It seems like just yesterday; we were getting lost in the world of Apple TV+’s Foundation. And now we are back with season two, which dives deeper into Isaac Asimov‘s world. We highly suggest getting a bit of a refresher before kicking off to help get up to speed. It’s also important to remember that we have had several time skips since the end of season one. Honestly, let’s not waste any more time and dive right into the season premiere, In Seldon’s Shadow.
Season two of Foundation opens with a flashback to the events of season one. And what an action-packed-filled season it was. In the final moments, we watch as Gaal (Lou Llobell) and Salvor (Leah Harvey) come face to face.
After the opening credits roll (still beautifully done in the second season), Hari (Jared Harris) appears in black and white on screen. He is arguing with himself about why Gaal was put into the pod and not sent to Terminus and what would have happened if he had just shared his plan with everyone. Would it have changed everything? Or nothing at all?
In Seldon’s Shadow shifts to Synnax, where Gaal and Salvor have their first official meeting after hundreds of years. There is the awkward mother-meet-daughter moment, and it’s important to remember at this point in the show, both have been in cryosleep for some time. Salvor asks Gaal to explain everything that has happened so far, and we imagine that their conversation will be deep.
When both were traveling to Synnax, the worlds were changing. On Trantor, the current Brother Day (Lee Pace) has an intimate relationship with Demerzel (Laura Birn). Things go south when assassins show up and nearly kill Brother Day after they can break through his shield. He is saved simply because Demerzel is a robot and can’t be killed. It also appears that her secret of being a robot isn’t so much a secret anymore.
We jump back to Seldon, who seems trapped in a glass room and going mad. But is he alive? Is his brain stuck in some sort of creation like the Raven? We see a flashback to a young Seldon (Isaac Highams) recognizing how 3D objects have 2D shadows. His mother is proud, but his father does not support his brilliance.
This memory seems to trigger something in Seldon, and he can break free of the glass prison, which looks a lot like the Prime Radiant. As he navigates his way around, Yanna (Nimrat Kaur), his life-mate, approaches him. But we quickly learn that this image of her is just another thing in his head, and she taunts him to figure out exactly what is happening.
In Seldon’s Shadow shifts back to Synax as Gaal awakens after another nightmare, and she rushes to find Seldon. Everything is okay, but she does open up about her ability to see the future. It’s similar but very different from Seldon’s ability to see the past. Seldon then calls out Gaal for lying about not having the tools to open the Prime Radiant and is curious why she hasn’t.
As the episode shifts, we learn that it has been 173 years since the Foundation was exiled to Terminus. Gaal’s monologue shares that the Foundation has been doing well, and the rest of the worlds have troubles rising. It was only a matter of time before Empire would strike out against the very thing they created.
On Terminus, the people wake up to sounds of alarms that haven’t gone off in 138 years. The new Warden (Holt McCallany) knows it’s the Vault, and everyone is waiting for Seldon’s next bit of information on what to expect. While things are still up in the air, many are certain that a war with Empire is inevitable.
Back inside the glass prison, Seldon finally uncovers who is pretending to be Yanna. It’s Kalle, the author of the Book of Folding and the Ninth Proof of Folding, which Gaal used in season one to solve Seldon’s math problem and what Seldon and his wife used to create the Prime Radiant. And with that, it becomes clear that Seldon is trapped within the Prime Radiant.
In Seldon’s Shadow returns to Synnax as Gaal admits that she won’t open the Prime Radiant because she has trapped Seldon inside. However, Salvor knows she left him in the Vault back on Terminus. So now we have two Seldons. Gaal tries to get Salvor to understand just how bad Seldon can be. He is willing to sacrifice everything and everyone to see his plan succeed.
Salvor wants to know what is going on in the universe around them. Maybe the fall has already happened? Maybe things turned out differently? But she needs Gaal to open the Prime Radiant to see. Gaal agrees and opens it, and we see the first crisis that Salvor saved on the red line. And it seems like they have many issues ahead of them as they move further and further away from Seldon’s original trajectory.
Back on Terminus, Brother Day suffers through his repairs because he refuses to allow them to put him under. He is worried that someone inside might have been involved in the assassination attempt. He even accuses Brother Dawn (Cassian Bilton) of doing it after being unhappy with an arranged marriage.
The investigation goes on in Brother Day’s room, and his would-be murderers are all missing their eyes. But not in an empty eye socket kind of way. They are known as Blind Angels. Brother Day wants to know how they got in and is clearly angry over it since he has Shadowmaster killed.
He confides in Brother Dawn that he is terrified that he would die. But Brother Day is still wary, even with Brother Dawn trying to make him feel better. He wants him and Brother Dusk to have their memories checked to see if they were responsible for the assassination attempt. But are they angry enough over his upcoming marriage to do that? We cut to Demerzel repairing herself after the attack. Brother Day wants to know if what they have been doing is indecent. And she doesn’t believe that anything given out of love should be considered indecent.
In Seldon’s Shadow shifts to the outside rings as Queen Sareth I (Ella-Rae Smith) prepares to arrive on Trantor. Down below, Brother Dusk (Terrance Mann) tries to reprimand Brother Day for his relationship with Demerzel. He also warns him not to look inward when investigating the attack but to remember that trouble comes from outside. As he prepares to negotiate to marry an outsider, Queen or not, this is a big idea.
Brother Day needs Brother Dawn and Brother Dusk to realize that as the years go on, they are further and further from the genetics of the original Cleon. Now is the time to mix things up, and what better way than to add some fresh genetics into the pool? But from the ominous presence she gives off and the comment about how she might have orchestrated the accident that led her to be Queen, Brother Day might have looked a bit harder.
Back on Synnax, Gaal and Salvor realize they can’t stay where they are. They need to return to the ship and use it to solve the upcoming crisis. They don’t have time to waste because Salvor can’t hold her breath for that long. She needs to trust Gaal to be able to help her. It’s a risky job, and even after almost losing each other, they manage to get the ship back to the surface alive. Salvor apologizes for how awkward everything is and says that she had hoped it would have been different. That they would have felt this real connection. Gaal reminds her that this is all a shock for her. That she didn’t know she had a daughter, and all of this is new to her. But they share one thing, they are the last people of Snyaxx.
In Seldon’s Shadow returns to Trantor as Queen Sareth I meets with Empire. Rue (Sandra Yi Sencindiver) introduces Sareth and shares a gift of pigments that seems to win over Brother Dusk. In return, Brother Day gives a brass replica of Trantor and its rings which prompts Sareth to question why have something like that if it isn’t useful. It’s almost like she knows that Empire is barely holding on and just trying to show that they still feel like they have power.
Just as things seem to lighten up, Demerzel arrives with news she can’t share in front of everyone else. They have finally found the body of Commander Dorwin (Christian Contreras) in the Outer Reach. Because of the genetic issue, they were dealing with, it seems Empire was never fully aware of what happened on and outside of Terminus, and they assumed that the Foundation had withered away. It seems clear that they are an even bigger threat than they ever thought. But Demerzel is right. How many of the rumors are true? Do they want to cause another incident? With everything going on, Brother Dusk warns Brother Day to make sure he gets his house in order and think about introducing a new Queen to their family tree.
In Seldon’s Shadow shifts to the Prime Radiant, Seldon puts the pieces together that the being in front of him isn’t Yanna or Kalle. She is actually the embodiment of the Prime Radiant. Their paths seem to cross, but their ultimate plans might not be the same. However, she does help him realize how he can escape the Prime Radiant. She even promises to explain more if he can reach Oona’s World.
The season premiere comes to a close as Salvor tries to convince Gaal to let Hari out of the Prime Radiant to help them get off of Synaxx. However, she doesn’t seem to have a choice as Hari forces his way out and confronts her before the curtains close.
What a way to kick off season two. We will admit we watched this episode twice. One to enjoy the beautiful world Foundation brings us and the second to really understand what was happening. It took us a moment to remember that everyone now seems to be on the same timeline, but we are so far in the future that characters like Empire might look the same but are completely different. And a huge shoutout to Lee Pace for his incredible range to play Brother Day in many other aspects. What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!
Foundation airs every Friday on Apple TV+.
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