Foundation Season 2’s Ending Explained

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WARNING: This contains SPOILERS for Foundation season 2, episode 10, and the Foundation books.
Summary Foundation season 2 finale confirms Demerzel’s true identity as the real Empire controlling every Cleon that was born after the first one, although the robot herself is not free.
The season ends with a 152-year time jump, setting up a war between what will be left of the Empire and the Foundation, with the Mule as a major villain.
The death of Salvor Hardin proves that the future can be changed and that Gaal’s visions will not always come true.
Foundation season 2’s finale saw the first confrontation between the Foundation and the Empire, confirmed how important Demerzel is, and teased the Mule as the show’s next major villain. Foundation season 2 continued the series’ adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, combining elements from the original short stories with portions of Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Just like the rest of the show, Foundation season 2’s finale included major changes to the source material, teasing new storylines for Foundation season 3 that are not in the books.
Foundation season 2, episode 10 confirmed what the series had slowly revealed – Demerzel is the real Empire. Every Cleon that came after the first one was but an instrument to be used by Demerzel, even though the robot herself was never free. Demerzel was the one who hired the assassins to attack Brother Day, a long-term plan to eventually blame the assassination attempt on Queen Sareth. Foundation season 2’s ending also saw the death of Salvor Hardin, who died saving Gaal from being shot. All three Cleons have been replaced, and Gaal is now heading 152 years into the future through cryosleep.
Foundation Season 2’s Ending Time Jump & Season 3 Setup Explained
Foundation season 2 ends with a 152-year time jump, taking audiences to the height of the war between what is left of the Empire and the Foundation. The scene features Foundation’s “The Mule” in what was the best look yet at the mentalic that will pose a threat to the Foundation. The Mule was supposed to kill Salvor Hardin 152 years into the future, as revealed by Gaal’s vision. While Salvor’s death happened earlier, it seems like not much has changed. The galaxy is still at war, and the Mule could be leading what is left of the Empire against the Foundation. However, the Mule is afraid of Gaal Dornick.
Both Gaal and Hari went to cryosleep chambers in Foundation season 2’s finale, planning to wake up once every year to guide the mentalics and the Second Foundation. The idea was for Gaal to cryosleep long enough for her to still be alive 152 years later, which represents the next turning point in Hari Seldon’s plan. Foundation season 2’s final scene confirms this worked, and that Gaal will be fighting the Mule’s forces in the future. Whether Hari Seldon is also alive at this point of the Foundation timeline is difficult to say. Foundation season 3 will likely cover events that happened in those 152 years.
What Salvor Hardin’s Death Means For Foundation Season 3
Salvor Hardin dies in Foundation season 2, episode 10. Salvor’s death had been foreshadowed since the beginning of the season. More precisely, Salvor’s death was expected to happen per Gaal’s vision – but only 152 years into the future. Gaal saw Salvor dying at the hands of the Mule, an event that Hari Seldon deemed to be unchangeable. Gaal’s visions were more than just mathematic predictions – she was indeed accessing memories of her future self. Therefore, Salvor Hardin’s death 152 years earlier than it should have happened means that the future can be changed. Gaal’s visions do not always have to come true.
How Brother Day Was Killed In Foundation Season 2’s Finale
Cleon XVII, the current Brother Day, died in Foundation season 2’s finale. Empire waged war against the Foundation and used the Invictus to destroy the surface of Terminus. While Riose and the rest of the fleet followed Cleon’s orders at first, they refused to proceed with the bloodshed. Day wanted to destroy all seven planets the Foundation had claimed, none of which posed any real threat. Cleon thought he had beaten Riose and opened the ship’s shuttle, yet it was Cleon himself who was thrown into the vacuum of space. Riose used Hober Mallow’s casting device and switched places with Cleon just one second before the shuttle was opened.
Where Brother Dawn & Sareth Are Going
Brother Dawn realized that Demerzel was going to kill him and Sareth, just like she killed Brother Dusk. Demezerl, following her programming of always protecting the Empire and the Genetic Dynasty, would never let any of the Cleons marry and have an heir. Sareth was going to be executed for hiring the assassins who attacked Day, and Dawn would have been killed as well. However, Dawn and Sareth managed to escape from Trantor together. They are expecting a baby, which could pose a threat to Demerzel’s Empire. However, neither Dawn nor Sareth seem to be interested in the throne, and they will likely raise their child away from the Empire.
What Empire’s Three New Cleons Mean For Demerzel’s Plan
Demerzel has decanted three new Cleons to become Empire. This is the first time since the inception of the Genetic Dynasty that Demerzel will have to replace all three Cleons at the same time. Brother Day was killed during the attack on Terminus; Demerzel killed Brother Dusk, and Brother Dawn fled Trentor. Unlike the previous Cleons, the new ones might not suspect that Demerzel is the real Emperess. She will guide them and bend them to her will, making sure these three new Cleons do not repeat the “failures” of the previous ones. Despite everything that happened, Demerzel’s Empire remains.
Demerzel Now Has The Prime Radiant (& It Changes Everything)
Demezerl now has the Prime Radiant – the one that was with Hari Seldon inside the Vault on Terminus. The Prime Radiant contains all of Hari Seldon’s calculations for the future of the galaxy, including predictions for when each of the next crises will happen. Seldon’s Prime Radiant, which can exist in more than one place at the same time, is the most important artifact in the entire galaxy. More than a database, the Prime Radiant is a computer that goes beyond three dimensions and could change the Empire forever. Demezerl’s intelligence combined with the Prime Radiant’s knowledge will make the Galactic Empire more dangerous than ever.
How Terminus’ Citizens Are Still Alive In Foundation Season 2’s Finale
The Invictus fell on the surface of Terminus and created a singularity that destroyed the entire planet. However, one of Foundation season 2’s final scenes revealed that the citizens of Terminus survived. As Hari Seldon put it, Terminus had to be destroyed so that the Foundation could survive. The Vault, which can change and create matter, saved everyone just before the planet exploded. The original Foundation now lives inside the Vault. Where the Vault is going next remains to be seen, and it is important to remember that Hari Seldon was not supposed to know about the second Foundation.
Related: Could Foundation’s Hari Seldon Become The Villain? Actor Jared Harris Responds
What Foundation Season 3’s Story Could Be (Based On The Books)
Foundation season 2 made several major changes to the source material, and it is now difficult to predict what will happen in Foundation season 3 based on Asimov’s Foundation novels. That said, some conclusions can be drawn from Foundation season 2’s ending. The Foundation has survived the second crisis, although the crisis itself was very different from the book. Instead of a relatively small-scale confrontation between Terminus and Anacreon, Foundation season 2’s crisis was the setup for a war between the Empire and the Foundation. In the book, the third crisis explores the transition from the Foundation’s scientism to an age of commerce, during which Hober Mallow plays a huge role.
Hober Mallow died in Foundation season 2’s finale. In addition, part of this transition from scientism to commerce was already covered in Foundation season 2, suggesting the third Seldon Crisis won’t be like the one in the book in season 3. Foundation season 2 incorporated elements from the Foundation prequels, as well as from the sequels. The Second Foundation is already coming into play, and the Mule, who only debuts in the second book, is already part of the show. As such, Foundation season 3, if it happens, will likely combine the remaining original Foundation short stories with elements from the sequels. Even the Empire’s fall could already happen in Foundation season 3.

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