Foundation: The Last Empress   Books Included 
August 31, 2023 9:52 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Enjoiner Rue confides in Dusk about her distrust of Demerzel. Hober Mallow pulls a daring move. Day sets course for Terminus and the Foundation.<

Stepping in to post for Kyol as he's "out of pocket" as noted under s02e07 discussion, and this one deserves some attention. Delete if I've messed up the etiquette.
posted by jjderooy (14 comments total)
 
Well, that answered some questions about why Terminus Hari undermined the "no great man" pyschohistory and demanded Hober Mallow. And introduces some kind of time loop?
posted by pwnguin at 11:46 PM on August 31, 2023


Sure, but why did he incinerate that guy then?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:51 AM on September 1, 2023


I think it's less of a time loop and more that the Ignus story was playing out before the Terminus story.

Sure, but why did he incinerate that guy then?

Tbf that Warden was kind of a self-aggrandizing jerk.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:04 AM on September 1, 2023 [1 favorite]


I think it's less of a time loop and more that the Ignus story was playing out before the Terminus story.


In the distant future, the Mule knows Hober Mallow took down the empire. In the past, Gaal learns of Hober from the Mule. In the present Hari learns of Hober, and summons him to achieve greatness. In the near future, Hober Mallow takes down the empire.

That seems like a causality loop to me. The only way out of one is if the Mule was lying, a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy of the past.
posted by pwnguin at 10:00 AM on September 1, 2023


#JusticeForBecky
posted by ssmith at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2023 [8 favorites]


One of the stronger bits of Asimov’s novels was the absolute *horror* of the Second Foundation. Characters were terrified at the idea they *might* have had their minds altered - and this episode absolutely sold that horror. Gale’s “no, that came from *me*” was just heartbreaking.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2023 [3 favorites]


ssmith - I liked the idea, but I think we needed one or two more shots of Beki actually being cute for her death to hit. Still, though: Poor Beki :(
posted by Mr. Excellent at 10:11 AM on September 1, 2023 [2 favorites]


Rue's makeup was perfect in the opening scenes. I gather the Cloud Dominion finds various pigments -- special? profitable? sacred? -- but this is the first time I've thought any of the folks from the Cloud Dominion looked especially striking. (I know she often wears gold pigment at the hairline, but, uh...it doesn't usually look that good. Maybe it's just different lighting?) The court intrigue has ramped up a lot in the last few episodes, and it's nerve-wracking. Young Empire's main characteristic is that he screws up his own plots, yes? I'm with Rue on this. It will not end well.

I was relieved Constant survived! And relieved they pulled her hair back so she didn't look like an unruly child before she seduced Hober Mallow. And I LOVED the stuff with Constant's dad. If I had a kid who became religious and took a dangerous missionary position to preach the world...oh man, I would probably seem like an asshole, too.

Hari and Salvor's talk was great; I loved Hari whining when he realized that he was Other Hari's chump, I loved Salvor convincing him to rebel against his own plan. Honestly, a lot of great talks this episode? I also liked Poly Verisof offering "the chief characteristic...is that it works" as a testament to the Foundation's appeal. Being a citizen of an empire (can we call it that openly) that just doesn't work sometimes, I understand that appeal.

So...is Tellem the mule? We now have Demerzel's robot immortality, Hari's quantum immortality, Cleon's cloned immortality, and Tellem's body-hopping immortality. Even if Salvor does the practical thing and attempts to kill Tellem as soon as she sees her, I'm thinking someone who is that good at switching bodies has an automatic escape hatch...
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:59 PM on September 1, 2023 [1 favorite]


All these immortal dudes and they made an immortal seldon… to get drowned and not come back? That seems like a waste of a trip to a weird robot planet. It’s like having a cleon that trips getting out of the shower.

Also if the immortal Tellem isn’t the mule I’ll eat my hat.
posted by The River Ivel at 7:29 AM on September 2, 2023


All these immortal dudes and they made an immortal seldon… to get drowned and not come back

People keep saying this on Reddit, and I will repeat what I said there: the only purpose of giving Seldon a body is so it can die.

The now dead Hari even bragged about making a clone and editing its memories, but It seems likely he is also a clone with edited memories. “I’m the Left hand” Hari looking down a hall of mirrors towards an infinite number copies of himself it’s probably foreshadowing.
posted by pwnguin at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2023 [3 favorites]


I've been convinced that the cute little kid is the Mule from the moment that we saw him, but I now suspect that it's going to be Tellem in the cute little kid's body.
posted by confluency at 2:29 PM on September 2, 2023 [4 favorites]


dangerous missionary position
Hey, hober might not be that well-endowed
posted by coriolisdave at 2:34 PM on September 2, 2023 [3 favorites]


you know there's the whole nature vs nurture thing I'm not sure we ever fully solved that one so lets say its 50/50 ok so then I have to assume that the upbringing of the Cleon clone people triumvirate is markedly different from that of the OG Cleon I right? Like he didn't have a much older brother who was genetically identical growing up for sure. so ok how close can we ever REALLY expect these clone weirdos to be to the original since a person is not made solely from their DNA right?

I was thinking about this because I observe that brother Dawn in his many incarnations is always so much differnet from the raging narcissim that is brother Day. Its like they all take turns brainwashing their younger self so he'll turn into this Raging Macho Asshole brother Day they all aspire to be.
posted by some loser at 5:36 AM on September 7, 2023 [1 favorite]


Furthermore I guess the fact that their memories are being edited makes this brainwashing more effective - you are what you remember mostly + your DNA.

And I imagine the OG Cleon secretly finds them weirdly inferior
posted by some loser at 5:40 AM on September 7, 2023


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