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    Great review of one of my most favorite episodes - for all the reasons you've stated. Which doesn't leave much else to say.

    However, just for the record, my most favorite scene was the whole invitation to the wedding scene; I giggle every time I see it. I just love that look between Sam and Skaara over Jack's discomfort. Though part of me wonders when Sam ever got to know Skaara so well that they could share such good humor with each other. To me, it almost seems like Amanda and Alexis doing the grinning, more so than Sam and Skaara - if that makes any sense.

    One thing that bothered me a little bit (but not terribly) was how Daniel seemed rather dismissive of Sam, Teal'c and Jonas throughout the episode. That's just my observation, mind you, and may not have been the case. He seemed a little put out that Sam hadn't told Jack about the tablet or other information, and I keep finding myself wanting to tell him she didn't exactly have time to tell him much of anything, given they weren't in the same room long enough for her to pass it along.

    And I'm in agreement about how close Sam seems to stand near Jack much of the time. But I've also noticed this is not a new thing. She's been doing that since Children of the Gods; it's like second nature to her by now. (I want to say something like them being in each other's hip pockets a lot of the time, but don't quite know how to word that so it doesn't come out sounding guttery or whatever...).

    I liked the comment on how Daniel trusted Anubis to actually keep his word. Every time I see the episode, part of me keeps wanting to yell at him, "Don't do it, you fool! You can't be that naive!!!", and then I remember it's done and past and can't be changed, but I have pretty much the same reaction every time I see the episode.

    I was thinking I'm going to have to go back and listen to commentaries, because I wasn't remembering anything about the one for this episode, and then had a vague memory about a discussion on the set-up and carrying out of the blowing up of the pyramid on Abydos. Guess I'll have to go back and reacquaint myself with that commentary.

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      So, ladies and gentlemen:

      Anyone up for a debate?

      In "There But for the Grace of God", Daniel goes to the AU Earth which is already under attack from the Goa'uld. There are several huge differences between their universe and ours, the main two being that Daniel is not a member of the team (hence, no Abydos), and that Jack and Sam are engaged.

      So. The reasoning why OUR Jack and Sam don't get together has been well and truly discussed over the course of time, but one major theory is that neither Jack nor Sam are ready to delve into so close a relationship--loss issues, fear of failure, sense of not being good enough--yada yada yada.

      But why is AU O'Neill (A general, isn't he?) then able to dismiss those issues and enter into a committed, loving relationship with Sam SEVEN FULL YEARS before he is able to do that in our own reality? (I know we can't have firm answers here. . .) But what could have been so different in their reality that would give him the ability to dive in and become engaged less than a year after his divorce? (All timings being consistent, I mean.)

      Ready? Set? Discuss!
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        Full Circle

        Generally


        I have to admit that I just didn't like that they destroyed Abydos even if it continues to exist on some plane of existence thanks to Oma. I also have issues with them killing off the Asgard in the series' finale. It's kind of "we need something big and dramatic"/"Ohhh why don't we blow up Abydos!"

        On the other hand, Abydos is important enough to Daniel that it would be the thing that he is prepared to cross the line for and interfere. But yes, I agree. Why he makes the nonsensical agreement with Anubis is just...well, nonsensical.

        Sam and Jack

        I do think the wedding invitation was meant as a call back to the fishing invitations and therefore was meant to be a shippy reminder of "hey look, they like each other!"

        But apart from this, there is only the continuation of the relationship they'd worked out through season six. For me, by this time, they both individually are aware that they feel the same, that they love the other. But I think while Jack sometimes might debate whether Sam might feel something for him, ultimately I think both individually believe that the other only wants this great friendship dynamic that they've built in the wake of Daniel's death.
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          Originally posted by Akamaimom View Post
          So, ladies and gentlemen:

          Anyone up for a debate?

          In "There But for the Grace of God", Daniel goes to the AU Earth which is already under attack from the Goa'uld. There are several huge differences between their universe and ours, the main two being that Daniel is not a member of the team (hence, no Abydos), and that Jack and Sam are engaged.

          So. The reasoning why OUR Jack and Sam don't get together has been well and truly discussed over the course of time, but one major theory is that neither Jack nor Sam are ready to delve into so close a relationship--loss issues, fear of failure, sense of not being good enough--yada yada yada.

          But why is AU O'Neill (A general, isn't he?) then able to dismiss those issues and enter into a committed, loving relationship with Sam SEVEN FULL YEARS before he is able to do that in our own reality? (I know we can't have firm answers here. . .) But what could have been so different in their reality that would give him the ability to dive in and become engaged less than a year after his divorce? (All timings being consistent, I mean.)

          Ready? Set? Discuss!
          I think the easy answer is that it's an AU.

          But in all seriousness, that Jack isn't our Jack. Yes, he lost Charlie in the same way and around about the same time if their timeline is consistent as ours. But we really don't know anything else about this Jack. For me, he meets Sam during the first mission, she plays the "Daniel" role of going to Abydos with him and ensuring they get back. So Jack has known her for longer than our Jack has known our Sam at the point at which Daniel visits the AU. I also tend to think his relationship with Sara had already ended in divorce before Charlie or they were separated so the loss he is dealing with is Charlie's, not the double loss of a child and a marriage. Equally, we don't know that Sam lost her mother in this AU; all we know is that she decided not to join the military and is engaged to Jack. So there may be no loss for Sam to deal with. In addition, Jack has a desk job and Sam seems to be based in the SGC rather than on a team - relatively safer than them both risking life and limb in SG1. Plus, they don't seem to have the regulations to legitamately make them question whether a relationship between them is a good idea at all.

          By comparison, we know our Jack came back from Abydos ready to heal his marriage only to find Sara had left him. He's dealing with the loss of both child and marriage at the beginning of S1. With Sam, we know she lost her mother. When they meet, despite the flirting, they are both military and both aware that the regulations exist. And I think for the first year, the regulations was a legitimate reason, regardless of any deeper fears (because I don't think either of them had fallen so heavily for the other through S1 for them to be scared) for both of them to have a mental "I can't go there" when they felt the attraction. By the time they both get to the point where they are both willing to admit something (Nemesis/Small Victories) and then *have* to admit how deeply they feel (D&C), they've both faced additional losses in friends and colleagues - Sam's almost lost her father. Plus they serve together and have had some close calls of losing each other.

          However, while I subscribe to the theory that Jack actually does hide behind the regulations to mask his fears of loss, I also think had they had more time to talk after the confessions in D&C, had they had more time to simply be together in the room alone without the crisis and death of Martouf that followed, they may have come to a different conclusion and decided to give a relationship a try despite their fears (and possibly would have had issues because they hadn't worked through them enough) - but the moment is gone so quickly. and then Entity happens - and for me, Jack almost losing Sam in that incident then reinforces all the fears he has and so he retreats. And over the next year, Sam loses almost every man that has ever shown her an interest whether she returned their feelings or not - Orlin, Joe, Narim. And then they both lose Daniel. And then they find him again.

          Personally, I do think the next crossroads is Grace. Because I think if Sam had found the courage to talk with Jack himself after Grace, Jack would have equally tried to move past his fears for her, and they may have again tried a relationship (and again, may have had to deal with issues around their fears). But Sam doesn't find the courage, there's Pete, and another year goes by before both of them finally get their acts together.

          I think my point is this: the very fact that Jack and Sam are engaged in the AU for me indicates that there are huge differences in the emotional psyches of the Sam and Jack there compared to our Sam and Jack. And I think POV kind of substantiates this more: POV Sam is a very different Sam from ours.
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            Why AU S/J are together...

            I'm going to beat a bit of a dead horse here, I recent brought up the "Third Culture Kid" (google it, there's a lot out there on it).

            A aTCK (adult Third Culture Kid) tends to have a ton of left over problems from their childhood. Identity issues (because there's never a chance to really define oneself, additionally, in the case of a military child, there are strict rules that must be adhered to because the child's behavior can reflect poorly on the adult to the point that the parent could face punishment from a superior officer, so rebellion is a huge, huge no no).

            The fact that AU Sam never joined the military is huge and not because it meant regs weren't really an issue. It meant that somewhere she found an identity. One of the biggest things I notice about AU Sam is how very confident and self-assured she is. Not that our Sam isn't confident, but there's a layer there where she's trying to figure out where she fits. Uber macho-feminist? Soldier? Woman? Wife with a picket fence (Pete)? AU Sam is comfortable with tears, with admitting how she feels. Our Sam focuses her feelings elsewhere, denying herself to the point of despair (this is an aTCK characteristic - not only the difficulty in identifying what is wanted, but an underlying, almost superstitious feeling that if something is wanted/hoped for, it will be taken away suddenly - something that would have been reinforced in Sam by the death of her mother).

            My internal canon (to explain on screen behavior) is that AU Sam's mother never died, providing her with a stability that she didn't have otherwise. Her mother nurtured Sam and helped her grieve her losses as they moved, helped her through the natural difficulties of being an officer's daughter. Thus AU Sam didn't join the AF BUT she wasn't hostile towards the AF (why would she marry a military man if she was bitter?).

            It's not uncommon that aTCKs that don't have that sort of guidance will cling to whatever "system" they came from (missionary, military, etc) because they don't know anything else. Sam was clearly a capable scientist without the military which raises the question of why she joined. It's also somewhat telling that both Sams exhibit a tension that the other made an opposite decision (in PoV). In my own personal experience, I almost joined the USAF and reflecting on my almost decision, it was because I grew up in that world. But even then I wasn't PART of that world. I didn't and don't know what it's like to be an officer. I don't understand half the acronyms, but I know the rules for driving on base and what it's like to shop at the BX.

            Additionally, children with parents who are career military end up on their own - my parents could tell me how to find an apartment, but they rarely ever had to rent a uHaul for anything or navigate the civilian health market (and they still don't). It would be easier for me to have joined the USAF because they, and I, know how it works. Not being military has been thoroughly terrifying and I'm only just starting to feel comfortable (after seven years since having my childhood revoked via the return of my dependent ID). I can't visit my childhood anymore because my childhood is foreign countries and military bases - places closed off to me. It's an ambiguous loss that isn't recognized by the world around you.

            Our Sam kept her childhood and kept her military identity.

            But AU Sam decided to take a chance in a world and forge ahead in a way that our Sam didn't. Our Sam has likely never utilized anything but Tricare and has had the military pay for every move she's had to make. AU Sam has to negotiate wages and health care (although as a civilian contractor she probably has access to a lot of military resources, I assume anyway, I don't know that piece very well).

            And that's my five page explanation.

            As for Jack...I'll leave that in someone else's hands.

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              I don't really have anything to say about Full Circle that hasn't been said. Other than the wedding invite I don't find much shippy about it. And I agree with Rachel that I was annoyed by the destruction of Abydos (and the whole planet ascending), as well as the mass suicide of the Asgard in S10 (almost the worst series finale ever). In both cases I think they could have found a way to tell the story and still make it exciting and meaningful without those events.

              I'm also going to voice my probably very unpopular opinion here and say that I think the regs were the main thing keeping Sam and Jack apart. While I think Jack probably did feel he might have been too old and jaded for Sam (and I doubt he believed he or anyone could ever really be good enough for her), and Sam probably prefered the order and disciple of science and military regulations to the messy, inexplicable chaos of emotions and personal relationships, I just can't see the regulations as a negligible issue glossing over such massive neuroses as fandom seems to project upon them. Goodness, one wonders how either of them can function at all with the numerous phobias, anxieties and emotional issues these two are believed to have.

              So AU Sam and Jack are together because the regulations weren't keeping them apart IMHO. They could be attracted to each other and not hold back. They could be open about their interest, feelings and, yes, even their emotional traumas, which meant they could find and develop a love for one another much more easily and completely in a much shorter time frame. That's the way I see it.

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                I agree with you hlndncr. I don't think they hid behind the regulations. I think that was a legitimate, serious reason why they didn't get together. Yes, they could have worked things out where she wasn't part of his chain of command but the thing about Jack and Sam is their job is everything to them. It's so important to both of them, they put it above everything else. Even each other.

                Yes, they both have personal issues. But that's not their motivation for lack of action on their feelings. They're honorable people. Honorable people with issues that put work above anything and everything. They take the 2nd Air Force core value to heart. "Service before self."

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                  I kind of think that it was an "all of the above" thing. They have relationship issues--neither of them are totally sure that they merit a good, stable one, and they use the regulations as an excuse.

                  But I also think that each person has their own sense of right and wrong. It's been said that Jack has no problem breaking some rules, so why not break this one? But to him, it's obvious that for whatever reason, this one is unbreakable. For example, I (just by rule) don't swear--every once in a while, I'll let loose a minor d*&$ or h#&&--but I won't say the "F" word, and I won't ever use God's name as a curse or an exclamation--even by just saying the popular texting initials. Jack is kind of the same way. It feels alright for him to disobey orders if he can see a greater good in it--if it reads right for him. But doing something that would end up being purely selfish goes against his grain. Breaking those regs goes against his inner code, IMHO.

                  So yes, the regs are an excuse for them--but it is that particular line that they have chosen not to cross.
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                    Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying here but it sounds like you're explaining exactly why it's not just an excuse. Yeah, Jack will bend some rules, but not for selfish reasons. Which, breakin the regs to hook up with Carter would be. He might break some rules if it will serve the greater good but the frat reg isn't part of that. He respects his job, the Air Force, and Carter too much to do that. Them holding back and saying it's the regs isn't an excuse... it truly is a reason. What they do is too important to them both to do something selfish. And then them being together, hiding it, that would just poison their relationship, their team dynamic, and themselves. They know better. They know they can't break the regs and they can't be together. IMO it is a legit reason for their separation.

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                      Did you shippers feel Jack acted in character when he wasn't pissed off that Sam dated Pete?

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                        Originally posted by Schmacky View Post
                        Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying here but it sounds like you're explaining exactly why it's not just an excuse. Yeah, Jack will bend some rules, but not for selfish reasons. Which, breakin the regs to hook up with Carter would be. He might break some rules if it will serve the greater good but the frat reg isn't part of that. He respects his job, the Air Force, and Carter too much to do that. Them holding back and saying it's the regs isn't an excuse... it truly is a reason. What they do is too important to them both to do something selfish. And then them being together, hiding it, that would just poison their relationship, their team dynamic, and themselves. They know better. They know they can't break the regs and they can't be together. IMO it is a legit reason for their separation.
                        I guess I used the words wrong--there are various kinds of excuses. I've never seen their choosing not to act on their feelings/desires as weakness. I've seen their adherence to the regs as a strength. It shows their loyalty and their honor. Others have expressed that they've seen Jack break other regs--and that means that he's not averse to disobedience for things that he really believes in (Taking that little girl to school in "Learning Curve" comes to mind.), but his refusal to cross that line to be with Sam is indicative that he is afraid of what might happen in the relationship more than anything else. (That's what other people have said--that's why I stated things the way I did.)

                        I think that they both acknowledge at some point (Divide and Conquer? I don't think that it stopped in that room. . .) that they know that the feelings are there. That they know that acting on those feelings would jeopardize their mission, and their work. I think that they have decided that line is one that they won't cross, and so, they don't.

                        And you're right. It is a selfless act--if you accept the notion that SG-1 was integral in saving the world, then their continued non-together status is vital to our survival.

                        So, yes. I think that these two, wounded people, while doubting that they would be good for or happy with the other person, purposefully didn't try to find out the truth of those doubts because to do so would have broken up the team and damaged their honor.

                        So it is an excuse--but not a bad one. It's the right kind of excuse--it's an actual reason.

                        Did that make sense at all? I'm trying to type while also trying to keep my 19 month old from spreading the chocolate from his donut (which he totally STOLE off the top of the counter, by the way) all over my desk.

                        Originally posted by siles View Post
                        Did you shippers feel Jack acted in character when he wasn't pissed off that Sam dated Pete?
                        No. I think that Jack, at that point, was willing to do whatever necessary--even lose her--if it meant that Sam would be happy. I think it's indicative of his character, and not a denial of it.
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                          Originally posted by siles View Post
                          Did you shippers feel Jack acted in character when he wasn't pissed off that Sam dated Pete?
                          I think he wanted Sam to be happy and was willing to love her and let her go if she could find happiness without him.
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                            Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
                            I don't really have anything to say about Full Circle that hasn't been said. Other than the wedding invite I don't find much shippy about it. And I agree with Rachel that I was annoyed by the destruction of Abydos (and the whole planet ascending), as well as the mass suicide of the Asgard in S10 (almost the worst series finale ever). In both cases I think they could have found a way to tell the story and still make it exciting and meaningful without those events.

                            I'm also going to voice my probably very unpopular opinion here and say that I think the regs were the main thing keeping Sam and Jack apart. While I think Jack probably did feel he might have been too old and jaded for Sam (and I doubt he believed he or anyone could ever really be good enough for her), and Sam probably prefered the order and disciple of science and military regulations to the messy, inexplicable chaos of emotions and personal relationships, I just can't see the regulations as a negligible issue glossing over such massive neuroses as fandom seems to project upon them. Goodness, one wonders how either of them can function at all with the numerous phobias, anxieties and emotional issues these two are believed to have.

                            So AU Sam and Jack are together because the regulations weren't keeping them apart IMHO. They could be attracted to each other and not hold back. They could be open about their interest, feelings and, yes, even their emotional traumas, which meant they could find and develop a love for one another much more easily and completely in a much shorter time frame. That's the way I see it.
                            Originally posted by Schmacky View Post
                            I agree with you hlndncr. I don't think they hid behind the regulations. I think that was a legitimate, serious reason why they didn't get together. Yes, they could have worked things out where she wasn't part of his chain of command but the thing about Jack and Sam is their job is everything to them. It's so important to both of them, they put it above everything else. Even each other.

                            Yes, they both have personal issues. But that's not their motivation for lack of action on their feelings. They're honorable people. Honorable people with issues that put work above anything and everything. They take the 2nd Air Force core value to heart. "Service before self."
                            I agree with both of you as well. While I think their own personal issues re relationships did have some influence (which is why I don't think they'd instantly get together after Threads/Moebius), but I think the regulations were the primary reason they never started a relationship while they were both on SG1 or at the SGC. Because as you say Schmacky, while Jack, and Sam as well at times, have and will break the rules when its for the greater good, starting a relationship during the war with the Goa'uld would not have been for the greater good, it would have been just for themselves. Excepting the time in Upgrades when they left the base under the influence of the armbands, I can't think of a single time Sam or Jack broke the rules for selfish reasons, it was always in the service of a greater goal.

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                              Originally posted by siles View Post
                              Did you shippers feel Jack acted in character when he wasn't pissed off that Sam dated Pete?
                              Absolutely! For one thing, Jack had no reason to be pissed off that Sam was dating Pete. Just as she couldn't be pissed off that he started dating Kerry. When Sam started dating Pete, she had been in Jack's chain of command for seven years and since their jobs are in such a highly specialized and small field, it probably seemed like she'd never be out of his chain of command. She decided to try and move on with her personal life. That is something I don't think Jack would ever fault her for. I'm sure he was hurt and disappointed, but I don't think he'd ever be pissed off about it. Besides, there's that whole "if you truly love someone, set them free" and blah blah blah.

                              and Akamaimom, yes that made sense. Even though I haven't posted much, I've been lurking for quite awhile on these boards and I've seen the opinion that Jack and Sam hid behind the regs and used them as an excuse to not be together. And in saying it that way, it seems like "excuse" had a bad connotation which I don't like. What you said made plenty of sense, thanks.

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                                Too lazy / tired to go back and quite everything but, great discussion about regs and what kept them apart!

                                Personally...

                                Do I think the regs were an excuse for them not to be together? Yes.
                                Do I think they were just an excuse? No.

                                I'd say there's a 50/50 split between them not stepping over that line because of honour/duty etc. and using that line as a reason not to take a greater risk with their relationship. Face it, when they did decide they were ready to take it further it wasn't that hard, was it?

                                I don't subscribe to the opinion that they were "waiting" for the war to be over or in some kind of mutually agreed holding pattern waiting for each other? No. And if Grace isn't all the evidence of where Sam, at least, sees their relationship then I doubt I could convince you otherwise. Again, at any time, they could have, had they wanted.

                                What I do think is that there were two big factors (regs aside, so three in total) that kept them from acting.
                                The first being, I think Sam and Jack both really enjoyed their jobs. They like the position they had and the working relationship they had, if it was very important for them. To get together would have meant one or both of them moving to another position. Neither were willing to do so.
                                The second thing I think was their friendship. I think they'd developed a huge fondness and respect for each other outside of any romantic feelings they have. Actually I think that's one reason why their relationship just works so well on any level. To actually take someone who is a great friend of yours, and to move that relationship into a romantic context is quite a risky thing to do anyway, without factoring in the fact that, in doing so, you would, literally, have to make massive life changes.
                                What if it didn't work out? What if they'd gone to Hammond, asked for reassignment for one/both of them - or Jack had retired - and they'd embarked upon a relationship and... 6 months, a year later, it's had all gone wrong? What then? Not only would they have turned their lives upside down to do so, but they'd have ruined their working relationship and their friendship in the process. So I think the fear of ruining what they already had - which was great - was too significant for them to do so. I think they were both kind of waiting for the other to make a move - to indicate that it was what the wanted. It was only when they'd already reached the point where their friendship was under strain, and their working relationship was untenable, that it made no sense for either of them to not be together... so they got together.

                                So, yes the regs were very important, but they were easily got around if they'd wanted to. They just chose not to for lots of other reasons.

                                In other realities, they didn't have the regs as an issue. Presumably they didn't have the same working relationship / dynamic that built up from the start. The people they were were different in small ways from the people in "our" reality. I think it's far more complex than just "Sam wasn't in the military so there were no regs" that differentiates them, and why they go together so much sooner in those realities.


                                Originally posted by siles View Post
                                Did you shippers feel Jack acted in character when he wasn't pissed off that Sam dated Pete?
                                Yes.
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