Foundation – Season 2 Episode 1 “In Seldon’s Shadow” Recap & Review

In Seldon’s Shadow

When it comes to “modern remakes” perhaps none have been more egregious than Foundation. Released 3 years ago, the creators seemingly read a summary for Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and thought “nah, I’m good”.

While there are a few basic facts and character names that are similar in Apple’s series, most of what’s here is complete fiction, but for those who aren’t completely enamoured with the books and enjoyed the first season, let’s dive in and see what season 2 has in store for us!

Episode 1 of Foundation season 2 starts with Hari Seldon rambling on, claiming it’s not his fault while the screen flickers black and white. Gael’s narration overlaps, claiming that it takes a madman to be a success. Flashbacks throughout the episode go further to explore Hari’s past, including his childhood of being curious and smart. While his mother is supportive, his father is most certainly not.

This then paves way for us returning to that ciffhanger in season 1. Salvor meets up with Gaal and reveals their familial ties. The pair admit they’ve been in cyrosleep all this time and have now caught up with one another despite being separated by so much time.

As the episode progresses, the duo continue to hang out, fishing and discussing their strange powers. It seems Salvor can reach into the past, while Gaal can look at the future, making them one and whole.

Meanwhile, Brother Day and Demerzel end up having sex, but an assassin suddenly heads in and swipes a sword at him. Shifting around, he uses Demerzel as a shield, who has part of her head slashed clean off for her troubles.

Brother Day fights his way out of this, while standing naked in his chambers. However, he’s hit with a nasty gash across his chest before the man is bested. Demerzel is the one who saves Day in the end, and carries him across to a regenerative pod, dropping him in the water before vacating herself as she needs mending.

It’s been 173 year since the Foundation on Terminus has been in place, and the planet is a bustling metropolis. However, all the lights suddenly shut off city-wide and sirens wail. It’s the vault. The Warden approaches with the Director, as they believe Hari Seldon may be coming. The Warden believes their prophet is giving them time to prep for the eventual fight against the empire.

In reality, Hari Seldon, or at least a copy of his consciousness, is actually in the Prime Radiant over with Gaal and Salvor. It seems there are two Hari Seldons but Gaal does not trust him, hence why he’s been transferred and trapped in this data storage. Salvor questions Gaal’s motives, pointing out that it’s been 138 years and she’s afraid.

Salvor wants to learn, so she’s shown how to use it. The thing is, there’s a second crisis coming and with Hari’s plan veering off course, they need to prepare because the age of darkness Hari has predicted may actually never end, with a constant flurry of endless crises to deal with.

We then jump over to Brother Day who is now completely healed up. He learns from the Shadow Master that the assassins who went after him are actually Blind Angels. Given they entered through the servant side, Day shows no mercy and kills the Shadow Master, believing he’s responsible for this. Or at least being part of it.

Given Dusk and Dawn have been treading on eggshells around him too, Day decides to conduct a neural assessment on them both, paranoid that one may actually be the real orchestrator for what happened. Demerzel is back on the mend too and she fixes herself up that evening.

Day welcomes guests to Trantor, prime witness and Queen Sereth the First. They also come with rare samples of pigments as a gift too. Dusk is marveled by this and thanks Ruu for this gift. Day also has a gift for the queen; a gold statue of Trantor. The Queen does not take well to this but while the pair verbally spar, Demerzel shows and has big news, pulling him away.

They’ve found a body possessing Imperial nanites that’s recently been recovering from space. It had actually been floating around for near on a decade. Allegedly, this guy’s ship was destroyed by a megaflare which destroyed all life in the system. All of this has gone unnoticed, given the Brothers were too busy looking at the corruption within the Genetic Dynasty (one of the big plot points in season 1) and as Dusk himself says, they took their eye off the ball.

Given the Anacreons are in charge of Terminus and the surrounding area, the group start to realize that the silence and darkness surrounding the outer system has actually been by design.

Having commandeered a jump ship, and with Seldon’s foundation flourishing, Dusk urges Day to crush this new alliance before it’s too late. Day is not so sure, believing they need more evidence. “Get your house in order, brother.” Dusk says, before leaving.

Meanwhile, Hari Seldon manages to get himself out of the Prime Radiant by solving this spacial awareness puzzle, he ends up on Salvor’s recovered ship, which the pair managed to retrieve from the depths of the ocean, bringing it back to the surface. “It’s time you and I had a reckoning,” Hari says through gritted teeth, as the episode comes to a close.

The Episode Review

So we’ve got another crisis coming up and this one looks to encompass all of our characters going forward. Brother Day continues to chew up the scenery every time he’s on screen, while the ever-reliable Jared Harris is fantastic in his role as the broken Hari Seldon.

Of course, this show is very far removed from the books, but the second crisis that we’re gearing up to appears to be a massive war between the Empire and Hari Seldon’s alliance, which could prove to be a crazy turn of events.

The first episode is pretty slow though, and it thrusts us right back into this world without much of a recap. So it’s definitely worth watching season 1 again before jumping into this!

The production design is as good as it’s ever been though, as per standard Apple TV productions now, but there’s nothing here to really stand out next to other sci-fi series of its kind. When it comes to the narrative itself, there’s really not much depth or substance to this one – at least not yet anyway. Hopefully the episodes ahead pick up.

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1 thought on “Foundation – Season 2 Episode 1 “In Seldon’s Shadow” Recap & Review”

  1. This show keeps picking things from the books and re-purposing them, changing them completely in the process. I wish it didn’t do that. It’s disrespectful

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