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    Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
    And I think that's what frustrates me. It's perfectly plausible that Jack might harbour some well founded resentment towards the Russians but without any actual indication of what that is on screen, it just comes across all wrong. I have been thinking about this though; perhaps, being from the UK and of a slightly younger generation (one that doesn't remember the very real brink of nuclear war the USA and Russia came to in the 1960's and had it's own demons and threats to dwell on), I haven't got the mindset to comprehend. Jack, almost certainly, would remember that time - probably as a fairly young child and it may have left an impression. Who knows!


    Thanks for that picture by the way. Nightmares for me tonight then!
    In grammar school (50's) we practiced duck and cover when the air raid sirens went off (just practice of course). It terrified many kids -I still jump at the sound of the fire siren (call to the volunteers to the fire house). My older sister told me recently that she realized at an early age how pointless it was - she knew if it ever happened we would all be incinerated while hiding under our desks.
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      Nice review, Cags, and also Toomi from last week. I'll skip The Tomb discussion though and jump in on Between Two Fires. I agree with Cags here, I've always been a bit meh about this episode, I think largely because Narim makes my skin crawl But you're right about the storyline being a good one and the ethical implications are interesting here and well explored I think.

      Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
      It’s never confirmed who the Goa’uld controlling Tanith is. I tend to think, in context of his apparent power and the timeframe, likely to be Anubis. It’s nice to have the seeds of a new all powerful Goa’uld sowed right here without it overwhelming the plot. Nice and easy and gentle and slow build up; something SG- 1’s PTB are particularly good at delivering.
      I've always assumed he meant Anubis too, and I agree that this is one of SG1's real strengths

      One thing to say about this episode; while it’s very clear that Narim has feelings for Sam, it is also equally clear that whatever feelings she has for Narim are purely platonic. She’s uncomfortable about hearing her voice on his computer and she greets him in a slightly uncomfortable way one might with someone you know has a thing for you but when you don’t reciprocate. The look on her face when she realises his computer voice is her voice is pretty telling.
      Absolutely, and see above re. creepyness

      One other lightly interesting observation here is this it’s Teal’c, early on, that begins a conversation with Sam about Narim’s feelings for her. We never hear what Sam is about to say since Narmin arrives and interrupts them before Sam can comment but it does seem that Teal’c is quite perceptive to the feelings of others around Sam and Jack, and particularly to their feelings for each other – which is something we’ve seen e see quite a lot, and yet more of in the next few seasons.
      Good catch
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        I think I get Jack's distaste for the Russians because I've been around enough hard-core military types (read - my dad) to know how they're trained. The enemy is the enemy. You're taught to hate them. Despite the fact that my father is half-Lebanese, he's quick to show an incredible amount intolerance (which is probably rooted not only in the fact that he's done black ops for years but also because that whole side of the family is a thorn in our side).

        I hate to disparage my father in any way - the man is the smartest, sweetest, hardest working man I've ever met, but there's a "dark" side that comes out every now and again... and I guess that's why I never felt his distrust and overall "spit on your shoes" mindset to the Russians was out of place.

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          Synopsis

          SG1 return remarkably perky from a mission to a planet that they initially thought was a simple agrarian world, only to meet a vastly more advanced and seemingly benevolent race who trade with the Volians and are willing to negotiate with Earth - the Aschen. The Washington heavyweights are called in, including Earth's new offworld Ambassador, Joe Faxon, and Joe accompanies SG1 back to the planet to begin the negotiations. While Sam and Jack go with Joe to meet the Aschen, Daniel and Teal'c go to sniff around to see if all is quite as hunkydory as it seems. They discover 'ironroot' in a farmer's field, and dig down to find a huge abandoned city underground. Daniel finds some newspaper archives which show that the Volian civilisation was much more advanced a couple of hundred years ago. Meanwhile back at the SGC, Walter has narrowed down some possible planets which could be the Aschen homeworld, and one of them is the planet that Hammond had ordered locked out of the dialling computer seven months ago when they received Jack's warning note from 2010. On the Aschen's harvester, Molom asks Joe, Sam and Jack various questions about Earth, and says that the Aschen would be willing to offer Earth advanced defensive technologies (including bioweapons), and other advanced technology. Sam, Jack and Joe return to the SGC, and Joe flies off to Washington to brief the President. While he does, Hammond briefs Sam and Jack on his suspicions about the Aschen, and then, when Daniel and Teal'c come back, they report on their suspicions. The President isn't returning Hammond's calls, so Jack goes to Washington where he is met by Kinsey, who warns him off. Joe is sent to return to conclude the negotiations with the Aschen, and takes Sam with him. Sam manages to confirm their suspicions that the Aschen sterilised the Volians. The Aschen lock Sam and Molom into the room on the harvester and dial the Stargate to Earth. Sam rappels down to the gate and sees that they are planning to send through a bioweapon. Joe tells her to go, so she cuts the rope and falls through the gate, telling them to close the iris behind her.

          Review

          What I like most about this episode is the way that we as the audience are in the relatively unusual position (for SG1) of knowing more than SG1 do. I may just be being completely forgetful, but I don't think this is a narrative device that SG1 uses all that frequently, and certainly not to this extent. Right at the very start, we're waiting for the other footwear to fall, and it does with the revelation that these wonderful aliens are the Aschen, who we last saw plotting Earth's destruction 10 years into the future. And then we spend the rest of the episode waiting for SG1 to figure out what we already know. There's plenty of hints along the way, which create a nice complicity as we know the subtext - 'That growth rate is unsustainable', 'You'll find we are very patient people', for example. I also really like the way this episode fills in some of the missing story from 2010, as we actually see how Earth could be taken in by the Aschen, and how Jack's suspicion that they're too good to be true takes root. We also of course see the start of Sam and Joe's relationship, and the beginning of Kinsey's ascent to power (nicely referenced in his conversation with Jack when he accuses Jack of wanting to prevent him becoming President).

          I think it is realistic for the SGC et al. to be particularly susceptible at this point to the lure of a deus ex machina type alien race - they've been fighting the Goa'uld for several years, and finally got rid of Apophis only to now be getting hints that there's a new Goa'uld on the block which means the fight is no closer to being won, and it makes sense that the political masters would be starting to get frustrated at the lack of concrete results. And Kinsey, as we well know, would jump on this kind of opportunity to 'beat' the SGC. But I have one complaint with the political side of the storyline, and that is the idea that the President is under pressure to have results because of the upcoming election! I mean, seriously, the Stargate Program is the most closely guarded secret in the United States - it's hardly going to be a vote-loser if he hasn't brought home enough shiny alien tech

          Implications for Sam and Jack

          Sam and Jack are put together in this episode, of course, and there's a few nice moments between them, mostly in terms of shared looks, particularly in the scene where Joe is negotiating with Molom. And there's that lovely exchange when Hammond is briefing them about the note from the future:
          You were probably trying to keep it simple to limit the causality violation.
          I wonder whose idea that was.

          However of course we know from 2010 that in that timeline Sam ends up married to Joe, and this episode is trying to sow the seeds of that relationship. This means there's quite a bit of Sam/Joe focus, and while it might seem on the surface that there's a corresponding lack of Sam/Jack stuff, there are shippy implications underneath, creating a bit of a triangle. There are a couple of minor flashes of the alpha male competitiveness between Jack and Joe, which prefigure the much more bitter confrontations in 2010. For example, in the first briefing room scene, after Joe has asked Sam for an explanation of how the Aschen turned a gas giant into a star, Jack's line "You've got to be careful with the word 'how' unless you really want to know" and the ensuing smug smile comes across really as a way of Jack asserting how well he knows Sam as well as revealing that proud affection in the backhanded way that he does whenever he complains about Sam's scientific genius. There's also of course the 'sizing up' scene with Jack's comments about Joe's attire and clothes - quite a put-down, really! Joe, for his part, comes up with an equivalent show-off type line to Jack at the end of the first round of negotiations with Molom, showing off his negotiating experience by claiming the ease of it is totally normal, right after Jack complained about that very thing. And one other tiny thing I noticed, which may just be the ship-radar going nuts, but when Sam, Jack and Joe step onto the Aschen transporter, Jack very deliberately places himself in the middle.

          Sam's behaviour towards the two of them is very carefully neutral. She's obviously flattered by (and not opposed to) Joe's attention, but she is still reacting to Jack in her normal way - we get reaction shots from her to him 'being Jack' at various points. However I get the impression that both reactions are slightly more cautious because of her awareness of the other. Her reaction to the end of the negotiations are particularly interesting in this context - right after Jack and Joe's mini-spat about whether it was too easy, when Jack is wondering allowed whether anyone else has a bad feeling about this. Sam's face kind of indicates that she does, but she doesn't actually say anything - perhaps she is willing to give the Aschen the benefit of the doubt, or perhaps she is aware of Joe being so and not wanting to pick sides. I would think that Sam's spidey-sense would be tingling a little bit and that in normal circumstances she would agree for sure. But maybe my shipper specs are a little too firmly attached to my face

          Another little thing related to this is Jack's reaction to Sam agreeing to go on a date with Joe, just before Sam and Joe go back through the gate, or rather non-reaction. However he instantly makes a point of talking about retirement - again this could be an attach of shippervision, but could this be a bit of a dig? Reminding Sam of the alternative?

          And one final, final thing I noticed: Joe comments when Sam is showing him around the SGC that "this place never ceases to amaze me". Just an overwhelmed comment on having seen a lot, or has he been there before?
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            Wow, great review Josi. I'm hard pushed to do anything but nod and agree with just about everything there.

            Originally posted by josiane View Post
            What I like most about this episode is the way that we as the audience are in the relatively unusual position (for SG1) of knowing more than SG1 do. I may just be being completely forgetful, but I don't think this is a narrative device that SG1 uses all that frequently, and certainly not to this extent. Right at the very start, we're waiting for the other footwear to fall, and it does with the revelation that these wonderful aliens are the Aschen, who we last saw plotting Earth's destruction 10 years into the future. And then we spend the rest of the episode waiting for SG1 to figure out what we already know. There's plenty of hints along the way, which create a nice complicity as we know the subtext - 'That growth rate is unsustainable', 'You'll find we are very patient people', for example. I also really like the way this episode fills in some of the missing story from 2010, as we actually see how Earth could be taken in by the Aschen, and how Jack's suspicion that they're too good to be true takes root.

            I absolutely love that about this episode. Normally tv series spend most of the time trying to not give it away before the event but here, we know exactly what's coming every step - including the little thing Sam has with Joe.
            Actually here, I believe the audience tension doesn't come from knowing what the Aschen are and the bullet we dodge (because you can be fairly certain from the start that as the forewarned ones we will dodge said bullet), but it comes from what happens to change that. In the original timeline it is strongly hinted that Jack's raises seemingly unfounded objections that eventually alienate him from the SGC and the rest of SG-1; a schism that we see causes a lot of bitterness between him and Sam in particular. When I first watched this episode I kept waiting to see that tension play out. Actually I was slightly disapointed that it wasn't really there because it certainly would have fit in well with the current state of play for their relationship and would have added an interesting layer ongoing.



            But I have one complaint with the political side of the storyline, and that is the idea that the President is under pressure to have results because of the upcoming election! I mean, seriously, the Stargate Program is the most closely guarded secret in the United States - it's hardly going to be a vote-loser if he hasn't brought home enough shiny alien tech

            I am glad you picked up on that little nit because it's one thing that bugs me about this episode. Much as I love to hate Kinsey, here the whole point seems to be to build up the idea that we really need what the Aschen is offering and there will be rolling heads if it doesn't happen. In fact it's the opposite; in the alternate timeline what we see is the Aschen deal does go through and then head do, kind of, roll. At least Jack's does inasfar as his involvement in the Stargate project is concerned and, face it, that's something Kinsey really wanted after all.

            One other nit I have about this episode is the very end when Sam's lying on the ramp and the reactions of the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond. They just seem a bit... um, businesslike to me. You'd think there would be more concern from the fact she's just been ejected from a wormhole ina very awkward way and is clearly hurt. You'd also think there would be more reaction to wwhat the Aschen were about to to, and the fact Joe got left behind. Bearing in mind they went knowing something was not quite right and expecting possible trouble but not really knowing quite what it was. I just think they under-reacted a bit all round there. Maybe that's just me but it's always bugged me.



            Another little thing related to this is Jack's reaction to Sam agreeing to go on a date with Joe, just before Sam and Joe go back through the gate, or rather non-reaction. However he instantly makes a point of talking about retirement - again this could be an attach of shippervision, but could this be a bit of a dig? Reminding Sam of the alternative?

            I find that comment and the timing of it very significant. Again, it's a foreboding of the timeline we see in 2010 where he does retire but loses out on Sam too. We've done a fair bit of speculation about whether there was something that went on between them before they fell out and I think this is, again, a foreboding of the fact there was. One of those very subtle ways TPTB have of saying "yes, they did kind of, sort of, almost hook up, maybe even did for a brief period but it didn't work out because the whole thing with the Aschen doomed it". There's definitely a bit of male posturing going on here with Jack where Sam is concerned; it's something he has done a bit with her other suitors but never quite so overtly as he does in this episode.

            It's also interesting to bring up the Doomed AU theory here. I believe this theory can be credited to Jenn who may wish to elaborate, but the basic premise is, in any AU where Sam and Jack do get together before the time of Threads their lives and Earth in that universe is doomed. In any AU where they don't hook up after Threads that universe is doomed. Threads being the pivotal point in every timeline where they are destined to get together.
            This episode - coupled with 2010 is another piece of evidence to support that theory.
            And I think I'll just leave it at that or we'll be deep into AU territory and I have no desire to break out the AU Aspirin this late (early) at night (morning).



            One other point about Joe; you have to feel a bit sorry for Sam don't you. I mean two dead suitors in two episodes. She's never going to catch a break.
            Seriously though, Joe is about the only one of Sam's "suitors" that I ever really saw her actually reciprocating that feeling. She is very warm to him in this episode and the fact we see them as a couple in the other timeline is indication that it could have / would have gone that far. Even so, I never get the same feel for her other suitors as I do about Joe. With them it always seemed more a case of being flattered by the attention and I honestly think Sam is sometimes (ok, pretty much all the time) completely unaware what a great catch she is for any guy.


            And one final, final thing I noticed: Joe comments when Sam is showing him around the SGC that "this place never ceases to amaze me". Just an overwhelmed comment on having seen a lot, or has he been there before?
            I never noticed that before but I'd interpret this as being his first visit to the SGC and just an expression of being overwhelmed by how much he's seen.
            Last edited by Cagranosalis; May 28, 2010, 04:11 PM.
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            Comment


              And one final, final thing I noticed: Joe comments when Sam is showing him around the SGC that "this place never ceases to amaze me". Just an overwhelmed comment on having seen a lot, or has he been there before?
              Just a thought. But his comment could simply mean that since whenever he first heard about the Stargate program, the whole idea of it "never ceases to amaze" him, rather than that he's actually been there before. And now seeing it for (perhaps) the first time [he was quite startled when the kawoosh happened, and I'm not sure he would be if he'd seen it a time or two before this], even more it "never ceases to amaze" him. (*Just my two cents worth.*)

              One other nit I have about this episode is the very end when Sam's lying on the ramp and the reactions of the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond. They just seem a bit... um, businesslike to me. You'd think there would be more concern from the fact she's just been ejected from a wormhole ina very awkward way and is clearly hurt. You'd also think there would be more reaction to wwhat the Aschen were about to to, and the fact Joe got left behind. Bearing in mind they went knowing something was not quite right and expecting possible trouble but not really knowing quite what it was. I just think they under-reacted a bit all round there. Maybe that's just me but it's always bugged me.
              That part always bugged me, too. Considering how many times Sam has run to one of her injured teammates on arriving back through the gate and touching them or helping them up, you'd think at least Hammond (who has also often hurried to an injured person on the ramp), if not one of her teammates would gone to her. However, this subject has been discussed quite sometime back (sorry, I can't find it since I don't recall the date it was discussed), and apparently (IIRC) it was scripted that at least one of them was supposed to go to her, but it was at the end of the day filming and everybody was tired, and nobody wanted to add more filming (perhaps the framing of them going to her would have taken longer than the scene as it was shown) to an already long day of filming. So the guys just all basically said "no, we're not doing it that way". (*stinkers*)
              Last edited by hedwig; May 28, 2010, 04:51 PM.

              Comment


                Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                One other nit I have about this episode is the very end when Sam's lying on the ramp and the reactions of the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond. They just seem a bit... um, businesslike to me. You'd think there would be more concern from the fact she's just been ejected from a wormhole ina very awkward way and is clearly hurt. You'd also think there would be more reaction to wwhat the Aschen were about to to, and the fact Joe got left behind. Bearing in mind they went knowing something was not quite right and expecting possible trouble but not really knowing quite what it was. I just think they under-reacted a bit all round there. Maybe that's just me but it's always bugged me.
                I always thought of it as they were all annoyed by Kinsey at that point and since there was already a medic with Sam - plus knowing that Sam wouldn't want to show any more weakness in front of them - they decided to let Kinsey spout his bluster and deflect things away from the focus on Sam.

                I also think they knew that things were going to go wrong between Sam/Joe & the Aschen on the planet, so weren't really surprised when Sam came through 'hot'.
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                  Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                  I absolutely love that about this episode. Normally tv series spend most of the time trying to not give it away before the event but here, we know exactly what's coming every step - including the little thing Sam has with Joe.
                  Actually here, I believe the audience tension doesn't come from knowing what the Aschen are and the bullet we dodge (because you can be fairly certain from the start that as the forewarned ones we will dodge said bullet), but it comes from what happens to change that. In the original timeline it is strongly hinted that Jack's raises seemingly unfounded objections that eventually alienate him from the SGC and the rest of SG-1; a schism that we see causes a lot of bitterness between him and Sam in particular. When I first watched this episode I kept waiting to see that tension play out. Actually I was slightly disapointed that it wasn't really there because it certainly would have fit in well with the current state of play for their relationship and would have added an interesting layer ongoing.
                  Absolutely, it's a great reversal of the normal narrative structure. I was looking for more tension with Jack too when I first saw it, but I think we do see the seeds of it here and I think that had this timeline gone down the same route as in 2010 it would have built from this kind of point. The confrontation between Jack and Kinsey I think fills in a gap here - that Kinsey's pushing would put Jack's back up more, and exacerbate the tension. But of course also in this timeline Daniel and Teal'c discover the skeletons in the Aschen closet before they sign up with them, so Jack wasn't alone in his suspicions, and perhaps then felt less out on a limb.

                  I am glad you picked up on that little nit because it's one thing that bugs me about this episode. Much as I love to hate Kinsey, here the whole point seems to be to build up the idea that we really need what the Aschen is offering and there will be rolling heads if it doesn't happen. In fact it's the opposite; in the alternate timeline what we see is the Aschen deal does go through and then head do, kind of, roll. At least Jack's does inasfar as his involvement in the Stargate project is concerned and, face it, that's something Kinsey really wanted after all.
                  Exactly! It's always been implied that very few people, especially civilians, know about the SGC - hence why it's Kinsey that's on their back the whole time because he does know. And it's a source of power for him that he does - as compare the way he lords it over Hayes in Inauguration because he was always in on the secret.

                  One other nit I have about this episode is the very end when Sam's lying on the ramp and the reactions of the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond. They just seem a bit... um, businesslike to me. You'd think there would be more concern from the fact she's just been ejected from a wormhole ina very awkward way and is clearly hurt. You'd also think there would be more reaction to wwhat the Aschen were about to to, and the fact Joe got left behind. Bearing in mind they went knowing something was not quite right and expecting possible trouble but not really knowing quite what it was. I just think they under-reacted a bit all round there. Maybe that's just me but it's always bugged me.
                  Yes, that bugs me too, it makes the episode end rather flat. But I like the explanations from hedwig and KayLyne, even though it's still an odd lack of reaction.

                  I find that comment and the timing of it very significant. Again, it's a foreboding of the timeline we see in 2010 where he does retire but loses out on Sam too. We've done a fair bit of speculation about whether there was something that went on between them before they fell out and I think this is, again, a foreboding of the fact there was. One of those very subtle ways TPTB have of saying "yes, they did kind of, sort of, almost hook up, maybe even did for a brief period but it didn't work out because the whole thing with the Aschen doomed it". There's definitely a bit of male posturing going on here with Jack where Sam is concerned; it's something he has done a bit with her other suitors but never quite so overtly as he does in this episode.
                  Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one who noticed that! I was worried I was over-shippifying

                  One other point about Joe; you have to feel a bit sorry for Sam don't you. I mean two dead suitors in two episodes. She's never going to catch a break.
                  Seriously though, Joe is about the only one of Sam's "suitors" that I ever really saw her actually reciprocating that feeling. She is very warm to him in this episode and the fact we see them as a couple in the other timeline is indication that it could have / would have gone that far. Even so, I never get the same feel for her other suitors as I do about Joe. With them it always seemed more a case of being flattered by the attention and I honestly think Sam is sometimes (ok, pretty much all the time) completely unaware what a great catch she is for any guy.
                  I agree - she is very warm towards him and I think it's quite easy to see how they went on from this point and ended up together in the other timeline. Plus, tbh, Joe is actually the only one of Sam's suitors that I can actually stomach Yes he was a slimeball in 2010 with the sterility thing, but I do think he genuinely had no idea of the extent of it and I think that mostly in both episodes he's guilty of being too trusting.
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                    Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                    It's also interesting to bring up the Doomed AU theory here. I believe this theory can be credited to Jenn who may wish to elaborate, but the basic premise is, in any AU where Sam and Jack do get together before the time of Threads their lives and Earth in that universe is doomed. In any AU where they don't hook up after Threads that universe is doomed. Threads being the pivotal point in every timeline where they are destined to get together.
                    This episode - coupled with 2010 is another piece of evidence to support that theory.
                    And I think I'll just leave it at that or we'll be deep into AU territory and I have no desire to break out the AU Aspirin this late (early) at night (morning).
                    Is Jenn a real name of VSS? Because I'm pretty sure it's VSS' theory, but not being a member of the Appreciation thread I don't know your names.

                    Not having seen "2001" in a very long time I don't have much to add. re: Joe, I also like him - possibly the best out of all Sam's suitors - and I agree that he's the only one whose feelings I can see Sam reciprocating.

                    re: Jack and his attitude towards the Aschen. I often come across the complaints that in light of this ep Jack's behaviour in "2010" was exaggerated and childish because obviously he was as taken by them as everyone else on Earth. IMO folks tend to forget that this is a different timeline, different planet and different circumstances. I agree that Jack isn't as suspicious as we were led to believe in 2010 he would be, but then we don't know what set his alarm off during their first meeting in the original timeline. This time apparently things went smoothly.

                    On a completely different note, are we going to continue the rewatch during summer?
                    There's a good chance this opinion is shared by Ashizuri
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                      Originally posted by Petra View Post
                      Is Jenn a real name of VSS? Because I'm pretty sure it's VSS' theory, but not being a member of the Appreciation thread I don't know your names.
                      No I was thinking of JenniferJF but I think you may be right and it's actually VSS's theory. Whomever did come up with it deserves and lot of green because it's a beautiful theory.


                      re: Jack and his attitude towards the Aschen. I often come across the complaints that in light of this ep Jack's behaviour in "2010" was exaggerated and childish because obviously he was as taken by them as everyone else on Earth. IMO folks tend to forget that this is a different timeline, different planet and different circumstances. I agree that Jack isn't as suspicious as we were led to believe in 2010 he would be, but then we don't know what set his alarm off during their first meeting in the original timeline. This time apparently things went smoothly.
                      Absolutely. What's more, in this timeline we have the benefit of the note which is going to plant seeds of suspicion anyway. Although to start with we don't know that the note relates to these people my guess is they same kind of early investigations into their origins would have taken place - in the original timeline no red flags were raised but in this one, the huge honkin' "this could be the guys we warned ourselves about" signpost probably tempered everyone else's reactions and made them much more sympathetic to Jack's wariness. Thus the antagonism is averted.



                      On a completely different note, are we going to continue the rewatch during summer?
                      Yes if enough people want to do the reviews. although we might break for a week or two if there's holidays etc.
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                        Originally posted by Petra View Post

                        re: Jack and his attitude towards the Aschen. I often come across the complaints that in light of this ep Jack's behaviour in "2010" was exaggerated and childish because obviously he was as taken by them as everyone else on Earth. IMO folks tend to forget that this is a different timeline, different planet and different circumstances. I agree that Jack isn't as suspicious as we were led to believe in 2010 he would be, but then we don't know what set his alarm off during their first meeting in the original timeline. This time apparently things went smoothly.
                        This is a really good point, and I think in all the (completely understandable) excitement about 2001 giving us an insight into what happened in 2010, it's easy to forget that the circumstances in which we meet the Aschen are not the same, and therefore even though how it plays out in terms of reactions is likely to be broadly similar, there's no reason to think that it would have played out in exactly the same way and ended up with precisely the same result in terms of Jack's estrangement from SG1.
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                          Recap

                          A dying billionaire called Adrian Conrad obtains a symbiote from those pesky Russians who had sneakily been keeping their very own Jaffa all this time. The billionaire has a very serious illness and needs the symbiote as the only means to save his life. Slight snag though; they know how to put a symbiote in someone but how do you get they out again afterwards...although... oh we’ll wait for the review part of that shall we. . Cue Carter being kidnapped as she holds the key (apparently) to successfully freeing a symbiote from a host. A whole bunch of guys-we-love-to-hate show up to both help and hinder Jack and co. Oh and there’s a Crazy Homeless Guy who provides comic relief and and bonds with Jack over a shared love of National Geographics (I always thought Jack hoarded an entirely different sort of magazine in his cupboards). SG-1 - with the help/hinderance of Maybourne - rescue Sam (but not before she has a bloody good go at rescuing herself), Jack makes good on his promise to share his magazine collection with the Crazy Homeless Guy, Maybourne makes his escape and Simmons somehow manages to get even smarmier and more evil by shooting Jack and making off with the Goa’ulded Adrian Conrad.



                          Favourite Line

                          Daniel: "I said I think I just electrocuted myself, do you have any idea what that feels like?" <zats two baddies> "Something like that."



                          Favourite Scene

                          Every single Jack/Maybourne scene. I love those two together.



                          Review

                          For me this is an episode which I am quite divided over. On one hand, there’s a lot that I adore about it (a lot more on that in a minute) but I’m just so not a fan of completely earth based conspiracy theory type episodes and this is, essentially, just that. It’s well done though and there’s so much good stuff that I can see beyond my natural prejudice to really enjoy it.

                          The whole idea that there is this billionaire who will stop and nothing – not even murder – to save his own life is an interesting moral debate in its own right. I know that it was supposedly Conrad’s orders not to kill Sam (or rather he had not yet authorised that course of action) but, thinking about it, this is at odds with what he has already done to obtain the symbiote; several Russian guards were killed in retrieving the Jaffa and, presumably, the Jaffa himself. I never really understood that moment between the doctors and the girlfriend about that since it seems to me he’d have no moral difficulty doing so at this stage. I assume it was done merely to verbally express what we were visually about to see in order to build some extra tension.

                          There is one moment during this episode where I go ”Doh!” because it seems such an obvious thing. A whole big deal is made about how special Sam is because she has the key to finding out how to remove symbiotes from hosts blah blah blah. Then there’s the discussion with Conrad – the explanation, again for the audience’s sake in case we haven’t figured out the connection – that Conrad explains his predicament to Sam. You have to wonder why Sam doesn’t just say “ok, right, so go ahead and have the symbiote put in; I’ve got some mates out there who can remove it again, no problem” In other words the Tok’ra have been able to remove symbiotes for...oh at least a couple of seasons because they freed Skaara from Klorel (then again, there’s a whole heap of inconsistency around the removal of symbiotes from hosts and it seems to be script-dependent whether it can be done and the fate of the host/symbiote if it is but that’s another discussion). Why, at this point, if you were Sam, would you not at least mention that if only to bargain for some time/your life? It’s not like they didn’t know about the Stargate at all. Did she not realise how precarious her situation was? Then if she had, we probably would not have had that rather dramatic rescue so I can’t complain.

                          There’s also another tale here, in the dangers of playing with these things without understanding what you are doing. How easily was it for the goa’uld to convince Conrad’s girlfriend that Conrad was in control and not the goa’uld? Because these people have no experience of them and no idea what they are capable of they are easily manipulated by the goa’uld and, actually, they are playing with things – medically – that they know nothing about. There’s a great little foreshadowing here too; Janet mentions something along the lines of extracting the health restoring properties of the symbiote which, of course, is something that does get explored in a lot more detail later in the next season.

                          Can I just take a moment to gush heartily about how wonderful it always is to see Jack and Maybourne working together. There are some guest/recurring characters theat I just adore seeing every single time and Maybourne is one of them, mostly because I love his dynamic with Jack; the antagonism, the way there’s this grudging respect for each other...it’s always great to see. And this is by far from the best of the best of Jack/Maybourne stuff

                          I also like seeing Simmons here too. I mean yes, he’s up to no good, disrespectful to Jack, a pain and generally out for his own agenda but that is what made him great. It’s really a shame we didn’t have more of him to hate during the series. I love the way Jack makes no bones about what he thinks of the man here; he’s aggressive and snarky and that, I would imagine, is a pretty unbecoming attitude to be having whilst wearing that uniform but, hey, Jack doesn’t care. That’s Jack all over. I love him for it!

                          On the more technical side I want to take a moment to admire the clever camerawork and direction in this episode. If you look at the scenes of Sam in the hospital there’s a lot of very different camera angles and fish eye lensing and various clever techniques; some of them are a bit obvious/overdone actually, but that’s rather the point because it brings out a slightly film noir feel which, coupled with the score and that kind of open ending really does make the whole conspiracy/earthbound aspect of it far more interesting and watchable.

                          And one little scene that I love and deserves a mention is the clever little scene which I have to mention here; When Maybourne goes to see Conrad’s aide/girlfriend and he does that little thing with the toy cannon. I just love the subtle implication of a threat here.



                          Implications For Sam & Jack

                          Sam is missing and Jack will stop at nothing to find her. In his own words "If I have to spend the rest of my life in this building getting to the bottom of this...".

                          When I’ve watched this in the past I always felt slightly frustrated by Jack’s lack of... passion (for want of a better word) over Sam’s predicament. He doesn’t, on the surface, seem overly bothered by her disappearance but, actually, in re-watching I think it’s all there and very much a case of still waters running deep.

                          Firstly there’s two briefing room scenes; the first just after Sam is taken when Jack is clearly concerned and makes it obvious that he intends to investigate even though it’s not in his jurisdiction to do so. Although all of SG-1 is there, the focus is very much on Jack and his reaction. Later on in another briefing room scene after we learn a little more about what has happened just check out his expression here. He does not want to be there at all; he wants to be out looking for her. It’s masked but it’s there.

                          Later after Maybourne suggests Sam might not be coming back, there is a longish lingering reaction shot on Jack. Again, not much on the surface until you understand the nuances if Jack’s behaviour and realise this is not a man who regularly wears his heart on his sleeve. In fact, he’s got such a good poker face that even Sam ends up believing he no longer cares about her and if she can’t see it, how are we supposed to! The very fact that Jack goes to such great lengths to find her (and boy does he rack up some air miles going so) is pretty telling. Would he do the same to Teal’c or Daniel? Yes, probably but he’d probably be less afraid to show his anger/frustration/worry if it were one of them.
                          Then there’s the scene with Simmons where his frustration does start to show through. By now I’d imagine he’s good and worried and more than a little scared by what Maybourne has suggested so being stonewalled by Simmons who was stupid enough to let him stew on it was not a great move.

                          And then we have that dramatic rescue (which I love, by the way, not least because they almost break the fourth wall by acknowledging how dramatic is was). I keep flashing my mind back to other “near misses” at times of stress. In the past Jack has not been afraid to show his relief and give Sam either a hug or a smile or some sign that he’s glad she’s ok. He’s done this with people there too so it’s not that he’s in a room with others present that makes him hold back; it would be perfectly acceptable for him to have grabbed her into a hug and given her a quick comforting squeeze here... but he doesn’t. This is almost like the last episode and Jack’s lack of concern over Sam’s injuries while she is lying on the ramp; Does he hold back because he’s not concerned or does he hold back because he doesn’t want others – and more importantly her – to see just how concerned he was?

                          All of this leads me to conclude that, by this point, Jack’s reached a nice little niche of self-denial. He doesn’t want to admit even to himself how worrying it is seeing her in danger – he’s been there, done that and it almost tore him apart – and he can’t let himself care that much for her again. Which is a bit of a bummer really because it’s not like he’s really got much say in the matter. Shame it took him another 3+ years to work that out.
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                            Recap
                            Spoiler:

                            A dying billionaire called Adrian Conrad obtains a symbiote from those pesky Russians who had sneakily been keeping their very own Jaffa all this time. The billionaire has a very serious illness and needs the symbiote as the only means to save his life. Slight snag though; they know how to put a symbiote in someone but how do you get they out again afterwards...although... oh we’ll wait for the review part of that shall we. . Cue Carter being kidnapped as she holds the key (apparently) to successfully freeing a symbiote from a host. A whole bunch of guys-we-love-to-hate show up to both help and hinder Jack and co. Oh and there’s a Crazy Homeless Guy who provides comic relief and and bonds with Jack over a shared love of National Geographics (I always thought Jack hoarded an entirely different sort of magazine in his cupboards). SG-1 - with the help/hinderance of Maybourne - rescue Sam (but not before she has a bloody good go at rescuing herself), Jack makes good on his promise to share his magazine collection with the Crazy Homeless Guy, Maybourne makes his escape and Simmons somehow manages to get even smarmier and more evil by shooting Jack and making off with the Goa’ulded Adrian Conrad.

                            Favourite Line

                            Daniel: "I said I think I just electrocuted myself, do you have any idea what that feels like?" <zats two baddies> "Something like that."

                            Favourite Scene

                            Every single Jack/Maybourne scene. I love those two together.

                            Review

                            For me this is an episode which I am quite divided over. On one hand, there’s a lot that I adore about it (a lot more on that in a minute) but I’m just so not a fan of completely earth based conspiracy theory type episodes and this is, essentially, just that. It’s well done though and there’s so much good stuff that I can see beyond my natural prejudice to really enjoy it.

                            The whole idea that there is this billionaire who will stop and nothing – not even murder – to save his own life is an interesting moral debate in its own right. I know that it was supposedly Conrad’s orders not to kill Sam (or rather he had not yet authorised that course of action) but, thinking about it, this is at odds with what he has already done to obtain the symbiote; several Russian guards were killed in retrieving the Jaffa and, presumably, the Jaffa himself. I never really understood that moment between the doctors and the girlfriend about that since it seems to me he’d have no moral difficulty doing so at this stage. I assume it was done merely to verbally express what we were visually about to see in order to build some extra tension.

                            There is one moment during this episode where I go ”Doh!” because it seems such an obvious thing. A whole big deal is made about how special Sam is because she has the key to finding out how to remove symbiotes from hosts blah blah blah. Then there’s the discussion with Conrad – the explanation, again for the audience’s sake in case we haven’t figured out the connection – that Conrad explains his predicament to Sam. You have to wonder why Sam doesn’t just say “ok, right, so go ahead and have the symbiote put in; I’ve got some mates out there who can remove it again, no problem” In other words the Tok’ra have been able to remove symbiotes for...oh at least a couple of seasons because they freed Skaara from Klorel (then again, there’s a whole heap of inconsistency around the removal of symbiotes from hosts and it seems to be script-dependent whether it can be done and the fate of the host/symbiote if it is but that’s another discussion). Why, at this point, if you were Sam, would you not at least mention that if only to bargain for some time/your life? It’s not like they didn’t know about the Stargate at all. Did she not realise how precarious her situation was? Then if she had, we probably would not have had that rather dramatic rescue so I can’t complain.

                            There’s also another tale here, in the dangers of playing with these things without understanding what you are doing. How easily was it for the goa’uld to convince Conrad’s girlfriend that Conrad was in control and not the goa’uld? Because these people have no experience of them and no idea what they are capable of they are easily manipulated by the goa’uld and, actually, they are playing with things – medically – that they know nothing about. There’s a great little foreshadowing here too; Janet mentions something along the lines of extracting the health restoring properties of the symbiote which, of course, is something that does get explored in a lot more detail later in the next season.

                            Can I just take a moment to gush heartily about how wonderful it always is to see Jack and Maybourne working together. There are some guest/recurring characters theat I just adore seeing every single time and Maybourne is one of them, mostly because I love his dynamic with Jack; the antagonism, the way there’s this grudging respect for each other...it’s always great to see. And this is by far from the best of the best of Jack/Maybourne stuff

                            I also like seeing Simmons here too. I mean yes, he’s up to no good, disrespectful to Jack, a pain and generally out for his own agenda but that is what made him great. It’s really a shame we didn’t have more of him to hate during the series. I love the way Jack makes no bones about what he thinks of the man here; he’s aggressive and snarky and that, I would imagine, is a pretty unbecoming attitude to be having whilst wearing that uniform but, hey, Jack doesn’t care. That’s Jack all over. I love him for it!

                            On the more technical side I want to take a moment to admire the clever camerawork and direction in this episode. If you look at the scenes of Sam in the hospital there’s a lot of very different camera angles and fish eye lensing and various clever techniques; some of them are a bit obvious/overdone actually, but that’s rather the point because it brings out a slightly film noir feel which, coupled with the score and that kind of open ending really does make the whole conspiracy/earthbound aspect of it far more interesting and watchable.

                            And one little scene that I love and deserves a mention is the clever little scene which I have to mention here; When Maybourne goes to see Conrad’s aide/girlfriend and he does that little thing with the toy cannon. I just love the subtle implication of a threat here.

                            Implications For Sam & Jack

                            Sam is missing and Jack will stop at nothing to find her. In his own words "If I have to spend the rest of my life in this building getting to the bottom of this...".

                            When I’ve watched this in the past I always felt slightly frustrated by Jack’s lack of... passion (for want of a better word) over Sam’s predicament. He doesn’t, on the surface, seem overly bothered by her disappearance but, actually, in re-watching I think it’s all there and very much a case of still waters running deep.

                            Firstly there’s two briefing room scenes; the first just after Sam is taken when Jack is clearly concerned and makes it obvious that he intends to investigate even though it’s not in his jurisdiction to do so. Although all of SG-1 is there, the focus is very much on Jack and his reaction. Later on in another briefing room scene after we learn a little more about what has happened just check out his expression here. He does not want to be there at all; he wants to be out looking for her. It’s masked but it’s there.

                            Later after Maybourne suggests Sam might not be coming back, there is a longish lingering reaction shot on Jack. Again, not much on the surface until you understand the nuances if Jack’s behaviour and realise this is not a man who regularly wears his heart on his sleeve. In fact, he’s got such a good poker face that even Sam ends up believing he no longer cares about her and if she can’t see it, how are we supposed to! The very fact that Jack goes to such great lengths to find her (and boy does he rack up some air miles going so) is pretty telling. Would he do the same to Teal’c or Daniel? Yes, probably but he’d probably be less afraid to show his anger/frustration/worry if it were one of them.
                            Then there’s the scene with Simmons where his frustration does start to show through. By now I’d imagine he’s good and worried and more than a little scared by what Maybourne has suggested so being stonewalled by Simmons who was stupid enough to let him stew on it was not a great move.

                            And then we have that dramatic rescue (which I love, by the way, not least because they almost break the fourth wall by acknowledging how dramatic is was). I keep flashing my mind back to other “near misses” at times of stress. In the past Jack has not been afraid to show his relief and give Sam either a hug or a smile or some sign that he’s glad she’s ok. He’s done this with people there too so it’s not that he’s in a room with others present that makes him hold back; it would be perfectly acceptable for him to have grabbed her into a hug and given her a quick comforting squeeze here... but he doesn’t. This is almost like the last episode and Jack’s lack of concern over Sam’s injuries while she is lying on the ramp; Does he hold back because he’s not concerned or does he hold back because he doesn’t want others – and more importantly her – to see just how concerned he was?

                            All of this leads me to conclude that, by this point, Jack’s reached a nice little niche of self-denial. He doesn’t want to admit even to himself how worrying it is seeing her in danger – he’s been there, done that and it almost tore him apart – and he can’t let himself care that much for her again. Which is a bit of a bummer really because it’s not like he’s really got much say in the matter. Shame it took him another 3+ years to work that out.[/
                            I probably have more to say about this episode, but I've come to the conclusion it is more about Jack than it is about Sam's disappearance/kidnapping. In watching it at times, I keep thinking what happened to Sam is really a secondary plot to the episode in order to show what lengths Jack will go to in finding Sam. And I've always disliked the ending with Sam and Hammond standing at Jack's beside in the infirmary. The focus is almost totally on or about him and hardly anything about Sam and what happened to her. In my opinion, she should have been confined to the infirmary for a few days after what she'd been through, what with all the drugs that had likely been pumped into her (because of Jolinar, she has to be given more drugs in order for them to work properly [as was shown in "Foothold" when she was groggy and tired for hours afterwards]). If my calculations are correct, she was a prisoner for about 5 days, during which she was drugged into unconscious for most of it. She was in hospital scrubs and I'm pretty sure there were no women around to get her into them, so those "doctors" likely did it, and they didn't treat her very carefully or nicely. I doubt they gave her much of anything to eat. So she had to be pretty darned weak and disoriented after all that stuff, and was likely running around on an adrenaline rush after Jack released her from her restraints. And I don't buy any excuse she may have made to Janet that she was "fine" and therefore Janet released her to move around the SGC freely (she is, after all, dressed in her BDU's there at Jack's beside). She looks like she's definitely [B]not[/] fine, and I'd even suggest she looks pale and ill at ease. I felt like the writers simply dismissed her experience in order to focus on poor Jack (not that I have a problem with that, just that there should have been more focus on Sam at that point).
                            Last edited by hedwig; May 31, 2010, 03:08 PM.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                              Yes if enough people want to do the reviews. although we might break for a week or two if there's holidays etc.
                              Oh, cool Whenever you start gathering people willing to do the reviews, let me know, 'cos I volunteer.

                              When I’ve watched this in the past I always felt slightly frustrated by Jack’s lack of... passion (for want of a better word) over Sam’s predicament. He doesn’t, on the surface, seem overly bothered by her disappearance but, actually, in re-watching I think it’s all there and very much a case of still waters running deep.
                              Again, I haven't seen the episode in years, but isn't it the one when Jack gives up all his National Geographics, which he probably had been collecting for years, without the slightest hesitation on the off chance that a crazy homeless guy may say something useful? That for me is a pretty desperate move. In fact, while I know that the title of the ep was probably meant to be tied with Conrad, for me it was always about Jack and how far he'd go to save one of his teammates (for whom coincidentally he feels more than he should ). I can't say I've ever noticed his "lack of passion", as you put it - I always saw urgency, fear and desperation that spoke volumes.

                              Originally posted by hedwig
                              I probably have more to say about this episode, but I've come to the conclusion it is more about Jack than it is about Sam's disappearance/kidnapping. In watching it at times, I keep thinking what happened to Sam is really a secondary plot to the episode in order to show what lengths Jack will go to in finding Sam. And I've always disliked the ending with Sam and Hammond standing at Jack's beside in the infirmary. The focus is almost totally on or about him and hardly anything about Sam and what happened to her.

                              *snipped for length*
                              That's a good point. I've never given much thought to the physical state Sam must have been in (and how violated she must have felt) at the end of the episode, but you are right, she should have been in the infirmary as a patient too.

                              However, I agree with your first line: I've always seen DM as Jack (or Jack/Maybourne) ep and Sam having a secondary plot, more for the sake of providing the reason for the main plot that for the sake of her own story, if that makes sense. And in light of that the focus on Jack at the end makes sense to me and I can't say I'm overly bothered.
                              There's a good chance this opinion is shared by Ashizuri
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                              awesome sig by Josiane

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                                Great review Cags

                                Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                                There is one moment during this episode where I go ”Doh!” because it seems such an obvious thing. A whole big deal is made about how special Sam is because she has the key to finding out how to remove symbiotes from hosts blah blah blah. Then there’s the discussion with Conrad – the explanation, again for the audience’s sake in case we haven’t figured out the connection – that Conrad explains his predicament to Sam. You have to wonder why Sam doesn’t just say “ok, right, so go ahead and have the symbiote put in; I’ve got some mates out there who can remove it again, no problem” In other words the Tok’ra have been able to remove symbiotes for...oh at least a couple of seasons because they freed Skaara from Klorel (then again, there’s a whole heap of inconsistency around the removal of symbiotes from hosts and it seems to be script-dependent whether it can be done and the fate of the host/symbiote if it is but that’s another discussion). Why, at this point, if you were Sam, would you not at least mention that if only to bargain for some time/your life? It’s not like they didn’t know about the Stargate at all. Did she not realise how precarious her situation was? Then if she had, we probably would not have had that rather dramatic rescue so I can’t complain.
                                Yeah, that is an oddity. I have to admit I'd never really thought about that but you're right. SG1 can be guilty at times of conveniently glossing over inconsistencies to improve dramatic tension though, tbh.

                                There’s also another tale here, in the dangers of playing with these things without understanding what you are doing. How easily was it for the goa’uld to convince Conrad’s girlfriend that Conrad was in control and not the goa’uld? Because these people have no experience of them and no idea what they are capable of they are easily manipulated by the goa’uld and, actually, they are playing with things – medically – that they know nothing about. There’s a great little foreshadowing here too; Janet mentions something along the lines of extracting the health restoring properties of the symbiote which, of course, is something that does get explored in a lot more detail later in the next season.
                                Yes, and it's a microcosm of the whole Stargate project really - this theme of messing with things you don't understand comes up again and again for SG1 so it's nice to see it explored here kind of from the other side - what happens when less moral/good characters get in over their heads. It's a bit like the rogue NID episodes from earlier in the series, like Shades of Grey, come to think.

                                Can I just take a moment to gush heartily about how wonderful it always is to see Jack and Maybourne working together. There are some guest/recurring characters theat I just adore seeing every single time and Maybourne is one of them, mostly because I love his dynamic with Jack; the antagonism, the way there’s this grudging respect for each other...it’s always great to see. And this is by far from the best of the best of Jack/Maybourne stuff
                                Hear hear! I adore Jack and Maybourne, they're just brilliant together

                                Implications For Sam & Jack

                                Sam is missing and Jack will stop at nothing to find her. In his own words "If I have to spend the rest of my life in this building getting to the bottom of this...".

                                When I’ve watched this in the past I always felt slightly frustrated by Jack’s lack of... passion (for want of a better word) over Sam’s predicament. He doesn’t, on the surface, seem overly bothered by her disappearance but, actually, in re-watching I think it’s all there and very much a case of still waters running deep.

                                Firstly there’s two briefing room scenes; the first just after Sam is taken when Jack is clearly concerned and makes it obvious that he intends to investigate even though it’s not in his jurisdiction to do so. Although all of SG-1 is there, the focus is very much on Jack and his reaction. Later on in another briefing room scene after we learn a little more about what has happened just check out his expression here. He does not want to be there at all; he wants to be out looking for her. It’s masked but it’s there.

                                Later after Maybourne suggests Sam might not be coming back, there is a longish lingering reaction shot on Jack. Again, not much on the surface until you understand the nuances if Jack’s behaviour and realise this is not a man who regularly wears his heart on his sleeve. In fact, he’s got such a good poker face that even Sam ends up believing he no longer cares about her and if she can’t see it, how are we supposed to! The very fact that Jack goes to such great lengths to find her (and boy does he rack up some air miles going so) is pretty telling. Would he do the same to Teal’c or Daniel? Yes, probably but he’d probably be less afraid to show his anger/frustration/worry if it were one of them.
                                Then there’s the scene with Simmons where his frustration does start to show through. By now I’d imagine he’s good and worried and more than a little scared by what Maybourne has suggested so being stonewalled by Simmons who was stupid enough to let him stew on it was not a great move.

                                And then we have that dramatic rescue (which I love, by the way, not least because they almost break the fourth wall by acknowledging how dramatic is was). I keep flashing my mind back to other “near misses” at times of stress. In the past Jack has not been afraid to show his relief and give Sam either a hug or a smile or some sign that he’s glad she’s ok. He’s done this with people there too so it’s not that he’s in a room with others present that makes him hold back; it would be perfectly acceptable for him to have grabbed her into a hug and given her a quick comforting squeeze here... but he doesn’t. This is almost like the last episode and Jack’s lack of concern over Sam’s injuries while she is lying on the ramp; Does he hold back because he’s not concerned or does he hold back because he doesn’t want others – and more importantly her – to see just how concerned he was?

                                All of this leads me to conclude that, by this point, Jack’s reached a nice little niche of self-denial. He doesn’t want to admit even to himself how worrying it is seeing her in danger – he’s been there, done that and it almost tore him apart – and he can’t let himself care that much for her again. Which is a bit of a bummer really because it’s not like he’s really got much say in the matter. Shame it took him another 3+ years to work that out.
                                Good analysis. I've never felt Jack shows a lack of passion - as Petra points out, he's willing to give up all those National Geographics for example - and I think he comes across as pretty single-minded here. I always view this episode as having a counterpart in season 6 with Smoke and Mirrors, where Sam's quest to clear Jack's name balances Jack's quest in this episode - in particular the going to the Pentagon scene with Jack and Simmons is really very like the scene where Sam goes to see Barrett. And I agree with hedwig and Petra that this really is a Jack episode - Sam's danger is there to showcase Jack's reaction, much like Entity.
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