Foundation: Why the Gods Made Wine   Books Included 
August 19, 2023 7:46 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Day and Queen Sareth make an announcement. Tellem sows seeds of distrust between Gaal and Hari. Hober Mallow reaches his destination.
posted by Kyol (12 comments total)
"Uh, hon, queenie-boo? I know I just gave you the biggest platform of all, but we aren't the touchy-feely kind of royals, maybe you haven't noticed?"

I'm hoping the Tellem story ends up on a better note, but right now it's going _dark_.

I was sort of hoping that Hober Mallow ended up in some 4th dimensional space when the bodies spread out from the cuddle puddle. It also made me wish that someone could manage to do a Rama story without it being the most boring thing ever. Like, so much of the story is a solo adventure across the plains of bots and slowly coming to understand the systems, and... how do you film that? And yet it could be visually glorious!

And I'm hoping my clerics don't end up in the isolation ward.
posted by Kyol at 7:50 PM on August 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

There is too much going on, and my attention is so lacking these days, so I kind of let it all wash over me.
I'm most interested in the new Queen figuring out Demerzel's deal. I hope they team up.
(Also Dawn is in an interesting position)
posted by Acari at 7:52 AM on August 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Anyone know where the Tellem story was filmed? The rocks are pretty cool
posted by bunderful at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm sort of wondering what the big finale is going to be this year - by this point last season we knew it was going to be between the foundation and the two "barbarian" cultures, but I'm not sure it's super clear that we're building up to a crescendo this year or not. On the other hand, the show is dense and they seem to be managing to keep multiple plates spinning, so I expect it'll be satisfying. I hope the ratings are solid - it's always hard to tell how shows are doing from Fanfare discussions, but it's been nice having a talky sci-fi show that manages to keep it interesting.
posted by Kyol at 11:05 AM on August 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

At this point the Terminus foundation story is set in motion:

Empire has released a general they don't trust from prison and sent them en route to Terminus.
Foundation has sent a delegation to Empire to negotiate a peace it doesn't want.
Hober Mallow has encountered the spacer home "world," who are wholly dependent on opalesk, the chemical mined via prison labor.

From here the solution is almost mechanical:
Hober promises a new source of opalesk to the spacers, in return for money. Freed from chemical bondage the spacers bargain much harder against empire, further eroding their hold.

Empire doesn't know what do to with Brothers Constant and Poly, and will more or less.

The general will mutiny against empire if it means ending spacer slavery and Empire, suspecting as much, will sabotage Bel Riose's mission. Probably ordering him to retreat?

Now the task of writers is to flesh out the drama:
- how will hober find opalesk? He seems like the kind of guy who makes deals first and figures out the details after
- who dies? I'm guessing the only casualty of the "war" will be Constant, as she is the most responsible and least deserving, and therefore maximally tragic. Even Poly's breakdown at the end of this episode describes her faith as more worthy than his belief. Hober presumably opens his rare wine at her funeral
- How far does Bel Riose get before his recall? Who enforces it? Maybe his husband turns him in, either as a double agent or because Riose has become irredeemably morally tainted, having shot scavengers and informants already, and who knows what next.
posted by pwnguin at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I thought the "rescuing psychic children moments after their non-psychic guardians had been killed" bit seemed convenient, though I'm not sure I can entirely blame Tellem for being murderously suspicious of Hari? If you value people -- especially people he has taken an interest in -- Hari cannot be trusted. (In Hari's general defense as a character: what a cool way to do a revenge killing. I've never seen somebody do a revenge killing like that.)

Based on her interactions with Hober Mallow and the spacers -- Constant's main trait is that she's horny, and I think that's charming. Alas, it does seem like she'd be the ideal martyr, as someone who is both openly faithful and politically connected.

I love Sareth! Wow, she's fun. I hope we don't go to sleep at the end of this season; I really like these characters.
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:13 PM on August 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I thought the "rescuing psychic children moments after their non-psychic guardians had been killed" bit seemed convenient

Yeeeeeeeah I have to admit a degree of suspicion here - given how much the rest of the episode plays with what's real and what's a mindfuck, I reckon the liklihood of Tellem using her powers to build her flock (by manipulating/enraging populii) is >0.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:21 PM on August 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Oh also: Day, Dawn, and Hari all know that memory edits are possible, and Hari even brags about doing it to his own clone on Terminus. Day and Dawn are slowly unravelling how they've been manipulated, but Hari doesn't seem to even consider the fact that he might not be another clone with edited memories, while pondering for what purpose he was made mortal.
posted by pwnguin at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2023 [4 favorites]

(last one, I swear) Tadj seems like a perfect caricature of "the administration" every academic loves to rail about. She is completely ineffective at persuasion, dumb as the rock Hari gave her instead of the radiant, and somehow shot her own hostage. It's not really clear to me what Hari was going to do with the thing before his wife was murdered, but afterwards the goal is clear: now that empire has destroyed that which he loved most, he will destroy that which Empire loves most in return.
posted by pwnguin at 2:52 PM on August 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also also, seeing the prototype radiant splayed out like a Dymaxion map made me kind of think we've seen it on the Beggar. I'm not entirely clear on why they can't just pick out the location from the ... was it Salvor or Gaal who hid it? But maybe they have sufficient natural mental defense to protect them from casually being read.

And yeah, I noticed that every single memory of Tellem saving someone was basically the same Tellem as we see now. I mean, on the one hand, maybe it all did just happen in the past 4-5 years when Empire lost control out in the boundary worlds, or maybe Empire had a project that normally pulled sensitive kids into a Psi-Corps but they're not actively recruiting any more because they're busy with other stuff.

And maybe Bel Riose and Hober and the Spacers all get together and realize that opalesk is what ties them all together, and Empire having control of it does none of them any good and _yoink_ independent spacers! Bel seemed to be cozy with the spacers on his ship, he might not realize how Empire controls them, but if Hober spills the beans... And/or Hober figures out how to get the Whisper drive into more peoples hands, meaning the Spacers can go off and have their zero-g life without servitude? But I'm not sure I see any of that as a _crisis_ per se.

Also Tadj was Jessica from Utopia. It's been a good year for Utopians - Arby was in Hijack earlier this summer.
posted by Kyol at 6:34 PM on August 20, 2023

Also also, seeing the prototype radiant splayed out like a Dymaxion map made me kind of think we've seen it on the Beggar

That’s because you did
posted by pwnguin at 8:17 AM on August 21, 2023

Constant is my all time fav!!! I would hang out with her forever. I loved her unabashed checking out of Hober (last ep) when he takes his shirt off.
posted by supermedusa at 7:01 AM on September 26, 2023

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