Stargate SG-1

Season 9 Episode 5

The Powers That Be

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Aug 12, 2005 on Syfy
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Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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8.8
out of 10
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457 votes
  • The new cast is working

    9.1
    After watching a few episodes of the new season, it's time to make an assessment of the cast changes. And the verdict? It's working--for the most part. Claudia Black has brought a huge amount of energy to this show. So much so that Amanda Tapping had better watch out. I suddenly realized during this episode that I've barely missed her. It may be time to move Claudia Black from being a "guest star" to being a series regular. Otherwise, last night's episode also highlighted just how well Ben Browder and Lexa Doig have blended right in. Beau Bridges, however, is still hard to take. Even the Landry/Dr. Lam father-daughter plot line revealed in this episode didn't inject much into Bridges' role. Bring back Don Davis, I say.
  • Is Stargate SG-1 becoming a Scifi channel mix?

    9.0
    What is SG-1 becoming? We now have main actors from Farscape and Andromeda taking larger and larger part of the series. I do like Andromeda (except season 5) and Farscape but where is O'Niel and Sam?

    Season 9 is not up to par jet. The repartee and comments of O'Niel is a mayor part of the watching enjoyment for me and many others. Mitchell is doing his best but its not the same.

    Vala and Daniel is adding some enjoyment...

    But the evil Ori is a bit unimaginative in my opinion. Its a bit more of the same ...

    I hope it gets better because i really like the series.
  • An interesting, yet not crucial episode.

    9.5
    This episode was quite entertaining. It really expresses the new casts various roles in the show. I really don't like the overly emotional moments back at SG-1 homebase. I have to say that those weird moments between our new Dr. and her father are the only things that brought this episode down. A lot of allusions to other parts and episodes were made that weren't really needed, but they did well as filler for blank moments. This episode could use some re-writing, but it does pose the new pivotal questions for the show to reveal later in the series. Valla is becoming more of an interesting character. She is still the slimeball everyone thought she was, posing as a god, but she is a strong character for the new season and I approve of her. The new squad is working well together and I await more of their adventures.
  • Not bad, I was hoping for something different.

    6.8
    The 9th season of SG1 is starting to look a lot like Farscape. I guess that the fans of the previous seasons and the "old crew" are more than dissapointed. Teal'c is almost invisible, the only hope lies with Daniel Jackson, although I don't think he's going to save the show on his own. I hated the doctor-general scenes. IMHO Lexa Doig appears only because she's Michael Shanks wife. The scenes with Vala as the god were awful. On the other hand, I was quite surprised with the ending. I also liked the scenes involving the Ori.
  • Now THAT'S what I'm talking about.

    9.1
    Woot, the season's getting back on track!

    After all the Daniel-Vaala stuff I was expecting to see another pseudo-funny sci-fi'ish example of how a show can go terribly wrong. Needless to say it pleasantly surprised me when the show went from slapstick to serious, filler to important piece of the story in one episode.
    Now, sure: O'Neill's not here, and a lot of people miss him (real-life viewers, but also characters in SG-1... Note that constant references are made to O'Neill in the new series). His witty cynical remarks and outlook on things are what made the show, really. But let's not dwell on him being gone, I say. David Browder is a fine actor. Another gripe is that I still really don't see SG-1 as a team. They're not convincing as a team like the old SG-1 was, but maybe that'll take some time (for the chemistry between the actors to build up etc). Now though the team feel a bit cold towards each other.

    Despite all of this, however, I feel the show's getting back in the right direction. This episode was an ominous taster of things to come, and aroused anger (towards the Ori for being such cryptic, powerful bastards) and excitement on my part. It also raised many questions, mostly about the Ori, and how the hell SG-1 could fight such a threat.

    So, in short: great episode.
  • Good critique of organized religion and a call for critical thinking, not blind allegiance.

    7.7
    At first I was unhappy with the new changes in Season 9, too many new characters, leaving the Egyptian mythology and at first seeming like they were going to introduce Arthurian mythology instead.

    However, I've decided I like this new twist on the show's exposure of "false gods" and their critique of religion.

    I enjoyed the themes of Daniel's speeches in this episode about fearmongering and ruling only through fear and threats; about robbing people of their free will and attempting to dictate their behaviors and life were pretty good. Nobody should believe something on blind faith alone. I definitely think we should all seek enlightenment on our own path.

    I think the parallels to today's world where the religious right seeks to dominate our political structure and tell us how to live our lives is even more clearly shown here.
    The problems with organized religions that try to prosethylize and convert are well shown.

    If they keep this kind of debate and critical interpretation/critical thinking going on I might like this season more than any previous ones.
  • A lot of to think about.

    7.3
    I do say - this episode had the point. There was so clear message to be heard and something to be heard but... it looked shallow for me. There was no depth in this episode. The storyline was somehow plain, nothing to impress, very clear and easy to see trough.

    The start was quite promising and to see Vala playing God - there was quite many good sayings but soon the intriguing situation was torn apart. I do like the Ori and somehow that threat what they are.. the message they have. But somehow - in this episode Ori was plane. Maybe because there was other writer and some unknowing what will be.. but.. This episode did not impressed me not much if not think on the message, what was good.
  • Hallowed are the Ori?

    10
    This episode marks the appearence of the Ori again. And this time they are not messing around. When the SGC gets word that the Priors of the Ori are visiting other worlds, the team go and try to stop the world from falling victim. However matters become complicated when Vala looses trust of the village because she betrayed them as she was hold to a Goa'uld. So when the Ori show up there is a big speach about how the world "must embrace Origin" or the non followers will be killed. So to try and convert the village they release a plague that begins to kill. When the team are unable to do anything to stop it they feel that they cannot win. Finally when the Prior shows up he stops the plague and is relished in support by the world...Looks like SG1 need to do a lot more convicing than that.. and just how are they going to stop the Priors in the future when they are unable to be killed? This episode was fantastic and i cannot wait to find out more about the Ori.
  • Vala is in trouble!

    10
    Vala should tell the people that she is not Qutesh anymore. I thought Vala as "Qutesh" can't remember the memories after she was freed from Qutesh. Weird. I am so happy that Daniel want to save Vala from excuted to death! Of course, Daniel have to save his life too, because Vala die, so Daniel too! I wish they are together for long time. Daniel have feeling for Vala, I know it! Vala was desperate because she can't save whole village. Daniel did comfort her to dont give up helping. Anyway, I love this episode! Great episode! It is so cool for Vala to shoot at Prior herself! Way to go, VALA!
  • Great episode...

    8.2
    This episode was certainly better than the last. Mitchell and the gang go to a planet that vala knows. The people think she is therte god Quetesh. She teels them that she is not and the want to execute her. A prior has visited this planet, The people have 2 choices. Belive in the Ori or Die. I thought it was really funny when Mitchell and Teal'c are sitting in the temple playing war. We learn more about the ori like they won't take any crap. I think the ori make better enemies than the gould because they seem to bring a more of a challenge. Later...
  • SG-1 have to convince some people that the Ori are not gods.

    10
    Vala goes with SG-1 to a planet where she says the people trust her. We find out that the people think Vala is their god and Daniel convinces Vala to tell them the truth.

    The Ori return in this episode and tell the people to either believe or die. When the prior leaves them, people become ill and there's nothing anyone can do about it. This episode definitely had its funny points, but it had its serious points as well. A great combination! I think there is a lot of chemistry between Vala and Daniel and would love to see something come of that before the series is gone.

    I also think there is some chemistry between Dr. Lam and Mitchell even though nothing has really happened much there.

    A great episode even though I don't really care for their foe, the Ori! It's just not the same as when they fought the goa'uld, but it's still good.
  • I'm starting to get bored...

    8.2
    While at first I loved the interaction between Daniel and Vala, I hate to say it has started to grate just a bit. I'm getting bored with the whole situation now, and hope they break the link sooner rather than later. There's only so much of the same constant back-and-forth between them that stays funny.

    And then there's Mitchell... he tries so very hard to be O'Neill. But that's just the problem, he's not O'Neill. If he'd had a completely different personality type, I think it would have been a much easier transition, rather than trying to clone a much-loved character.

    Teal'c has been very underused so far in this season. He's there most of the time, but seems even more silent than usual, not to mention unhappy with being there in the first place.

    Carter hasn't been seen so far at all, which I know is due to Amanda Tapping's maternity leave, but she is very sorely missed, and I'm hoping her return will give the show back some of what is missing right now.

    In this new season everything is different. Not bad, just different. new cast, new enemies, and a much darker feel.
    personally I think it isn't really SG-1 anymore... It feels more like a spin-off series.
  • Just when things look light-hearted...watch out!

    8.0
    When this episode began, I was expecting it to be as relatively light-hearted as the teaser. Considering how Vala’s more ridiculous side was explored in such detail in the previous episode, it wasn’t such a stretch to make that assumption. What struck me was how quickly the episode went from hijinks to heavy drama, and how impressed I was in the process.

    I mentioned in my comments for “Origin” that the most intriguing side of the Ori mythology was their depth of true power; unlike the Goa’uld, the Ori are actually god-like in nearly every respect. They make Anubis look like a chump, and he was ready to wipe the floor with the rest of the System Lords. Convincing people (especially the downtrodden) that they should throw off the shackles of the false gods worked rather well when SG-1 could point to snakeheads and be done with it.

    In the case of the Ori, they don’t have that. The Priors walk in, do things that they really shouldn’t be able to do (on a massive scale), and then let the not-so-implied threats speak for themselves. No wonder so many bow down to the Ori! From an objective perspective, the Ori are more directly evident in their “godhood” than any of the deities of Earth-based religions, and there’s plenty of belief in those faiths. The Priors are very much like the “prophets” of the Bible, walking in and performing miracles as though they were casual shrugs.

    What was most interesting about this episode was the slow but steady erosion of Daniel’s confidence. About halfway through the episode, he was confident that explaining Vala’s true nature and offering freedom would be enough. He certainly wasn’t expecting the Prior to release a plague. Even then, he figured that Vala and the Goa’uld technology would be able to counter the effects. When that didn’t work, he was left with nothing.

    Even better, I strongly suspect that the Prior was toying with Daniel and Vala. The Prior had prior knowledge (no pun intended) of Daniel and Vala, and he certainly recognized Daniel and knew about his lack of belief in the Ori. It’s very easy to believe that the Prior had little worry over converting the mining colony; he was more intent on providing an example for Daniel to ponder. Forcing Daniel to admit the power of the Ori and his inability to match it would be a far more powerful effect.

    The second half of the episode was all about that process of undermining Daniel’s confidence, and it worked for me, a lot more than I thought it would. I guess I’m feeling what the writers intended me to feel when it comes to the Ori. The concepts of absolutism behind the Priors and the Ori get under my skin. I find myself asking the same question that Daniel keeps asking: what motivates the Ori to demand such utter devotion and fealty?

    The slowly re-forming SG-1 team gets a nasty lesson in how bad it’s going to get, and what kind of enemy they are fighting. Unlike the previous episode, I can see how the team is going to be forced back together. As the scope of the threat posed by the Priors is revealed, slowly but surely, the need for an elite and experienced team to deal with their activities will be needed. Episodes like this prove that taking such a measured approach can work wonders.
  • SG-1 or SGC? No more team ethics...

    8.2
    Under these circumstances, it is understandable that the Sam character isn't there. Sadly, I think the show is suffering without her, because Daniel and Vala (to me) is the only part that's keeping me watching it. There is STILL no SG-1, and if Vala is such a pain to Daniel, why not just ship her and Daniel off to a deserted planet where they can kill each other off? Vala has gotten the SGC in much trouble thus far and can only go from bad to worse. If she wasn't so selfish in the first place, the SGC wouldn't feel responsible for practically killing off a village and recruiting a new batch of believers. The show has lost its team ethics, (hence, Stargate SG-1) and it's not feeling like SG-1 anymore. It's nice to broaden the storyline, but this is supposed to be about SG-1 and their adventures. Also, why does it always have to be about powerhungry cult-like villains that can't be overpowered? The show probably would do better if it didn't have a deja vu sense and just had some blood thirsty creature be the antagonist. Why couldn't they come up with something that wasn't human? The Replicators were a good enemy, because they weren't human and didn't give a hoot.
  • Shows the true power of the Ori and asks intresting questions

    10
    I thought this episode was very good and it showed us just how dangerous the Ori and the Priors really are. I think that this is the first time that they really show that the Ori are a dangerous and a sinister enemy. I say this becouse it showed just how far the Ori were willing to go and what the Priors are truly capable of. It showed how sinister the Ori are becouse of the way that they used a plague to a planet of out of the way villagers to worship them even though they didn’t want to. It also showed just how powerful the Priors are when one of them stops bullets that were fired him. It also asked a very important question. Just why do the Ori want people to worship them when it really doest give them any benefit whatsoever?
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