The second season of Apple TV+’s Foundation is nearly at a close. And we have spent episode after episode leading up to the second crisis, and now it seems we are here. Quite a bit was uncovered in the last episode, and Long Ago, Not Far Away is here to provide us with much-needed answers. Let’s not waste any more time and dive in!
DISCLAIMER: This is a recap and, by definition, will contain spoilers. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the latest episode, do so first and then come back.
Long Ago, Not Far Away opens on Trantor 610 years before the series’ events. It tells the story of the first Cleon who uncovered Demerzel’s (Laura Birn) prison, where she was kept in pieces to keep as a trophy after the war against humans and robots. Over the years, she tells him stories of Earth, the war and other things she has learned. Slowly, she gains his trust, but never enough to let her out of the cell. Eventually, he pieces her back together but still leaves her locked up.
Demerzel uses this time to attempt to seduce Cleon and convince him that they are in love to get him to set her free. Eventually, he does. But he imprisoners her in another way. Cleon uses a device implanted into her neck to restrict her ability to harm him. This isn’t true freedom, but one that Cleon feels he can trust her. He also shares his idea to create clones of himself to continue to reign over the centuries, and Demerzel will be there to help raise these children, and through them, she will rule the dynasty.
In the present, Brother Dusk (Terrance Mann) and Rue (Sandra Yi Sencindiver) realize that Empire is merely a false truth of who is in charge. But they also know that this is going to end as soon as Day (Lee Pace) and Sareth (Ella-Rae Smith) are married and bring an end to the Imperial Dynasty. Or will they? The memory of Cleon 1st’s clone locks them in Demerzel’s prison cell.
Long Ago, Not Far Away shifts to Ignis, where Tellum (Rachel House) has begun the ritual to swap herself into Gaal’s (Lou LLobell) body. It looks like she can almost complete it before Salvor (Leah Harvey) comes to the rescue, using the disks to disrupt the Mentalics powers and knocking a bit of sense into Gaal. The two manage to get out for now, but they still need to find a way off the planet.
They aren’t the only ones in hot water. On Terminus, the Foundation prepares for a fight against Empire as they head to the Invictus. Plus, Mallow (Dimitri Leonidas) and Constant (Isabella Laughland) are locked away on Bel Riose’s (Ben Daniels) ship. Bel Riose meets with Mallow and Constant and wants to know why they are acting so stupid. He knows that eventually Empire will fall, but not anytime soon, and it becomes a “my ghost is bigger than your ghost” debate.
Eventually, Constant speaks up that maybe Bel Riose was brought here to see what Terminus and the Foundation are capable of with his own eyes. Perhaps he needs to see how different they are from Empire and how they won over the hearts of the planets around them. It’s an idea that gets put on the back burner when Bel Riose learns that Empire has boarded their ship. On the deck, Bel Riose tells Day they could end this conflict peacefully; shockingly, Day agrees. In fact, he is going to head down to Terminus on his own and accept their surrender.
Day arrives on Terminus, meets with the Director (Oliver Chris), and returns Poly (Kulvinder Ghir) to them. When they try to guide him to the Foundation building, he asks to be taken to the church instead. Inside, he forces Poly to put on his show and convince him to convert, but in the end, Day realizes exactly what the Foundation is doing. The church is an armory used to arm the people and fellow planets to fight Empire. Day kills the Director before giving the order to take everything and kill anyone in their way.
While Bel Riose is still trying to get a read on the Invictus, he finally sees signs of it coming to life just as it starts firing on them. While the battle begins just in Terminus’ orbit, Day heads off to come face to face with the Vault against Demerzel’s wishes.
Long Ago, Not Far Away returns to Ignis, where Gaal and Salvor rush to the Beggar, which was hidden and never actually left. Salvor hands over the Prime Radiant and sends Gaal to the ship while she ends up in a one-on-one fight with Loron (Michael Akinsulire). However, Tellum is already on board and begins getting in Gaal’s head, forcing her to see her father’s displeasure and digging at her emotional wounds. Tellum pushes Gaal into another vision of the future, where Salvor dies, taunting her. But what she didn’t expect was to have to face the Mule (Michael Persbrandt).
This gives Gaal a quick moment to bring them back to the present before Tellum gets her back on the ropes. Outside, Salvor gets the upper hand on Loron before he plays some dirty tricks on her. A misfired shot at the ship shakes things up for both of them, finally giving Gaal a moment to get her hands on Tellum.
Back on Terminus, Day doesn’t care about the war between Bel Riose and the Invictus. His focus is on the Vault. When Poly tells him that Seldon (Jared Harris) has his defenses when he feels threatened, Day removes his protective aura and gear, showing them that he isn’t afraid. Demerzel tries to get Seldon to call the attack off, claiming that she knows he doesn’t want this. She is right in a way, but what he wanted to end was on a much grander scale. He invited Day into his office to discuss a resolution.
In space, Glawen (Dino Fetscher) leads troops into the battlefield against the Whisper ships that have appeared. He quickly realizes how the ships are being controlled and informs his fellow pilots.
Long Ago, Not Far Away shifts to Seldon’s Vault, where Day and Seldon begin discussing what is happening here. Day believes himself to be an outlier that Seldon’s math couldn’t measure. That he changed the future that Seldon was so sure would happen. And Seldon tells him he simply isn’t special. He has seen the future and knows how Empire falls; nothing can change that. He even offers Demerzel a chance to see the future through the Prime Radiant.
In space, Glawen manages to get through the Whisper shifts and lands a direct hit on the Invictus, essentially shutting them down. Unfortunately, something hits his ship on the way out, sending him spiraling towards Terminus. Back inside the Vault, Seldon offers to teach Demerzel how to read the Prime Radiant as a peace offering to Day. However, he only wants Seldon to admit his math is flawed. And since he won’t, Day tells Bel Riose to drop the Invictus on Terminus.
On Ignis, Salvor manages to win her fight and get aboard the Beggar just in time to help Gaal against Tellum. But even with two, it doesn’t look like they are going to be able to hold her off. That is until Seldon appears and beats her head in with a tree branch. We had better get an answer to how he survived being drowned a few episodes back.
Long Ago, Not Far Away returns to Bel Riose’s ship as Day and Demerzel come across Mallow and Constant. He forces them to the bridge to watch what will happen next. But before he makes it there, Demerzel tells him she is leaving to return to Trantor. She failed to help him grow and curb his more eccentric flaws, but she is done and needs to go home to fulfill her duties. On the bridge, Day orders to drop the Invictus mere seconds before Glawen contacts them from Terminus’ surface.
Bel Riose is put in a terrifying position; ignore his orders and risk his entire crew or kill his husband. Glawen tells him to follow through with the order. The episode comes to a close as the Invictus crashes into Terminus and is wiped from the galaxy.
What a way to end an episode. Thankfully, we still have one more episode left, and we have hopes that Day will get his Imperial ass handed to him. If it isn’t Bel Riose, let it be Constant. Getting the chance to explore Demerzel’s background at the beginning of this episode has given us quite a bit to think about regarding her character. Knowing now that she wanted to kill Cleon initially and it tied to Empire against her will, more of her actions make sense. It also makes it pretty clear how she had a hand in deciding how the galaxy would be ruled. We are excited to see how season two will come to an end and her return to Trantor.
Foundation airs Fridays on Apple TV+.
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