Foundation S2E5 Recap and Analysis: Memories, Lost and Found

“The Sighted and the Seen”

Foundation S2E5 - Demerzel turns and gives a fist-bump in the air with a smirk on her face
Courtesy of Apple TV+

The following recap contains spoilers for Foundation S2E5, “The Sighted and the Seen” (written by Joelle Garfinkel & Jane Espenson and directed by Alex Graves).

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Welcome, dear reader, as we continue to review the second season of the Apple TV+ series Foundation with Season 2 Episode 5: “The Sighted and the Seen.” While the General is travelling to Terminus and the Foundation envoys are travelling in the opposite direction, we get to focus on Ignis and Trantor this week. The Second Foundation crew finds their mentalics, but they are unexpectedly hostile to the idea of joining the cause. Nothing can ever be easy for our heroes.

We get another big reveal in this episode. Brother Day is indeed behind the “accident” that killed Queen Sareth’s family. Of course, with that mystery resolved, Dusk and Dawn stumble onto an even bigger mystery that might break the Genetic Dynasty at its foundation, so to speak. Nothing can ever be easy for the bad guys either, apparently.

Foundation S2E5 - Raych looks off screen expectantly
This is not a dream


On the approach to Ignis, Hari gets a visitation from Raych that is not a dream, because it is the mentalics of Ignis rooting around in his brain and trying to sow some doubt into his purpose. We worried a bit in Episode 3 that making Hari human again would make him susceptible to such manipulation. This is potentially true, though Salvor and Gaal are no better off when the fake Hugo softens them up for capture.

They awake to find they are not prisoners, at least not guarded prisoners, and they follow the mental signal up to a mountain chamber where the “sighted,” as they refer to themselves, are gathered. Once again, Salvor and Gaal are taken in by the “Goddess” routine and it is Hari who spots the deception.

The real Tellem Bond steps out and tries to play off Hari’s revelation as the “mentally incomplete” compensating with their other senses, but Hari is hard for her to read. Murky, unlike the clear water of Gaal and Salvor’s minds. She knows he has a plan that involves her sighted and puts them off until the next day to talk about it. However, once they leave, she makes it clear to her lieutenant that there will be no Second Foundation.

Foundation S2E5 - Brother Day lounges on his bed in a loose blue silk robe
An expert in matters of romance

Brother Day

The guard Markley reports to the Dominion delegation that the recordings of Day’s assassination attempt are strictly off limits, so Sareth decides to go in undercover, so to speak. This sets up the hands-down best comedic moment we’ve had yet from the series, starting with Day proudly announcing to Demerzel that “she wants to copulate.” The whole scene is just amazing, from start to finish. I could write an entire article just on this one scene, it is so majestic.

Demerzel fluffs him up and tells Day to think of her as she gives him an air-fist bump and hides down the servant-way. Super creepy. He arranges himself in full bow-chicka-wow-wow mode for Sareth’s entrance. Then he makes the mistake of talking, starting out by telling her how he understands “that matters of romance are important to young ladies.” Oh dear.

Foundation S2E5 - Brother Day is yelling face to face at Sareth
Love is in the air

Queen Sareth

Luckily for him, Sareth is too caught up in her intelligence gathering mission to notice. The two are actually well paired, as she is just as obvious and bungling in her endeavor as he is. Once they get down to the business of copulating, things really fall apart. Day wants to be on top, both physically and figuratively, but his inexperience with an actual human partner shows through.

In his frustration, Day slips up and says something about her former lover. Sareth accuses him of knowing more than he should about the accident. He accuses her of trying to figure out how her assassins failed. A shouting match ensues, and they’re engaged. Best wishes.

Foundation S2E5 - Dusk and Dawk stand before the image of Cleon I in a tank, Dusk holding Dawn's palm up to the tank
Dusk drags Dawn along with him

Dusk and Dawn

Dusk has his date with Rue and it goes much better. He is fascinated by her description of the effect of her memory edit. It is not an awkward blank space as he imagined, but rather a transparent transition that seems to make perfect sense. She asks if he ever edits his own memories, removing the regrets. He finds the idea intriguing.

Asking Demerzel about it later, Dusk finds out that he and Dawn used to have that ability to edit their own memories, but after the assassination attempt, Day took away that power and keeps it solely for himself. Well that’s no good, so Dusk grabs Dawn and together they go to tattle on him to the august memory of Cleon I. Dad doesn’t want to hear their petty brotherly squabbles. He is aware of the many shades of his own temperament and tells them that they are “accounted for.”

Having no idea what that means, Dusk drags Dawn with him down to the archives. They want to see how big their memorium files are, and check against all 18 of the Cleons thus far. Reassuringly, Dusk’s numbers are fairly average, so it looks like Day has not cut away a chunk of his memory. Then they get to Cleon I and find that his file is roughly two and a half times the size of the exponents. Did he really have that much fuller of a life, or is something missing from theirs?

Foundation S2E5 - Keeper Yartell sits at his desk holding a memory chip in his hand and looking impatient
This is not a Scooby Snack

Quick Takes

A couple of quick takes on the rest of the episode:

  • Raych ended his non-dream dialogue with Hari saying that this wasn’t the first time Hari let his son die. In Episode 3, Hari had mentioned to Gaal that psychohistory was the only “child” he and Yanna had that survived. Perhaps we are going to have to give up on the idea that Yanna was a robot, because it is sounding like they had a physical child. This might even tie into Hari’s line in this episode about an embryo being a very different proposition than an actual person.
  • Hari finally voices out loud the connection that Salvor is his granddaughter. Seemingly before Gaal had really thought of it.
  • Dawn and Dusk are not exactly the Scooby Gang, but Keeper Yartell would make an excellent Shaggy for them to recruit.
  • In the memory tapes, Brother Dusk tells Rue to “call me Cleon.” Looks like that is another universal amongst the brothers.
  • He also mutes the effect of his personal aura for their moment of intimacy, whereas the current Brother Day always keeps his dialed up. Another nice touch there, highlighting their differences.
  • Dusk says of the Cleon I memory that “if he knows we’re no longer made in his image, he will lower the ceiling on us.” Wonder what that means, and how many seasons we are going to have to wait to find out?
  • Hari’s tale of his transformation is much like Rue’s explanation of the memory edit. Seamless with no apparent missing part. Could that imply some of the same technology was employed?
  • If the Cleon exponents are having bits of their memories removed without their knowing, it has been applied throughout the years. Dawn’s file size is roughly a third of Dusk’s. There is no disparity that starts when they become Day, for example.
  • Was it Day who removed their ability to edit their own memories, or Demerzel? This would seem to be how she closed the “loophole” of them possibly hiring an assassin and then wiping their memory of having done so. If she is behind the large differences between the exponents and Cleon I, as she almost certainly has to be, did she even inform Day that she had removed their ability and given him the sole right?
  • It has occurred to me that in this adaptation, Hari never really had plans that the Second Foundation be comprised of mentalics. They seem to be extremely rare, and Gaal may have been the first one he ever met. Raych was just going to set up a Second Foundation comprised of normal human psychohistorians, perhaps working through the super-positioned Prime Radiant to tweak the path of the First Foundation.
Hugo grins at a gun that is pointed in his face
Too good to be true

Best lines of the episode:

  • “Sometimes I wonder where the shy, sad princess Sareth went.” “She died with the rest of my family.”
  • “Coming up on Ignis. Unless you hijacked my ship again.”
  • “Think of me.”
  • “I imagine there are paddles around here that would leave the royal crest imprinted on one’s bottom.”
  • “It got heated. We’re engaged.” “Best wishes.”
  • “I can only see your feet, so I’m not too sure. But the banter is promising.”
  • “But an embryo is a very different proposition to an actual person.”
  • “I never had the humility to admit I needed to.”
  • “Do you get the feeling that we are not on top of the heap anymore around here?”
Tellem Bond stands before a gathering of her sighted looking outward of someone off screen
Definitely not a cult


Now that the Dominion delegation knows the true nature of Demerzel, how will they leverage this knowledge? Will they cross paths with Dawn and Dusk, allowing everyone to question just what it means for her programming to force her to at all times do what’s best for Empire? And how will Hari and Gaal convince the slighted of Ignis to become the mentalics of Gaal’s vision? How does one defeat a goddess and convert her followers?

That’s all for this week. Please let us know your thoughts and feelings about this week’s episode, and any theories you have on what’s to come, in the comments below. Remember that TV Obsessive will provide continuing coverage of Foundation throughout Season 2 and beyond.

All images courtesy of Apple TV+

Written by Brien Allen

Brien Allen is the last of the original crazy people who responded to this nutjob on Facebook wanting to start an online blog prior to Twin Peaks S3. Some of his other favorite shows have been Vr.5, Buffy, Lost, Stargate: Universe, The OA, and Counterpart. He's an OG BBSer, Trekkie, Blue Blaze Irregular, and former semi-professional improviser. He is also a staunch defender of putting two spaces after a period, but has been told to shut up and color.

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