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    Originally posted by Nynaeve506 View Post
    As for the Tollan, Narim seems embarrassed when Sam's voice comes through the speakers.
    True, but one could argue that by that time he'd learned such things were't accepted in *our* culture - hence embarrassment - and it had in fact nothing to do with Tollan's way of doing things. I mean Earth established regular (?) contact with the Tollans somewhere mid-season 3 and we learn about the recording mid-season 5; that gives Narim almost 2 years to get to know our customs and get a handle on what is acceptable and what isn't. Of course it's possible I don't remember things correctly, it's been a while since I watched season 5.

    All that said, I do think that we're also supposed to interpret some of it through the eyes of Westerners. Sam and Jack are really cut from the same cloth. What surprises me (and what I think creates such well nuanced characters) is how very "western" Sam can be. Daniel's all about some inter-cultural exchanges and I think Sam and Jack are both far more black and white (Jack more than Sam IMO) which colors our viewer perception as well.
    Oh, I agree, on all accounts. Daniel's open-mindedness and acceptance of cultural differences are trademarks of his charcater. I also agree about Sam and Jack, although I don't think their characterisation in this regard was always consistent. For example they both seemed to be accepting of T's infidelities and neither one of them even hinted that it wasn't ok in their opinion. In contrast Jack wasn't shy to let Daniel know he didn't like him sleeping with Shayla and Ke'ra, which I actually found to be very in character, as Jack seems to be a faithful type of guy. So it's either an error in characterisation or hint that both of them are able to take to look at other cultures with an open mind and without prejudicies.

    Err, ok, it's the middle of the night and I'm not making sense even to myself, so I'll stop here and go to bed.

    And hey, I mentioned that Jack's faithful; that is vaguely on topic, isn't it?
    There's a good chance this opinion is shared by Ashizuri
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      I suspect Jack not saying anything to Teal'c is probably rooted in his dislike of talking about personal things. I think there's a level of ambiguity on his part as to exactly what Teal'c's state is (after all, I don't know that we have it established that Drey'auc and Teal'c get back together after she had the marriage ended).

      That said, Jack is intensely loyal. It's part of the reason I have to believe that Laira never got pregnant because I can't see how Jack wouldn't have come back (since it's implied they open a working relationship with Edora I have to believe that he would have found out).

      **brain is fried** I was going somewhere with this but I lost it >.<

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        Hey everyone, RL has been too busy for me to join in the rewatch so far, but I wanted to chime in on the Orlin discussion since he's one of my favorite characters.

        Originally posted by Petra View Post
        But the thing is, the writers failed to do the same with the Ancients. Their culture seemed to be remarkably similar to Western, particularly American, Earth culture, in which what Orlin did certainly isn't considered normal. And even if we buy that "alien culture defence" (which I disagree with) it still doesn't explain why such powerful, mature and knowledgeable being as an Ancient wouldn't think of possibility of us having a different culture and not take any time to check things out. It is after all a common courtesy to learn basics about the culture in place we travel to. Even us lowly humans know it.
        For me the Ancients are different not so much in culture but in the way they most likely communicate and interact, so what is considered to be just a form of communication to the Ancients, Orlin's exchange of spirit, comes across to the viewer as intrusive. Similarly, as beings of energy I think the Ancients have very different ideas of personal boundaries and space, so what may simply be observing an interesting human to Orlin (something the Ancients have probably been doing for millenia), comes across to the viewer as stalking. But Orlin's behavior still works for me because I personally believe he had good intentions at heart regarding Sam, I think he would have left if Sam asked him to after they did the exchange of spirits at her house.

        But by then I think Sam was intrigued enough by him that she didn't want him to leave, and she seemed to trust him and his judgment enough to protest the test solely on his word that it was dangerous. If Orlin learned that Sam was a good person from the exchange of spirit, then I'm sure Sam must have seen something similar in Orlin and that's why she trusted him. Combined with the doubts and questioning she was getting from her friends and co-workers, I think Orlin's implicit trust in her must have been welcome and flattering, and I think she wanted to keep that to herself a bit, hence trying to get him to hide when Jack and Teal'c show up. She would have been completely vindicated if she'd turned him in right then, but she bucked proper procedure and did not.

        With regards to Sam and Jack, I know I'm in the minority here but there are far too many friendship moments between the characters this season for me to feel that they are personally distancing themselves from each other. While the references to their feelings are not nearly as overt as they often were in S4, as a non-shipper I'm grateful for that since continuing the ship at that level combined with the fact that it couldn't go anywhere would have gotten rather tiresome for me. I've enjoyed much of the S/J ship in large part because of how underplayed it usually was compared to most other shows, so they didn't require the often convoluted reasons other shows employ for keeping the potential couple apart.

        And I personally don't see either the Sam or Jack characters analyzing the other's actions in a continual assessment of 'does s/he love me or love me not', since IMHO post BTS they've agreed to stay as friends for the near term and defer the possibility of more to a later date. While this may lead to occasional moments of regret or disappointment, I personally feel that their feelings for each other and trust in each other are strong enough that stuff like potential dates (which Jack later would've found out was actually Orlin), are not going to make them suddenly doubt that the other cares about them.

        One final bit about Ascension, Teal'c cowboy outfit just kills me, I have no idea how RDA, CJ, and AT got through a take without losing it.

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          Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
          But Orlin's behavior still works for me because I personally believe he had good intentions at heart regarding Sam, I think he would have left if Sam asked him to after they did the exchange of spirits at her house. . . . If Orlin learned that Sam was a good person from the exchange of spirit, then I'm sure Sam must have seen something similar in Orlin and that's why she trusted him.
          I realize I'm supposed to believe Orlin had good intentions, but I think Sam was naive in trusting him. She may have felt she had no choice but to let him try the spirit sharing, but he was the one in control and could have decieved her or influenced her in some way.


          Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
          But by then I think Sam was intrigued enough by him that she didn't want him to leave, . . . . Combined with the doubts and questioning she was getting from her friends and co-workers, I think Orlin's implicit trust in her must have been welcome and flattering, and I think she wanted to keep that to herself a bit, hence trying to get him to hide when Jack and Teal'c show up. She would have been completely vindicated if she'd turned him in right then, but she bucked proper procedure and did not.
          I agree Sam was intrigued, flattered, but also quite frankly in over her head. The apparent distrust from her teamates definitely didn't help.

          Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
          I've enjoyed much of the S/J ship in large part because of how underplayed it usually was compared to most other shows, so they didn't require the often convoluted reasons other shows employ for keeping the potential couple apart.
          I'm a big fan of subtlety and am also glad that their being apart was natural rather than contrived.

          Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
          And I personally don't see either the Sam or Jack characters analyzing the other's actions in a continual assessment of 'does s/he love me or love me not', since IMHO post BTS they've agreed to stay as friends for the near term and defer the possibility of more to a later date. While this may lead to occasional moments of regret or disappointment, I personally feel that their feelings for each other and trust in each other are strong enough that stuff like potential dates (which Jack later would've found out was actually Orlin), are not going to make them suddenly doubt that the other cares about them.
          I have to disagree with you some here. I don't think they sat around all the time wondering about the other's feelings--especially Jack; he's not an analyze his feelings kind of guy. But I do believe they came to doubt the strength of those feelings for one another. Else how can you explain Grace, Affinity and Threads? Here they may still be holding out hope for a "some day" together, but that hope certainly begins to wane from this point forward, IMHO.

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            Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
            There is definitely a psychological thriller vibe to this show that is brilliantly underscored by Joel Goldsmith. His music subtlely draws from the horror genre without ever going over the top. Even in it's brighter moments (time passing montage) or more intimate scenes there is an underlying dissonance in the music that leaves you feeling slightly uncomfortable, which so aptly embodies much of the character interaction going on here.
            Oh yes! *fangurls Joel Goldsmith too*

            Orlin: DO NOT LOVE HIM, AT ALL! First, I have to say that I do not get the attraction to SPF. Maybe he's just not my type, but I do not think he is very attractive (although I admit that he has looked better). And if you were to put a picture next to an entry for creepy-stalker-guy in the dictionary, this is what he would look like IMO.

            I will concede the whole alien angle. And SPF does a good job of becoming more relaxed and slightly more normal as the episode progresses. But honestly, did the guy only watch Lifetime TV (the victim/stalker network for abused and battered women) to learn how to relate with Sam?

            Looking for redeeming qualities in Orlin, but just not finding them. He says reading minds is a violation of privacy and then proceeds to tell Sam what he learned about her from touching her mind (or spirit if you will) when he first sees her. At the end on Velona, he says ascending again is the only way he can save her (and himself incidentally) but moments before he was more than willing to kill them all to stop them from firing the weapon. And if stopping the test was so important then why did he spend at least nine days trying to get Sam to play house with him, and leaving her hanging out on a limb, instead of coming forward?
            I'm totally with you here. I have tried (see my earlier post!) to see the arguments that Orlin's not that bad, that he's lonely, that his heart's in the right place, that he's an alien and can't be judged by our standards, but I can't get over the creepiness of his behaviour. Just like Narim and Martouf before him, and Pete to come.

            Jack: In contrast to Orlin and most of Sam's other men, Jack would never push her. Which is admirable, but also means he nearly loses her completely to another pushy, emotionally manipulative man (who I feel no need to name) later on down the road. In this episode, I think he is truly concerned about her. I don't think he believes there is an alien until the very end. And I think he is very conflicted and it comes through in his interactions with everyone.

            Sam: Oh, Sam--scientifically brilliant, emotionally stunted Sam. One reason I think Sam clings so tightly to her work is because work makes sense to her. Even the wackiness that is traveling to other planets and fighting over-the-top alien bad guys has greater mathmatical precision than intimate relationships in her mind. She just handles them all so badly. But I also think with Orlin she sort of lets her curiosity get the better of her at some point. He is a very old, super powerful alien who knows how to build a stargate in her basement.

            As for the Sam/Jack implications:

            I agree that this is where their relationship fails apart. They go from being on the same page to being in different libraries (actually Jack is fishing--alone, Sam's at the library--also alone).

            Boy all of that sounded so much better in my head. So I think I've said more than enough; and I'm sure others have said it so much better.

            Hmmm, now I wonder, do I have time to watch Fifth Man tonight?
            Just quoting these final paragraphs to wholeheartedly agree

            Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
            I have to disagree with you some here. I don't think they sat around all the time wondering about the other's feelings--especially Jack; he's not an analyze his feelings kind of guy. But I do believe they came to doubt the strength of those feelings for one another. Else how can you explain Grace, Affinity and Threads? Here they may still be holding out hope for a "some day" together, but that hope certainly begins to wane from this point forward, IMHO.
            And this too!
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              Hi Evenstar! *waves*

              Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
              For me the Ancients are different not so much in culture but in the way they most likely communicate and interact, so what is considered to be just a form of communication to the Ancients, Orlin's exchange of spirit, comes across to the viewer as intrusive. Similarly, as beings of energy I think the Ancients have very different ideas of personal boundaries and space, so what may simply be observing an interesting human to Orlin (something the Ancients have probably been doing for millenia), comes across to the viewer as stalking. But Orlin's behavior still works for me because I personally believe he had good intentions at heart regarding Sam, I think he would have left if Sam asked him to after they did the exchange of spirits at her house.
              Ah, I think we are talking about two different things; I meant Ancients' culture when they still had human form, because IMO we didn't see enough "glowy" individuals to make guesses about how their culture might have evolved when they ascended. You have a point about their different personal boundaries when they shed their physical bodies.

              Now I'm confused; every Ancient in their energy form was a human being at some point, right? I mean they don't reproduce somehow...? They all were once people who ascended, weren't they? If so, that would include Orlin...hence my belief that he should have known/remembered that what he was doing was inappropriate. And I still stand by my assertion that he had plenty of time to observe humans' behaviour before starting to stalk Sam.

              Thanks for interesting discussion and making great points everybody!

              But by then I think Sam was intrigued enough by him that she didn't want him to leave, and she seemed to trust him and his judgment enough to protest the test solely on his word that it was dangerous. If Orlin learned that Sam was a good person from the exchange of spirit, then I'm sure Sam must have seen something similar in Orlin and that's why she trusted him. Combined with the doubts and questioning she was getting from her friends and co-workers, I think Orlin's implicit trust in her must have been welcome and flattering, and I think she wanted to keep that to herself a bit, hence trying to get him to hide when Jack and Teal'c show up. She would have been completely vindicated if she'd turned him in right then, but she bucked proper procedure and did not.
              Actually I agree with that. I never said Orlin wasn't a good person - just a creepy and stalkerish one!

              And I personally don't see either the Sam or Jack characters analyzing the other's actions in a continual assessment of 'does s/he love me or love me not', since IMHO post BTS they've agreed to stay as friends for the near term and defer the possibility of more to a later date. While this may lead to occasional moments of regret or disappointment, I personally feel that their feelings for each other and trust in each other are strong enough that stuff like potential dates (which Jack later would've found out was actually Orlin), are not going to make them suddenly doubt that the other cares about them.
              Personally I don't think either one of them analyzed their feelings consciously; it's not like Jack could wake up one day and tell himself "Ok, from now on I won't be as close to my team as I used to be". And I also agree that potential dates wouldn't be enough to make them doubt that the other one still cares; but the way I see it, Orlin was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

              And IMO Jack's distance, for the lack of better word, was actually visible the most in his interaction with Daniel. With Sam he just eased up on flirting and fishing invitations and fell back on their friendship; however IIRC season 5 had less S/J friendship moments than season 4 and season 6, so that probably magnifies the impression that they kept their distance.
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                Yay! The Fifth Man! I really like this episode.

                Great review Starlover.

                To begin: Jack *drool* Oh, where was I?

                I love the team feel of this episode, but I don't see any real shippy moments. I guess my shipper glasses aren't that strong. That said, I will concede that Sam and Jack do show that they are still there for each other on a professional level despite the hurt and mistrust that may linger from the whole Orlin ordeal.

                I should also say that I like the Simmons stuff, but I'm a socio-political nerd with absolutely no coolness factor. I don't think that it interferes with the pacing. For me it ratchets up the tension because it puts us in the shoes of SG-1, spinning our wheels at the SGC as time is passing while we're desparate to get back to Jack.

                Sam is great in this episode. I love seeing her confident and in charge. Daniel and Teal'c are clearly ready to follow her lead in the gateroom and later in the infirmary. This is what I would have loved to see from Sam and the team in season 8 onward. It would have been awesome.

                And Sam so owned Simmons. She used his arrogance against him, never surrendered any extraneous information, and forced him to tip his hand. Then he ran off with his tail between his legs. I wish all my clients could handle a deposition this well. (Maybe I should make watching this clip as part of my prep routine?)

                I have to give a shout out to Teryl Rothery who is beautiful and brilliant and carries every scene with such poise and gravitas.

                I love Lt. Tyler. I'd be happy to have him join SG-1. And Dion Johnstone is an incredible character actor. He played several parts throughout the series (often in heavy prostetics) and he brings a distinct temperament and physicallity to each role. Here you can see in his movements and stance echos of the CGI creature he is meant to be.

                My favorite part: Jack talking about Minnisota and fishing. Then at the end when Tyler suggests that Jack might one day take him fishing the looks on the team's faces are priceless. Sam looks away embarassed (oh, yes she's dreaming about fishing with Jack); Teal'c looks disgusted (even though he can't get enough) and dear Daniel just looks confused.

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                  Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
                  I realize I'm supposed to believe Orlin had good intentions, but I think Sam was naive in trusting him. She may have felt she had no choice but to let him try the spirit sharing, but he was the one in control and could have decieved her or influenced her in some way.
                  I'd agree that Orlin pressured Sam a bit into trying the exchange of spirit again by not leaving after she called in the code 3 team. But as I personally feel that Orlin was in essence a good and honest person, I don't think he would have deceived Sam as to his nature and intentions. And by his description of the exchange, I don't think he would have been able to keep something like that from Sam if he'd wanted to.

                  I have to disagree with you some here. I don't think they sat around all the time wondering about the other's feelings--especially Jack; he's not an analyze his feelings kind of guy. But I do believe they came to doubt the strength of those feelings for one another. Else how can you explain Grace, Affinity and Threads? Here they may still be holding out hope for a "some day" together, but that hope certainly begins to wane from this point forward, IMHO.
                  The main reason I brought up the analyzing feelings part was that I'd been reading some earlier posts suggesting that, for example, in Threshold Jack sent Sam with Bra'tac because he wanted to personally distance himself from her. But to me, I just saw Jack and Saw dealing with a mission (trying to save Teal'c) and one that may not always require Sam to be in the same room as Jack. And personally, if Jack is so worried about being too close to his team that he'll make mission-related decisions based on his personal emotions re Sam (whether to send her away on some task or not), or Daniel and Teal'c, then he needs to go to Hammond and get reassigned because he's no good to his team otherwise. I've always seen Jack as a man who is very good at compartmentalizing his emotions, so I personally don't see him having such trouble dealing with his feelings for Sam that it impacts his decision-making in the field in such a way.

                  Grace is still over 2 years away from this point, and in between you have such pivotal moments for Sam like Daniel's death and return, almost losing Jack and Teal'c several times, and almost dying herself multiple times. And I don't believe that Sam's decisions in Grace, Affinity, and Threads were made only in relation to her feelings for Jack, but also in relation to other matters such as losing Daniel, seeing the way Teal'c was able to start a personal relationship outside of the SGC, losing contact with her father post-Death Knell, Janet's death, and the rise of Anubis that extended the war against the Goa'uld when the final defeat of Apophis seemed to have been heralding it's relatively quick end.

                  Originally posted by Petra View Post
                  Hi Evenstar! *waves*

                  Ah, I think we are talking about two different things; I meant Ancients' culture when they still had human form, because IMO we didn't see enough "glowy" individuals to make guesses about how their culture might have evolved when they ascended. You have a point about their different personal boundaries when they shed their physical bodies.

                  Now I'm confused; every Ancient in their energy form was a human being at some point, right? I mean they don't reproduce somehow...? They all were once people who ascended, weren't they? If so, that would include Orlin...hence my belief that he should have known/remembered that what he was doing was inappropriate. And I still stand by my assertion that he had plenty of time to observe humans' behaviour before starting to stalk Sam.

                  Thanks for interesting discussion and making great points everybody!
                  Hey Petra! *waves back*

                  Gotcha about not knowing much about the Ancients' culture pre-Ascension. I think probably the most we ever saw of that was a bit in AOT and some in SGA's the Return. In regards to Orlin, my take is that he's spent hundreds if not a few thousands of years communicating and interacting as an Ancient, so he'd probably have long forgotten his own culture and I think it'd take more than the day or so we saw for him to adjust to the humans' way of interacting. I think you do see a bit of a progression, from trying the exchange of spirit on the planet, to observing Sam in his Ancient form in her house, and then appearing as a human in the street and saying 'hi'.

                  Personally I don't think either one of them analyzed their feelings consciously; it's not like Jack could wake up one day and tell himself "Ok, from now on I won't be as close to my team as I used to be". And I also agree that potential dates wouldn't be enough to make them doubt that the other one still cares; but the way I see it, Orlin was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

                  And IMO Jack's distance, for the lack of better word, was actually visible the most in his interaction with Daniel. With Sam he just eased up on flirting and fishing invitations and fell back on their friendship; however IIRC season 5 had less S/J friendship moments than season 4 and season 6, so that probably magnifies the impression that they kept their distance.
                  This is probably where my perspective as a non-shipper makes the difference, since I don't see falling back on their friendship as distancing, but rather a return to their usual relationship after the heightened emotions of parts of S4. Friendship is my baseline for Sam and Jack, so I personally consider those friendship moments to be as important in many ways as shippy moments in defining their personal closeness. I haven't really thought about the difference in the number of those moments between seasons, but that's something I can look at more closely with this rewatch.

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                    Orlin, Narim and Martouf - and Tyler

                    I think its clear that from an Earth-Western perspective all three of Sam's alien suitors were creepy in the way they tried to interact with Sam; in Orlin's case effectively following her home, and forcing his spirit sharing on her; Narim for forcing his emotions and using her voice within his home without her permission; Martouf, well, just for the smile alone...

                    Yet, I have come to accept the view that actually culturally things could have been different for all of them, and their actions in their own culture acceptable.

                    In regards to Orlin, he might have been an Ancient but they're not humans - they're the first evolution of the human form which is an important difference. We only ever see glimpses of the Alteran way of life but certainly not enough of it to make a determination that they ascribed to the same sexual mores as Earth-Western culture of recent decades.

                    And to link this with The Fifth Man - by comparison sometimes I think I forgive Tyler's actions in deceiving Jack and placing him in danger through that deception because Tyler is so obviously alien when he reveals his true form. Yet it could be argued that his "crimes" of deception, regardless of his motivation to protect himself, are definitely as unacceptable as the actions by Sam's alien suitors - certainly in regards to Martouf who's main crime in my eyes was an inability for a long time to differentiate between Sam and Jolinar due to grief, Tyler's deception is in fact worse. Yes, Tyler eventually admits his deception and tries to save SG1 by sacrificing himself but so too did Orlin, Narim and Martouf move past their initial actions and try to save lives.

                    It just kind of raises an interesting observation for me that if its truly alien than its easier to believe its values and customs are different and to be more forgiving of these; yet in contrast if an alien looks human, how easy it is to simply assume they must share the same mores and know what is acceptable or not for us.

                    Or is it simply that as a shipper, I'm biased against Sam's suitors because they are Sam's suitors whereas Tyler never tries to chat Jack up regardless of the fishing invitations...
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                      Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
                      The main reason I brought up the analyzing feelings part was that I'd been reading some earlier posts suggesting that, for example, in Threshold Jack sent Sam with Bra'tac because he wanted to personally distance himself from her. But to me, I just saw Jack and Saw dealing with a mission (trying to save Teal'c) and one that may not always require Sam to be in the same room as Jack. And personally, if Jack is so worried about being too close to his team that he'll make mission-related decisions based on his personal emotions re Sam (whether to send her away on some task or not), or Daniel and Teal'c, then he needs to go to Hammond and get reassigned because he's no good to his team otherwise. I've always seen Jack as a man who is very good at compartmentalizing his emotions, so I personally don't see him having such trouble dealing with his feelings for Sam that it impacts his decision-making in the field in such a way.

                      Grace is still over 2 years away from this point, and in between you have such pivotal moments for Sam like Daniel's death and return, almost losing Jack and Teal'c several times, and almost dying herself multiple times. And I don't believe that Sam's decisions in Grace, Affinity, and Threads were made only in relation to her feelings for Jack, but also in relation to other matters such as losing Daniel, seeing the way Teal'c was able to start a personal relationship outside of the SGC, losing contact with her father post-Death Knell, Janet's death, and the rise of Anubis that extended the war against the Goa'uld when the final defeat of Apophis seemed to have been heralding it's relatively quick end.
                      Quoted only for emphasis, as I agree wholeheartedly.

                      I think you do see a bit of a progression, from trying the exchange of spirit on the planet, to observing Sam in his Ancient form in her house, and then appearing as a human in the street and saying 'hi'.
                      Absolutely. Obviously he was a fast learner, which reinforces my conviction that if he gave himself a few more days to observe humans he wouldn't have made so many mistakes with Sam.

                      But at this point in discussion I'm willing to agree to disagree.

                      This is probably where my perspective as a non-shipper makes the difference, since I don't see falling back on their friendship as distancing, but rather a return to their usual relationship after the heightened emotions of parts of S4.
                      Which is why I, for one, love having you around and providing non-shippy perspective. Food for thought and all that..

                      Friendship is my baseline for Sam and Jack, so I personally consider those friendship moments to be as important in many ways as shippy moments in defining their personal closeness.
                      I never meant to imply that their friendship is somehow inferior or less important than their 'ship; obviously it's not (and personally I'm a sucker for S/J friendship). But it's different and I think you are right, this is the main difference between shippy and non-shippy look.

                      Originally posted by Rachel500
                      I think its clear that from an Earth-Western perspective all three of Sam's alien suitors were creepy in the way they tried to interact with Sam; (...) Martouf, well, just for the smile alone...


                      And to link this with The Fifth Man - by comparison sometimes I think I forgive Tyler's actions in deceiving Jack and placing him in danger through that deception because Tyler is so obviously alien when he reveals his true form. Yet it could be argued that his "crimes" of deception, regardless of his motivation to protect himself, are definitely as unacceptable as the actions by Sam's alien suitors - certainly in regards to Martouf who's main crime in my eyes was an inability for a long time to differentiate between Sam and Jolinar due to grief, Tyler's deception is in fact worse.
                      I haven't thought about it that way. Interesting point.

                      Or is it simply that as a shipper, I'm biased against Sam's suitors because they are Sam's suitors whereas Tyler never tries to chat Jack up regardless of the fishing invitations...
                      Now I have a mental image of Tyler trying to do just that...thanks Rachel

                      More seriously though, I think - I like to think, anyway - that I don't not like Sam's suitors just because they are potential Jack's rivals. It's probably true to some degree, but then, I don't have any issues with any of the women Jack was with. So yeah, I like to think it's all down to the writing and how those guys were portrayed.

                      The whole idea of both Jack and Sam trying to move on and entering relationships with other people only to realise after some time that it's not "it" and they need each other to be truly happy is very appealing to me. I just don't like how the writers handled Sam's part in it. But that's something to be discussed at a later date.
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                        Originally posted by Rachel500 View Post
                        Orlin, Narim and Martouf - and Tyler

                        I think its clear that from an Earth-Western perspective all three of Sam's alien suitors were creepy in the way they tried to interact with Sam; in Orlin's case effectively following her home, and forcing his spirit sharing on her; Narim for forcing his emotions and using her voice within his home without her permission; Martouf, well, just for the smile alone...

                        Yet, I have come to accept the view that actually culturally things could have been different for all of them, and their actions in their own culture acceptable.

                        In regards to Orlin, he might have been an Ancient but they're not humans - they're the first evolution of the human form which is an important difference. We only ever see glimpses of the Alteran way of life but certainly not enough of it to make a determination that they ascribed to the same sexual mores as Earth-Western culture of recent decades.

                        And to link this with The Fifth Man - by comparison sometimes I think I forgive Tyler's actions in deceiving Jack and placing him in danger through that deception because Tyler is so obviously alien when he reveals his true form. Yet it could be argued that his "crimes" of deception, regardless of his motivation to protect himself, are definitely as unacceptable as the actions by Sam's alien suitors - certainly in regards to Martouf who's main crime in my eyes was an inability for a long time to differentiate between Sam and Jolinar due to grief, Tyler's deception is in fact worse. Yes, Tyler eventually admits his deception and tries to save SG1 by sacrificing himself but so too did Orlin, Narim and Martouf move past their initial actions and try to save lives.

                        It just kind of raises an interesting observation for me that if its truly alien than its easier to believe its values and customs are different and to be more forgiving of these; yet in contrast if an alien looks human, how easy it is to simply assume they must share the same mores and know what is acceptable or not for us.
                        That is a very interesting observation and I think you make a very good point that we as viewers may expect human-looking aliens, esp ones that look like they're from a Western culture, to have or know the same social conventions and morals that we do. While with completely alien-looking aliens it's easier to accept them having different conventions/morals.

                        And I esp like your point about Tyler, that he did deceive Jack and put him in danger unnecessarily, but he learned from his earlier mistakes and redeemed himself to an extent later on. I think Narim, Martouf, and Orlin had similar journeys, which does make me more forgiving of their earlier missteps because they showed that they learned from them. I think it speaks to the inherent risks of miscommunications between species and cultures that SG-1 regularly encounter, and that in order to make friends and allies out in the galaxy you have be tolerant of those miscues, and also to the idea of redemption that I think is intertwined quite a bit into the show.


                        Originally posted by Petra View Post
                        Absolutely. Obviously he was a fast learner, which reinforces my conviction that if he gave himself a few more days to observe humans he wouldn't have made so many mistakes with Sam.

                        But at this point in discussion I'm willing to agree to disagree.
                        Or he was just so intrigued by Sam he was too impatient to wait after waiting so long alone on Velona.

                        But fair enough, I agree to disagree. And thanks to everyone for the great discussion.

                        I never meant to imply that their friendship is somehow inferior or less important than their 'ship; obviously it's not (and personally I'm a sucker for S/J friendship). But it's different and I think you are right, this is the main difference between shippy and non-shippy look.
                        I didn't mean to suggest that you saw friendship as inferior, but I think as you said, from my perspective I don't see much difference between shippy or friendship moments. So it me, it doesn't really matter much if Jack never asks Sam fishing or there isn't a scene like the 'feeling feelings' one from BTS in this season, since instead he's offering to hang out in Ascension, or you have those funny moments between them in Proving Ground, etc.

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                          Originally posted by Rachel500 View Post
                          Orlin, Narim and Martouf - and Tyler

                          I think its clear that from an Earth-Western perspective all three of Sam's alien suitors were creepy in the way they tried to interact with Sam; in Orlin's case effectively following her home, and forcing his spirit sharing on her; Narim for forcing his emotions and using her voice within his home without her permission; Martouf, well, just for the smile alone...

                          <snip>
                          Sorry for snipping your post. I agree with everything you said.

                          The bit I've bolded gives me the excuse to post my favourite smiley, made by Mala .......


                          It makes me laugh every time I see it.
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                            Orlin, Narim, and Martouf:

                            I like them and I don't think any of them would have ended with Sam if she didn't have any feelings for Jack (I only have an issue with the later suitor but that's for later)...

                            I do not find them creepy or stalkerish or anything of the sort. I guess it is easy for me to assume that the cultures they come from are different from ours; because of that, we don't know if they were or were not following the typical cultural behavior and I like to believe they were
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                              Banner by Josiane



                              Synopsis

                              SG1 arrive on the planet of K'Tau, having had a very rough wormhole trip. Realising from the runes on a nearby marker, Daniel determines that it is an Asgard protected planet. They meet with the local people and head into the village. As they arrive, the light shifts to an infrared spectrum. As one of the villagers, Malchus, blames SG1, Jack asks Sam if it is their fault and she starts to run tests. When the villagers go to their Hall of Wisdom, Daniel and Jack go with them hoping that they will be able to contact the Asgard. They quickly realise the villagers usually speak with a recording. As they leave the church again, they meet up with Sam who informs them it is their fault – their wormhole intersected with the K'Tau sun and poisoned it with an unstable super-heavy element. They go back to the Hall and manage to speak directly to Freyr and to the Asgard Council. But the Asgard refuse to help stating that to do so would be in violation of their Protected Planets treaty with the Goa'uld – it would put all the protected planets at risk including Earth. As they leave, Sam comes up with a solution – send a stable super-heavy element into the sun to counteract the poisoning.
                              Three weeks later, the rocket which will deliver the super-heavy element is almost ready and they've secured the super-heavy element they need. Sam goes back to the planet with it but on her arrival, the rocket blows up. Malchus is responsible and Jack is furious having lost two men in the explosion. He attacks Malchus and is only talked out of killing him by the others. He insists that they should leave but SG1 manage to convince him to try another way – Daniel tries to convince the K'Tau people that they should relocate but they refuse and when Jack tries to tell them the truth about the Asgard, they walk away in disgust. Jack leaves.
                              Back at the SGC, Sam comes up with another method of delivering the super-heavy element; through the wormhole with a deliberate shutdown when it reaches the sun. They enact the plan and go back to the planet. The sun is still poisoned and Sam says that it looks like it hasn't worked. Daniel says goodbye and murmurs a prayer to Freyr. As he leaves the prayer circle, the sun reverts to its normal light frequency. The planet is saved. Sam says she doesn't think they were responsible and Jack suggests that it was the Asgard doing it covertly – a loophole in the treaty. As Daniel comments that they will never know, the K'Tau people rejoice.

                              Synopsis taken, with thanks, from Rachel500’s Aftershocks series.



                              Favourite Scene

                              Jack laying into Malchus (because it’s just such a shocker when it comes).



                              Favourite Line

                              Jack: ”I only understand one percent of what she says half the time.”



                              Review

                              Prior to now I never had much of an opinion on this episode. I liked it enough but it’s never been one I raved over or rated up in my top episodes. However, on viewing this for the rewatch I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for how beautifully multi-faceted it is. For starters it is absolutely gorgeous to look at; from that crazy opening shot of them tumbling haphazardly through the gate, to those trademark long shots of Martin Wood’s... right up to those ridiculously oversized wrenches Major Wood and Sergeant Siler are futzing around with in the obligatory director’s cameo. There’s lots of distance shots here that are matte paintings that really help showcase Stargate’s consistently (for a weekly TV series) great special effects. And what great colouring too... oh I kind of mentioned that already didn’t I! Well the whole way this is shot and lit and scored is quite superb.
                              I love that this is a story featuring the Asgard god-mythology without actually being a story about the Asgard. I also like that this sows so many seeds for future episodes; most notably the protected planets and interference theme is continued and used to great effect in Fail Safe.

                              The basic story plot – K’Tau’s sun going wiggy, it being our fault and how the people of the planet react to this is another example of standard sci fi fodder elevated above normal in the exploration of both the K’Tau peoples’ reaction to this and the reaction of SG-1 and, most notably, Jack.
                              I’ll explore the K’Tau people’s reaction first if I may. I find it interesting – perhaps a little one dimensional – that they all seem to so blindly accept their fate; that their demise is the will of their god. Even Malchus who is belligerent to SG-1 from the start still acts in a manner that suggests it’s fait accomplis as far and he is concerned, going so far as to make sure it happens by staging the destruction of their possible salvation. Elrad (I keep wanting to call him Elrond ) is stereotypically placid and passive and Malchus is rather stereotypically antagonistic. I was expecting him to do something to jeopardise the mission/SG-1 from the start. Although I am glad they didn’t resort to a more obvious device of SG-1 being captured and offered as sacrifices to the gods or something, I do wish they’d reacted slightly more intelligently towards the news of the destruction of their world with, perhaps some of them wanting to leave and it causing tension that way. However I understand there’s only so much of a story you can tell in 45 minutes and there’s enough being told here without that.
                              One comment about Malchus in the scene where Jack’s got him pinned to the floor. Watch that expression; as if he welcome the impending martyrdom Jack is about to visit on him. There’s hints of religious fundamentalism here that, again, don’t really get adequately explored.

                              As I said before this story acts as a great device for exploring the relationships between SG-1 – most notably between Jack and Daniel who spend much of this episode at odds which is a continuing theme during season 5.
                              I love the way Jack goes from being fairly light and flippant at the start – even up to and including when he’s talking to the Asgard council – to being extremely upset and angry when the rocket is blown up. I love the angry confrontation; we rarely every see Jack get this upset/angry about anything so it’s truly quite shocking to see after a relatively light hearted start. The interesting thing about this scene is not that he’s angry at the loss of two of his men so needlessly (that, you expect from him), but that, underneath that all, he is also angry that these people have doomed themselves. I think there’s a real sense of frustration from him that he can’t do more to help these people. I have a little more to say on that below.
                              There’s also an interesting implication which, sadly, does not get adequately explored dealing with how the SGC travel through the gate and the slightly Bodgit & Leggit job we’ve done on the dialling computer to get it to work. As I say, it’s a concept that really deserved more exploration than which this episode could provide but, again, there’s a hearkening to this much later on in the series when having a bodged together dialling system actually becomes advantageous to us (Avenger 2.0).
                              Overall, on this viewing I have come to really appreciate this episode a whole lot more. Aside from the rather flat portrayal of the K’Tau people, the only other minor gripe is that Teal’c gets a bit wallpapered here, because he’s barely on screen, much less has anything to say.



                              (and I've 'done a Josiane' with this one so... continued in next post... )
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                                Red Sky Continued...



                                Sam and Jack

                                (And some slightly more general character/relationship stuff.)

                                Again, first time I saw this, aside from a couple of nice lines, I never saw anything particularly shippy in this episode but, if you will indulge me I will put the Ultra Heavy Thick Tinted Shippy Glasses on for a bit and point out some interesting things that may, or may not be construed as significant indicators of them feeling feelings and all that.

                                One thing that is significant is Jack’s seemingly blind faith in Sam to fix the problem they caused when they inadvertently damaged the K’Tau sun. It’s an interesting parallel to the blind faith the K’Tau people seem to have in their god, which is made all the more relevant by the fact that Jack spends a good deal of the episode trying to convince them not to be so blindingly slavish. There’s a couple of moments when Sam’s face betrays almost panic/fear when Jack’s being so reliant on her and her science to solve this; again interesting considering this is a man who started out not liking scientists and who is now fully ready to completely trust science. He’s come a long way hasn’t he! I wonder what could possibly have occurred to make him feels so differently!
                                These moments are also interesting from Sam’s perspective since she clearly does not want to let him down but realises this problem may be too big for even her brilliance to solve.

                                From the start we have a lot of framing of Sam and Jack together and lots of Sam and Jack doing things together while the other two are somewhere else. Lots and lots of it! I mean, we’re in Season 3 style framing territory here (oh, directed by Martin Wood... well that explains a lot! )
                                It’s very interesting that we should have this at this stage when Jack is, supposedly, pulling away from Sam. There’s a lot of the old style general teamliness between Sam and Jack and a level of comfort/unspoken communication during those moments they are together that always make me scratch my head a bit when people describe Season 5 as the season Jack pulls away from Sam; because I honestly don’t see it. Or at least I don’t see it consistently... or I don’t see it consistently yet. Or, I don’t see it as consistently as I see the demise in his friendship with Daniel (although the two might be related). While none of Sam and Jack’s framed/together moments in this episode are shippy, per se, they are indicative of the kind of comfortable relationship they do have right now and certainly show not much evidence of a Jack struggling to maintain professionalism where Sam is concerned. However... read on...

                                Having said that, there are other indicators that do suggest a general air of tension, particularly for Jack; he’s fairly snarky and bad tempered, mostly due to his frustration with the K’Tau people, and Daniel gets a hefty dose of that. Sam gets some of this too but there’s clearly something different in the way he snarks at/towards her than the way he does to Daniel. With Sam it’s only about the general frustrations of the mission but with Daniel is seems... somehow more personal. I don’t know if that’s because Sam’s his subordinate and doesn’t argue back so there’s no reason to, while Daniel does challenge Jack more or if it’s just a general air of how he treats her, but it’s very obvious throughout this episode. (On a slightly side note, I love the mounting tension between Jack and Daniel and how it builds and builds in this season; it makes the whole point where Daniel ascends so much more poignant and, somehow, relevant.)
                                I think one of the reasons Jack is so frustrated during this mission is that, after the rocket is blown up, there is nothing he, personally, can do to help. All the while he was able to talk to the Asgard or help coordinate building of the rocket, he could do something to fix the mistake that, essentially, his team made. It may help that Sam seems to feel quite personally responsible for what happened to their sun and it could be partly that Jack wants to help alleviate Sam’s own guilt. Up to the point the rocket is destroyed he is doing that. After that, he can do nothing but pass the buck back to Sam to find another answer. Both angry and upset at the loss of his own men (which is something I think he does take to heart since I think he does care a lot for those under his command in general) he’s also faced with the fact he can do nothing personally to help solve the whole fiasco and is placing an enormous amount of pressure on Sam’s shoulders.
                                There’s an absolutely fantastic scene in the middle when Jack really lets loose, punches Malchus and pulls a gun on him. Just watch the rest of SG-1’s reactions; Teal’c is stoical as always and I can’t help thinking he’d just as soon Jack did it. Daniel is shocked but I get the feeling not so much by what Jack does as that he does it. I have a feeling Daniel is more than aware that Jack is capable of this kind of retaliatory violence (and perhaps some of the antagonism between them this season is because Daniel knows Jack so well and Jack doesn’t like that). Sam, is clearly shocked by Jack’s behaviour and I think it’s a side of him she hasn’t really seen much before and she glances at Daniel afterwards as if seeking answers from him. Just to qualify that statement; I think, while Sam is probably intellectually aware that Jack can murder someone who is relatively defenceless, I think there’s a world of difference between intellectual and experiential awareness; as much as she experiences his cold blooded rage in The Other Side, here she experiences the passionate side to that rage. Face it, Jack’s really good at keeping his emotions in check most of the time so this is something new to her.

                                Just after this (and this is where we get that wonderful long ‘Martin Wood Special’) Jack is ranting and storming off wanting to go home and leave the people to their fate and it’s the rest of SG-1 who talk him round. There’s a few significant things in this scene. One of the reasons he reacts so negatively is because he really does care about what happens to these people. It may not look like that but it’s classic defence mechanism – pretend/act like you don’t care so people can’t see how much you really do. It’s a behaviour pattern he later repeats towards Sam after Daniel dies/ascends and, much later, when she’s dating Pete. Also in that scene, although Daniel argues most vocally with him, it’s Sam’s words – her guilt at having been the cause of this – that makes him pause for thought. Watch carefully as his gaze flicks to Sam whilst arguing with Daniel as if visually seeking clues from her as to where she stands on this. It’s only after that that Sam speaks up as if that very brief eye contact has given her some encouragement. And it’s only after she speaks – and then Teal’c drives the point home - that Jack calms down enough to be able to see their point and ask his team for suggestions. I just adore this scene; there’s lots of little looks between them that speak so much of all their relationships with each other. Just beautifully composed and acted all round.
                                The only other noteworthy thing to mention is that great scene back at the SGC, first when he pays Sam one of those back handed compliments about her brilliance (which he does all the time) and then when he gets something right; because he’s clearly goofing about a bit here and it’s largely to make Sam smile – which she does. I love that he does the whole deflection of his own intelligence here too and that Sam humours him with it, and mostly I love that they do all this right there in front of General Hammond.

                                As I said, all this reviewed with the extra ship tinted specs firmly in place but even with those adjusted to maximum, it’s hard to pick anything significant about this episode that alters or progresses their relationship in any major way.
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