The Fourth Horseman, Part 2

Summary | Production

As the Ori plague spreads rapidly, SG-1 hopes that the Prior who caused the disease may hold the key to its cure. Gerak tries to rally the Jaffa to the Ori's cause, prompting Teal'c and Bra'tac to initiate a resistance.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 8.07 
NIELSEN - 1.9 
EPISODE #911
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 01.06.06
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 01.22.07
DVD DISC: Season 9, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Cameron Bright (Orlin), Jason George (Jolan), Tony Todd (Lord Haikon), Don S. Davis (General Hammond), Tony Amendola (Bra’tac), William B. Davis (Prior), Garry Chalk (Chekov), Gary Jones (Sergeant Harriman), Lexa Doig (Dr. Lam), Louis Gossett Jr. (Gerak), Noah Danby (Cha’ra), Mark Oliver (French Rep.), Kurt Evans (Col. Johnson), Jeff Judge (Aron), Dawn Chubai (News Reporter), Dagmar Midcap (News Reporter), Simone Bailly (Ka’lel)

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Gerak, now a Prior, tells the Jaffa High Council of the Ori’s benevolence. Teal’c reveals that the Ancient Orlin has descended and explained the true intentions of the Ori. But Gerak shuts him out by using his powers and placing copies of the Book of Origin before each member of the Council. Fearing the body was swayed, Bra’tac suggests that the few who still resist run and hide. But Teal’c has something else in mind. Amass their forces and make a stand at Chulak.

The Prior plague continues to spread across the face of Earth. Cases have now been reported in Mexico and Canada. It is only a matter of time before it becomes a world-wide epidemic.

Jolan takes Colonel Mitchell to see Lord Haikon, and in a surprise move the Sodan leader reveals that Mitchell can save the sermon — he has been turned from the ways of Origin. A mission (given to them by their local Prior) to destroy a group of nonbelievers turned sour when the Sodan discovered they were simple, innocent farmers. The honorable Haikon refused to slaughter them. Mitchell tells him that there may be a way to capture the Prior and stop him from inflicting his wrath on the Sodan.

Key information is continuing to seep through Orlin’s mind. Sam presses him to teach her what she needs to know to complete the vaccine, as she can retain the information, but Orlin fears that the knowledge will be far too complicated for her. But eventually he realizes that he will likely be incapacitated before he can complete the work himself. He begins to develop notes for Sam to complete the formula on her own, if she must.

The news has worsened. China, Great Britain and Russia are no longer allowing any entrance or exit into their countries. Fearing that the cover story will soon be moot, key government officials convene at Stargate Command, but the group accomplishes little. Back on Dakara, the converted Cha’ra meets with Teal’c and Bra’tac and pledges to serve at their side.

The Prior that originally infected SG-6 returns to the Sodan homeworld to determine why they did not destroy the nonbelievers as the Ori had willed, and quickly he realizes that they are not alone. The Prior ejects Haikon and Jolan from his sight and flips Mitchell on his back, then uses his power to suspend him in the air. While his powers are focused Daniel Jackson switches through the frequencies of the inhibiting device they have designed to counteract his powers. A frequency is found, and Mitchell falls back to Earth. While the Prior is unconscious a sample of his blood is taken and returned to Earth for help in developing the antidote.

When he awakens, Daniel explains the truth of the Ori as Orlin told them, but the Prior is unwilling to listen. Despite being separated from his powers he is confident in the good will of his gods. In orbit of Chulak, Teal’c and Bra’tac’s forces have made a stand against Gerak, who arrives with a dozen Ha’taks to confront them.

Orlin is continuing to make a mess of things at S.G.C., accidentally breaking several vials of Prior blood. He excuses himself from the project. As more reports of the virus pour in from new countries General Landry pays him a visit, hoping to get his help in something else.

Landry brings Orlin to the Prior on the Sodan homeworld, where the boy reveals his true name, Damaris. As soon as he had entered the Milky Way Orlin became aware of his entire identity, his wife and children that he had left behind. But the Prior is resistant, quoting scripture and parables to himself to block Orlin’s words. In a weakened moment, he focuses his power to break the control of the inhibitor, pulling General Landry to him and choking him. Mitchell shoots and kills the Prior, but not before the Prior has revealed the true plans of the Ori. The ascended beings are coming to the Milky Way — to destroy the Ancients.

Teal’c hopes to peacefully resolve the conflict with Gerak, leading him to Gerak’s father’s grave on the surface of Chulak. There, Gerak reveals that all he wished was to preserve the lives of all Jaffa and to ensure their salvation in ascension, but Teal’c swears to him that he will either live as a free Jaffa or die by Gerak’s hand.

Landry escorts all of Earth’s personnel back from the Sodan homeworld, but soon discovers he has now become infected with the Prior plague. But Teal’c has managed to convince Gerak to return to Earth with him. Gerak raises his staff and cleanses the entire base of the plague. But the moment he is done his body is cast aflame. In a moment, he is incinerated. The Ori have destroyed him for his disobedience, likely setting off a built-in kill switch in any Prior who turns from them.

The death toll worldwide was nearly three thousand, but thanks to Gerak cleansing the S.G.C., an antibody was isolated and — combined with Orlin’s formula — dispersed to all infected populations. Thanks to Orlin it is unlikely the Prior will be able to attack Earth the same way again. But the damage has been done to Orlin, who recalls nothing of his life as an Ancient, or as a human. The Ancients themselves will probably take measures to defend themselves from the Ori, but not before the rest of the galaxy is put at risk.

While off duty, Sam pays a visit to a young, institutionalized boy who has no recollection of her.

– D. Read

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • “Daniel and Mitchell will be heading off-world on a mission to retrieve a key element of a potential cure. Will someone be affected by the plague? The law of averages would suggest someone could very well be infected. Who? Well, you’ll have to tune in to find out.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
  • “Well … a prominent Prior does die [in ‘The Fourth Horseman’].

    “… About the only thing about ‘The Fourth Horseman’ that I would like to say is that I got to work with Louis Gossett Jr. That was a great honour. He truly is one of the great actors out there. The interesting thing that I have found in my career, is that the better the actor (not just celebrity) the nicer the person. I think that it is no secret that Gerak becomes a Prior. Suffice it to say that the viewers will have to wait till ‘Part 2’ to see him in full Prior form.” (“Prior” actor Greg Anderson, in an interview with Le Delirium)

  • “I don’t hold out a lot of hope that my character will reappear. I was shot dead in the episode — or so it would seem.” (Actor William B. Davis, in an interview with The SciFi World)
  • “The Ancients are very particular about what an ‘descended’ human can and cannot remember. Check out ‘The Fourth Horseman’ I and II.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
  • “There’s a reason why [the Ori] have set their sights on this particular galaxy. For the answer, check out ‘Fourth Horseman II.'” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
  • “To be perfectly honest, Teal’c has a story arc that runs over the first half of the season that makes it difficult to pinpoint one single episode in this case. Every season, Chris just gets better and better — and he has really flexed his acting muscles in the front-half of Season Nine.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
  • “In this episode, Earth officials attempt to contain an alien virus that spreads from Stargate Command to the United States, then North America and, eventually, the rest of the world. And reporting on the breaking news are — well, news anchors and reporters. And who better to play news and anchors and reporters then actual anchors and reporters. Surprisingly, it happens all the time in film and television. We auditioned a bunch of them and, quite frankly, they were all great, but ended up going with local television personalities Dawn Chubai and Dagmar Midcap.

    “The part of the Jaffa Aron is played by Chris Judge’s brother, Jeff, who I was a long-time regular at Chris’s notorious poker nights.” (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)