A new poll and another chance to win a signed script!

What, in your opinion, was The Most Heartbreaking Moment in Stargate History?  In coming up with the list of candidates, I tried to consider the events in context.  For instance, while Universe’s final episode was heartfelt, it was only heartbreaking insofar as the audience knew the show wasn’t coming back when the episode finally aired.  The same goes for Atlantis’s more upbeat finale which, in retrospect, was bittersweet given that fact that it turned out to be the show’s finale. Similarly, the last appearance of (the real) Elizabeth Weir which sees her seemingly sacrifice herself so that the team can escape is also much more heartbreaking with the knowledge that she doesn’t come back after Lifeline.

And so, considering these moments within the framework of their individual stories, here is my list of The Most Devastating Moments in Stargate History.

Ascension of the Abydonians (Stargate: SG-1 – Full Circle)

SG-1 is unable to save the Abydonians from Anubis but, in a bittersweet turn, we discover that Oma Desala has helped them ascend.  “Death is only the beginning of one’s journey,”Skaara reminds O’Neill before disappearing.

Jacob’s Passing (Stargate: SG-1 – Threads)

A dying Jacob Carter receives a new lease on life after taking a symbiote, but, it turns out, even symbiotes are vulnerable to the ravages of time.  Jacob dies peacefully, a grieving Sam by his bedside.

The Death of Janet Fraiser (Stargate: SG-1 – Heroes I and II)

Dr. Fraiser was a mainstay at Stargate command, a familiar and friendly face we’d drawn comfort in over the course of SG-1’s seven years of adventuring – so the moment she was killed by an errant staff blast was not only shocking, it was downright heartbreaking.

Goodbye Daniel (Stargate: SG-1 – Meridian)

The moment of Daniel Jackson’s death is heartbreaking in itself but an even more poignant moments comes at episode’s end when he appears to Jack in his ascended form.

“So, what?”asks O’Neill.  “See you around?”

“I don’t know,”says Daniel as he turns and walks up the ramp.

“Hey… where are you going?”

“I don’t know,”replies Daniel and then disappears through the gate.

Lives Unlived #1 (Stargate: SG-1 – Unending)

SG-1 live out the rest of their lives, trapped aboard the Odyssey cocooned in a time dilation field.  They grow old together. Relationships are developed.  Carter eventually figures out a way to turn back time, but it will undo the experience they’ve shared, the memories they hold.  Ultimately, they make the decision to sacrifice it all – and only Teal’c will bear witness to what happened.

Farewell to Carson Beckett (Stargate: Atlantis – Sunday)

Following a solemn send-off for Atlantis’s lovable Chief Medical Officer, a grieving Rodney is paid a visit by the recently deceased Dr. Beckett.

“Take care of yourself, Rodney,”says Beckett.

“Goodbye, Carson,”says Rodney as Beckett fades away.

Solitary Man (Stargate Atlantis – Vegas)

Johnny Cash’s Solitary Man is an appropriate theme song for this alternate reality’s Detective John Sheppard, a very familiar Shep whose life has taken a very unfamiliar term.  He cracks a dangerous case, saving who knows how many lives in the process and, in the episode’s final moments, dies alone and unsung in the desert.

Lives Unlived #2 (Stargate: Atlantis – The Last Man)

Sheppard travels to a future Atlantis where he uncovers the sad tale of what befell the Atlantis expedition: Teyla murdered by Michael, Carter sacrificing herself in battle, Ronon and Todd falling to Michael’s army of hybrids, the city of Atlantis abandoned.  But the worst if yet to come for Rodney who at first finds some solace in his relationship with Jennifer Keller, only to have that taken away from him when she falls ill.  Tests discover traces of the Hoffan drug in her system.  She dies three days later.

The Death of Riley (Stargate: Universe – Aftermath)

One of the most heart wrenching deaths in Stargate history comes early in Stargate Universe’s second season.  The shuttle crashes and Sgt. Riley is pinned and mortally wounded.  Two moments – first, his conversation with T.J., then Young’s mercy killing – leave the viewers (and our surviving characters) completely devastated.

Lives Unlived #3 (Stargate: Universe – Epilogue)

This time it’s the Universe crew’s turn to offer a There But the Grace of God.  Happy outcomes for some, far sadder for others, T.J. in particular.  In one of the most heartbreaking sequences in Stargate history, we see her deterioration as the disease ravages her body, leaving her bedridden and unable to feed herself.  And then, she is gone,  leaving her husband and young children to mourn her absence.

So, what do you think?  What gets your vote?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed script!

71 thoughts on “August 28, 2012: The Most Heartbreaking Moment in Stargate History!

  1. Oh, my god, I saw this post and immediately Daniel’s death is the one that popped into my mind. I mean, I refused to watch the episode for weeks and even after it, swore never to watch Stargate again and didn’t for the year he was gone…

    But then I saw the other choices and ouch… The ascension of all the Abydonians was just mindblowing. Unending broke me. And of course, Heroes, which is probably the best episode of Stargate ever. Janet Frasier’s death made me bawl so badly. With Daniel’s, I knew he was going to die. I was spoiled enough to avoid the episode. But I had no idea about Janet’s and it was just so devastating… The writing was the best I’d ever seen and all together, that makes it the most heartbreaking for me, even more than Daniel’s death…

  2. I voted for Solitary Man.

    Janet’s death and Carson’s death both made me sad, but they both died on duty, trying to save a patient, and they had their teams to mourn and miss them.

    Vegas Shep was alone in his mission, alone in his sacrifice, and alone in his death. That one took my breath away and made my stomach hurt (no higher praise?!).

  3. This was such a difficult decision; but I teared up once again when reading about the Beckett episode, and since I wrote a blog post about it a couple years ago right after I saw it for the first time, it really hits me every time.

  4. In THREADS, it was the Cut to O’Neill in Observation Room that got me. – Much unrequited angst going on there. – [BTW, the extended version isn’t on the DVDs is it? The short version just has so many thinly covered holes…]

    And, it ties with VEGAS. [One of THE best eps ever! Would’ve made a great spinoff.] – which I found to be more “depressive-sad-boy-the-Universe-really-knows-how-to-totally-suck-sometimes!”, rather than outright tearjerker.

  5. BTW, shouldn’t THE SHRINE have made the List? — Many a “moment” with the tissues there…

  6. Most heartbreaking moment?

    Todd in a jumpsuit. 🙁

    d as in DELETE the other one, Joey! Thanks!

  7. Now look here mister man!! John Sheppard did not die in Vegas! That was not confirmed. He had a shoulder wound and a side wound. Nothing worth dying over. He was just waiting for help that was on the way. He was just napping.

  8. What a downer that list is! 🙁 I cried about everyone of those moments and I cried while I voted and commented on the poll site.

    How do you know who votes?

    Anne Teldy

  9. Joe doesn’t read the replies because he did not do as I said! Bad, BAD Joe! (It’s because I called you Joey, right? 😉 )

    das

  10. Okay this was a tough one. Generally I feel that the sudden, no chance of saying goodbye deaths are the most heartbreaking, so that leaves out Daniel’s (first) death, the Ascension of the Abydonians, et cetera.

    I was then choosing between Frasier’s and Beckett’s deaths and finally chose Beckett’s death simply because on the re-watching of Heroes 1/2, the tension between whether it was Jack or Janet that was killed comes off as a little anti-climatic. It was very close though.

    @For the love of Beckett:

    I thought I remembered that you had some food sensitivities (butterscotch wasn’t it? Did you ever get to make that cheesecake?) But chocolate too? I’m probably one of the very few here that can fully sympathize with your plight 😉 I used to substitute carob-covered peanut clusters, but I haven’t been able to find any of those in a long, long time.

  11. First, I have to say I lied cause I voted for Janet’s death, but she isn’t. I pretend that never happened. But as deaths go, it was the most stunning and real in the suddenness, senselessness and lack of extreme drama around it. She was there, then she was gone. In reality, in war, that is usually what happens.

  12. @ Ponytail – I like your way of thinking! By your way of reasoning, then, I can be comforted knowing that the poor, stranded Wraith (Spike!) didn’t die in that explosion! Sure, he was probably a little singed, but I figure that boom tossed him a few hundred yards away, where he lied…laid…lay…lain…whatever!…unseen until he healed up enough to crawl off and feast upon the first hapless hiker he finds…found…AAARRRRGGGHHH!!! WHATEVER!

    d as in doesn’t remember basic grammar! 😛

  13. I voted for “Lives Unlived #1 (Stargate: SG-1 – Unending)” partly because of the relationship storyline between Vala and Daniel. Their scene was raw, painful and heartbreaking to watch. But also, seeing all of the passengers lives go by, the eerie quiet of the ship – that whole episode took a long time to shake off.

  14. But if you had included “Intervention” and TJ’s dream sequence, or “Visitation” when she finds out her baby daughter is really dead… That would’ve gotten me seriously thinking. You guys killed me with this storyline.

  15. Heroes, Meridian and Unending were all very emotional episodes but only Meridian and Unending brought tears to my eyes. When comparing those two, however, Daniel’s death in Meridian comes out as the clear #1 heartbreaking moment.

  16. T.J’s potential future and Daniel’s farewell are two heartbreaking moments, that’s for sure, and some of the more powerful things on that list.

    However, only one episode of Stargate had tears streaming down my face, and that was Heroes Part 2. That bit where Carter screams “Shut that damn thing off” at the camera never fails to set off the waterworks.

    So yeah, the death of Janet is the biggest moment for me.

    BYE

  17. I hesitated between three possibilities, but while for me Janet’s death would have been heartbreaking, that double episode only annoyed me to be honest because of the filming crew and their very annoying boss.

    The others were Carson’s and Daniel’s farewell, and it was a hard choise for me between those, but I finally decided on Daniel’s.

  18. For me it has to be the death of Carson. At the time it came as such a surprise.

    Followed by the deaths of Fraser and then RIley.

    It’s a credit to the writing that so many lovable characters have been created.

  19. Goodbye Daniel will always win this for me. But close second is the death of Janet, also because of the way the episode is set up, and us viewers not knowing who died. Carson’s death, not so heartwrenching, but only because of spoilers before seeing the episode. Riley’s death is very sad, but the mercy kill alleviates it in some weird way, knowing he won’t suffer anymore. The ‘lives unlived’ are sometimes heartwrenching, but ultimately not ‘real’, not what really happened to the characters that we know and love, the ones in our space and time.

  20. G’day Joe

    Most heartbreaking moment…the non-confirmation of the JackSam relationship.

    Anyway enough of my bitterness.
    I voted for Heroes I&II. I always end up bawling during this episode. When we think it is Jack, when we find out it is Dr. Janet Fraiser and the eulogy from Samantha.
    Gets me every time.

  21. The most heartbreaking moment? The announcement by Mr. Wright that the franchise is done, and the movies won’t be made. 2nd most heartbreaking moment? The sets being torn down. Who owns the rights to the scripts for the unmade movies? Can you publish them, or turn them into books?

  22. Has to be Janet for me. Alternate timeline ones are sad, but as they never really happened to our characters I wouldn’t say they broke my heart (even if I do cry uncontrollably at Unending). I didn’t start really watching Stargate until season 7, so Meridian has never been quite as bad for me. Carson and Jacob come close, but Janet’s was still the worst to me.
    But, as @Ganymede said, the Shrine should have been on here. That probably would have won for me then.

  23. I went back and watched Heroes 1 and 2 after reading this thread. It brought me to tears in front of my children despite me knowing what the episodes contain. We know the characters well by season 7, but we get so much closer to them in these two episodes. Incredible acting and writing talent in these episodes… I stand by the cancellation being the saddest moment in the history of the Franchise, but as for the intent of this question, the most heartbreaking episode(s) are these. Not because we miss Janet more, but because we feel the pain of the rest of the characters, like we never have previously. (save for Jack-who by design, kinda had to drop out of the story line.)

  24. My choice would have to be Farewell to Carson Beckett (Atlantis – Sunday).

    It is really hard to choose with the outstanding writing, acting and directing of these episodes. These shows are powerful and have deep meaning for a lot of people who risk their lives everyday in service of others.

    I would have to give Farewell to Carson Beckett the win marginally over Dr. Fraser and Daniel’s deaths due to the fact that I was so stunned when it happened. At the time I wasn’t reading fan stuff/spoilers about the show and I truly had no idea. It was my young daughter who wanted to know why?Did they fire him? Did he want to do something else? It was then that I discovered all the uproar about his death and Save Carson etc. I’m glad I hadn’t known because it took a minute after the explosion to realize Carson actually died and I think my jaw dropped.

  25. Hmm, this one’s a toughie. I have to go with Janet’s death though, because it was the most surprising, and was one of the characters that we knew the longest. Heroes I/II was just so skillfully written and acted leading up to that reveal. For the ones that were ascended after death, the impact was more muted because there was a definite afterlife for them. My choice certainly is no disrespect for the other episodes though. They were all incredibly well done.

  26. A tough list. I went with Janet’s death. It came so unexpected, and left me bawling.(thankfully I was alone at the time. Damned embarrassing being so emotional over fictional characters). Strangely, I have no trouble rewatching this episode, even using Heroes 1 and 2 to hook people onto the show. While the McKay/Beckett scene is harder for me to watch, I don’t consider it as heartbreaking. the other major contender on the list for me was Vegas. but it lost out on the technicality that most of the episode was heartbreaking. The final scene of Sheppard dying seemed almost invevitable after the rest of the episode. Seeing Sheppard disgraced, alcoholic, gambling-addicted, and a petty thief (ok, not so petty, but still). interspersed with glmpses of the Sheppard we know from “our” universe, made this a classic greek tragedy.
    The rest of the episodes were emotionally powerful, but don’t quite reach the same level as these three. I guess the distinguishing feature for me is the fact that most of the others were positive in some way. Rising to another level of existence, the final chapter of lives well lived, even what were just alternate realities.
    Thanks for the poll. Interesting and brings back some memories.

  27. All those eposides brought tears to my eyes. Some more than others. But the shock of Janet Frasier’s death and, like baterista said, the listing of the patient’s names at the memorial service had me sobbing. Well done! You made me care.

  28. The only episode I ever cried over was Vegas. And I cried a lot. But a beautiful episode at the same time, I always had a little bit of hope he was rescued and revived too.

    To be honest I was kind of happy Keller died in The Last Man, as it freed up McKay to find Sheppard. I was always hoping our reality would mirror that one as the season progressed, but sadly, my hopes were dashed. Sorry.

    The death of the Repli!Team in This Mortal Coil really affected me. They had the same memories and feelings as our original team, I was melancholy for days after watching that one.

    The next saddest thing in SGA was Sheppard looking at the gate after Weir had been spaced. His face…. and she’s still out there. I didn’t think she was coming back at the time so it was a very sad moment, with or without context.

    It’s been so long ago that I watched any of SG1 I can’t remember what I thought was saddest. Probably Jacob’s passing.

  29. To really feel a character death, I need to feel the gaping hole being ripped from the future, characters holding onto a future they can’t have so fiercely, you hear figurative muscles ripping.

    I had to go with the Ascension of the Abydonians. For me, it was a big hole blown in the Stargate universe that, though not expressly lived by the characters later, they were feeling that future in the scenes. The Abydonians were the first faces of how the Stargate program affected fates out there in the galaxy. Faces that laugh around campfires. Without faces, the stakes are just body counts and a census of enslavement.

    Jacob passing was a great scene, but he had a good run. His extra time was something extra special and heart-tugging in its own right.

    Heroes II is my favorite episode. It just wasn’t done from the perspective of the people most heart-broken by the death, but from the perspective of someone who barely knew her. I loved how it was done because that angle of meet someone, lose someone is how it is sometimes. The future gets cut short for even people who planned to get to know her better – it’s a perspective worth covering, just not the MOST heart-breaking one.

    The deaths of Daniel and Beckett – by the time I saw these episodes, there were new developments. I’d rather skip covering them than not do justice to the way they were meant to be experienced.

    I do feel the loss of Unending deeply, but there was only one episode for me to get to know who they became.

    For dying alone in the desert, it was done incredibly well. I felt it as much as I could feel the death of someone who was almost certainly doomed to die from the moment I met him because he’s an AU main character.

    I can’t give it to the Last Man because, although that was heartbreaking, it was also tinged with the purpose to change the future and not have people taken away.

    The death of Riley was very well done and it was another case of a perspective on death that needed to be covered because sometimes death isn’t someone hyped up on adrenaline. He’s had time to lay there and feel the pain and he’s not ready out of resignation or heroism, but because all that’s left is pain. You scream at the tragedy of everything being gone already while his eyes are still open. It was a close second for me.

    The death of TJ, I couldn’t feel as deeply. I like my science fiction to be about triumph with tragedy as the sometimes realized risk and SGU was often about walking the dark course of events. TJ’s death still felt like the course of events, stuff we know happens in the universe every day.

    I felt the death of Jolinar deeply through Martouf’s eyes. He was with her so long, then he was looking at a shimmering remnant of her, forcing his focus onto the void she left in the present.

  30. I found SGU much more tearful than the other two. I knew it would be a roller coaster of emotions each episode. The last episode was heartbreakingly beautiful. I haven’t watched it since. I own all the DVDs and will again retrace those wonderful stories when some of the heartache has passed. *smiles*

  31. I voted for the death of Janet Frazier even though I also bawled at the Epilogue episode. My fil was Air Force, and every time I see that scene where they’re reading all of the names, my thoughts go back to him.

  32. For me it is The Death of Janet Fraiser (SG-1 – Heroes I and II). Not only was I heart broken at her passing, the episode is so incredibly well written/acted/done.

  33. I’m not sure I can pick just one! I’m with Ponytail & Das. They didn’t die but recovered behind the scenes. If Spike “feasted” upon a hitch hiker/drug addict….Would Spike get some kind of effect from the drug? Would Spike like tainted food? Sorry, a little ADD today.

    I’m leaning toward Jacob but I’ll have to think about it. I don’t like it when the whole show is about a character dying. Carson’s death was easier to watch for me. You got to see him as the great guyhe was and then he was gone.

  34. For me, it was a choice between Janet and Jacob’s deaths. Janet’s death came as a huge surprise and felt like a punch in the gut, but Jacob’s passing was infinitely touching, sad and very convincing. So much so, I’m thrilled to see him alive at conventions. 🙂 Can I vote for both? Holy crap, it’s 11:30 a.m. and I’m still in pjs. Riley is too. 🙂 Have a lovely day, Joe!

  35. @ Ponytail –

    I fully support you in your version of how Vegas ended. That is pretty much how I like to envision it going. I’d like to believe that a medical team arrives just in the nick of time to save his life. :O)

  36. I agree with everyone who had a hard time choosing! And like many others decided for Janet’s death. Daniel and Carson’s deaths were both terribly sad when they happened, but they both came back. As for the lives unlived, I like to imagine that the actual lives went on quite well!

  37. I voted for “Farewell to Carson Beckett.”

    (Sunday) is like a punch to the gut – which is why I’ve only ever watched it twice in its entirety. Definitely the most heartbreaking moment in Stargate History … at least for me!

    Agree with others today – this is a tough list to read through!

  38. Riley’s death gets my no. 1 tearjerker vote. How horrifying for those left behind. Dr. Janet’s death was a close second. I loved her character.

  39. Your a mean man Joe!! Making one choose from those options!! It’s like choosing a fav child…. I picked Carson it was the musical score that did it for me I can not watch it without crying like a baby. I imagine myself standing there saying goodbye to my father who passed away when I was 2 years old. I just can’t say enogh about how the music in this episode effected me so deeply!

  40. Carson’s death is what first came to mind, until I read all the choices. I can remember each of those moments clearly! I went with Rileys death, Col. Young’s mercy killing is what swayed me, it was so unexpected. While I didn’t care for Universe as much as the other 2 series the episodes mentioned in the poll were so well written and acted.
    Great now I’m going to be weapy all day 🙂

  41. I choose the Death of Janet Fraiser. You never really expect the Doctor to die when he/she mainly stays safe on the base. Though I must admit that it was a tough choice. While I did like some of the other choices, I thought that this one was the most heartbreaking.

    Joe,
    I think a good idea for your next poll should be best “Alternate” Timeline (you could include some of the options that you have hear as Lives Unlived and some of the best of the others like the Aschen future)

  42. Even if I always cry at the end of Sunday, it must be Meridian for me. I remember the first time I watched it. It was in a convention in London (my first and only for the moment), I already knew what was going to happen, but it was a shock (more so because it’s not the same crying like crazy when you’re alone at home or trying to avoid making a spectacle of yourself in public). Anyhow, I was leaving the room where we had watched the episode, still shocked and more or less in denial, when suddenly Michael Shanks in person walked right in front of me. He was leaving the convention after having dinner at the hotel. I remember stopping, open-mouthed, and thinking (thank God, not out loud) “But, but, I just saw you DYING!!!. I suppose that’s why, when he came back, it was not such a surprise to me…

  43. Janet Frasier with a close, close second by Daniel Jackson. Frasier’s death was so surprising and “knock the breath out of you” because you knew somebody died, but you didn’t know who, and when you finally saw it, it shook you to your core. You never expected the doctor to die by staff blast.

  44. Maybe because it is the most recent but the moments for TJ still sting. The others are shocking in some cases while others are “safe” because they didn’t “really happen to our teams. I miss these shows soooooooo much! I chat about them on my 2 podcasts: The MacGyver Podcast and The Never Gets Old podcast on podomatic and iTunes. Enjoy:)

  45. I voted for the Farewell to Carson Beckett, no surprise. I felt most connected to the character. Have written lots about “Sunday” before, and don’t want to be sad now. Will say that I haven’t needed as much kleenex at the loss of a character before, except maybe for a Lassie movie. In “Hills of Home,” Lassie’s owner, also a Scottish doctor, dies and she follows the coffin to the churchyard as they play bagpipes at his funeral, too. Oh, drat. Where are the tissues? *sniff*

    Otherwise Vegas would be 2nd for me. It showed how Sheppard’s dysfunctional traits would have ruined him without his Stargate family as a stabilizing influence. Love is a powerful force, and in the real world, the love of, and responsibility for, his friends saved him. The end was awful, but also seemed ambiguous. It left open the possibility of survival.

    Lives Unlived #3 wasn’t believable for me. We’d seen two seasons of T.J. working through and getting over her feelings for Col. Young. She’d moved on and formed a mutual attachment with Varro. Extrapolating a future where T.J. ends up with Young didn’t ring true to her character’s journey, or the work the writers did to get her to the point of moving on. It was still sad to see this happen to her, though.

    Joe, this is a tough poll!

  46. JeffW & Das — Yep, sad thing. Never had allergies as a kid (OK, black walnuts), so this is not fun. Anything with caffeine in it (or other stimulants) does a number on me. That includes all kinds of yummy things, like CHOCOLATE, coffee, tea (I used to LOVE tea!), and licorice, cloves, nutmeg, etc. It also includes NSAID pain meds. Spicy foods, Cheese, and rich foods have some of the same effect. No rhyme or reason. Now you know why I love SUSHI!

    JeffW, then there’s the unusual, “are-you-kidding-me!?” category of food & skin allergies: An-y-thing with coconut, dates, or coconut and/or palm oil in it. Which is pretty much everything! Butterscotch or peanut butter baking chips, MILK and yogurt (why do they even add it?), soft-serve ice cream, cereals, commercially baked goods, cookies. Then there’s the non-edibles that contain it. Again, everything: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cosmetics, etc. I can now read tiny, tiny fine print in the ingredient labels.

    I haven’t made your cheesecake recipe yet, but still hope to! Made-from-scratch things are safe to eat. 🙂

  47. I vote for MGM killing off Stargate as the most heartbraking moment in Stargate history, and the sets/props being sold off at The Bridge.

    But if you want something from the list, I would say the Janet Fraiser from Heroes Pt 1 and 2.

    Would of said Daniel Jackson, but he dies more times than Kenny from South Park lol.

    My first choice is obvious, I never wanted to see Stargate die.

  48. OMG Joe…that was tough! Everyone of those moments in Stargate history was devastating and heartbreaking. 🙁 I truly had a hard time making ONE decision. I tried to choose on how much I cried during AND after the episode. Though…I truly did cry an awful lot when Carson died, but he did come back as a clone. So…in a way…not missed so much. But…the scene with Riley and Young (Aftermath/SGU) was probably theee most heartwrenching (nevermind heartbreaking) I have ever watched on any Stargate episode. I mean…not only to watch Riley dying but having Young to end his suffering for him. It was just tooo much to handle. 🙁 I was crying all the way end…AND after the episode was over. I remember yelling at the TV…”it’s just not fair!” 🙁 So…I chose Aftermath (SGU) when Riley died. 🙁

  49. Reading about all those episodes has made me realise what really great shows these were. The stories were well rounded, and the characters compelling. They are sorely missed.

  50. Definitely Frasier for me. In part, it’s that “Heroes” is such a beautifully done episode all around, with the best acting and The Best Sam and Jack Hug in Stargate. But it’s also that Frasier was a really fantastic and well-developed character who I’d really come to love over seven seasons. It made me sad to see Sam lose her only female friend. And, she died in a way that resonated so much with real life. The way Janet died was so similar to the way real soldiers die.

    Also, while plenty of characters died in Stargate, Janet’s death was also mourned, memorialized, and commemorated. You didn’t just feel sad about Janet, but also proud of her. I think that that deepened the feelings in the episode.

    Second place would’ve gone to McKay and Shepherd on the end of the Atlantis pier in “The Shrine,” if that had been on the list.

  51. Definitely Janet’s death. I still have to steel myself to watch that pair of episodes.

  52. After a little thought, I voted for the Death of Riley. I voted for that one, well, because it was so well done. It wasn’t an easy decision for Young. I’m pro-euthanasia, so it was really the only humane decision Young could make. I could understand the thought behind his decision and the consequences of what he faced after. Am I making any sense? ADD is a killer today. Karate class ought to be fun. 🙁

  53. If I could vote for each listed grief-inspiring moment, I would. But I chose “Sunday”. Carson Beckett was such a great character and wonderfully portrayed by Paul McGillion. That entire episode was a Stargate golden moment for me. I hope I don’t wear out the DVD it’s on.

    Just had a first with Facebook. I tried uploading a Pres. Reagan video emailed to me from a cousin and FB identified it as copyrighted and declined to post it.
    Now, I had no way of knowing it was copyrighted, so how can FB know? I am suspicious because the video was conservative/right-leaning in content.

    Was I just censored? 😛

    2cats

  54. Wow, close call. I voted for Jacob.

    Janet’s death was beyond sad, but teasing us with “maybe it’s O’Neill who died/no it’s Janet so aren’t you relieved” took me out of the story a bit. (Even though I already knew Jack wasn’t dead by the time I saw it.) Riley – yikes. Gut-wrenching – but like the death of Dr Gall in SGA, it was more shocking than heart-breaking. We knew Riley much better, but for me it was a feeling of “he’s not..he can’t…arghh…gah!” Jacob was just…Jacob! There was the all-around awesomeness of Jacob/Selmak, plus the background knowledge that Selmak was already very old when he blended with a terminally-ill Jacob, giving the announcement of impending death a feeling of reality and finality. It’s the sudden letdown after a long repreive that made you forget the initial trouble. 🙁

    (Also, I agree with someone upthread – no reason for Alt-Shep to be dead! If the SGC could send jets to take out the trailer, there’s no reason they couldn’t and wouldn’t also have sent ground help. He’s totally not dead!)

  55. TJ’s ALS. As a person with a neurological disorder that causes deterioration problems to the body in a similar way, it hit especially close to home for me. I would have loved to see how you writers would have resolved it.

  56. I think it has to be the death of Riley. The entire Riley/Young dynamic was incredible. It also allowed the viewer to see how Young handled it afterwards. Unlike Carson’s death, which is #2, the Riley/Young dynamic was in place prior to Riley’s death. I never really saw the whole Rodney/Carson closeness thing until the scene on the final pier.

  57. Wow! This is an intriguing list. There are a number of things I wish to say about many of these episodes. I know my vote will not be with the majority, but I just vote my conscience. Solitary Man was a real out of the box episode. It changed in cinema photography; its story line was fresh and new for Stargate. With its alternate reality story line did not have glowing “Hollywood” ending there was no ceremony nor mourning as like some of the others. Its musical score was fresh and driving. I have listen to many other commentaries for SG1 and SGA. When mentioned they always spoke glowingly of Joel scores, and rightly so. He could bring the right pulse to the scene with his music. One thing that separates this from the other eps. is this Sheppard ends alone in hot desert and shot: stressed dehydrating and in shock. If the flight were still above;there was no assistance they could offer. Yes, there was the possibility of him surviving if we were allowed to see EMTs beating a path to the sight, but this is in comparison to other character comebacks that returned from the super natural to vagaries of science phenomena. This story explored what could have happened had John not overcome his demons and set him on his soured path. He still had that core but his was tarnished.

    The one ep. that was perhaps most tragic was “the Death of Riley. It was the only one of the above the left me with a bitter taste of anger and shock. I thought “Unending” a bit odd for the list as I did not see the “lose.” I did enjoy the exploration of relationships as natural yearning of the human character.

  58. For me it will always be the episode “Unending” for SG1. The fact that they spent an entire life on the ship and then lost everything they’d gained was such a loss. Daniel’s death was sad but he came back, Janet somewhat did the same due to the alternate universes. The same goes for Carson. In one way or another they all came back, so that kinda made it better for me. But the fact that so many possibilities and knowledge was lost in the reversal of time is just a waste of so many years of effort for the SG1 team.

    This would have been easier and somewhat better if I could’ve chosen one moment from each show because they were all separate entities in my mind…despite the fact that they were all part of the same universe. I love all three of the shows equally.

    For the other 2 shows I’d go with the moment that Jeannie saw Rodney for the first time in “The Shrine” (I know, not one of the choices but it was pretty hard watching that when you’ve lost someone from Alzheimers) and when we see Eli at the very end of SGU standing there alone (again I know not a choice but I was so sad cause you never find out what happened…did he fix the pod and live or did he die?).

  59. I posted this on the poll’s comment board, so I’m just going to copy/paste it here because I don’t think I could have said it any better.

    Everytime I watch Sam’s reaction coming back from the field, her yelling at the camera crew…we’ve never seen Sam as pushed as that. And then to see Daniel’s video of how Janet died, I always cry and my first thought is always about Cassandra and my second is, we never know whether they’re alive or dead but, Janet’s parents. One of the most gutwrenching things is for a parent to outlive their child.

    Another heartbreaking moment that I think got overlooked is Charin’s death. Charin’s final words are poignant but what’s even more so are Carson and Teyla’s reactions when the heart monitor flatlines. Carson was already established as one of the most emotional and compassionate people on Atlantis, but Teyla had been established as compassionate, yes, but also as one of the strong rocks of the Expedition and to see her lose it, that’s second only to see her lose it while packing Elizabeth’s office stuff up and Ronon consoling her as she does it. Both are incredibly touching moments.

  60. It was a tough call but Jacob and Janet’s deaths were the first to come to mind and ultimately I went with Janet. Carter reading the list of names at the end of that episode get me every time… :`(

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