Episode Review of Stargate SG-1 Season 9: "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2"

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Episode Information

Title: "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2"
Written by: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Director: Andy Mikita
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: September 21, 2007

Synopsis from GateWorld


The Ori suffer a defeat, but how much it will set back their plans is unclear.

At the end of the first part of this two-part episode, Gerak had revealed that he was made into a Prior of the Ori. He gives the Jaffa High Council another speech to convince them to join the Ori, and then he wows them with his new powers of telekinesis. The High Council is obviously leaning in favor of Gerak and the Ori, so Teal'c and Bra'tac secretly gather all Jaffa who will follow them on Chulak. The plan to force Gerak to decide between killing many of his fellow Jaffa in order to follow the Ori, or letting them live and renouncing the Ori. Teal'c's reputation in the fight against the Goa'uld is useful here, as it sways many undecided Jaffa in his favor. Nevertheless, his supporters are clearly in the minority.

Mitchell and Daniel return to the Sodan world with the anti-Prior device. The Sodan leader, Haikon, has finally come to his senses and renounced the Ori after the Prior ordered them to slaughter a planet of innocent farmers who rejected the Ori. Now the Sodan will help try to capture that Prior. Mitchell sets up an ambush for the Prior, but the problem is that they don't yet know the exact ultrasonic frequency that will be effective in the anti-Prior device, so some experimentation will be necessary.

The Prior returns, and Mitchell tries to distract him while Daniel covertly runs through different frequencies on the device. The Prior nearly kills Mitchell before the correct frequency is found and the Prior is neutralized. To say that the Prior is shocked is an understatement. A blood sample from the Prior is returned to the SGC. Daniel and Mitchell then tell the Prior the truth about the Ori (sapping power from their followers, but not helping them ascend), but naturally the Prior does not believe it.

Back at the SGC, Orlin, Carter and others begin working on a cure for the Prior plague using the Prior's DNA from his blood sample. Orlin had previously written down instructions about how to proceed since his memories are continuing to slip away from him. As they work, it's clear that his brain's degeneration is continuing. Unfortunately, all their work reaches a dead end and they cannot find a cure. Meanwhile, the plague has started to spread into countries world wide, despite the quarantine.

General Landry takes Orlin to the Sodan world to visit the Prior, with the intention of shaking up the Prior and getting him to cure the plague. Orlin reveals that he is a "descended" Ancient, and proves it by revealing information about the Prior's past. He tells the Prior the Ori are lying. The Prior is still not convinced, and suddenly he regains his powers - apparently the anti-Prior device does not work forever. He tries to kill Landry, but Mitchell shoots him from behind. When Landry, Orlin, and the rest of the SGC personnel return to Earth, Dr. Lam diagnoses Landry with the Prior plague.

Gerak arrives at Chulak with a large fleet to put down the Jaffa who are against the Ori. Teal'c talks him into meeting with him on the surface of the planet, and leads Gerak to a monument: the gravesite of Gerak's father, who fought against his false god Goa'uld and was killed. Teal'c finally gets through to Gerak with the key idea: the Ori are no better than the Goa'uld. They have power, but if they are really gods, they should not need to force faith and obedience. Gerak disavows the Ori, and Teal'c takes him to Earth.

Once on Earth, Gerak uses his Prior powers to cure all of the SGC personnel of the Prior plague. Immediately after he does so, he is incinerated, apparently by the Ori. Dr. Lam and the scientists at the SGC use the cured victim's blood to figure out how to make a vaccine for the plague. (And also a cure for those who are currently ill? It wasn't actually clear.) Several thousand people die from the plague, but clearly a major pandemic was averted.

Orlin's mind has degenerated and he has lost all of his Ancient memories, including his memories of Carter and the SGC. He has been placed in a mental institution, where Carter visits him.

The resolution of the plague in this episode has a nice twist, because for once Carter, Dr. Lam, or other super-minds at the SGC do not arrive at a technological solution. If Teal'c had not been so committed to trying to peacefully bridge the Jaffa divide and convince Gerak of the error of his ways, then surely most of Earth's population would have died. Gerak also knowingly sacrificed his life in a very fitting act of disobedience to his new masters.

Orlin's participation in events was helpful, but not quite the plot device I was worried it could be. Orlin's original motivations were extremely altruistic: he gave up being ascended and knew that his mind would degenerate quickly, but he wanted to get the information about the Ori to Earth. The fact that he also helped them out with the research on the Prior plague was completely fortuitous. His feelings of devotion and duty to Carter and the humans of Earth (and the galaxy) are amazing that he was willing to do this. From this point, we assume he'll grow up and die like any other human. Will he be able to ascend when he dies? I doubt he has the knowledge or ability to do so himself, but I would hope one of the other ascended would give him a hand! It must be heartbreaking for Carter to see Orlin in the end - how much will she continue to visit him?

General Hammond is apparently retired now, although still advising the President as a civilian. It was nice to see him drop by, although it seemed a little superfluous. I was hoping he would stay and provide some direction when Landry came down with the plague.

What will happen to the Jaffa High Council now that Gerak is dead? Surely there will be a shake up and shifting of political alliances. In a nice scene, Teal'c tried to convince Bra'tac that he (Bra'tac) should step forward to provide direction to the Jaffa. Teal'c restated his commitment to SG-1 for as long as the Ori are a threat. Surely if he returned to Dakara full time he would be able to convince the Jaffa to do whatever he wanted!

The Ori have suffered a major defeat on two fronts, Earth and the Jaffa. However, we get the feeling that with their huge resources, this may only be a minor setback. What will their next big plan be? The SGC and other denizens of our galaxy still don't have any huge weapons or strategies, although now they at least have an anti-Prior device that is effective for a short time.

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