Cameron Mitchell: Personality and Motivations

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Mitchell with Teal'c in contemplation


Mitchell is a type A personality, not unusual in fighter pilots (10.01 "Avalon Part 1"). He tends to like to be in the thick of action and becomes very uncomfortable just sitting around, "just relaxing" (10.05 "Uninvited").

Obviously intelligent based upon his positions as a pilot and now on SG-1, Mitchell also has great memory retention and dedication to his work. He not only read, but studied the SGC mission reports, and is able to recall details of them, including planet designations, when new discoveries relate to the past (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle"). It is a factor that has helped Mitchell get up to speed quickly in SG-1. He also kept track of every time he stepped through the Stargate and was very excited to commemorate his 200th trip (10.06 "200").

As has already been described, Cameron Mitchell is a very driven person. Once he sets a goal for himself, whether it is to reunite SG-1 or regain the use of his legs, he is unstoppable until he achieves it. When Landry first met him and asked to describe his faults, Mitchell listed his as being impatient (9.01 "Avalon Part 1"). Landry dismissed this as being common for the type A personality of pilots. Later, Cameron explained to Fergie that his impulsiveness and hotheaded nature is what gets him into trouble, and is something he hates about himself (9.14 "Stronghold"). His friend Bryce Ferguson noted that Mitchell's drive and instinctual ability to see opportunity was a good characteristic.

Mitchell on occasion can express self-doubt. He was concerned without Carter on the team, the world may be in jeopardy because of his screw-ups (9.01 "Avalon Part 1"). Although he himself began to feel invincible after his brush with death, "there was a part of me that figured…… I could do anything. Well, since coming to the SGC, I have learned that I can't handle any of this without the rest of SG-1" (10.05 "Uninvited").

When Mitchell expressed his guilt and his doubts to his friend Bryce Ferguson, his best friend explained "Just be yourself Cam, it's pretty damn good." As for being a little crazy, Ferguson rightly points out: "You have to be a little nuts to have a job traveling to other planets through a freakin wormhole." Cameron is still driven by his impetuous nature, but is on a journey of self-discovery. When Teal'c explained he was able to fight Ba'al's brainwashing attempt because he knew himself, Mitchell nodded and muttered to himself "Right. Yeah, I'm working on it."

His impetuousness has gotten him into trouble on SG-1. He blindly started work on a puzzle, which set off the booby trap that lowered the ceiling (In his defense, however, they were already trapped at the time). Immediately after getting out of that trap, he enthusiastically pulled the sword from the stone, forcing him into a painful duel with a holographic knight (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). Another time he pressed a button in a lab blindly, looking for a light switch, receiving an instant tongue lashing from Daniel and inadvertently awakening the evil Khalek from stasis (9.09 "Prototype"). His impulsiveness in pursuing his attraction to Reya Vallick led to his being accused of her murder, and may have inspired her ex-husband's jealous rage (9.12 "Collateral Damage"). He admitted to his friend Ferguson that his impatience has gotten him into trouble, and blamed this characteristic as the cause of Fergie's injury (9.14 "Stronghold").

Mitchell is an extremely emotional man. He became visibly upset when he learned SG-1 had been disbanded (9.01 "Avalon Part 1"). He was visibly excited at his early adventures with the SGC, such as when they explored Avalon (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin"). He tamped down on his anger when arguing against the false faith of the Ori (9.08 "Babylon", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). His anger came out forcefully when he was told by the doctor there was nothing that could be done to help Bryce Ferguson (9.14 "Stronghold"). He struck the coffee vending machine, breaking the glass and the equipment before storming away, calling back he'd pay for the machine. Later, he breached military protocol by going behind enemy lines without backup. He risked his own life and Daniel and Sam's, who followed to protect him, in his blind need to take action against something, anything. Unable to do anything to save Fergie, Mitchell did everything possible to save Teal'c. He would have been captured or killed by Jaffa if not for Jackson's and Carter's intervention. They did not condemn him however, but seemed to understand his need, and covered his path of retreat from the returning Jaffa while he ringed up to the mothership, arriving just in time to save both Teal'c and Bra'tac.

Mitchell is extremely loyal to his comrades. He supported his father through his recuperation (9.12 "Collateral Damage"). He remained a loyal friend to former classmate Ferguson, partly out of guilt...but there was also a genuine friendship (9.14 "Stronghold"). Instead of bringing him flowers, he brought him "something" in a plain brown shopping bag. He stayed by Daniel and Vala's sides when they were incapacitated by the Ori weapon (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). He formed a bond with Jolan that made him defend the Sodan even when their intelligence appeared faulty (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1"). After his experience with the Galaran memory device, he did not want to see that technology used on anyone (9.12 "Collateral Damage").

However, when his friend was ill, he went out of his way to pull strings to be able to give Ferguson a taste of the life Mitchell felt should've been rightfully his. He questioned Carter on whether using the alien technology now made him a hypocrite. All he knew was that it was a small gesture to give comfort to a friend when nothing could alleviate Mitchell's own guilt (9.14 "Stronghold"). The only reason he left Ferguson's bedside was because his teammate Teal'c was in mortal danger. After Teal'c expressed his thanks, Mitchell repeated the same words Ferguson said to him about his own rescue: "If it had been anyone else, I would've done the same thing. We watch each other's backs cause it's our job right?" Teal'c saw through the ruse as easily as Cameron had when he was on the receiving end of that statement.

This loyalty also gives Mitchell a very personal connection to his work. He almost quit the Air Force because of his own guilt over the accidental deaths of civilians by his plane's bomb (9.12 "Collateral Damage"). He was very concerned about the people succumbing the Ori plague on P8X-412 and requested their help (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). When asked if his team was all right, he hesitated before responding they were fine but needed medical help for the locals. It is unclear whether he did not recognize the symptoms in himself, or put his own needs second to the population's. During the mission to Galar, after Reya Vallick was killed, Mitchell was given diplomatic immunity and could have left the planet (9.12 "Collateral Damage"). Instead he insisted on an investigation and wanted to ensure her real killer was brought to justice. He also felt guilty that, not only did his fellow pilot Bryce Ferguson save his life and become injured himself, the injury caused Mitchell to take Ferguson's place in the F-302 program (9.14 "Stronghold"). This guilt was compounded when he discovered the shrapnel lodged in Fergie's skull created a lethal aneurysm, even though Bryce continuously told him not to blame himself. When Teal'c was captured by Ba'al, Mitchell returned from personal leave to be part of the rescue mission.

Despite this impetuous nature, Mitchell has an innate sense of fairness also means he often tries reason first before firing his weapon. When Vala Mal Doran was scheduled to be executed for her crimes against the people of P8X-412, Mitchell appealed to their reason and convinced them to hold a trial, and managed to allow Dr. Jackson to stay in her presence due to the proximity issue they had at the time (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). He tried to talk the Prior out of his actions before launching the Mark IX warhead (9.06 "Beachead"). He used reason, logic, and empathy in faith to try and connect to the Sodan (9.08 "Babylon").

A spiritual person himself, he acknowledged he was the last person to stand in the way of another's beliefs. However, he felt justified and obligated to expose charlatans for what they were...especially when he learned the truth of the Ori (9.03 "Origin and 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). When Haikon, believing all Mitchell needed was faith to realize the Path of Origin was the way to enlightenment, explained Mitchell may only understand once he was at the point of death himself. Having been to that point twice already, Mitchell darkly replied: "I've already been there. I understand" (9.08 "Babylon"). Though not previously ascended, like Daniel or Orlin, Mitchell's own life and near-death experiences give him credibility in speaking to others about faith and the false promises of the Ori.

Biography Articles

--Aurora 16:58, 29 January 2006 (PST)