As the second season of Apple TV+’s ‘Foundation’ nears its end, the conflict in the Galactic Empire reaches its breaking point, and the Second Crisis is unleashed in full force. The penultimate episode is tension-filled and action-packed and gears up for the events of the finale, which are expected to take everything a notch higher. Picking up from the events of the last episode’s ending, we see the Empire and the First Foundation at odds with each other, with none the wiser about what Day has in mind for them. By the time they figure it out, it’s already too late. Here’s what the ending means for the First Foundation and how Day’s action will influence the fate of the Empire. SPOILERS AHEAD
Foundation Season 2 Episode 9 Recap
The ninth episode begins with the story of Cleon I and Demerzel. At the end of the last episode, Dusk and Rue found the secret stairs that led them to a place Dusk had never seen before. This is where Cleon I appears and tells them that this place used to be a prison. He goes back to his childhood when the Genetic Dynasty was yet to be found. He tells them how he ended up in the secret basement as a child and found Demerzel, who had been disintegrated in separate layers.
It turns out that she had been imprisoned that way for 5,000 years. She was the leader of the robots when the war with humans took place. While the rest were killed, she was kept alive because the emperor was interested in studying her. He felt she was unique in some ways, even for a robot, and if she’d been allowed to roam free, she would have built back an army of robots for herself. So, he kept her in prison, where no one knew about her. Over the years, as the young Cleon befriends Demerzel, he starts to think about his legacy, especially because someday, he will die while Demerzel will continue to live.
In his dusk years, Cleon came up with the idea of the genetic dynasty, but he needed Demerzel by his side. He needed to be absolutely sure of her loyalty to the Cleons, so he put her in another prison as soon as he freed her. He changed her code, which meant that she would be devoted and loyal to the Cleons and could never physically hurt them, no matter what she did. He added that by being in charge of the Cleons, she would be the real Empire of the galaxy. All these years later, Demerzel doesn’t feel like one.
Bel Riose and his ships are ready to attack Terminus, but Day arrives with other plans. He promises to have peace talks and create a dialogue with Terminus, but when he lands on the surface, he becomes increasingly frustrated with everything going on there. He sees their technology, how far they have come, and how commonly they use things meant only for the Empire. Meanwhile, at Ignis, the ceremony to transfer Tellem’s consciousness into Gaal proceeds, but Salvor comes to the rescue.
Foundation Season 2 Episode 9 Ending: Why Does Day Destroy Terminus?
This version of Day had always been unpredictable. He exhibits divergence from other Cleons when he comes up with the idea of letting go of the Genetic Dynasty and going back to marrying princesses, making alliances, and placing his biological heir on the throne. Despite everyone’s protests, he decided to go forward with it and even planned the whole thing so that he would have Sareth as his bride while also getting Cloud Dominion under his thumb. Demerzel tries to manipulate him to her end by having a sexual relationship with him, but with time, even she loses her power over him.
Considering how he always keeps his cards close to his chest, it’s difficult to predict where he is going with the so-called peace talks. However, it is also not surprising when he decides to destroy the entire planet. After seeing things on Terminus, especially their technology, Day decides to take Terminus for himself instead of letting them be the Foundation they were supposed to be. Before leaving the planet, his eyes fall on the Vault, and he decides to visit Hari Seldon. He and Demerzel enter the Vault, where they chat with Seldon. Day offers to call off the attack if Selon admits his math is flawed and the Empire is under no threat. He also asserts that Seldon’s math relied on them continuing to be a Genetic Dynasty and never evolving beyond it, but here he is, changing everything by marrying Sareth.
Day claims that Seldon never factored in his actions, so things won’t turn out as he predicted. Seldon retorts that he has met outliers, and Day is not one of them. He keeps telling Day that psychohistory is real and that things will end up as they were foretold, but interestingly, he seems more focused on Demerzel. Seldon knows the power she holds over the Cleons, and he keeps returning to her in the conversation. Seldon seemed to have foreseen Day’s actions and used that opportunity to meet Demerzel. Did Seldon know about it already? Most probably.
Day leaves with the Prime Radiant when he walks out of the Vault. It feels odd that he would let Day take the Radiant so easily, but then, Hari Seldon has never done anything that wasn’t a part of his plan. So, even when Day destroys Terminus, it looks like Seldon is the one who really won here. He had already predicted the fall of the First Foundation, which makes the Second Foundation even more important now. Luckily, Gaal and Salvor survive and escape Tellem’s clutches. It also turns out that they are not the only ones. Somehow, Hari Seldon is still alive. Did he not drown the last time we saw him? Or is it that he couldn’t drown because he isn’t exactly human? In any case, Seldon has proved he is here to stay and see his plan through.
Another notable thing in this episode is the death of Glawen, Bel’s husband. Bel came back to serve the Empire because he was promised to be reunited with his husband. But with Glawen on Terminus, Day prods Bel to destroy the planet. He does so, but it feels like this might be the breaking point. Perhaps Constant was right when she said that she and Mallow were supposed to have been caught by him. Maybe they can convince him to side with the Foundation in this war against the Empire. Glawen’s death might just have sealed the deal.