The One Where Vala Leaves the Show began with Mitchell finally getting "the band back together" viz., the return of Amanda Tapping's Sam Carter (who, by the way, would look even better with a perm). Together the gang of five sought to prevent their latest enemies from gaining a beachhead in our galaxy by using an übernuke that would detonate the Ori before the Priors could come flooding through the Stargate to preach his putrid gospel of obeisance. But no the Ori used the energy of the weapons arrayed against them to create a HUGE Stargate that was disrupted only when Vala flew a cloaked cargo ship into its middle. The portal was destroyed (yay!) but Vala disappeared (boo!). Is she dead? Vala's unresolved exit gives Claudia Black the chance to return whenever her schedule permits and let's hope it's soon, because she has been the unquestioned highlight of the ninth season. I haven't quite gotten used to Louis Gossett Jr. as Gerak, although it was certainly novel to see the former Iron Eagle giving the "Run away!" order to his Jaffa ships. Maury Chaykin's Nerus, on the other hand, is one of the most entertaining gluttons since Mr. Creosote, and a heckuva lot more devious. But amidst all this universe-shaking hoo-ha, I couldn't help but imagine how neat it would be if the Ori were vulnerable to something utterly trivial, like banjo music. SG-1, perhaps abetted by TV banjo gods Peter Tork, Roy Clark and George Segal (Grandpa Jones, of course, ascended to a higher plane), could strum away like Mummers burple-durple-dur blum-blum-bum thus causing the chief Ori to fall to his knees and cry in an affected, Paul Lynde-type whine, "I can't stand it!" Now that's spacey.
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