Visit GateWorld every Friday for a new installment of the Friday Five, a countdown of our favorite episodes, characters, technology and more from 15 years of Stargate history! Use trackbacks to post your own Friday Five for this week’s topic on your blog, or post a comment below to let us know how your picks compare.
This Week: Jack & Daniel
Since their first adventure rescuing Abydos from Ra, Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson have been — how do the kids say it these days? — BFFs. They haven’t always seen eye-to-eye (something we love about their relationship), but they do have a great deal of respect for one another. Here are our five favorite moments between these two comrades:
Season Four’s “The Serpent’s Venom”
This is such a small moment that it’s easy to miss, but it’s still one of our favorites. As the team gets ready to head off-world for a galaxy-saving mission, Jack gives Daniel a hard time about all the books he is dragging along with him. “Ever thought of a laptop?” He asks. Daniel responds, “Well, I had one — I just couldn’t get Beck’s Ancient Phoenician Symbology on CD at Archaeology.com” … at which point Jack reaches out and, slowly and deliberately, pushes Daniel’s glasses back up on his nose.
It shows that, because of everything they have gone through, these two have a personal friendship that goes beyond just working together. His friend is a geek, and Jack knows it.
Season Two’s “Need”
After Daniel becomes psychologically and physically addicted to the effects of a Goa’uld sarcophagus, the team brings him back to Earth for forced withdrawal. It’s bad, and Daniel escapes and nearly tears apart the base trying to get back. Jack corners him in a supply room and promises to help him get through it — since withdrawal is something that Jack, too, has dealt with. “I know what this is,” he tells Daniel. “I know what it’s like. You can get through it.”
Season Five’s “Meridian”
Daniel’s prognosis is terminal after he is exposed to high levels of radiation on the planet Kelowna. As he lays dying in the Infirmary, each of his friends take turns saying their goodbyes. But Daniel is also visited by Oma Desala, an ascended being who offers to show him the way to a higher plane of existence — if only he will release his burden. When the moment finally comes, Daniel communicates with Jack and tells him to let him go. He doesn’t know where he is going, but he knows that he will miss Jack and the others.
It was tough to do justice to the friendship between these two men when one of them was dying, and they had to say what they thought was a final goodbye. Daniel’s exit in “Meridian” is stirring, not because of what is said, but because the dialogue is minimalist — the two friends know that nothing more needs to be said.
Season Two’s “The Serpent’s Lair”
Only one year into their time serving together, SG-1 put it all on the line and disobeyed orders to try and stop a pair of Goa’uld motherships from destroying Earth. Daniel is mortally wounded by a staff weapon blast, and tells Jack to leave him behind. But as the rest of the team tries to find a way off the ship, Daniel drags himself to a sarcophagus, heals his injury, and gates off the ship before it explodes. Jack and the team return to the S.G.C. to report that Daniel gave his life saving Earth — only to find him waiting there for a heartfelt reunion.
Jack grabs his friend in a rare embrace, impressed that Daniel found a way out on his own, and calls him “Space monkey!”
Season Six’s “Abyss”
Daniel and Jack nearly came to blows over a disagreement on many occasions, but their friendship shone through the most when one of them was in a deep, personal crisis. In “Abyss,” Jack has been captured by the System Lord Baal, who subjects him to brutal torture — killing him and then bringing him back to life with a sarcophagus over and over again. Daniel (currently an ascended being) visits him in his prison cell to bring comfort, but he tells Jack that he is not permitted to intervene and save him.
In a climactic argument, Jack says that if he had Daniel’s powers he would have broken Daniel out and busted the whole place down by now — and he wouldn’t stop there. Daniel tells him, “You’re a better man than that,” at which Jack shouts, “That’s where you’re wrong!” Jack pleads with Daniel to prevent Baal from being able to resuscitate him next time. “Any minute they’re going to come, and Baal’s going to kill me again. You can make it the last time.” Daniel refuses.
“Abyss” remains one of our favorite episodes of Stargate SG-1 exactly because of the relationship between Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson. Here it all comes to a head — their concern for one another, their trust in one another, and their faith that when life is its darkest, their friends will be there with them.
There are so many great, little moments to choose from to make this list. Honorable mentions go to everything from Daniel’s help translating a frustrated Jack’s Ancient ramblings in “The Fifth Race,” to “Can I see your scar?” in the opening scene of “Nemesis,” to Reese’s death in “Menace.” Post your top five on your blog, or comment below!
NEXT WEEK ON THE FIVE: Star Trek References. Blog about your top five picks next Friday, and trackback to our post.