The Missing Piece
Episode 8 of Foundation begins on the forest world of Anacreon. A young Phara and her childhood friend begin playing. When her world is destroyed, thanks to the Invictus blinking into the atmosphere, she sees this as a blessing. This brief flashback cuts us back to the present, as a scarred and bitter Phara is dead-set on using this as a weapon against the empire.
Phara reminds Salvor why she’s with them, with plans to navigate the ship straight into Trantor. If she doesn’t? Well, the hunters will kill everyone left on Terminus – starting with her mother.
Meanwhile, Gaal continues to reel over her “chosen one” prophecy. She can predict the future, and is able to “feel” the future. She’s been haunted by visions of a wave washing over her since early in the season, but she’s been trying to find mathematical equations to explain all of this. Hari claims that it’s actually a premonition and her visions are beyond the science she wields.
Gaal has had enough though. She believes her story was supposed to end on Foundation but with Hari refusing to speak up about what’s really going on, she decides to leave.
Just to show how serious she is, Gaal decides to obliterate everything in her wake first, burning the ship to a cinder by redistributing the heat signatures. That way, the information onboard will be completely fried. Eventually Hari lets her go, as Gaal gets back in her pod and deciding to head home. It’ll take 138 imperial years to get there, which I guess is enough time for those on the planet to forget she’s a wanted woman.
Just before Gaal leave, Hari claims that at star’s end, in Helicon, a sister organization needs to be set up alongside Foundation in order to prevent everything slipping into oblivion.
We then skip across to Hugo who touches down on an Outpost atop an asteroid. Well that was lucky wasn’t it? How did he do that? Wasn’t he out in the void of space? How did he make it to this outpost?
Well, there’s no time for logic here as this brief illogical sequence paves way for a scene with Salvor. who learns there’s 29 minutes until the next jump. Before that there’s a machine gun to contend with; a rogue defence mechanism in the form of a solid metal gun. This is worth remembering because Phara takes it out with her bow and arrow.
Anyway, Salvor manages to slip inside the bridge, turning a gun on Phara momentarily to shut the door and bide themselves some time away from the Anacreons. With time running out before the jump, Salvor learns the previous captain of the Invictus killed themselves, leaving behind a bloodstained smear of “exo” on the white globe in the middle of the room.
It seems like the captain may have been betrayed by someone (an executive officer perhaps?) or be a reference to someone outside the galaxy. However, the most important part here comes from rerouting the ship to make sure it doesn’t smash into Trantor. Salvor scrambles for control, determined to re-route the ship back to Terminus in order to save her people.
Meanwhile, Brother Day prepares to travel through the spiral. First, he has to step through the difficult pathway and make sure he doesn’t drop to both knees. Once that’s completed he’ll arrive at a cave, with instructions to immerse himself in a special pool of water that will give him a vision. Every vision is personal and unique, allowing a panel of Zephyrs to then interpret what he’s seen to see if Day is really worthy.
So off he goes, through the burning desert and realizing this is no easy feat. As he continues down the spiral, Day is helped by another wanderer, who gives him advice and even stops him from dropping to both knees.
As the road becomes more and more treacherous, this wanderer gives up, losing strength to continue on as Day proceeds by himself. He makes his way through the sand and with his knees buckling and skulls mocking every which way, Day eventually descends into the cave. With feet wobbling, he plunges into the water, just as foretold.
After making it through the spiral and returning to the Zephyrs, he speaks of a vision involving dust circling around him, forming a stem with three large petals. As he speaks this story to The Mother, The Maiden and the Crow, it seems the three petals link to the mythology of the birthroot flower. Now, this is a holy vision of three (Day, Dusk and Dawn) who appear to be tied to this prophetic vision.
Having proven himself, the Zephyrs declare that no one will stand in his way, leaving Day free to prevent a possible coup from Halima on Maiden.
With Halima’s chances of ruling up in smoke,, she packs up her things and prepares to leave. Demerzel arrives and sits with her though, as Halima tries to convince the android to pick a different path, one away from Brother Day. Demerzel confirms it’s not possible, going on to reveal she’s an AI and programmed to follow his commands.
The most recent command is that of assassinating Halima, with a poisoned method transmitted by touching Demerzel. Given the pair have been holding hands all this time, Halima pulls away, realizing her time is at an end.
Back on Invictus, Salvor decides to use luck rather than logic to move the ship. She believes that everything has been foretold and she’s just going to try and hope for the best. Only, just before she prepares to launch, Lewis is shot dead by Phara, who manages to make it into the room. It’s too late though and Invictus jumps.
Meanwhile, Demerzel speaks to Day and tells him the deed has been done. She also reveals that she had a vision too, which Day mocks “a robot had a vision?” he quizzes. For her, it changed everything. She heavily implies that Day has just lied his way through his visions, given Brother Day was aware of the significance surrounding the ancient flower. As Demerzel leaves, we’re left with the realization that Day has tricked everyone on Maiden.
The Episode Review
Day’s journey around the spiral are backdropped by Gaal, who learns a little more about her “chosen one” status before deciding to head back home to see her folks. 132 years in the future. Despite being wanted and essentially smuggled out because it was dangerous of her to stay. So why is she just heading back home again? Gaal’s part in all this seems a little inconsequential at this point but we’ll have to wait and see where that goes.
More ridiculous though is Hugo surviving from being blasted out into space, without mentioning he could have had rockets attached to his suit. Given he was spinning out, and the vastness of space, that’s quite a jump. The whole plot line involving the Invictus is pretty silly and it just reinforces the plotting and script issues this show has. This same show, as a reminder, that’s spent 45 MILLION dollars on production.
Small details like this add up to a larger whole, which is only compounded by the lethargic plot inhabited by characters that just aren’t that likable. The political intrigue with Brother Day and the others is arguably carrying the whole show right now, as Gaal and Salvor’s storylines just don’t have that much going for them.
Foundation has been an expensive disappointment and given the show is aiming to blast through 80 episodes in total, it’ll be interesting to see how many passengers are left aboard when it reaches that illustrious number.
You can read our full season review for Foundation Season 1 here!
4 thoughts on “Foundation – Season 1 Episode 8 “The Missing Piece” Recap & Review”
Weakest episode of the season so far, on many levels.
8 episodes in and I can’t figure out how Gaal Dornick fits in the narrative. Her interactions with Hari Seldon are frustrating. So far, she is just a bit player with an interesting backstory.
Can’t figure out either what Hugo achieves by calling in his friends. This did not prevent Invectus to jump. Plus his friends must have had access to “much faster than light” ships, which I thought were restricted to the empire.
Can’t understand either what the 30 sec sequence on Terminus achieves in progressing the narrative.
The most interesting but also disappointing sequence of the episode is Brother Day’s walk down the spiral, ending up with Demerzel killing Halima. This is a major departure from Foundation/Robots cannon by breaking the first law of robotics that prevent robots from hurting humans. This is hard coded in positon brains and should not be over ridden by software.
Thankyou, someone who also has some intelligence!
That is exactly what I got from the show too, it wasn’t that hard to put together. Some people require things to be spelled out for them. I mean it was pretty obvious they wouldn’t just kill that character in such a nonchalant way to begin with. The peices were there for anyone actually thinking to put together.
The whole warden story is turgid & tv show plotted out.
The only decent plot as reviewed is the brother Day plot.
In the previous episode, we learned that Hugo has worked on an asteroid with mining and that those stations were now abandoned. He knows this region very well. We heard him saying that he couldn’t control the rockets on his suit, so he was floating out in space.
Now, this was a lie. It was his plan all the time. He did have control over the rockets in the suit. So he steered to an asterorid with a communication relay.
Since he has worked there, he had knowledge where it was and how to turn it on.
So,that part was logical.
Gaal heads to back to her home planet to find answers about the wave that’s haunting her. That’s logical too in her situation. Fueled by anger and dissapointment. She turns back to her roots.
Now we now that the 2nd foundation will be founded on Helicon. In the books the 2nd foundation is founded on Trantor, ”where the stars ends”. Trantor being the centre of the universe.