Foundation – Season 1 Episode 2 “The Emperor’s Peace” Recap & Review

Preparing To Live

Episode 2 of Foundation begins on the dwarf planet of Aether as soldiers burst into a lab, firing wildly. This happens to be a biohacking facility and the woman in charge is also responsible for dishing out the explosives used by the bombers during episode 1’s shocking twist.

Unfortunately this raid isn’t enough to gain the intel this Genetic Dynasty need, as they remain in the dark over exactly who orchestrated these attacks. In fact, the other Brothers warn that acting too hastily could well have the adverse effect of making martyrs out of any dissidents that Brother Day decides to get rid of.

Meanwhile, Gaal continues her mantra of repeating the number sequence aboard their ship. They’ve got 54 more months until they land on Terminus and both Raych and Gaal have been hooking up in their free time. Terminus is a difficult and hostile planet too and simulations don’t exactly fill Gaal with confidence, given the mortality rate every time they play. Still, if they want the Foundation to work, they need to be ready to try and defy the odds.

After overseeing their progress, Gaal heads back to check on Hari. She feeds back the progress they’re making with simulations, as Hari encourages her to sit-in on the Foundation budget allocation meeting later on that day.

Just before Gaal attends, she engages in an important and cryptic conversation with Raych outside. She admits that Hari’s calculations haven’t been fully worked out yet and the puzzle could well change. According to her, there are pieces missing – but enough that it could reshape into a completely different picture.

Tensions mount on the ship between Raych and Hari though while they sit and eat together. As the latter tells tales of Raych’s birth parents, Raych lashes out and comments how Hari’s got his history wrong.

Back on Tranton, Brother Day continues to try and find those responsible for the bombings. He’s convinced that the Anacreon are behind this, especially when one of their women translates the bomber’s last words as “Long live the Outer Reach.” Although the pair before him are innocent, Day is dead-set on making sure someone pays for this – and if no one else has stepped forward then he’s going to make sure they’re found guilty.

Disillusioned by the current events, Brother Dusk heads across to see the city’s seer, asking just why he was at Hari’s trial. Specifically, he questions him about Gaal, wondering if she’s a seer too and has the gift of sight. This plays on his mind back at the palace too, deciding to meet both the Anacreon and Thespin delegates in private.

He speaks to them both individually, with the pair reiterating how loyal they are to the empire. They believe there’s someone else out there pulling the strings from the shadows. Having heard enough, Dusk decides to leave but warns that they will die. As he walks out, the camera pans up to show the other Brothers watching from a balcony, commenting how he’s declining.

Brother Day decides to, well, seize the day and steps up as the strong voice of the empire. He decides to punish the delegates, regardless of the fact they’re innocent. As they’re hung for their deeds, this single act looks set to fan the flames of war.

As the episode closes out, back aboard the ship bound for Terminus, Gaal walks in on Raych stabbing Hari to death. Given the bad blood between them, he grabs Gaal and throws her in a tank, submerged with water and launching it out to space. As it flies through the void, miraculously dodging all the asteroids in a nearby field, we’re left with lots of unanswered questions by the end.


The Episode Review

The problem with this show is that it never quite dives deeply enough into the worldbuilding. Given how slow the pace is at times, that’s a real problem. We never see how each of these layers work on Tranton, nor do we see how the everyday man feels about the Genetic Dynasty. Missing details like this just make the world feel so static and dull.

Take The Expanse for example. The opening credit roll shows our solar system and how the three different factions fit into that. Game of Thrones lays out Westeros in an easy-to-understand map during the credit roll and changes slightly with each chapter. Even Star Trek gives you a good idea of how everything slots together in the world. Foundation though lacks all of this.

Instead, what we get are numerous disparate factions and ideas that feel like a mish-mash of number other shows that have tackled this idea better and in more detail. Again, I haven’t read the books so I don’t know how well this has been adapted but reading some of the fan reactions to this, it looks like a lot.

We’ll have to wait and see how this story plays out over time but based on these first two episodes, this is probably going to be a love/hate affair for many people. For me, I’m on the fence right now. Let’s see how the rest of the show progresses.

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Expect a full season write-up when this season concludes!

  • Episode Rating
3

1 thought on “Foundation – Season 1 Episode 2 “The Emperor’s Peace” Recap & Review”

  1. Episode 2 covers an episode that is not included in the novel. A significant piece of information is Demerzel being a robot who does not comply with the first (of three) law of robotics that is a foundation (pun intended) of another Asimov major contribution to SF. The first law prohibits a robot, either through action or inaction, from harming humas. Yet clearly Demerzel did allowed several people to be hanged.

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