Season 1 Episode 8 – Brief Candle

By Jess

Brief Summary:

SG-1 arrives on Argos, a colorful paradise where the people are all young and beautiful, and worship a god named Pelops. One of the women takes an instant liking to Jack and drugs him by way of a tasty cake (unbeknownst to him, at least right away, a “marriage cake”), gets intimate with him, and ends up taking years off his life quite literally. Sam and Janet determine that little nanocytes in Jack's blood are responsible for the aging. They only have two weeks to come up with a cure as Jack grows old and gray.

The Sam and Daniel point of view:

When they discover an Argosian woman about to give birth, Daniel (and Jack) instantly turns to Sam, expecting her to know how to perform the “birthing ritual.” It turns out that Daniel has had some experience delivering babies (some meaning “two, counting today”), so he and Sam deliver the baby. After the successful delivery, the young couple invites SG-1 to stay for a while, for the celebration of the birth of their new son. The team sits and observes the “paradise” they now find themselves in. Jack is skeptic as he lays eyes on the beguiling Kynthia. She approaches him, welcoming him to their village and presents the cake to Jack, which he dutifully eats. As Jack ogles Kynthia, Daniel discusses the abundance of artifacts with Sam, especially about their god Pelops.

Two women take Jack away in preparation for a dance performed for him by Kynthia (is this the “marriage dance”, then?). Sam and Daniel are about to go after them when several Argosians push them back and ask them to sit back down. They chat with one and although we can't hear what they're saying, Daniel has an interesting smile on his face and Teal'c gazes somewhat oddly at him. Hmm, I wonder what was going on there...? Still, and this is just my opinion, I think Sam and Daniel almost look like a cute little couple. :)

Alekos (the young Argosian man) approaches them with drinks and tells them about the “hundred blissful days” given to them by the creator (Pelops) and how they must celebrate each and every one of them. Daniel says, “A hundred day celebration?” He turns to Sam and says, “Guess we should pace ourselves.”

After Jack's session intimacy with Kynthia, he realizes something's afoot as everyone suddenly conks out. Much to the worry of the rest of SG-1, he falls prey to the same symptoms. The next morning he wakes up looking rather hung over and joins everyone outside. Sam and Daniel (and Teal'c) are there, asking how he feels. He asks if they've gotten any answers from the locals about what's going on. Daniel and Sam share a frustrated look and Daniel says they haven't gotten anywhere. Jack tells them to keep trying, asking Daniel and Teal'c to do some investigating and tells Sam to ask more questions outside.

After deciphering some Goa'uld writing inside the temple, with the help of Teal'c, Daniel informs Sam of what Pelops' intentions were: to use the Argosians as lab rats, accelerating human life so he could study their evolution or development in a shorter time span. Sam wants them to elaborate, but Daniel seems reluctant. She knows something is up from his quietness and refusal to look her in the eye. She coaxes him, “Daniel...?” Finally he realizes he has to tell her and puts forth his theory that Pelops created a virus. This is perhaps what has caused Jack to act in such a way, especially as some viruses are spread through bodily contact. Sam is clearly not happy about that prospect and reminds him that some are airborne. Daniel shares another look with her and tells her softly, “But I think that this one isn't.” Teal'c asks why he believes so, and Daniel answers that only one of them passed out the night before, and that was Jack.

Sam goes back to Earth to study some samples of blood from both Jack and the Argosians. She and Doctor Fraiser find something odd in the samples, but they come up empty. She reluctantly returns to Argos and as the Stargate starts dialing out, Daniel runs from the main temple room to get Jack, calling, “Jack, Carter's comin' back!” It's a bit odd that he refers to her as 'Carter', but then again it's still a bit early in Season One, and might be due to continuity errors (or maybe he just referred to her as 'Carter' when talking to Jack because that's what Jack usually called her. *shrug*).

Jack has started to age a bit and asks Sam what she found out. She tells him that they're still working on it, and it will take time. Daniel says pointedly, “Time is something these people don't have, Captain.” Again, it's a bit surprising to hear him talk this way to her, but I chalk it up to him being worried about Jack. She tells Jack about the little “buggers” in his blood, and how he has a lot more than the average Argosian and how they're multiplying. Jack asks for a concise answer and she tells him that in two week's time he'll be over a hundred years old. She asks him if she can set up a bit of lab space, but he tells her to go back to Earth, not wanting to bring another plague through the 'Gate. Daniel is reluctant to leave also, but Jack demands that they all leave him and work together to find a solution.

While Jack grows older and shares more time with Kynthia, Sam and Janet study the nanocytes more closely. Sam tells Janet that they aren't multiplying; they're replicating. Daniel asks her what the difference is. Sam answers that living things multiply but machines replicate. Nanotechnology is mentioned, and Daniel asks Janet if she knows anything about that. Sam does, and tells them about how she worked with a group who studied it at the Pentagon.

During one point of the nanocytes study, they manage to devour Sam's rubber gloves in an attempt to spread. After this, Hammond tells them that they must end the study and have the samples disintegrated. Both Sam and Daniel are angry, Daniel especially trying to hold in his anger as he says, “General, you are condemning Colonel O'Neill and the Argosians to death.” Hammond tells them his decision is final and, upon Daniel's further protest, insures them that Jack would probably make the same decision himself.

Back on Argos, an elderly Jack convinces the Argosians to renounce Pelops. At one point during his sojourn with Kynthia away from the village, he realizes they did not fall asleep. He gets an idea and decides to call Earth. The rest of SG-1 arrive, Daniel and Teal'c seemingly having figured out what the ancient dialect was about, and Sam figuring out what put the Argosians to sleep. She reproduces the transmitter frequency, causing the people to awaken.

The nanocytes are being starved in their bodies, and from now on they should age at a normal rate. More good news is that Jack should return to normal very soon as well. He jokingly expresses disappointment at this, saying he hoped to get in “a little shuffleboard with the fellas.” Sam and Daniel share a smile at his joke. They then walk away in order to give Jack a last moment with Kynthia before returning to Earth.

There isn't a whole lot of Sam/Daniel interaction in this episode, but there were still some nice moments, including the two of them helping to bring another life into the world (even though that world is Argos, lol), sharing curiosity at Jack's initial behavior and sharing disapproval for Hammond's decision to end study of the nanocytes and cut off contact with the planet. They mostly show worry and concern for Jack's situation, but there was definitely some understanding revealed in the looks they shared.

Sam/Daniel moment count: 6

Shippiness factor: 3

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