Foundation Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

‘Foundation’ episode 5 continues the centuries-long saga of Hari Seldon’s followers and their struggles against the Galactic Empire. Gaal’s story bookends the episode, and we get glimpses of her past. The attack on Terminus by the Anacreons reaches new heights and once again reminds us just how epic the scale of this sci-fi show is. There’s a lot to unpack, including a very interesting cliffhanger, so let’s dive into ‘Foundation’ episode 5. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Foundation Episode 5 Recap

The episode opens in a flashback on Gaal’s watery planet of Synnax. The strictly religious world has long banned all forms of knowledge, and the populace believes blindly in the word of the “Sleepers.” Scientists or any other proponents of progress are swiftly put to death, but Gaal nevertheless delves into studying mathematics and is soon invited to Trantor for solving the centuries-old Abraxas equation.

We then see Gaal in the future, where she wakes up on a strange ship after floating through space since Hari Seldon’s murder. She is shocked to learn she’s been asleep for over thirty-four years and quickly looks up the details of Hari’s death. The ship’s computer informs Gaal that the mathematician’s murder has been attributed to her and Raych but refuses to tell her the destination of the spaceship she is on.

On Terminus, the Anacreons continue building fortifications around the Foundation settlement and also erect a functioning long-range gun. Just as things appear hopeless, the Empirical ship from Trantor (sent by Brother Dusk in episode 4) arrives and forces a ceasefire. However, all of this turns out to be part of the Anacreons’ plot as they use this opportunity to fire on the Galactic Empire ship and destroy it. The residents of the Foundation settlement, along with Salvor, are left seemingly at the mercy of the Anacreons.

Foundation Episode 5 Ending: Is Hari Seldon Alive?

Back on the mysterious ship she is stranded on, Gaal attempts to work out the ship’s destination. After a series of calculations and a quick spacewalk, she is able to decipher that the ship is heading towards a planet near a dead star. As Gaal attempts to order the ship to change course, she notices a corpse appear on the floor near her. To her shock, it appears to be Hari Seldon. The episode then closes with Gaal staring in disbelief as Hari Seldon’s head begins to move.

Considering he has been dead for over thirty-four years (ever since Gaal went into hibernation), it is surprising and heartening to see Hari Seldon again. However, soon after he appears, Hari’s body begins to glitch, signifying that what we (and Gaal) see is a hologram of him. Interestingly, the hologram itself seems to be in pain, which means that it is a recording of Hari Seldon or, more fittingly, a sentient version of him that he probably created before dying.

Since the brilliant mathematician is known to have calculated for almost every eventuality in the future, it is quite likely he foresaw his death and created a version of himself that would digitally live on. This version of Hari could provide some much-needed answers regarding the mysterious circumstances of his death and potentially help guide those presently being attacked in the Foundation settlement.

Who is Controlling the Ship? Where is It Taking Gaal?

The mysterious ship Gaal finds herself on refuses to give her any information about their destination. Through cleverly framed questions, she is able to glean that she is the only one aboard and that the ship is headed towards a dead star. A sickening thought then hits her as she realizes that the only habitable planet near a dead star is Hari Seldon’s home planet. Since she is considered to have murdered him, Gaal pleads with the ship’s computer not to take her to Hari’s home planet, but to no avail.

The ship is most likely being controlled by either Raych or Hari. Since Hari is the one who has crafted the overall plan for the future of civilization, he could have foreseen his death and planned to bring Gaal to his home planet for reasons as yet unknown. This would explain the hologram of Hari, which is onboard and most likely controlling the ship according to Hari’s plan.

There is also a possibility that Raych is controlling the ship. In a quick scene, the ship’s computer mentions that its security protocols can only be accessed by him. The knife that Raych leaves Gaal with also turns out to be the key that lets her into the ship. Most likely, Gaal ending up on the ship is Hari’s plan, which Raych subsequently carried out. It’s interesting to note that since both men are dead (with Raych being executed for Hari’s murder), one way or the other, the ship is likely being controlled from beyond the grave. This further supports the theory that the ship is being directed according to Hari’s plan.

Why Did the Anacreons Attack Terminus?

The Anacreons attack Terminus for multiple reasons. Their foremost goal is revenge on the Galactic Empire for the destruction wrought on their planet by Brother Dusk. Their only means to attack the Galactic capital, Trantor, is seemingly by capturing one of their ships, which is why they lure one to Terminus. As we see in the episode, the Anacreons successfully bring down a full-fledged Empirical ship, and what they do with it remains to be seen.

The Anacreons also have a longstanding grudge against the Foundation because they hold Hari partly responsible for the devastating attack on their planet. As Phara harshly explains to Salvor, the Galactic Emperor panicked and attacked Anacreon because of Hari’s predictions of doom. Therefore, Phara and her men feel justified in their brutal attack of Terminus as they continue to hold the Foundation responsible for their plight.

Read More: Where is Foundation Filmed?