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Pairing: Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: m/m
Fandom: The Sentinel
Canonical?: not quite
Prevalence: most popular slash pairing
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By far, the most popular slash pairing for the television show The Sentinel pairs main characters Jim Ellison, the superpowered cop, and Blair Sandburg, his unofficial partner.

Appeal of the Pairing

The relationship between Jim and Blair, be it friendship or something more, is one of the central ingredients of the show, arguably more important than Jim's super senses.

In the glimpses of them we see outside of adventure, they frequently joke and laugh, and clearly enjoy each other's company. They are physically affectionate with each other, frequently touching, and though they never go so far as to hug, they often stand very close together. The threat of being torn apart by cruel fate renders them both unable to speak or look each other in the eye on several occasions. This open affection led to a proliferation of smarmy stories, vids, and other fanworks, all examining their friendship, their struggles, and their love for each other.

In the early 2000s, a fan, Annabelle Leigh, wrote:

I often ponder why the relationship between Jim and Blair is so powerful to me; my interest in it far exceeds my interest in any other pairing. I mean, it's not just that I think the actors are cute or that I'm a hopeless romantic or even that I like the whole heightened senses thing, which I do. It's more than that.

Their relationship *means* something to me. It's almost like it's become part of my belief system. It provides a strange sort of solace and reassurance, in the same way that real life couples who seem devoted to one another sometimes do. Only it's more profound with Jim and Blair, because this is fiction, and they can only leave each other and spoil the illusion if I read certain kinds of stories, which I won't.

I think my own anxiety about the future -- this worry I have that nothing lasts forever, that even though people love each other it's still so easy to break apart, despite the best of intentions and even the best of efforts -- has everything to do with why I find the idea of Jim and Blair's relationship so comforting and compelling. Story after story in this fandom includes some little mention of how Jim and Blair will always be in each other's lives, no matter what, because they are Sentinel and Guide and this is forever, a true commitment, an immutable connection. In a world where so many things are ephemeral and so many commitments falter, it warms me inside to think that these two people, fictional though they may be, will always have a soul-deep bond between them.

The sense of certainty I have about Jim and Blair renews my faith in what is possible, not just for them, but for me. [1]

Canon Evidence for Slash

While many slash fans find evidence of a sexual or otherwise intimate relationship between Jim and Blair in many episodes of "The Sentinel," some episodes stand out: "The Debt," "Flight," Blind Man's Bluff," "Warriors," "Sentinel Too Part 2," and The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg.


Trends in Fanworks

Sentinel fandom is rich in AUs, a trend which was reflected, perhaps to a lesser extent, in its slash stories. The AUs would often feature exotic locations, sometimes future societies with social structures which accommodated or repressed sentinels or guides in interesting ways, and sometimes tribal societies in an imagined past, often where the sentinel was a high-status position.

Another trope in this fandom was the call-boy AU.

Many slash authors imagine in their stories that the relationship of Sentinel and Guide might create some kind of special bond, perhaps psychic, psychological, or biochemical, which might force a sexual relationship. This is not generally presented as noncon. Sometimes, Jim is portrayed as having an intense need for Blair, arising from his sentinel instincts or biology; these stories are somewhat more likely to shade into noncon.

Notable Fanworks

For more fiction with this pairing, see Category:Sentinel J/B Fanfiction.

Jim/Blair Rec Communities

Example Art Gallery

Art by Suzan Lovett is here and here. Includes: "Touch," "Scent," "Taste," "Sight," "Sound," "Zone," "Dream Guardian," "Spirit Guide," "Running with the Jaguar," "Aloft," "Shadowplay," "Urban Jungle," "Call of the Wild," "A Place in the Sun," "Breakdown," "What He Should Have Done," "Spirits," "Sense and Sensuality," "Amidst Clutter", and "Once More with Clothes On."

Other Resources