Apple TV+’s ‘Foundation’ ends its second season with some explosive revelations and delivers a finale that sets the stage for the third season by introducing a formidable villain. While the Mule is something to look forward to, the second season also focuses on the backstory of Demerzel, shedding more light on her purpose and intentions with the Empire. Over the course of this season, we see a shift in Demerzel, especially as things get volatile all over the Empire, and in Trantor, where Brother Day plans to do away with the Genetic Dynasty and produce natural heirs by marrying Queen Sareth.
The final episode of Season 2 shows just how far Demerzel is ready to go to follow the rules set up for her in her original programming, even if it means she might have to kill someone. This question is particularly posed in the final episode, where Demerzel finds Rue and Dusk, who have stumbled upon her secret. What does she do to them? Does she kill them? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Does Demerzel Kill Dusk and Rue?
While Brother Day is busy with his schemes to marry Queen Sareth and putting a stop to the Foundation’s plans to rally the forces against him, Dawn and Dusk have enough time on their hands to look into the things that had gone unnoticed till now. Dusk’s line of inquiry begins with Rue, who talks about losing her memories before she moved to Cloud Dominion and how she doesn’t even realize she had them in the first place.
This leads Dusk to wonder if some of his memories have been altered, but he doesn’t remember them because they are gone. When he looks into the data of previous Cleons, he notices some discrepancies and decides to look into it further. While talking with Rue, he discovers an unnatural thing in the paintings that leads him and Rue to a basement they don’t know about. Here, they meet the first Cleon, and he tells them the story of Demerzel.
Dusk and Rue discover that Cleon freed Demerzel from the prison she’d been in since the end of the war with the robots. He programmed her to be loyal to him, aka the Empire, and to do whatever it takes to preserve it. Cleon ensured Demerzel’s continued loyalty to the Empire following his death by creating the Genetic Dynasty. However, he also established that while the clones would sit on the throne, true power would lie in the hands of Demerzel.
This revelation answers a lot of questions Dusk had. It explains the discrepancies in his memories and reveals that he and the other Cleons never really had any power. They were mere puppets, doing what Demerzel wanted them to do. It also turns out that she was the one who hired the Blind Angels to perpetrate the assassination attempt on Day, though she confesses it was simply supposed to be an attempt so that she could place the blame on Sareth and stop the wedding from happening.
Dusk and Rue are found out by Demerzel when they are trapped in her prison, and she gets a notification about it while she is with Day dealing with the situation on Terminus. She hurries back to Trantor and finds Dusk and Rue there. It doesn’t take much for her to realize they know everything about her history. She’d been keeping an eye on all of them. All the things that they thought they were doing in secret be it Dawn and Dusk’s inquiry or Dawn and Sareth meeting in secret and planning to have a baby together. Nothing was hidden from Demerzel, and she was keen on keeping her secrets, so she’d already mapped out a solution for everything.
Demerzel asks Dusk if Dawn knows anything about this secret place. He says that the young Cleon doesn’t while knowing that Demerzel is asking this question because if Dawn or anyone else knew about it, she would kill them, too. Demerzel, too, makes it clear that Rue and Dusk are not walking out of there alive. While the camera doesn’t focus on them, it’s clear that Demerzel walks out of the secret basement, having killed Dusk and Rue. One would wonder how she could kill Dusk if he were a version of the real Cleon, but one must remember that the only clone Demerzel is programmed to be loyal to is the one on the throne, i.e., Day. Dusk has had his time and is no longer the ruler, which means he is like any other person to Demerzel. So, she kills him.
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