Death and the Maiden
Episode 6 of Foundation begins with Brother Day’s arrival on Maiden. His destination is the Salt Palace, where political intrigue and revolution are about to collide.
Aboard the ship, he visits Demerzel and watches her get ready. He’s been doubting his own abilities ever since the Hari Seldon confession. Given the Dynasty are born with their own lives planned out, Demerzel explains that for others, they have to forge their own path.
Zephyr Halima is there to greet Day alone when the convoy touches down. After Proxima’s passing, she decides a more subdued greeting is perhaps the more appropriate action. She offers him a drink, claiming it has been brewed from the womb of the mother to destroy any impurities. Day refuses to accept though, given he doesn’t accept gifts from strangers.
Of course, he also exhibits an extreme amount of distrust too. He believes Halima has ulterior motives and decides to keep his wits about him for the time being.
Heading deeper into the chambers, Zephyr Gilat is on-course to become the next Proxima. To reinforce his role to play in this, Brother Day decides to enact a new moon-wide desalination system to make sure no one grows thirsty again – and that the Empire stays in power.
Over on Terminus, the Anacreons continue to attack. Gia manages to slip away to safety though, thanks to Poly’s interjection. Thankfully these vents lead over to where Phara holds Salvor captive.
Phara refuses to kill her though, knowing that she’s the key to what’s going on in The Vault. She intends to use this to her advantage, but given Salvor is unconscious, interviewing the astronautics will do for now. With records on everyone aboard the ship, Phara exudes some exposition over who the different members are that will be joining her.
Phara has plans to use the brightest minds on Foundation to help patch up her starship. If they’re successful, the Anacreons agree to leave Terminus and leave Foundation in peace.
While they’re all distracted, Gia and Poly work together to take out one of the guards and drag Salvor to safety. Her father, Abbas, is still alive but there’s bigger issues at play here. Salvor is convinced that this starship Phara wants fixed up is capable of destroying planets. If Phara and the Anacreons manage to get it fixed up, it could cause devastation for everyone.
Salvor regroups with Abbas and Hugo, enacting a plan to take out the Anacreons before they can strike first. With a sniper in hand, she skips down the side of a cliff to a more exposed area, with the intent of hitting a few rounds off the explosive charges. However, Salvor winds up experiencing flashes to the past. Specifically that of Hari Seldon asking to be killed.
When Salvor returns to the present, things go awry as the Anacreons notice her and begin firing. Unfortunately, Abbas is shot in the ensuing skirmish, as he sacrifices himself to save the colony.
Salvor despairs, although Hugo does his best to keep her on track, pointing out that the only person abler to steer Foundation back on track is her. And part of that involves heading over to Foundation and reprogramming the ship to go by Salvor’s orders.
Salvor is brought aboard the ship as the Anacreons plan to leave. They keep troops behind as collateral, while Phara organizes traffic and prepares to take off. Salvor is the one who controls the ship of course, given its reprogramming efforts, as their destination is set for the Anthor belt.
Speaking of back on track, over on Maiden, Halima decides to try and enact a nation-wide coup and transform the established hierarchy into something with genuine meaning. As all the people drop to their knees in prayer, Brother Day is the only one who stands tall.
The Episode Review
Another politically charged episode rolls round as Foundation begins to lay (no pun intended) the foundations for an intriguing end to this season. But boy does Foundation like to take its sweet time to get to the good stuff.
Beyond a couple of flashes involving Hari Seldon presumably asking to be killed and Salvor now working with the Anacreons in a longer-game of revenge, there’s really not a lot else worth getting excited about here.
The hunting trip with Brother Dawn is pretty inconsequential, beyond showing that he’s different to the others that have come before him. Yet, we know that. We’ve been shown that via him getting rid of the art off the walls.
Likewise, Day’s trip to Maiden doesn’t really do much beyond hint that the empire is on the cusp of losing its grip. Again, something we already know thanks to the terrorist attack during the premiere episode.
Given this chapter is a little under an hour, there’s really nothing here to justify that long run-time. Hopefully the chapters to come will improve but based on this showing, Foundation seems to be happy to flirt its lavish sets and gorgeous visuals without backing that up with a punchy script.
Oh, and speaking of script, there’s shades of Game of Thrones Season 8 here as suddenly the Anacreon attack on Terminus is really not that consequential (remember the elevated shot of the entire city in ruin with bodies littering the floor like a mosaic?) so where did that massive crowd of people come from at the end?
Hopefully the rest of the season can pick things up because this has been a really disappointing showing.