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The Powers That Be

09.05 Episode 179
Airdate: August 12, 2005

Priors have been reported on 43 different worlds, and Vala convinces the team to visit P8X-412, one of the worlds in which she has a particular interest. The reason becomes apparent upon their arrival when the simple villagers bow down to Vala as their benevolent god Qetesh. Once a host to the Goa'uld Qetesh, Vala had sought refuge on the planet after the symbiote was removed, and had continued to pose as a god. Now she had hoped to collect her riches and convince her people to turn against the Ori, but some have already begun to accept the word of the Prior, who has healed the villager Vachna for his faith.

Daniel insists that the only way to save the villagers from the Ori is for Vala to tell the truth about herself and false gods, but instead her admission is met with anger, and Azdak, the village leader, orders her arrest and execution. Persuaded to grant Vala a hearing, Azdak agrees to a trial, but as Daniel argues in her defense and warns of the danger of the Ori, the Prior returns and promises that the Day of Reckoning approaches. Soon, many villagers begin to fall ill from a mysterious contagion, and even Vala's powers through the Goa'uld healing device cannot slow its rapid spread.

The plague of the Priors has swept through the village like wildfire, claiming even Azdak and Mitchell as victims. A medical team from Earth is powerless to stop it, and even those whom Vala heals succumb once again. When the Prior returns, the desperate villagers bow to his power and plead for mercy. The Prior plants his staff, and a blue wave of healing energy spreads throughout the village. Instantly, the ill are healed, and the dead are revived. The village has been restored, but the planet has fallen to the Ori, and the Prior admonishes SG-1, "Tell others what you have seen today."

Written by: Martin Gero
Directed by: William Waring

Guest Starring: Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran, Cam Chai as Azdak, Pablo Coffey as Vachna, Gary Jones as Sergeant Harriman, Lexa Doig as Dr. Lam, Greg Anderson as Prior, Chad Hershler as Villager, Nicola Correia Damude as Play Vala, Matt Johnson as Play Warrior, Michael Coleman as Med Tech

Reference: Azdak, Day of Reckoning, Hazmat, Healing Device, Kor Mak, Carolyn Lam, Mal Doran, Vala Mal Doran, Ori, Origin, P8X-412, Prior, Prior Plague, Prior Staff, Qetesh, Vachna


Destinations & Inhabitants


Destinations & Inhabitants

Subjects of Qetesh


  • Priors have already visited at least 43 planets in our galaxy.
  • Vala was once the host to the Goa'uld Qetesh, and P8X-412 was one of many planets she ruled as a god. The symbiote Qetesh was removed from the host four years ago, and Vala returned to the planet afterward and continued to pose as Qetesh.
  • The Prior plague is similar to the virus carried by Ayiana and may be related to the plague that wiped out the Ancients.
  • Dr. Lam is General Landry's daughter. She has worked at the CDC, specializing in infectious diseases.


  • What is it with her and her wardrobe? [Mitchell]
  • What your mind may or may not be able to imagine is really none of my concern. Now, kindly get out of your god's face. [Vala]
  • We do not want to get into a god-off, especially since we know you're not even close. [Mitchell]
  • So, Daniel, when does that warm and glowy feeling from doing the right thing kick in? Because, I'm not there yet. [Vala]
  • Anyway, the odd massage here and there hardly warrants life imprisonment! [Vala]
  • How are you feeling? [Lam]
    Tingly. How about we pretend I didn't say that? [Mitchell]


  • Injuries:
    • Mitchell: falls ill to the Prior virus