Foundation: Long Ago, Not Far Away   Books Included 
September 7, 2023 10:09 PM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Dusk and Enjoiner Rue learn Demerzel's origin and true purpose. Tellem's plans for Gaal take a dark turn. On Terminus, Day confronts Dr. Seldon.

Stepping in to post for Kyol as they're "out of pocket" as noted under s02e07 discussion.
posted by jjderooy (23 comments total)
Well, thats gonna take a lot of Gorilla Glue to repair.
posted by pwnguin at 11:06 PM on September 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

After a weak middle of the season, last week and this really lifted the game towards the season finale.

Sad to see Poly go. He was always entertaining. Not sad to see Tellem go (maybe?). And clone-Seldon is alive?
posted by jjderooy at 12:34 AM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

clone-Seldon is alibe?

Calling it now. Bet he’s a robot, just like his lost lady love.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:25 AM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

This show is so bonkers. I love it!

I'm calling it here:
  1. Tellem was set up as an extremely good misdirection about The Mule.
  2. Lee Pace's time on the show is coming to an end - at most, he's got another season. It's a shame, since he's giving such a great ten performances.
  3. Demerzel has been freed somehow.
I don't know if clone-Seldon could be a robot, because they picked up his life signs on Oona's world - that's how they knew to pick him up in the first place. I look forward to watching the explanation.

Hober Mallow is the most hilarious troll to grace television since Jimmy McNulty.
posted by rocketman at 5:54 AM on September 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

by the nature of the story, Lee Pace can’t be around forever, but gawd I’m going to miss him and his ability to go to 14 out of 10 without feeling like it’s “too much”

VERY curious about Demerzel’s story going forward. I dug the backstory and love the idea that she’s essentially the power behind the throne, but handcuffed to the throne all the same

I’m a little sad that there’s only one more episode left for the foreseeable future, especially with the strike! This show has done an incredible job of filling the need for Game of Thrones left by Game of Thrones and I can’t wait for more
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:00 AM on September 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Lee Pace's time on the show is coming to an end - at most, he's got another season. It's a shame, since he's giving such a great ten performances.

Showrunner David Goyer has said that he has plans for a Day Cleon into season 4 (assuming the show gets that far). I think Hari might have convinced Demrazel to take an active role in remaking the Cleonic dynasty in her image.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:31 AM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

This episode was really firing on all cylinders. Definitely worth whatever slow parts were needed earlier in he season to set this up. Damien Hirst Demerzel was pretty cool. Zombie Hari with the deadpan zinger after hammer(?) time. Good stuff in every location and he pacing of the intercuts between was perfect. Very interested to see how Demerzel gets out of her serving empire protocol. I had assumed it would be “this Day’s bio kids don’t count” but it seems like maybe something else is afoot. Will we see Dusk and Rue again, or just two dusty skeletons like something from a Far Side cartoon?
posted by snofoam at 11:05 AM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Wow. That ending. I wonder if the Invictus crashing down purposefully invokes biblical ophanim.

I also think Demrazel is free now, and her realization of that is why she abruptly leaves Day for Trantor at the end. Why else show us the flashback with Cleon I implanting the restraint in her neck? Maybe Hari Seldon was able to make the restraint vanish when she was in his "office".
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:44 PM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Wow. That ending. I wonder if the Invictus crashing down purposefully invokes biblical ophanim.

About that ending. Foundation was shown to be mass producing auras, and Day brought in a castling device from somewhere. One way to avoid this divine judgement is to be spirited away from Terminus.

Notably, the rookie on Invictus is told something like "we all play today" which is an odd phrasing and evokes a stage play rather than going into combat, and they seem happy or relieved when Invictus catches fire.


Hari hitched a ride off Terminus with Demerzel, having used the time dilation delta between Day leaving the Vault and Demerzel leaving to further negotiate / reprogram her, and step into the tesseract she carried out.

The good luck charm Bel Rios gave his partner was half of a castling device. Hober fakes an escape attempt using the other half, tricking Day into activating it and swapping places with the pilot on the surface he doomed to die. Stuck down there without an Aura, he might even be the only casualty of the war. Though I guess he did stab that director.
posted by pwnguin at 3:50 PM on September 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

I was surprised that nothing came of Day removing his aura before entering the Vault, so perhaps that is a domino yet to fall.

I came away with the impression that Demerzel was leaving for Trantor not because she was free of Empire, but she was free of this particular Day.
posted by jimw at 4:58 PM on September 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

I liked the reminder that Hari is a hologram, as Lee Pace's Empire is such a physical bully. (Also a bully in every sense, but really also unnervingly tactile when he intimidates people. He's Empire! He doesn't have to shove people around physically, he just likes it.) I wondered if...the end was a holographic projection, or something? I was just so certain Poly would live long enough to see Salvor again -- Salvor even mentioned that Hari was basically the only person she knew who was still alive -- that I wasn't expecting him to die just yet. Also, uh, the rest of the Foundation. Playing dead seems like the best way to deal with Empire right now.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:15 PM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

On rewatch, Day doesn't know about the castling device. Only Rios does, and the good luck charm showed up multiple times this episode. While I personally think it's less interesting if Bel swaps, then if day does, it seems to be the direction they are leaning.
posted by pwnguin at 9:07 PM on September 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

The transmutation of iron into gold was a lovely call back to the books, wonderfully repurposed.
posted by andrewdoull at 5:12 AM on September 9, 2023

My call is that Demerzel is the guiding hand behind the 2nd Foundation and she decided to split back to Trantor to handle business once she saw that bad things were about to befall Terminus. Her loyalty may have shifted to "The Empire" rather than just "Empire" and she recognizes that the best long-term thing for the Empire is Seldon's Plan.

Having said this, it won't be the case. I'm really bad at forecasting events (fictional or otherwise).

As a side note: Demerzel is not physically bound to Day...he took his pilgrimage last year by himself.
posted by jeporter99 at 6:48 AM on September 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

Its an interesting future, isn't it, where no one ever REALLY dies, and their shadows and their clones and their robots fight each other constantly for centuries. Looking forward to the next episode where I will be surprised if anyone is actually for real dead, with the exception of the head dude of the foundation, the director or whatever he's called, who got stabbed almost as an afterthought by Day. He gonna die.
posted by some loser at 10:20 AM on September 9, 2023

RIght, immortality has been a recurring theme, especially this season. Do you live on through:

(a) an immortal soul, reincarnated in the Great Cycle,
(b) cloning and memory implants,
(c) a robot body that seemingly cannot die, even when tomographically sliced,
(d) body hopping every time you feel old or powerless,
(e) an AI trained on your memory running in a quantum simulation tesseract, or
(f) through the power of your ideas?

Of course, one of the criticisms of Goyer shared in an earlier thread is that his works, especially Man of Steel, included religion as a major theme, while Asimov was a committed atheist. The combination works in this Crisis as the source material is religious in nature, but at the cost of eroding the philosophy behind the math of psychohistory: no man is important, and one can at most nudge the trajectory of history a bit off its current path.

Of course, Asimov himself undercut all this with the Mule and the retcon merge of I, Robot and Foundation. But eliminating the free trade, free thought philosophy more or less makes a later choice a decision between fascism and communism.
posted by pwnguin at 1:05 PM on September 9, 2023 [4 favorites]

oh, and uh, this thread doesn't have the "books included" marker the rest of the series has.
posted by pwnguin at 1:07 PM on September 9, 2023

Thanks to jjderooy for picking up the coverage while I was out! I'm super excited to see how this season finishes out - I could tell how the pieces were moving into place all season long, but I'm still managing to be surprised by how things are turning out.

I hope they did the story right by not "finishing" the crisis an episode early again like last season, but on the other hand it allowed them a bit of time after the crisis to breathe a little bit.

And yeah, I'm sort of leaning on the return of Hari pointing to him being more robot than man - I wonder if Demerzel shows up "wrong" in scans too, or if her advanced technology blah blah makes her appear human. I'm sure we'll find out next week, right?

I was a little annoyed with how often Sal fell for the pseudoHugo illusion. Like, after the first time you know it's not your boy, doubly so when he changed to Hugo in the middle of an attack. Is this something your boy would do? no? Keep fighting!
posted by Kyol at 6:14 PM on September 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

I saw episode 10 the other night, is anyone planning on posting it or was it universally reviled and we all vow to never speak of it again?
posted by some loser at 12:09 AM on September 17, 2023

The thread for episode 10 is over here - books included vs not included breaks the previous / next episode links.
posted by Kyol at 8:27 AM on September 17, 2023

Not sure what the big deal about the Invicta was if one little fighter can take it out.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:22 AM on September 28, 2023

At least some of it was that controlling the Invicta got the Foundation access to the vaunted FTL engines that only Empire had before that point. Once they got them and weren't hung up on doing things the way they've always been done, they managed to improve on the current designs - closer warp distances and whatnot.

And it was still probably a pretty hefty force to be reckoned with in the outer periphery if anyone pushed back against the Foundation's Economic Prosperity Program, but there's no denying it was a pretty out-of-date warship and modern Empire fighters could penetrate the defensive batteries, leading to the outcome we saw.
posted by Kyol at 7:48 AM on September 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Not sure what the big deal about the Invicta was if one little fighter can take it out.

Must have been a lucky hit on an exhaust port
posted by pwnguin at 9:01 AM on September 28, 2023

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