I'm amused that phrase "fourteen year old girls" has permeated fandom to the degree it has. I wonder if it spread from a single point or most of us came up with that description the moment we saw the phone call scene in "The Return"? I have a feeling it's a combination of both.
On a more serious note: The first halfof the season was obviously Team + Elizabeth, Carson and possibly Radek = Family. They made that explicit in several episodes. Nothing subtle about this series. :) The corallary to "family" is home.
Digression: There is an episode of ST:Voyager called "Nemesis", where Chakotay is stranded in the middle of a war. It's not the most popular of episodes, but I liked it - not just because it made an interesting use of language (eyes="glimpses") but because it was such a good character study of Chakotay himself. This is a man who puts home and family in front of everything else. When his home planet was lost to the Neutral Zone, he turned Maqui because Starfleet was *never* that to him. When he became part of Voyager, he consciously made the ship and the crew his home and family, and when he became part of the Vori and had to help them - he made the same connection.
There are a lot of similarities between the two series - a strong woman as leader, a more or less independent group still connected in a vague way to their government of origin, fighting indigenous members of the local population, adopting locals as members of the crew. One of the differences is Sheppard vs.Chakotay. Chakotay has this strong connection to his ancestry and his home planet, and he's able to forge new connections.
Sheppard seems rootless - he has no family he can talk to, he doesn't seem to have a home on Earth. Even the Air Force's hold on him seems tenuous at best. He's loyal to his men because he does accept responsibility and that means leaving no one behind, but that seems a personal thing, even if it also fits with a military mindset. Which he clearly does not have. He can put it on - I like the detail in "The Return" where he's sitting with his feet propped on Elizabeth's desk until General Jack walks into the room, at which point he's standing up. Not standing *straight* mind you, but standing nevertheless. He shows exactly as much as necessary and not a bit more, even for a man he clearly respects.
So his connections to his team surprised him, I think. He can't put it in words, and it may even have snuck up on him, but they are there and John doesn't want to lose them. He likes belonging to a family - he loves all these people - and that took him by surprise, too.
And that leads me to home, because all roads lead there.
Fandom picked up on this right away - our gang isn't *home* on Earth. It's not just that they're separate - after all, Carson's working in Cheyenne and we know John and Rodney are on the phone all the time. Of course, Teyla and Ronon are in Pegasus and out of touch, and Weir is not answering phone calls, so that is a factor. It's also that they don't fit there anymore.
And the episode made it explicit. John thinks of Atlantis as "my city". As liviapenn pointed out, they have actively chosen the health and safety of Atlantis over that of Earth, and none of them took a moment to worry about cutting ties. We *watched* John cut his ties as he cut off Landry. There is no going back (I hope) for them. Atlantis has become their home, and I think the next half of the season will be about that - will be about Atlantis on her own. And about the meaning of "home."
Which is sort of what I wanted to happen to Voyager, but it never did.
I've been reading a fair bit of DC/Smallville fanfic lately. And I've been thinking about Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne. Not together, btw, although I could make a case for a brief time in boarding school. Both are brilliant and wealthy, both run technological empires so great that in DCU, techno toys are Waynetech or Lexcorp, not Sony or Panasonic. And in both cases, the technology, while clearly profitmaking, are spinoffs of their personal obsessions - obsessions that limit their actual power.
Bruce/Batman's obsession is Gotham City and its criminals. This makes perfect *sane* sense if you realize that the Waynes are the feudal lords of Gotham. He's a major employer, he runs and donates to charities - his house is "Wayne Manor", for goodness sake. And the duty of a feudal lord is to protect his people, and that's what he does as Batman. Such is his obsession that he has to do it personally. And that is, probably, a mistake. He has the money and power to do more good politically, but his public persona is that of a feckless playboy, so Bruce Wayne has almost no influence, and Batman takes up so much of his time and energy that I doubt he can do much behind the scenes. Perhaps he'll do that when he ages out of being Batman, but I wouldn't count on it. (I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see an aging Batman commit suicide by criminal.)
Lex says he wants to rule the world. He even got a good shot at it when he was president of the US. And yet - and yet he never manages it. He didn't even finish his first term of office. He's also almost a feudal lord - in this case, Metropolis. (In the series Smallville, it was becoming his personal fief, too -a dress rehearsal for his later life. And he does care for his city and his people in his way. His obsession? Superman. The reasons don't matter - he's worried about an alien overlord (as in, what would he do if he had Superman's power?), he's jealous of Lois Lane, he's feeling the very opposite of hate for Superman but won't admit - or even would have admitted it, but it's changed now. It doesn't matter. What does is that if he weren't obsessed over destroying (but not quite) Superman, he'd have the time, energy and resources to take over the world, to be the malign dictator we fear or the benevolent one he probably pictures himself as.
It's this that eventually caused his downfall from the presidency.
These two men could easily have been truly powerful and, at least in Bruce's case, a tremendous force for good, but their personal demons have limited them to running a city and not always very well.