Foundation S2E6 Recap and Analysis: Met with Resistance

“Why the Gods Made Wine”

Foundation S2E6 - Constant and Poly look out a view port window at a glowing city skyline reflected in the glass
Courtesy of Apple TV+

The following recap contains spoilers for Foundation S2E6, “Why the Gods Made Wine” (story by David S. Goyer, teleplay by 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 6: “Why the Gods Made Wine.” The episode title comes from a quote that Yanna throws in while trying to convince Hari to accept the offer to move to Trantor. The way the quote is so painfully shoehorned into that conversation, I can only assume it must come from the Foundation novels. Recall also that this was something Hari spouted off during his black and white rantings in Episode 1.

Of course, that’s not the only mention of wine in this episode. Poly points out that the “god” of the Vault, i.e. Dr. Seldon, made wine for him and “nothing will taste sweeter than that.” Revenge is said to taste sweet, but I’m not sure how that makes sense yet as a metaphor. I doubt it was a coincidence though.

Foundation S2E6 - Hari and Salvor sit side by side on some rocks by the ocean
Fishing with grandpa

Hari and Salvor

Some of the best moments of this episode come from the grandfather-granddaughter moments between Hari and Salvor while they dangle their toes waiting for negotiations to be concluded. Salvor just can’t let go of the puzzle that Hari’s new body presents. She has a theory that someone wanted to restore his humanity so that he wouldn’t forget that real people lie behind all the numbers in psychohistory’s math.

Which is not a bad theory, since that seems to be exactly what is happening to the “resurrected” Dr. Seldon back at the Vault. We know from the official podcast that the writers are setting up a Hari versus Hari match up somewhere down the line, perhaps even in this season. Knowing that he’s been spied on by his counterpart is certainly not going to make First Foundation Hari very receptive.

Salvor also solves the puzzle of who is to blame for what happened to Raych. The answer being Raych himself, of course, since he knew everything. Although can we trust that Hari is telling her the truth about not knowing of their relationship until the night of his murder? Seems a bit dubious, and he has a slight hesitation when he tells Salvor that part.

Foundation S2E6 - Tellem stands face to face with Gaal looking concerned, Hari and Salvor stand in the background
Tellem learns of the Mule

Gaal and Tellem

Meanwhile, Tellem Bond pays a visit to Gaal aboard the Beggar’s Lament. Earlier, Gaal showed Tellem her vision of the Mule and she seemed to be genuinely shaken by it. However, that vision also gives Tellem the leverage she needs to filter Gaal’s perceptions. She leans in on Gaal’s fears for her daughter, presenting the Sighted as her own children. She appeals to Gaal mother to mother. She even grounds the illusion with the nudge that today just happens to be Salvor’s “birth” day.

Whatever her true motivation towards Gaal is, Tellem targets Hari as her primary obstacle, despite Gaal’s protestations that she doesn’t follow him. She manipulates Hari into running off and then replaces him with a convincing illusion that he’s flown off without Gaal and Salvor. While Salvor engages in some creative cursing, Tellem places Hari in a Bond villain style death trap, monologues a bit, and then walks away, leaving a minion to watch over things until he’s dead.

Foundation S2E6 - The Spacer She-Is-Center floats in a large chamber, hands outstretched at the elbow, palms up
She-Is-Center is pissed


Both sets of the Foundation’s missionaries arrive at their destinations in this episode, and both are met with resistance. Poly and Constant seem to be having a nice visit to the Eye of the Empire. Poly is inspired by this opportunity to do something real for once. He’s been reflecting on the difference between his belief and Constant’s faith, feeling shame at how he’s been a drunk and an addict for over a century. Just as he turns over a new leaf, the Empire arrives to extend their visit indefinitely.

Hober Mallow arrives at his preprogramed coordinates to find…nothing. Then the Spirit stalls out and gets pulled into an enormous ship overhead. Hober tentatively enters the larger ship and is drawn into a large open chamber to find himself surrounded by armed Spacers. They want to know who he is and why he has defiled the Home-Swarm. Not a good start to negotiations.

Apparently, the reveal in Episode 3 about Empire controlling the Spacers through a stranglehold on opalesk was set up for this season, not some future one. Earlier in this episode, She-Shines-Brightly told Constant that the Spacers have continued to perfect the art of their own genetic engineering over the last 600 years. If an addictive dependency was initially engineered into them, why haven’t they removed it already? Some misplaced loyalty to Empire seems an unlikely answer. What will the Foundation be able to offer them?

Foundation S2E6 - Queen Sareth stands with arms outstretched and large smile on her face, Day and Demerzel looking uncomfortable in the background
They love her, they really love her


We only get one scene of Empire in this episode, but it is a fun one. Not unlike the Commdor of Korell, Brother Day has gathered the people of Trantor for a public spectacle, with similarly embarrassing results. He uses the unveiling of a statue to the last Empress of the Galactic Empire as an opportunity to unveil the new Empress, Queen Sareth the First. He’s so into his speech, making jokes and feeling pretty good about himself, that he doesn’t notice Sareth and Dawn eyeballing each other throughout.

After he steps back, Sareth moves in and proves out what he predicted to Demerzel last episode. She is indeed smart and not above making plans of her own. She gives an impassioned speech to the people about how “we serve you, we love you, we belong to you.” The crowd roars with applause, upstaging Empire’s reception.

Everyone has got a look after that speech. Rue looks concerned, hinting that this was probably off script even to her. Dawn looks stunned and a bit intrigued. Day glares at Demerzel like he blames her, while she tries valiantly to stare ahead unaffected. And Dusk has an “I told you so” just bursting to get out of him. Sareth’s little pause before taking Day’s offered hand is the icing on the cake. This is turning out to be a much better revenge than having him assassinated.

Foundation S2E6 - Dr. Tadj looks to the left with her lips tightly pursed, Yanna looking down stands blurry in the foreground
“Convince him.”

The Death of Yanna

The latter third of the episode is dedicated to a flashback from Hari’s time on Helicon, as he struggles to avoid his inevitable drowning in the present. After another boyhood lesson at the college of his father’s fists, we jump ahead to his time as a teacher at university. Hari has been publishing controversial papers on the predictions of psychohistory. He’s garnered the attention of Empire, but perhaps also of more amicable forces as well.

To continue our speculation from previous recaps, the timing of Yanna’s arrival into Hari’s life is certainly suspect. She shows up just when he needs someone to help him make his theory practical and she has the exact skills needed to do so. It’s her idea to visualize the data in a quantum device, the prototype of the future Prime Radiant. Yanna’s death is also somewhat suspect. She apparently provoked Dr. Tadj to shoot her, to the point where the woman seems to genuinely believe the gun went off by accident.

Was this a convenient way to remove herself from the stage, now that her task was complete? To force Hari’s hand to take the logical next step and accept the offer to move to Trantor? Who on Trantor could have been arranging for their full professorships at Streeling University? The same person handing down orders to Dr. Tadj? Hmm.

Foundation S2E6 - Jerril holds a thick book out to a younger Hari at the University
Nice to see Jerril again

The Death of Hari

When we return to the present, surprisingly Hari just…dies. Now, showrunner David S. Goyer has said in the official podcast that the writers enjoy writing themselves into corners and having to figure out how to get out. So, my first reaction was to think of all the ways Hari could escape his fate at the beginning of the next episode. He’s a robot after all. This was all an illusion Tellem Bond is playing out. Gaal and Salvor weren’t actually fooled and will fish him out and resuscitate him.

Looking ahead to the next episode title however, “A Necessary Death,” I think a better bet is that Hari really did die. At least, this Hari really did. Last episode, Gaal and Salvor drew the parallel between Hari’s new body and the cloning of the Genetic Dynasty. Well, as we know, those clones are disposable and replaceable.

So what would someone like Hari do if they didn’t want to leave anything to chance, as he put it to Salvor earlier? He wouldn’t put his immortality at risk. If Kalle had the means, he would send a clone. A clone who conveniently has no knowledge of what happened back on Oona’s World. Who could draw out any ill intention on the part of the Mentalics they’d encounter on Ignis. A sacrificial lamb.

And if so, it worked.

Foundation S2E6 - A desk top shown with various items scattered on top of it
Where could the Prime Radiant be?

Quick Takes

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

  • The way Tellem Bond shows up at the last second to rescue her people in so many of their visions makes you wonder a bit at how she could pull off such impeccable interstellar timing. Are some or even all those situations forcibly arranged by her in advance?
  • So, I suppose that our takeaway from the episode title is that Hari went to Trantor specifically to continue his quest for revenge. This time targeting the whole of Empire.
  • A helpful user on the r/FoundationTV sub-Reddit took screenshots and transcribed the text of all the “character highlights” available on Apple TV’s page for Foundation. There are some very interesting tidbits in there.
  • In the Apple TV+ extra, “The Pillars of Foundation,” actress Rachel House (Tellem Bond) says of her character that “she will do whatever it takes for eternal life.” Is Gaal a key to that? I mean, since we’re in full space magic mode for this series, could switching bodies be a possibility?
  • When Gaal and Salvor were captured, Loron commands his people to “unthink their minds.” Now Salvor gets a lesson in “unvoicing” from Josiah. Interesting that the Sighted refer to their abilities with the prefix “un-.”
  • I wonder if Poly’s conversation with Constant aboard the jumpship, regarding whether Trantor is even figuratively the center of the galaxy, will be used against them now. The Empire is always listening.
  • Constant says that she imagined this visit to Trantor as a child. Is she a latent Mentalic, perhaps even another precog like Gaal?
  • Man was that a bad wig.
  • Tadj thinks Dr. Seldon’s predictions that “all empires fall” is revolution, whereas he thinks it is merely evolution. Catchy.
  • Bald Move’s Foundation and Podcast interviewed showrunner David S. Goyer. I haven’t had a chance to give it a listen, but their podcast was a must-listen last season.
  • Yahoo! News has a really great interview with Dino Fetscher (Glawen Kerr) where he talks about his career as a gay actor, his enjoyment in playing this part in particular for Foundation, and even tangentially delves into the upcoming season of Doctor Who.
Foundation S2E6 - Brother Day has his hand shook by a member of the Galactic Counsel while other members look on and applaud
The infamous Galactic Counsel, at long last

Best lines of the episode:

  • “Precisely the issue we barbarians are here to address, Timandra.”
  • “Missionary work doesn’t provide many perks. But tonight, we’re in the Eye of the Empire on the Prophet’s expense account.”
  • “We’ve all been guilty of magical thinking at one time or other.”
  • “My mind can’t move objects, but it hardly matters if you’ll move them for me.”
  • “You’re a good egg, Constant.”
  • “You asked me. I’d say that’s strength enough.”
  • “They’re scavengers who smell carrion, but no one’s died…yet.”
  • “At least we ate well while the feast was on.”
  • “Happy birthday. It’s a piece of fruit.”
  • “I’ve been here less than a minute, and already I’m fostering unity.”
  • “I live to concur.”
Foundation S2E6 - Hari Seldon floats face-up under water, his wrists tied to stone pillars
Can Hari really be dead?


We leave this episode on a handful of decent cliffhangers. It’s been a while. Poly and Constant have been arrested. Hober is surrounded by angry Spacers. Tellem has apparently killed Hari. How will our heroes escape? Or in the case of Hari, will they?

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *