This episode started off as the rest have, not terribly holding my attention. Yesyes, Mitchell being sassy, Daniel annoyed at Vala, Vala did something stupid and Teal’c just stands around. Four episodes, and it’s already dull. Oh dear – is this what SG-1 is going to be now? Such potential wasted…
…and then suddenly I sat up. It was nearly 25 minutes into the show, but I sat up, and ended up on the edge of the couch, intently ignoring everything else for the television. For Daniel and the Prior. Discussing religion, belief, technology, knowledge. You see, the team has gone to a planet where Vala reigned, imitating a goa’uld. The Prior has arrived, challenging that the Ori are the one true gods. Daniel convinces Vala to admit she’s not a goddess, which doesn’t go over well.
Just because you don’t understand something at first doesn’t mean it’s the magic of the gods.
And then the religious discussion starts. In the middle of Vala’s trial. A fabulous, moralistic dialogue between two strong characters, Daniel and the Prior. What is religion? What is power? What does ascention, a higher plane of existance, knowledge, magic, technolgy and more all mean? Is it truly a religion if it seems magical and mystical, or is it just the unknown to be learned, taught? It was nearly 10 minutes of theological and philosophical dialogue, and I can only heartily applaud the writers for such an engaging, gripping, and brave choice.
Vala had her changing-point, too, which I sort of suspected was coming. Doing good feels good, it’s hard to be a nice person, etc. It was a kind of a predictable point in the arc of the character, and although it was nice to see a non-irritating Vala, I suspect it will go away too soon.
The episode also included more backstory on Lam and Landry; I guessed that one right. Guess if you’ve (kind of) been there, you recognize the signs.
Overall, if this is the way SG-1 is going to go, with a continuing dialogue on what is religion, what is technology, what is magic and knowledge, I will be happy.