Foundation: Upon Awakening   Books Included 
October 15, 2021 3:36 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

A flashback reveals the origin of Gaal’s conflict between faith and science. The standoff on Terminus takes an unfortunate turn.
posted by rodlymight (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No Lee Pace, sadface. But on the upside, Jared Harris is back!

Farah unsurprisingly gets the fence down and serves some revenge on the Empire. Not sure how bad Terminus is getting it, I mean the place is on fire but while the Anacreonians were shooting their guns a lot I don’t think I saw any of the Foundationers actually get shot. I’d like to think they were putting on a bit of a show. Their real goal was the imperial ship, anyway.

Side note: Uhh so all the scary terrorists look middle-eastern, huh?

Gaal. On a ship, going to Hari’s home planet. With Hari maybe? He’s looking a bit holographic, though. Did the thingy that Raych took when he stabbed Hari go in the knife? That is now plugged into the ship like a pointy dongle?

Speculation time! I’m pretty confident that Raych killed Hari on Hari’s instruction. The argument was staged, and/or not about what it appeared to be about on the surface. Hari said he didn’t expect to be making the trip and I think his plan depends on him being a martyr to the Foundation, either by the Empire or, failing that, his loyal son. The ship was obviously arranged to pick up Raych so that he could go on to the next phase of the plan, whatever that might be. Gaal wasn’t supposed to come. Maybe Gaal wasn’t even supposed to be alive, either. She is the only one other than Hari that can actually understand psychohistory, and maybe the Foundation needs to be kept in the dark to do what it needs to do.

Don’t know what was up with the special coffin, but it looks kind of vault-y.
posted by rodlymight at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2021 [4 favorites]

Gotta love a math problem montage.
posted by joeyh at 6:57 PM on October 15, 2021 [7 favorites]

I felt annoyed with previous episodes spending so much time with Cleon-and-on-and-on but I found myself missing the bastard in this one.

I'm not sure Raych killed Hari on Hari's instruction, but I do think the explanation is going to be that Hari's equations wouldn't stabilize as long as he survived.
posted by jordemort at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I think it has to be that Raych killed Hari on his orders. I don't see any other way it could happen that the knife used to kill Hari was sent in the pod with Gaal, and it also happened to have some kind of electronics in it to open the door to the space ship.
posted by Quonab at 10:20 PM on October 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I kind of admire this show's willingness to take an ensemble cast and just dedicate the first, like, 20 minutes of an episode to a single character. So far it's been a bold gamble that has paid off pretty well a couple times, and I imagine they'll probably keep that particular device around for a while.

Also kind of fun seeing how they get around the fact that they want to tell stories at radically different times, but often with the same actors. When they switched back to Gaal's story in the 1960s Sci Fi Spaceship at one point, I narrated "meanwhile, in the future," but honestly it's kind of cool seeing how they solved the puzzle of casting for a story that takes place over such a vast span of time.

I really liked the fake-out with the star chart stuff and the double-outsmarted move of "yeah those aren't real windows lol," and also I feel like it's been a while since I've seen something that made me feel as tense as the spacewalk scene. Just a completely different vibe from, say, Star Trek stuff.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:12 PM on October 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

Also I was extremely pleased to see Lee Pace as Brother Day in the preview thumbnail for next week's episode. Didn't expect to fall so deeply in love with the character(s) of the emperor(s), but Lee Pace's performance is positively enrapturing, and the character is fascinating in so many ways, even if he's absolutely not meant to be a "good guy" in any meaningful sense.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:16 PM on October 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

My spouse and I were both a bit flabbergasted that Warden neglected to lead off the conversation with their Imperial ship rescuers with "THEY HAVE A GIANT ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN WAITING HERE CLOAKED AND AIMED AT THE SKY"
posted by lazaruslong at 6:34 AM on October 16, 2021 [26 favorites]

I feel like they also could have just set up the gun on the other side of a little hill or something. Seemed like an odd plan that required some specific communication but would have been thwarted if anyone mentioned anything else. But that’s kind of how all elaborate plans work I guess.
posted by snofoam at 9:08 AM on October 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

There’s a definite feel that the writers aren’t up to connecting the required plot points without the characters making a lot of inexplicably dumb choices.
posted by cardboard at 10:31 AM on October 16, 2021 [6 favorites]

I agree Seldon had Raych kill him as part of the overall plan for the Foundation. It was probably to give the empire the feeling that the problem of Seldon and his followers were not a threat. No worries about new prophecies from Seldon coming form terminus and his key followers exiled to a world where they seem focused on a very insular task of writing the encyclopedia. The empire can broadcast propaganda that look how Seldon’s fanatics ultimately murdered him. He couldn’t even see that his own adopted son would turn on him.
posted by interogative mood at 8:59 PM on October 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

With the speculation that this was set up by Hari, I postulate that this ship is on the way to starting the Second Foundation.
posted by Marticus at 3:56 PM on October 17, 2021 [6 favorites]

That attack on terminus has a serius "low budget star trek" vibe, it just feels cheap. I know the show is trying to portray the protagonists as brilliant and etc... but.... it's all crap, just like the novels, it's going too far on a dumb premise It all looks good, but that's a very very thin veneer on already thin layers. In the end Foundation is not something I needed to see on screen, cause not much interesting happens, and the worlds are all boring. I really doubt we ever see the end of this, it'll abandoned really quick.

Now I'd literally kill for an Hyperion/Endymion series, stuff happens, interesting settings are described, there's an actual reason to shoot it. But it doesn't have the following to justify it.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:28 PM on October 17, 2021

Speculation time! I’m pretty confident that Raych killed Hari on Hari’s instruction. The argument was staged, and/or not about what it appeared to be about on the surface.

I'm wondering if the argument was legit but about Raych not wanting to kill Hari, something like Hari insisting he has to die (or at least appear to die, the "custom space coffin definitely felt like a Chekov's Gun), and Raych saying the calculations might be wrong/he didn't want to do it.

I think everyone was supposed to know that Raych did it, because if Hari was just supposed to die then he could have poisoned himself or faked illness with some future tech, and I think Gaal was supposed to be ejected and picked up by Raych's ship because otherwise I don't know why he'd do that - suspicion only fell on her as an accomplice because she's "run away".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:39 AM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I know the possibility that Salvor Hardin is a mutant the way the Mule is later in the books was mentioned here. I hope they don't take it a step further and say that she is Gaal and Raych's daughter whose genetics Seldon specifically modified to give her that ability. That would just be too much.
posted by Quonab at 7:37 PM on October 18, 2021

I think the prize that Gaal won and Harden’s immunity to the vault are probably related to the whole second foundation storyline. Hari’s plan is to shorten the dark age by developing psionic abilities in individuals; a new ruling caste of people guided by foresight and able to use mental powers to influence others and shape events . The proof of the conjecture might only have been possible by someone with those psionic. The null field on the vault can only be bypassed by Harden because she also has these psionic powers.
posted by interogative mood at 9:20 PM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I know the possibility that Salvor Hardin is a mutant the way the Mule is later in the books was mentioned here.

Weren't empaths a known thing in the Empire, but what made the Mule different was his ability to actually reset the emotional state of others, not just read it?

That's my fuzzy memory of the whole thing, anyway.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 PM on January 18, 2022

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