Foundation S2E10 Recap and Analysis: Sacrifices for a Better Future

“Creation Myths”

Foundation S2E10 - To Beki's Arsehole
Courtesy of Apple TV+

The following recap contains spoilers for Foundation S2E10, “Creation Myths” (written by David S. Goyer & Liz Phang and directed by Alex Graves).

Welcome, dear reader, as we conclude our review of the second season of the Apple TV+ series Foundation with Season 2 Episode 10: “Creation Myths.” While this episode is ostensibly an ending, being the season finale after all, the title speaks to all the new beginnings we witnessed therein. The First Foundation is reborn of the ashes of Terminus, sacrificed per the Plan. Though it’s really the sacrifice of the Spacers, as negotiated by Hober Mallow, that is the stroke that frees both the Foundation and the Spacers from the threat of Empire’s yoke.

The Mentalics of Ignis are also freed from their bondage, and ready to begin fulfilling their role as the Second Foundation. The gift of Salvor’s sacrifice frees Gaal from the trap her vision of the future had placed her in. The future can be changed, meaning the Second Foundation can still hope to defeat The Mule, and the Plan can finally be nudged back onto a better path. All in all, hope wins the day.

Hari, Salvor and Gaal stand on the loading dock of the Beggar, the Sighted crowd in front of them kneeling
The saviors emerge


Hari and Gaal bring Salvor (and us) up to speed on how they saved Hari from drowning and kept him hidden, while he traversed the island to get back to the Beggar. I loved the flipping back and forth between the two acting out Hari’s movements. Really well presented visually.

Meanwhile, the Sighted gather outside the ship to pledge fealty to their rescuers. As we surmised, every single one of them was under Tellum’s influence. Now they are free for the first time since arriving on the planet. All except one.

I wondered last week if maybe the boy Josiah would have been Tellum’s next host, and it turns out that was quite prescient. Tellum leaped into the boy as she died and pulls his puppet strings one last time to try to lash out at Gaal. Salvor saves her mother from the attack, but at a terrible cost.

Dusk looks into Demerzel's eye with a forgiving look on his face
Dusk forgives Demerzel


We pivot from one group of people being freed, to Dusk and Rue still imprisoned. When Demerzel shows up, Dusk initially bridles at her for being the puppeteer behind the Genetic Dynasty. Demerzel clarifies that she is only a puppeteer in so far as she curates what they know. They don’t have to wonder if their feelings for her are genuine or coerced. Not the case for her. In the end, she is left with the same question that the hologram expressed. Would she feel anything for the man had he not programmed her to do so?

Demerzel confesses to having hired the Blind Angel assassins to steer Day away from his marriage plans. Even as they speak, Queen Sareth is being arrested based on incontrovertible proof framing her as the culprit. Knowing they were dead the moment he and Rue walked into the chamber, Dusk forgives Demerzel. Because in the end for him, he has no burning unanswerable question. He loved her and still does.

Sareth and Dawn look into each other's face longingly in front of a circular ship viewport
Parents to be

Dawn’s Escape

In another great full-circle moment, when Dusk moved in to forgive her, he left a telltale green mark on Demerzel’s neck. Dawn picks up on the clue when he confronts her over Sareth’s arrest and plays his part convincingly. Later, while she watches the immolation of the fleet down in the war room, Dawn rescues Sareth and they flee the planet in her ship.

As they depart, Dawn calls down to Demerzel to plead the case for her to let them go. He knows she killed Dusk and with the news of Day’s death, he wonders if she is responsible for that also. If she kills him too, the public will turn against Empire, he argues. Demerzel is unmoved, believing the people will forget their brief attachment to the prince and his bride. Then Sareth ups the ante by revealing that she is pregnant.

Demerzel tries to write this off. The baby is nothing more than a cluster of dividing cells. Much could go wrong. Clearly though, she is now moved. This Dawn, alone of all of them, Demerzel and the 17 Cleons that came before him, might escape his puppet strings and have a happy ending. Maybe in the end there will be room in Demerzel’s programming for interpretation. Maybe she can be happy for him and find happiness for herself in that.

Foundation S2E10 - She-Bends-Light looks down, eyes glowing amber
Jump sequence locked


Above the smoking ruin of the planet Terminus, Day is formulating a new plan. He orders General Riose to jump the fleet to Thespis, and one by one they will destroy every remaining vestige of the Foundation. Riose balks at the order. He capitulated on this atrocity so there would not be a need for any further ones. This action will be the moral ruin of the Empire.

Undaunted, Day fires Riose and gives the order himself. She-Bends-Light obeys and a jump sequence is locked. But it’s not the one he ordered, it’s the jump sequence Hober Mallow smuggled onto the bridge with the device embedded in his wrist. Every ship has been programmed to jump into the space occupied by its neighbor. A cascading calamity that will claim the entire fleet. A small price to pay for the Spacers’ freedom.

Day falls back into space, frozen breath visible, the planet Terminus below him
In space, no one can hear you scream


Hober can’t help himself from rubbing Day’s nose in how predictable he has been through all of this, and predictably Day lashes out at him. The General jumps in to save Hober, and for a while he seems evenly matched with his boss. Ultimately though, Day gets the upper hand and tosses Riose into an airlock. Just as he is jettisoned out into space, a familiar shimmer ripples through and Day exchanges places with him. Chekhov’s castling device pays off quite satisfactorily.

With Day gone and Constant safely away on a cleaning module, Hober Mallow and the General have one final moment together on the deserted bridge. Both men were doomed from the start, when they were called into action by their respective dead men. They talk, they toast, they laugh. The General gets to go down with his ship and the trader gets the martyr’s death he denied Constant.

Foundation S2E10 - Hari holds Gaal, hugging her to him in a comforting gesture
Remembering their lost loved ones

Into the Sunset

Running out of air in the cleaning model, it’s looking like Constant might just die after all, when the Vault appears out of the darkness and scoops her up. Poly and Dr. Seldon step out of the shadows as the welcoming committee. Seldon explains that it was always the Plan that the planet would be sacrificed, so the Foundation would survive. At that cue, dozens of people walk out to join them. Constant is reunited with her father and brother, while a dismayed Glawen looks on in grief. Then we pan up and see that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of survivors. The Vault can do a great many things.

On Trantor, Demerzel goes down to the Memorium and decants a new exponent for all three Cleons. An unprecedented event. However, the three Brothers should not be discouraged, because Demerzel has recently acquired a very powerful new tool, the Prime Radiant. She can’t understand it all yet, but she can already see that wonderful things lie ahead.

On Ignis, Hari plans yet another sacrifice, intending to stay behind and train the Mentalics while Gaal cryo-sleeps her way into the future. Gaal proposes a better plan though. They both stay awake for the first year to establish the Second Foundation, honing their army’s mental skills and teaching them psychohistory. After that, they go into the future together. Her to face The Mule, and him to eventually confront his virtual self.

Foundation S2E10 - Demerzel turns her face aside, revealing a green paint smudge on her neck
The betrayer

Quick Takes

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

  • Hari wants Gaal to become the Sleeper god of her home world’s religion, playing the role of goddess to the Second Foundation. Just as his virtual self has assumed the role of god to the First Foundation, though less so with the random wrathfulness.
  • Maybe it’s a good thing Salvor died, so that she doesn’t have to wrestle with the guilt over killing an innocent boy. Just saying.
  • I’m sorry, but I don’t think they played fair with the audience on the Spacer’s betrayal. In Episode 7, they very clearly showed us She-Is-Center telling Hober that the risk of his deal was too great and then immediately taking the Home-Swarm to General Riose to hand him over. No time was allotted for a deal to be brokered there or for the device to be embedded in his wrist. An unreliable narrator is one thing, but this feels more like outright lying to us.
  • There’s been much speculation on whether The Mule has already been shown to us during this season as one of the young Mentalics of Ignis. Specifically, Josiah was tossed around quite a bit, but that theory is obviously in the tank after this episode. Now we have the future child of Dawn and Sareth to consider, and I will admit, I was willing to throw down some money on a bet that their kid could grow up to want to destroy both Empire and Foundation, right?
  • Maybe theirs is not the only child in play though. What if Constant is pregnant? In Episode 8, when Salvor dropped the name of Hober Mallow to Dr. Seldon, he told her that if he used that bit of information, “it could change everything.” All seems well since he achieved the intended consequence of piercing of Empire’s hide, but that doesn’t feel like an adequate consequence for not showing proper faith in the Plan. What if Dr. Seldon himself was responsible for pulling in the future father of The Mule and pairing him up with the future mother? What if he essentially created The Mule? Well now, that would be very interesting.
  • Speaking of lacking faith in the Plan, Brother Day was correct last episode when talking to Dr. Seldon. The Foundation absolutely did goad Empire into attacking. They tailor made this future; a provocation wasn’t bound to happen as Seldon claimed. In fact, Day has had both Demerzel and Dr. Seldon moving against him this entire season. He might have succeeded if he had just been allowed to.
  • Constant names off the seven worlds already under the Foundation’s influence: Thespis, Anacreon, Smyrno, Sayshell, Konom, Daribow, and Glyptal IV. Day throws in Siwenna as an eighth. All but one of those are actual planets named in the original novels. That one is a bit of a surprise though.
  • That fight sequence between Day and Riose was really well choreographed. Another area where the production has really stepped it up this season.
  • I love that even as he knew he was going to die, Dusk was looking out for Dawn, knowing Demerzel would be coming after him next. He enabled Dawn to have the happy ending he predicted for him back in Episode 5.
  • I found it interesting that Brother Day mocked Brother Constant, telling her to “be a man.” It always struck me as odd that the Church called their acolytes, even the women, “brother.” Is the implication with this scene that they did so as a snub to Empire? Or at least that he interprets it as a snub?
  • In an interview with Collider, showrunner David S. Goyer revealed that the scripts have already been written for Season 3 and it’s of course going to be all about The Mule. All indications are that Apple TV+ will renew, but they have been holding off announcing due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes.
  • Speaking of Goyer, on his personal web page, he’s been posting behind the scenes tidbits and pictures, and even includes a rather long script segment that was cut from this episode due to budgetary reasons. A great tease for next season.
Foundation S2E10 - Glawen looks on in dismay as Constant hugs her father and brother in front of him
Glawen is all alone now

Best lines of the episode:

  • “He was not Dawn or Day or Dusk, but the whole journey of the sun across the sky.”
  • “So, you see, I’ve been left to reap a blighted field.”
  • “None of us were free. We were fools to think we ever would be.”
  • “Go on, Brother, be a man. Claim your many conquests.”
  • “What about this? Is this predictable?” “Is a frog’s ass watertight?”
  • “The death of a few thousand spared the lives of billions.”
  • “No. But wouldn’t that be something?”
  • “Going down with the ship. At least there’s a poetry to it.”
  • “Empire was never gonna let us live. But there was honor in the dying. And I got to shove Day out of an air lock.”
  • “I don’t know about that. I think our story is a rather good one.”
  • “The vault can do a great many things.”
  • “An infinite number of ways to arrive at the inevitable.”
Foundation S2E10 - Gaal is sad and crying, looking over Salvor who is looking up at her
The final sacrifice


And so, we come to the end of not just Season 2, but really a two-season arc. Empire and First Foundation have played out their initial roles, with both making big transitions here at the end. We also got the desired origin story for the Second Foundation, which just appears on the scene fully formed in the novels. It’s going to be a very different chess match going into Season 3.

We got a preview of The Mule once again, just to reassure us that Salvor’s sacrifice didn’t move the needle too far. Look for that to be the driving force behind the next two-season arc. We also had a hint from Gaal of a future conflict beyond that, pitting human Hari against virtual Hari—fodder for Seasons 5 and 6 no doubt.

Coming out of Season 1, I wasn’t so sure they’d make it for the pitched eight-season run, spanning all the novels and beyond. After the solid performance of this season though, I’m really looking forward to it. The plan can still work. I can already see that wonderful things lie ahead.

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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