start futzing around with that one. Maybe when I get home, though. I’ll send those nuns packing yet.

Tucker

AMEN! :D

I agree 100%! Very well said, Tucker! :)

Freakie
June 3rd, 2005, 12:00 PM
Heya guys!!!!

Liked Forever in a day but...enough about Sha're...has grown a little tired of her...so i chose Maternal Instinct. He learns a lot about himself and life in that episode. And he smiiiiiiiileeeeees that cute shy smile of his...so charming and yet a little bit geeky...just the way i like my Dannyboy. I say...geeky Danny rocks....buff Danny not so much ;) And the beard...never again! (Sorry Michael, i know you liked it).

And all respect to the man behind the spacemonkey for wanting to look buff...it suits Michael...and i should know. Talked to him about Lexa at the convention in London last week. Has nothing but good things to say...he is sweet, he listens to you, says hello to you in the halls and is a genuine nice down to earth guy that loves his wife. You should hear how he talks about Lexa. Thats true love. I wish him only the best. And then there is the acting...my god...what is there to say other than...that man can act! Nothing but talent! I hope he makes it to the big screen soon.

Btw: Chris, Alexis and Tom are all good people too. With a cast like that, and even more...with people like that...no wonder stargate just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Weeeee....stargate rocks!

SimilarCadence
June 3rd, 2005, 02:34 PM
I was also torn between FIAD and Threads, but I felt that in Threads, Daniel hasn't learned anything. He stomps and pouts like a temperamental child, and although we share his frustration with the unwillingness of Oma to help, I feel that he still doesn't understand ascension, despite having been there before. FIAD is a much deeper story, and as TC said, MS plays the pain and the grief so well, in that beautiful, understated way, and we see Daniel eventually start to look at the bigger picture rather than think just about Sha're or himself.

Yes, Daniel does stomp and pout when he expresses frustration or anger, but I have a pet theory about that. (I'm going out on a limb here...) :S

When Daniel acts like that, I think it has more to do with his being a person who feels uncomfortable expressing "negative" emotions like anger, impatience and frustration. He might not mind other people expressing those feelings (and would probably be the first person to encourage someone who's upset to express what they're feeling inside), but he strikes me as one who prefers to keep his under wraps. When a situation comes along that he feels strongly angry or upset about, those otherwise nicely-contained, bottled-up emotions come rushing out in stomps, pouts, unfinished sentences, etc. All in all, Daniel's a nice guy who likes being nice.At the most, he'll indulge in a little civilized sarcasm......

(I think that's why when we get to see Evil Danny (Absolute Power) or Loopy Danny (Legacy, where he actually feels he has to apologize to Jack, Sam and Teal'c for being such a headcase), it's such a radical departure from the Daniel we usually see......)

As far as I'm concerned, the stomping and pouting is a minor affectation compared to the deeper workings going on inside him......

(Confession: I think I recognize those things in Daniel because that's how I used to be with my negative emotions----minus the stomping!) :o :)

Oma-1
June 3rd, 2005, 03:02 PM
I too had a hard time with this one.

Initially I thought Threads - cos he figures out the whole ascended thing isn't all its cracked up to be and the Ancients aren't worth his time (apart from Oma ;) ) and decides his place is most definitely with SG-1 fighting for humanity.

Then I thought of Orpheus cos of the finally feeling he belonged to something.

But in the end I had to vote FIAD cos he had to go through so much - to forgive Teal'c and finally choosing to stay with the fight. It would have been so easy for him then to self-destruct, but his humanity won the day and his soul grew as a result of his forgiveness and selflessness. This ep set the path for Daniel, and enabled him to be open to further growth as seen in the other eps. Just MHO ;)

Scarym1
June 3rd, 2005, 03:44 PM
Yes, Daniel does stomp and pout when he expresses frustration or anger, but I have a pet theory about that. (I'm going out on a limb here...) :S

When Daniel acts like that, I think it has more to do with his being a person who feels uncomfortable expressing "negative" emotions like anger, impatience and frustration. He might not mind other people expressing those feelings (and would probably be the first person to encourage someone who's upset to express what they're feeling inside), but he strikes me as one who prefers to keep his under wraps. When a situation comes along that he feels strongly angry or upset about, those otherwise nicely-contained, bottled-up emotions come rushing out in stomps, pouts, unfinished sentences, etc. All in all, Daniel's a nice guy who likes being nice.At the most, he'll indulge in a little civilized sarcasm......

(I think that's why when we get to see Evil Danny (Absolute Power) or Loopy Danny (Legacy, where he actually feels he has to apologize to Jack, Sam and Teal'c for being such a headcase), it's such a radical departure from the Daniel we usually see......)

As far as I'm concerned, the stomping and pouting is a minor affectation compared to the deeper workings going on inside him......

(Confession: I think I recognize those things in Daniel because that's how I used to be with my negative emotions----minus the stomping!) :o :)

I just had to say how much I really like your theory. It really does make sense. :D :D

Ronja
June 4th, 2005, 08:32 AM
I'm gonna be different and say Orpheus. I say this because it's in the last scene with Teal'c where Daniel realizes that his life on Earth is far too important to just take for granted, and that he truly believes that he belongs where he is....on Earth with the SGC. Also, I feel that this episode has brought Teal'c and Daniel closer as good friends. :)


"I guess I-I should be thanking you, actually. You see, I used to...I used to feel like I didn't belong...anywhere, really. I think I thought that, uh, this whole ascension thing would change that. And now I'm realizing that the sacrifices were far too great. And my life here is far too important to just leave behind. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, uh, for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm a part of something...something important." -- Daniel Jackson



I agree. :) I love those 2 scenes between Teal'c and Daniel. I wish they had more scenes like that together...

SimilarCadence
June 4th, 2005, 09:56 AM
I just had to say how much I really like your theory. It really does make sense. :D :D

Thanks for the encouraging word! :)

Tucker Case
June 4th, 2005, 10:15 AM
When a situation comes along that he feels strongly angry or upset about, those otherwise nicely-contained, bottled-up emotions come rushing out in stomps, pouts, unfinished sentences, etc....As far as I'm concerned, the stomping and pouting is a minor affectation compared to the deeper workings going on inside him.

That sounds about right, to me.

There was nothing about Daniel's behaviour in 'Threads' that rubbed me the wrong way. Bring the galaxy to the brink of destruction, have the only beings in the galaxy who could do something to stop it just sit there staring into their coffee, and I fully expect to see Daniel get a bit huffy. And his utter helplessness, in this situation, is only going to compound the problem. He can't shoot through the glass and dismantle the bomb himself this time; he doesn't have (or doesn't think he has) the option of at least trying to wipe the threat from existence, as he did in 'Full Circle.' It's not a question of not being "allowed" to interfere and having to break the rules and accept the consequences, he cannot do anything, and that's only going to make him all the more frustrated and "huffier" than usual.

My problem with 'Threads' was that I didn't learn anything - not about Daniel, anyway - that I hadn't figured out already.

He might have realised that the Ancients weren't all they were cracked up to be, but he'd already figured that out in 'Full Circle,' had already chosen his friends over their rules, no matter what it might mean for him. He might have forgotten all of that, but I didn't

And, even without his memories, he still came to the realisation, in 'Orpheus,' that his place was here, remembered enough of what it was like to have to stand and watch to know that he'd made the right choice for himself, even if he couldn't remember having made that choice.

In that regard, 'Threads' turned out to be more of a confirmation than a revelation. I think the little trick Daniel pulled in 'Reckoning' was more of a revelation - because the fact that the Ancient knowledge was still there, in his subconscious, was something I did not know before - and had far greater implications for Daniel's future than anything that happened in 'Threads.' I was looking for 'Threads' to build on that, to go further in revealing what all this meant, for Daniel, and was disappointed to find the focus more on Oma and her past with Anubis.

I don't even know how Daniel got home in the end, 'Threads' did such a fine job of raising more questions than it answered. All in all, I was just as frustrated with the whole thing as Daniel was. The stomping and pouting was exactly what I needed him to do for me.

I'm hoping, though, that 'Threads' will be one of those episodes that gets better with age, that I'll be able to look back and see it as a jumping off point for things to come in Season 9.

Tucker

PYEWACKETT
June 4th, 2005, 02:28 PM
Forever In A Day

Nolamom
June 4th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Forever in a Day - since this is about character growth, after all. Daniel does some major growing and coming to terms with life in this one. Second choice - Maternal Instinct - especially the moment when he realizes that he did none of it, that it was all Oma.

Caro
June 5th, 2005, 03:31 AM
I voted for Forever in a Day. I really liked the way danny forgives Teal'c. He really grew in this episode.

fair_nymph
June 6th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Well, my vote goes to an episode that isn't listed in the poll, Reckoning 2. For me, seeing Daniel turn the tide (if only momentarily) with the replicators by gaining control of Replicarter was amazing. His line about 'But I'm learning [to control the replicators]' was so powerful. In fact all the scenes in R2 with Replicarter and Daniel were very moving and showed the determination and mental control that Daniel is capable of. True intellectual Daniel at his finest.