They have suddenly gone from a high school crush relationship to nearly one of a couple who have been together for eight years.
In Threads we got the infirmary scene together and as much as I loved hearing Jack saying 'Always' the part that stands out in my mind was seeing Jack's arm around Sam's shoulder, Sam's clutching Jack's hand in her own with that gentle caress of her thumb over the top of his hand. I know some people were disappointed they didn't see a kiss, but that caress was much more intimitate that anything we have really seen between them thus far. It was their first mutual, open show of affection, without a virus or loop that we have been given: and in my mind it said it all.
In Moebius I, the writers purposely gave us a tiny subtle moment with their hands gently touching during the briefing room scene. I loved how Sam spoke to Jack in Egypt. There was a new found comfort level between them. They allowed Sam to still be in charge of SG-1, giving orders and reminding all three guys what their mission was, but still allowed Sam to tease Jack a bit. There was still respect, but there wasn't any of the awkward, uncomfortable tension between them anymore.
I know a lot of people felt as if Sam has spent the past two years pinning over Jack, but I loved how different Jack's body language, gestures and tone of voice towards Sam changed by the end of MII. It was soft and affectionate in an almost sing song manner, both when he told her she had packing to do, as well as at the lake when he told her they shouldn't dwell at not having done it earlier.
RDA has said in past interviews that at the end of the series, he always pictured Jack O'Neill retiring and his cabin and fishing with Sam. AT has always said that she knows Carter loves O'Neill. JM stated recently in his thread that the relationshp between Sam and Jack has been part of the storyline well before Divide and Conquer. This is a relationship that wasn't just made up by a select group of individuals who wanted to see 'ship' between Sam and Jack. This is something that the writers and actors have spent eight years building up. We knew there couldn't be anything substantial between them until one or both retired or moved into a new position. Season nine is Sam and Jack's year.
We know Sam and Jack are not good at discussing their feelings. Jack's marriage to Sara ended because he wasn't capable of openly expressing his feelings. We saw that in 'Cold Lazarus'. I don't think we will ever see this big scene with both of them confessing their undying love for one another. We basically got that already in D&C, and through snippets over the past four years.
Now, will we get the big steamy love scene? Doubt it. But to be honest, I was disappointed with that scene in Chimera, not because it was with Pete, but because I just didn't see Sam behaving like herself. If we do see Sam and Jack into a relationship in season nine, I don't want it to be written like a soap opera. Subtle is good. I'd much rather see pictures of Jack in her office throughout the year, an occassional phone call, or if we are really lucky seeing them wake up together like we did with Jack and Kerry. Hot and heavy is great for fanfic, but it's really not something I want to watch on Stargate.
I love the Sam/Jack shippy moments just like everyone else, but I'm already losing one of my favorite characters from the show. I'm not a shipper. I'm a Sam and Jack shipper. I can't -- wont just turn off the show when it becomes boring and move on to my next ship. It's not the relationship I love so much, it's the characters themselves. I don't want them to continue to write Sam the way they have been doing over the past two years. I want to see her strong, independent, and in charge again. I'm not sure I'm willing to give up that in order for her to be with Jack. I just hope the writers are capable of giving us both without one storyline or the other suffering.