I was listening to some music and started thinking about my Jack-focused and early!SG-1 focused team fic, which then turned into thoughts on the dynamics between SG-1 during the first half of Season One.
One of my longer stories, tentatively titled "Unspoken" is a S1 story that I've been eager to work on, but I haven't because it requires me to sit down and watch S1 studiously, something which I haven't the time for right now.
But as I was listening to some songs that I associate with the fic, I remembered just how badly I want to work on it and also why I loved S1 so much. (From what I've heard, apparently, I'm in the minority.)
In it, Jack becomes mentally incapacitated which leaves the rest of SG-1 to cope and try to stick together on their own while looking for a way to fix Jack. Now, I'm not suggesting SG-1 is co-dependent on Jack, but I do believe that in season 1, Jack represented the glue that holds SG-1 together.
I look at the other characters and their relationship to Jack. Sam is new and fresh and eager to please. I often felt she was searching for some kind of affirmation from Jack that she was a good soldier. This doesn't belittle Sam at all. She was seeking respect from her CO. And I do think she looked up to him, not as a starry-eyed child, but just as someone that really appreciated being under his command and could accept both his merits and his flaws. Jack served as a balance for her; her enthusiasm is on par with Daniel and Jack helped keep them both in line.
While Jack and Daniel butted heads and came at a problem from different angles, I saw that the two had a deep respect for each other, even if they would never admit it. And though they had a strong bond and a sense of familiarity with each other, their friendship was still a fragile one. They bonded once through the peril of the Abydos mission and now they are reunited again to find Skaara and Sha're. In the first half of S1, Daniel was still readjusting to Earth and Jack was his main form of support in terms of hope and staying focused. If Jack was to be taken away, I see Daniel grasping at straws.
I always felt that the Jack and Teal'c relationship was the most blatant out of them all without ever saying so. Teal'c turned on his family and his life at Jack's beheadst because he truly believed Jack represented hope for him and his people. That is nothing to take lightly. And Jack knew that. Teal'c's bond is obviously strongest to Jack in this period because of this. That is not to say Teal'c didn't give a flip about anyone else. But his actions are telling. In The Broca Divide, he reports to Jack that he lost Daniel. This tells me that he's not only concerned for Daniel, but also that he feels he failed Jack. Jack is the one that basically stands up for Teal'c the most vocally and takes him under his wing to introduce him to Earth culture. If Jack was taken from Teal'c during this period, what would he be like? That is something I do want to explore.
We did get hints of all of this in episodes like Brief Candle. SG-1 worked tirelessly to help Jack. But that episode focused more on Jack (and rightly so) and the importance of seeing how brief life can be. Episodes like Brief Candle are just as important as Cold Lazarus to terms of bringing Jack out of his shell and helping him to continue to move on, but that is a another discussion for another day ;)
Also, my focus of Jack/other character bonding isn't meant to imply that the other team members didn't have any kind of bond. Sam and Daniel hit it off right away. While Jack kept Daniel focused, I saw Sam as giving him the companionship and intellectual stimulation to keep him happy. Jack kept him grounded; Sam provided distraction.
The show never really blatantly pointed out any kind of animosity between Teal'c and Daniel during S1, but I did get a sense that they were uneasy with each other. Not to the point where they were unable to function as a team or to the point where they wouldn't stand up for each other, but enough to get a vibe that if Jack and Sam weren't around, then Daniel and Teal'c wouldn't opt to spend much time together. By Cor'ai, all this had changed and their relationship continued to grow, likely in part to having to work together in The Broca Divide and Jack continuing to show that Teal'c was a part of their team. (See Thor's Hammer.) But the distance is S1 fascinates me.
Out of all the relationships of S1, I think Sam and Teal'c are the most difficult to define. And even now I have a hard time putting them into words. Their friendship is the most ignored on the show, imo. I didn't get any sense of unease or distress between them in S1. Sam accepted him and he accepted her. They seemed to have this quiet understanding, but nothing all too deep. Hmm. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Maybe that is what I loved so much about S1. Nothing was ever told straight out. We saw all of these undercurrents of character bonding and team building. They were subtle, yet profound. I can't wait to tap into that again. These are exactly the types of issues I want to explore in my story, if I ever get to the darn thing.
Wow, so that turned into more of a meta post than I'd anticipated.