Foundation Laid: Recapping the Epic Foundation TV Series Season 2

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is not exactly a concise read. The story spans centuries across planets with plotlines covering an entire galaxy. Apple TV+’s screen adaptation of the series is accordingly expansive in terms of world-building, a mesmerizing CGI spectacle at a grandeur scale and dense in the storyline. In this article, we will recap events from the Epic Foundation TV series season 2!

Foundation TV Series Season 2

Events in Foundation are set in a distant future where the Milky Way is governed by the Galactic Empire (not the one from Star Wars, mind you), ruled by a Dynasty of Clones – synthetic descendants of Emperor Cleon. At any given time, there are always three Cleons (all clones) ruling the empire including Brother Dawn, the youngest clone groomed to take the throne in the future; Brother Day, a clone in his prime and is the actual emperor for the time being; and Brother Dusk, the oldest of the three and is acting as Day’s advisor.

Somewhere from the empire, a young mathematician named Hari Seldon comes up with an algorithm that predicts social and political changes throughout centuries into the future, a science known as psychohistory. Based on his calculation, the future of the empire doesn’t look bright at all and will fall within the next few centuries. He reckons the empire might just survive an impending doom only if it allows the creation of the Foundation, a repository of human knowledge on a distant planet. Although Brother Day doesn’t like what Seldon says, the emperor allows the mathematician to carry out the plan on Planet Terminus. Seldon takes the journey accompanied by his adopted son and best disciples.

The series’ first season (September 24, 2021 – November 19, 2021) is almost universally accepted as a convoluted introduction to the premise, focusing more on visual expanses rather than cohesiveness. But the groundwork of the story has been established just fine. It is a good thing that Foundation TV Series Season 2 leaves behind the tendency for excessive visual bewilderment and instead points to a more coherent storytelling approach. Season 2 comprises 10 episodes as follows.

In Seldon’s Shadow

The second season’s first episode picks up over a century after season one. It turns out that the emperor’s cloning program has been sabotaged since generations ago, deliberately to make each clone nonidentical to each other. Brother Day is contemplating a plan to end the genetic dynasty and instead choose an heir through old-fashioned procreation.

Foundation TV Series Season 2

Meanwhile, on Terminus, the Foundation is thriving. The small community makes alliances with neighboring planets and has created a new religion around Seldon prophetic image. The Cleons grow unease over all the good things happening in the Foundation.

A Glimpse of Darkness

Episode 2 explains the two (First and Second) Foundations. According to Seldon, the First Foundation exists with the sole purpose of creating a civilization that should withstand the fall of the empire; the civilization is oblivious to Seldon’s Plan so there is no way anybody can tinker with psychohistory. The Second Foundation has access to the actual plan and can change the calculation as needed. The psychohistorians acting on behalf of the Second Foundation may course-correct major events in the near- or far future to ensure the survival of the Foundation.

Foundation TV Series Season 2

Following a failed assassination attempt, Brother Day is convinced that his marriage is the next best step for the empire. Demerzel, the android servant and mother figure to the empire, suggests the Cleons hire the now-imprisoned General Bel Riose to handle the situation on Terminus. Hari Seldon, Salvor Hardin, and Gaal Dornick realize the impending Second Crisis, which may end the Foundation as we know it. Two missionaries, Brother Constant and Poly Verisof, of the Church of the Galactic Spirit are on a religious mission to spread the gospel of Hari Seldon.

King and Commoner

Hober Mallow, a smart conman and scoundrel, brings a new perspective to the galaxy. He might play a major role in the Cleons’ demise.

Foundation TV Series Season 2

Bel Riose also enters the scene and is tasked with investigating to determine whether the Foundation should be treated as a threat to the empire. Brother Day despises Riose for disobeying an imperial order in the past. Riose returns the contempt in kind.

Where the Stars are Scattered Thinly

Riose goes to Siwenna, the planet where Brother Constant and Poly have converted the locals, to determine the threat level. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation and Cleon’s decision regarding the issue, Terminus has already taken steps in preparation of conflict with the empire.

Foundation TV Series Season 2

Mallow arrives at Terminus and has a meeting with Hari Seldon inside The Vault, a tesseract filled with infinite space. Seldon issues orders to prevent the war.

The Sighted and the Seen

Brother Dusk notices how the first Cleon has a much larger scale of memory archives compared to the clones.

Foundation TV Series Season 2

There must be some secrets in those parts of the unshared archives. Brother Day’s marriage and his decision to end the dynasty of clones will also take away Brother Dawn’s position as heir to the throne.

Why the Gods Made Wine

After one and a half seasons of Foundation, we learn that Hari Seldon holds a personal grudge against the empire. He devises psychohistory and the Great Plan to settle the score; doing good for the galactic civilization is just an additional benefit. Everybody, including Seldon himself, knows that he is a genius who realizes the empire will crumble and is the only person in the entire galaxy to know how to prevent the disaster. He makes great sacrifices to save humanity, but he only sees people as pawns to push his plan forward. In contrast to his statements about the unimportance of individuals in the grand scheme of things, flashbacks show how personal feelings have affected many of his decisions and impacted his life trajectory.

Brother Day is at an ancient arena to enjoy the spectacle of barbaric games. He also announces his engagement, and with it, the final days of the genetic dynasty.

A Necessary Death

Psychohistory predicts how the conflict will end: the Empire falls regardless of how the Foundation approaches the situation as internal conflict crumbles the dynasty from within, nevertheless. Unlike all the previous emperors, the current Brother Day (Cleon XVII) has actually learned much about Seldon, psychohistory, and every warning from them. The Emperor always takes action and decides to prevent the fall of the empire in accordance with the psychohistorian’s predictions.

Brother Constant and Poly are under arrest and brought before the Cleons at the arena. To everyone’s surprise, Seldon appears – through Constant’s consciousness – and confronts the Cleons. During the encounter, Day tells Seldon that psychohistory is outdated and the marriage plan practically renders the prediction irrelevant. Brother Day then orders Bel Riose to lead a raid to Terminus.

The Last Empress

Demerzel is never a mere servant and advisor to the Cleons. Brother Dawn notices Demerzel is Cleon I’s lover and true heir. She has been there throughout generations of clones and will always be there to run the empire while hiding her role in plain sight. Brother Dusk comes up with a good exposition about robots, about how they used to serve humans before starting a resurrection against their masters. Humans ended up winning the conflict and destroyed all robots except one; Demerzel. The first Cleon took her a prisoner, and behind closed doors, a lover.

Brother Day decides to execute Contant and Poly in public. Mallow comes out of nowhere to the rescue and declares war against the Galactic Empire on behalf of the Foundation.

Long Ago, Not Far Away

They reveal that Demerzel is an 18,000-year-old robot. The first Cleon fell for her, which was the reason he came up with the plan to rule the empire through a genetic dynasty of clones.

Brother Day finally arrives at Terminus and discovers that Terminus’ armory is kept inside the safety of the Church of Scientism. The Foundation has been sending out weapons and shields to its allies. Day also makes time to visit the ghost of Hari Seldon in the Tesseract.

Creation Myths

Brother Day expands the attack and orders the destruction of the Foundation and its allies. However, the fleet has been sabotaged by Hober Mallow.

The ships crash into one another. Bel Riose makes the best of the situation and sends Day out to space. Demerzel kills Dusk, whereas Dawn is nowhere to be found. It is not yet the end of the Empire as she thaws out three new Cleons.

We think the second season of Foundation is still as talky and ponderous as the first, but at least the series has now given a glimpse of its direction and a clearer path of the major plotline. Although it has taken quite some time and lengthy exposition to reach the point, Season 2 showcases a fine balance between the individual character stories and how each of them fits into a major theme of the fall of the Galactic Empire.

Have you watched the Foundation TV Series Season 2? How does it compare to the novels? We’d love to hear from you

Other things you might want to know:

Where to watch Foundation TV Series Season 2?

You can watch the Foundation (Seasons 1 and 2) on Apple TV+

Has there been any news about Season 3?

There are many stories left to tell after Season 2, so almost definitely there will be a follow-up. The bad news is that the waiting gap is likely a little longer than typical shows for various reasons. You should not expect to see new episodes at least until 2025, but realistically it might be 2026.

Lee Pace’s most well-known roles in films:

2012Fernando WoodLincoln
GarrettThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
ThranduilThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
2013The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2014The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Ronan the AccuserGuardians of the Galaxy

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