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Absolute Power

04.17 Episode 83 (#6718)
Airdate: January 19, 2001

On Abydos, SG-1 encounters a whirling sandstorm that seems to whisper Daniel's name, then dissolves to reveal a young boy. The boy is Shifu, the Harsesis child of Sha're and Apophis, who has been raised by Oma Desala, and now seeks to learn about his own mother. Shifu is wise beyond his years, and he possesses the genetic knowledge of the Goa'uld, which could prove a valuable weapon against the System Lords. SG-1 returns with him to Earth, but once there, Shifu's touch causes Daniel to pass out. "Dreams teach," he explains. "I'm teaching him."

Through the power of Shifu's touch, Daniel comes to see the mysteries of the Goa'uld, the means for new technology, and the designs for weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons could benefit Earth, and Daniel oversees a plan to construct an elaborate orbiting network of enormous power. However, as Daniel's influence increases, so does his mistrust and alienation. Even Carter and O'Neill begin to question his motivation, and try to find a way to stop him as he uses his knowledge to bring the world to the brink of destruction.

As Daniel awakens, he comes to realize the danger of absolute power, and to understand Shifu's warning that when confronted with great evil, "the only way to win is to deny it battle." It is Shifu's wisdom, not his knowledge, that Daniel has gained in his dream. His spiritual journey complete, Daniel must convince the others that Shifu is not the key to a military victory over the Goa'uld. Having accomplished his mission, Shifu ascends to his ethereal state, and departs once again through the stargate.

Written by: Robert C. Cooper
Directed by: Peter DeLuise

Guest Starring: Lane Gates as Shifu, Peter Williams as Apophis, Colin Cunningham as Major Davis, Gary Jones as Sergeant Davis, William de Vry as Aldwin, Erick Avari as Kasuf, Steven Williams as General Vidrine, Teryl Rothery as Dr. Fraiser, Michelle Harrison as Assistant, Yee Jee Tso as Left Tech, Jenn Forgie as Right Tech, Barbara Fixx as Rear Tech, Coleen Christie as Reporter, June B. Wilde as Maid

Reference: Abydonians, Abydos, AG-3 Defense System, Aldwin, Apophis, Ascension, Paul Davis, Harsesis, Kasuf, Memory Recall Device, Nano-Technology, Nano-Virus, Others, SF Guard, Shifu, Tok'ra, UTD, General Vidrine, Zatarc, Zatarc Detector


Destinations & Inhabitants


Destinations & Inhabitants

Daniel's Mansion

Destinations & Inhabitants



  • The name Shifu means "light". Shifu is the Harsesis, born with all the knowledge of Apophis and Amaunet. Nanite technology caused initial aging to be accelerated, but it is currently inactive. Oma Desala taught him to forget the Goa'uld knowledge with which he was born. He came to Abydos to learn more about his mother, Sha're.
  • The treaty with the Tok'ra includes the full exchange of all potential sources of information pertaining to the Goa'uld.
  • The Russian stargate remains closed by agreement that the US will share all information gathered by the SGC.
  • In Daniel's dream he determines that the ribbon device requires naquadah in the blood of the user in order to activate it.
  • The AG-3 is the satellite of alien design from Daniel's dream. Designed as a defense system to be deployed in a network orbiting Earth, they were capable of detecting approaching Goa'uld ships thousands of light years away, and the weapons systems could penetrate shield technology and destroy motherships.


  • Try to keep it in Kansas, huh? [O'Neill]
  • If I may, Sir, I think what he means is the wick is the center of the candle, and, ostensibly, a great leader, like yourself, is essential to the... whole ball of wax. Basically, what it means is that it's always better to have a big long wick... [O'Neill]
  • Oma teaches the true nature of a man is decided in the battle between his conscious mind and the desires of his subconscious. Oma teaches the evil of my subconscious is too strong to resist. The only way to win is to deny it battle. [Shifu]
  • If the instrument is broken, the music will be sour. [Shifu]
    The music does not play the musician. [Daniel]
    Normally there is truth in that. [Shifu]
    Really? Good. Because I really didn't have any idea what I was talking about. [Daniel]
  • Let's kick some Goa'uld ass! Because it's me saying it, I'm suddenly a bad guy? [Daniel]
  • As Oma teaches. [Shifu]
    One of these days, I'm going to figure out she's worth listening to. [Daniel]


  • Peter DeLuise cameo: SF watching Shifu depart
  • Injuries:
    • Daniel: unconscious during the dream Shifu gave him
  • Popular Culture References:
    • The Wizard of Oz
      • Try to keep it in Kansas, huh?