Seldon Crisis – The Podcast

Always wanted to do a full season 1 analysis of the Apple TV version of Foundation and finally found a co-analyst. Priya from the Rehydrate podcast joins me to go over each episode and provide her insightful analysis. Priya and the Rehydrate crew are fresh off of a first reading of the Foundation trilogy and she watched the show fairly recently, so has quite a bit of insight as someone new to Asimov and the Foundation universe.

Show Notes

Hear Priya, along with Dan and Thalia, on the Rehydrate podcast

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What is Seldon Crisis – The Podcast?

A personal exploration of Isaac Asimov's Foundation epic, including commentary and analysis.

Joel
Welcome back. My wonderful and oh-so patient friends to another special episode of Seldon Crisis. You may recall if you've been with me for a while that I once did a quick rundown on my thoughts on the Apple Tv show that aired last fall and ran for 10 fascinating episodes. Covering the early part of the foundation story in its own rather unique way I wrote up my thoughts after episode 3 when the broad outlines of showrunner David Goyer's approach to the story seemed clear but there were another 7 episodes to follow and I never spoke much about them. Was always my intention to do some kind of season-ending recap to complete the analysis but I kept that idea simmering on the back burner until now a few months back I found a great literary analysis podcast called Rehydrate that just happened to be covering the foundation trilogy. Very much enjoyed listening to the 3 hosts as they discovered the story in real time, not spoiling themselves by looking ead but reading it chapter by chapter and sharing their often incorrect guesses about where things were heading. This was especially delightful with the mule episodes. Because they had no idea how that story would have such a dramatic twist at the end and it was a lot of fun to listen to them come upon the shocking conclusion and share their reactions. One of those hosts also shared that she had watched the entire Apple Tv series and appeared to have largely enjoyed it. And she agreed to join me here on Seldon Crisis to help me revisit it and provide some analysis welcome Priya to Seldon Crisis. Why don't you just introduce yourself to our listeners.

Priya
Hello, Hi my name is Priya and together with my co-hosts Dan and Thalia host the Rehydrate podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts or Rehydrate dot space. I have a background in English Lit and a deep interest in sci-fi which is what attracted me to the world of sci-fi podcasts in a sense. It all started off with my love of reading Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past series and that sort of got me into sci-fi again after many years of being away from it and after my podcast hosts and I finished reading that series. We kind of jumped into the Asimov series. Each of us had had a little bit of exposure to Asimov but none of us had read his most famous work I guess , which is foundation. So, we we on our podcast we looked at the first three so books of the series and talked about that. So and that's how we came to to discover Joel, discovered the Seldon Crisis podcast and, my first exposure to Asimov was when I was taking a sci-fi class in college and my class and I read I robot. Which is a collection of really thought provoking and often really endearing short stories focused on Ai and their relationship to humans or future humans. And I should add that that book is rather different from the will Smith movie much as this show is significantly different from the foundation book. So. I was actually really fascinated and kind of almost grateful that the show kind of does its own unique thing and I was excited to have this opportunity to talk further about it.

Joel
And okay, so what we're going to do is take turns providing a brief recap of each episode and then talk a little about it and I'll start with episode one entitled the emperor's piece and before I even do that I want to tell you the the theme of the. Ah, theme intro is really dramatic and beautiful and it's one of my favorite things I never skipped it so the emperor's piece opens with a short scene on a wintry world. We'll later find out as terminus and it introduces a very different salvo harden than the one in the books. But we'll get into that later a narrator who we'll discover is the voice of Gaal Dornick also quite different than the one in the books introduces the story from a perspective well in the future as if she's telling an old familiar story then we transition to her home planet Gaal Dornick's home planet. Of Synnax a place run by religious fundamentalists and it's a water world that is where the water is getting higher the sea levels rising and she's the only one who seems to care about that. They all think that the the priests are going to that or the their their gods will. Deal with it. So then she travels to trator to meet Hari Selden and she meets a spy for the empire named geral on the way she goes through this jump ship routine where the jump that which was is also very dramatic. And it heads for trator and when it gets there. They they see a start the starbridge which is a space elevator. They take it down to the planet and she meets Seldon's son Raych and then we transition to 3 fascinating characters. The clone emperors. Brothers Dawn Day and Dusk along with their servant Demerzel a lady will get to know very well and they greet ambassadors from these distant worlds thespis and and Actreon and what then. Seldon and Gaal are arrested and Seldon had predicted this and they stand trial for disturbing the peace due to Seldon's psychohistorical predictions Gaal Backs Hari and they are exiled to distant terminus then there's a very dramatic scene when the terrorists blow up. Starbridge and millions are killed by its fall. So let's talk about that one a little bit. What do you think? Priya.

Priya
So right? off the bat when I started watching this I was instantly drawn in and I really appreciated that about the show because a lot of the times you'll start a show and it'll sort of drag its feet to kind of get into it but I felt like they did such a good job. Um. Not just visually but like just in terms of like in terms of the writing itself of drawing you into this world that I felt myself instantly captivated and I really appreciate when. Ah, show can do world buildinging on that level because when you read sci-fi that's set in the future I think that envisioning a futuristic world is a very unique and immersive reading experience. Um because these things just come to life in your mind and to see that brought to life beautifully on the show. Something I very much appreciated. So yeah, the other the other thing I wanted to, talk about was Hardin in the show. who we whom we are first introduced to is obviously a very different character entirely than the harden in the books. And also Gaal is very different. So I remember when reading the book I was very disappointed by the sudden dropping off of the Gaal character as well as many other characters we meet who are soon replaced by new characters. So I think the show giving us these, consistent characters. Who we can kind of stick to and kind of cling to throughout the show was something that kept me more engaged in the show than I at times felt in the books and I know that that's a little bit hard to hear for people who are very hardcore fans of these books. and of course the show is just a completely different experience. It's not necessarily like a replacement for the books. But, it's something I personally enjoyed very much what did you think about that.

Joel
And well,, yeah, they couldn't be much more different and especially with Gaal in the books Gaal is like a non-character. It's just kind of a point of view. There's almost nothing on Gaal's background also Gaal's a man in the book and. I think it was a really good decision to switch the the genders of hard and and Gaal because that was 1 big issue with Asimov writing at the time is he he didn't know how to write female characters and he just left him out which now seems a little strange when you read it. And I'm sure you had that impression when you read it and so I think that was a great choice. But what's great is that Gaal comes from this amazing place where she is brilliant and that that's the worst thing to be on this planet because they're. Fundamentalist. Yeah, really really just fundamentalists who don't want brilliant people messing with their yeah carefully cultured religious culture. So yeah, that's that was interesting. Gave her a real cap.

Priya
And right yes, but.

Priya
Right? And and we get to see so much more of that. that background story behind a character like Gaal come to life here which is just and and even more so in later episodes which is something that really helps build the character up for us. and of course like. As as a female reader I felt very, kind of strange reading Asimov and I I totally understand the sensibilities of the time were different. Um and the sensibilities of us as modern readers and viewers will be different and I think that the show makes. makes for a much more digestible. Um I guess form when you have characters that you can relate to and you see this racial diversity as well in the representation of these characters. So so I I think that that. All just kind of draws you in immediately from episode 1 and then of course we have to talk about the cleons and I just thought that that was such a brilliant brilliant brilliant plotline. And it was very enjoyable to watch and I think that the casting of Lee Pace is also brilliant and, he just brought so much to the character he brought the character to life and I kept wondering if this comes from the books like text itself. Ah. The Cleon characters and I kept hoping to see that in the books that I did read I did not so I was a little bit disappointed but, perhaps you can speak more to whether, whether or not we ever see this in the books unless you don't want to spoil the books which is fine I will read them.

Joel
And you were disappointed.

Joel
Ah, yeah I won't get I won't spoil it a lot but I will just say in the books that there's only well there's two instances when Cleon is even mentioned there's once in the second novel. Foundation and empire in the general where there's a scene with Cleon but there's an earlier cleon that Hari Seldon meets in one of the prequels and has a couple of interesting scenes with but they are nothing like the ones in the movie in the in the show that are just. I mean that's I think that is a brilliant decision to to come up with those 3 clones and follow them through their you know through time works just really well. A lot of stories come off of that and you had some quotes you wanted to talk about right.

Priya
And yes, indeed,, so yeah, that that was a total I remember which part you were talking about with Cleon being introduced or mentioned once in that second book and I was hoping that oh this is where he comes in and then nope. So it was it was a bit of a tease for me. having seen the show. but to get into the quotes that really struck me was, the first quote that really like resonated with me I guess is please respect and enjoy the piece. Which is a common saying I guess on trator in this in this tv show world of Trantor. and I remember when I watched this with my husband. He commented on what a great phrase that was just like so pleasant to hear and then of course it's so ironic when we later come to learn what the price for this. So-called piece is. And how fragile it is with the fall of the empire looming and at the very at the end of that very same episode. We see the destruction of the star bridge and the deaths of innocence. Um that we like it's in complete contrast to the sentiment of please respect and enjoy the peace.

Joel
Brilliant Propaganda really.

Priya
And then, right exactly you. You really know that you really get the sense that well maybe there never really was peace if something like this can happen right? and then I also enjoyed, all this. All all the dialogue that Brother Day has with Brother Dusk where he's kind of teaching him the ways of the world or whatever. Ah, whatever the world means to this you know long lineage of clones and, there's this one. Great Line. He says where which is that art is merely politics. And I feel like this kind of speaks to how they see everything in a sense right? that like for them. Everything is politics the way they manipulate religions the way that they manipulate each younger generation I Guess of cleons is all through the lens of. Their political power and Influence. So.

Joel
It's the only It's the only life they have really is just the politics of the empire.

Priya
Exactly and then, there's a brilliant quote by Seldon which come which is kind of reiterated in many different forms by other characters later on which is that. Seldon says rather boldly to Brother Day you offer nothing new just a grape from the same vine destined for the same old bottle and we'll hear we're here with this later on when you know it's question whether the cleon have souls and I think that um. Towards the end. It seems that the Brother Day who we will see in the later episodes also comes to sort of acknowledge and accept this later on. Um so that was a really interesting sort of idea that's put out there from the very first episode. And then finally the quote that I loved is when Gaal says it takes more power to build than to burn which is another quote that will come up later on in the series. So I feel like this first episode does a lot of groundwork and it establishes a lot of themes and ideas that we'll keep returning to. So I feel like as a first episode which is kind of like what you'd consider a pilot episode. It does a really really good job and at the end of it like I definitely wanted to watch more.

Joel
Yeah, that the Gaal quote that you mentioned was in a trailer too and I remember hearing it and thinking that's going to be a really good character I Really like her you know from that really drew me in.

Priya
And she just has like a really good voice to do the narration and voiceover. So I just enjoyed listening to her kind of give her commentary on you know the themes and the ideas and the bigger concepts. Which are taken straight out of the Book. So It really becomes a very inspired rendition of the of the work itself and it's really respecting the work I feel even though it's changing so much and.

Joel
Okay, so moving on to episode 2 preparing to live I will let Priya summarize it.

Priya
So we start this episode on traanttor where demerel takes part in a murderous raid on the suspected terrorists then Hari Gaal Rach and foundation scientists travel to terminus aboard the deliverance. Preparing for their plan to live on a hostile planet and create the encyclopedia galactica Gaal and rash have become a romantic couple and back on trantor. The empire is raging over the starbridge interrogates. The ambassadors and hold a public mass execution while ritually bombarding their home world. So basically the home worlds of these two empires in Arean and not empires but worlds and atrean and Thespin are destroyed demarzele and Brother desk. Visit a seer priest from Synnax she is injured and it is revealed that she is a robot who apparently has lived for thousands of years back on Deliverance Hari and Rache are troubled Gaal Spends a lot of time in the water reciting primes then rash. Jab celled into death and sends Gaal out in an escape pod to an unknown fate.

Joel
So yeah, that was a rather shocking ending as I recall Yeah so any other thoughts on this one.

Priya
But indeed.

Priya
So yeah I felt that I was very fascinated by the Demerzel character in this episode. yeah I think I had already suspected that she was going to be a robot based on her very like calculated and stoic mannerisms and sort of like. I don't know her speech seems a little bit robotic to me. but I find her character to be among the most fascinating in the series and I'm very fascinated by how robots tie into this and when I read the first 2 foundation books I was somewhat disappointed that there were no narratives around ai so I don't know. Um.

Joel
Yeah, it's it's kind of interesting when he he wrote a lot of the Robot stories Asimov wrote a lot of the Robot stories first and I believe he had even known he hadn't written the robots and empire stories yet. But.

Priya
If you want to speak to that. But I would love to know.

Joel
He was so ready to write something else and when he started into this. He just said I'm going to write this story without robots in it and see if I can do it but the funny thing is eventually he he came to miss his robots and brought them back in much later in then. Series even after the first trilogy when he started rewriting it in the 80 s when like forty years later and he really connects this whole series of books called the robots and empire series with foundation and.

Priya
And so that so that's a whole other series. The robots and Empire is that what it's called.

Joel
Pretty fascinating way. So.

Joel
And it it doesn't have an official name but it starts with it's actually like a sherlock holmes kind of a thing with and , an investigator human investigator and a robotic watson and he wanted to. See if he could write a sherlock holmes kind of mystery novel featuring robots and put it in a science fiction setting. So it's like a couple thousand a few thousand years in the future. Not way in the future like these are and but it connects into the same universe. And so that it's it's a great series. It's wonderful to read. It's not nearly as long as.

Priya
I'll definitely check I'll definitely check that out. Yeah, and then one final thought that I had on this episode was upon empire destroying the worlds of Thespin and acrian which is horrifying. Um. Brother Don kind of almost like very stoically asks dammerzele how often do we choose this this being like destruction of this kind and he's saying this as he's looking upon the hanging fespin and anachrean diplomats I guess. Demarzel responds. You always do and in a kind of chilling robotic sort of way and you know that she's a robot who's been alive for thousands of years and she's seen the rise and fall of civilizations in that sense. So that's also like sort of, fascinating and chilling at the same time that she's seen humans choose. These types of things over and over again.

Joel
And yep, that was a great moment and definitely chilling so let's move on to episode 3 which is called the mathematician's ghost and in this one they separated it into 2 sections or the first section of the episode about. 20 minutes half an hour is all set on trantor with the empire and it's all about the latest Brother Dusk preparing for his ritual suicide which apparently you know happens every time one of them gets to a certain age. Time for them to go and so in this yeah, kind of mini play Brother Dusk is preparing and he's reminiscing they go through a really interesting scene with Demerlle and Brother Dusk where she's. Ah, reflecting on the original klea on the first. In fact, they do a flashback to her with with Cleon the first when the starb bridge was being built and they have a little you know, intimate conversation then they go forward again and to the present time and. then then they go through this ritual of of him going to the this special room where he you know gets zapped by this like laser kind of thing and turns into ashes. But before he does that he he has a little bit of a hesitation. He doesn't really want to die it appears and the other two the the the Day and the the newly adult Dawn arrive and they both. And they have a little baby there and that's the the latest Dawn who's going to be new. The new Dawn and then that for a moment. There's 4 of them and then one of them is going to die and as he's as Dusk is is proceeding to the the laser death. He. Sees the baby. He looks at the baby and he has this moment of like misgiving and he says something about it like there's something wrong and then he's prodded by demerzel like with this very characteristic palm in the back to go go ead and die. And he does so he does his job and he gets zapped then we go we switch over to terminus and now we find the foundation scientists have arrived there. It's a wintry world and they find this very strange object floating just above the surface that they call the vault.

Joel
Which produces what they call a null field that stops anyone from approaching get closest to the vault except for the warden Salvor Harden and then the scientists begin their work living in portions of the spaceship the deliverance which brought them there. And it's been disassembled and the rest of it is just a wreck on the outskirts. there's a tower and a statue of Selden in the city square then Harden on one of her patrols has a vision of a boy running and she follows him into the the remaining wreck of the deliverance. And she sees this. Ah, there's this kind of native creature that looks like a little dragon and she's aiming at it and then suddenly she realizes that she's surrounded by a nacreon raiders all with bows and arrows aimed at her and that's the cliffhanger ending of the episode. So. That's on that one pria.

Priya
So, my thoughts were more so regarding this, strange ritual in which Brother Dusk now turned Brother darkness is being sort of euthanized which is very strange. They have this. Strange ritual and that they don't let just let him die of like natural causes you know and, when he looked back at the new Brother Dawn, and the baby Brother Dawn and said something is wrong in that moment I just felt like he was saying that because he was. Trying to I guess delay and stall going to his own death. but then later on when we find out that there actually is something wrong and I put like air quotes over that with Brother Dawn it does make you wonder what. This Brother darkness sensed in that moment and like what he may have noticed because he also went into the room where Brother the new Brother Dawn was about to be born and demerzel sort of told him he's not supposed to be there. So. It's kind of mysterious if he had some sort of like awareness of of this this version of Brother Dawn being different in any way and then um.

Joel
It makes makes you wonder if it wasn't the first time that he had snuck down there and maybe seen Demerzal doing something with that chamber or something or somebody else messing with the the new babies. You know. Whatever you call it incubation tank or whatever it is.

Priya
Incubation tank. Yes, that's good. Yeah I like it. Yeah because I I had I had my suspicions about demerele because she's always been there right? so.

Joel
So maybe maybe there's something we don't know that he saw and he's suddenly put it together at the last second.

Priya
Based off of what we will find out later on in the series. it makes you wonder but and then the other thing that I wanted to talk about was whether or not you had a little bit of trouble initially following that this lineage of like it's the it's Brother. Day from episode one who has now turned into Brother Dusk Brother Dusk from the first episode is turned into Brother darkness and then the child Brother don that you see in episode 1 is now Brother Day is that correct did I get that.

Joel
Definitely definitely. Yeah and it's it's tricky you kind of get used to it after a while but at first it it was a little strange and they I know on another podcast I followed called stars end they had a habit of use of referring them by their numbers. Like 1213 and 14 and that that seemed to help them line them up. But yeah watching it, you have to see? Oh yeah, this Brother Day like in the later episode. Do you think this Brother Day is the one that was Dawn earlier that was the one that timmars always raising and.

Priya
Interesting and.

Joel
Now He's just like Brother Dusk was back then all that yeah and that's gonna get really interesting I Think going forward when they get farther into the future and there's different changes in each of them, especially with this. Contamination Problem. We'll get to later.

Priya
That right? So yeah I think that as we go into further episodes after this one there were parts that dragged a little bit for me and I'll speak more to that after you summarize the next episode. Oh yes, so I will some.

Joel
So okay, this one's your turn.

Priya
After I summarize this episode so this is episode 4 barbarians at the gate in this episode we learn of a major religion called luminism and, there is at the. Center of this faith an individual named Zefer Halima Efa who is an influential candidate for the next proxima and she threatens the cleon empire by asserting that clones do not have souls Brother Day later on as he's you know. Kind of frustrated by this development expresses frustration towards Brother Dusk and criticizes him for his past actions which he believes have led to the current conflicts threatening the empire which also align with saldon's predictions which Brother Dusk had dismissed. Brother Day decides to attend the luminous conclave to undermine zephrahalima's influence Brother Dusk meanwhile sends commander Darwin to visit foundation as they have not heard any word from foundation. On Terminus Harden manages to outsmart and capture the anachrean huntress fara. Ah this is the farra that they that we met at the end of the previous episode. when Salver Harden was surrounded by anachrean soldiers. Fara claims that her mission is to use the colony ship's navigation computer to find her people a new home world meanwhile an Anacreon soldiers have surrounded terminus hardin also experiences visions in this episode of a child in trator's imperial library where seldom worked. In this episode. We also begin to see that Brother Dawn seems different from the other Cleons.

Joel
Indeed And what do you think about this one any any ideas that come up.

Priya
So I I was struck with the conversation around cleons having souls since they're just kind of reiterations of the same genetic code in a sense and I guess the farther you get from the original person. Do they are they less human like I think later on Brother Dawn the teenage Brother Dawn is how I think of him. Um he'll later also say like or face the idea of like are we even human. like we're not Brothers. You are not my father. You're not my. Brother even so it's it's like a very, existential problem facing the cleions and I think later on when we learn about you know that they've been you know sort of tampered with it's almost like a blessing in disguise in a sense that like they have some individuality because at this point. In this in the show. You don't feel that they have any individuality and, there is also a quote later on that demarzel will say is that they don't have any individuated sentience which was a fascinating way of putting it. So, the way that that conversation starts off about. Cleions and their souls really?, fascinated me and then there's a later on there's also a voiceover from Gaal, or she simply states that belief is a powerful weapon and we'll see later on. how. Belief and that faith is actually weaponized by Brother Day. Um the luminous faith in particular and it's a very fascinating sort of way in which he does it by sort of participating in the faith but then turning it on its head in a sense. And then, my question to you is did you at this point have any predictions around salvor's visions and what they would pan out to be.

Joel
Yes, I was constantly making wild guesses about what was going on with her visions and I at one point I thought when did I when did I think it was ra I thought it was the young ra where the the boy she was seeing but but. I was also cheating and listening to podcasts and things with other people's ideas and looking at a lot of stuff on Reddit and all that what wasn't horribly negative and there there were others that speculated that that was rage. So. Ah, but I didn't get the idea that was revealed near the end. We'll get to about where those visions really came from so I was pretty pretty wrong about my guesses on where they yeah and I wanted to say 1 thing a lot of people especially on Reddit.

Priya
Ah, likewise.

Joel
Were furious about this show from the beginning because of the departures from the the book you know and the books and 1 of the reasons why I really looked forward to the show and appreciated that there were departures from the books. Is because I love the mystery element of asthma I love being surprised by things and I was constantly getting surprised in this episode and so that's why I didn't mind it and I kind of thought if they did do a you know word for word or very faithful. Translation of the books into the movie. It wouldn't work in our Day and age very well for 1 thing but it also would be kind of boring to me. It be more like a documentary or something so it's fine for me find by me that they introduced lots of crazy things they did it. I think a lot of people. There were people who were upset that maybe the ideas of psychohistory and the concepts weren't honored in the same way as they are in the books and that's a different topic a little bit and I think one one thing you have to. Understand as this is only season one and those ideas could be explored further in later seasons. Especially when we get into things like the general where it becomes a major theme what psychoistory versus the great man theory of history and things like that. So. We'll see.

Priya
And I 100 % agree with that I think that, it's very interesting that you say it would kind of come across as sort of a documentary if they were 100 % true to the text and I like I said in the beginning like I feel like the. The way that this show has been, produced with the cast and everything it's much more digestible to a modern audience I feel. But.

Joel
Okay, let's move on to episode 5 upon awakening in this one, we go get a flashback to Gaal's life on Synnax and we learn that her conflict with faith arose when she was forced to execute her former teacher. Was salvaging books from the ruins of a university after the execution Gaal swims down and salvages the books and begins to read them the episode then shifts back to the present and we see Gaal awakening after 34 years of Cryosleep aboard a starship called Raven the ship appears to be automated by Rach. And it requires authorization from ra it does not perform any unauthorized commands from Gaal but Gaal manageds to learn from the ship that Raych was executed for murdering Selon and she does not take it very well. She's really shocked this just happened and so at terminus. People of foundation attempt to get aid from the imperial ship aegis commander Darwin demands that the captive Huntra Sfara is brought to the foundation tower upon being brought to the tower. She disables the terminus city fence the electronic fence that's keeping all the inacrean people out. And reveals that her mission is to destroy foundation as revenge for the destruction of her home planet at the hands of empire she asserts that soldan's prophecy led to this the anachreon soldiers then storm the city and shoot down the imperial ship aegis which was.

Priya
And yeah, kind of the ship kind of striking down to the ground was sort of like a smaller version of what we see in, episode 1 of starbridge just collapsing down to the ground I think like cinema the cinematography in these scenes was done brilliantly.

Joel
They do like their explosions.

Priya
And I think that yeah I just think like these big shots like panned out like and like birds eye view are really,, impactful and then I think that here. Finding out like Gaal's background and what led to this conflict between religion and science for her is really fascinating and we see more worldbuilding through this as well. Which I really appreciated. It's it's also interesting that the people of anacrean hold seldom responsible at the end of the Day for the fate that their world endured at the hands of empire. So I don't quite understand that. But, it seems like she feels like empire was so incensed. By these prophecies that it led to like sort of like a backlash that affected her planet. Um.

Joel
And yeah, I actually never thought about that how she would know that it was seldom and responsible I guess maybe you know the word got out that yeah this there must have been a lot of wondering like yeah, why did the empire go to such extremes that. Ah, torture our our planet and they must have like tried to find the answer and maybe that was 1 of the theories.

Priya
Right? Yeah and I think that it also kind of speaks to how like these worlds are like planets apart so naturally like the information that they're getting is not necessarily going to be accurate information. So um. That's definitely a reality that seems plausible. and then I felt that the Seldon Hologram I guess he's sort of a hologram right? appearing at the end on the ship was so much more compelling to me than. Seldon's brief appearances every like few hundred years or so in the books to talk about a new crisis. and then also because of a casting of Jared Harris I had figured that selon himself would be, a bigger character and have a stronger role and presence in the show and I definitely wasn't disappointed and i. I couldn't help but think I don't know if , you've watched the Hbo miniseries Chernobyl, Jared Harris is in that and he I feel like he has almost like this similar role to continuously be warning people of things that people don't listen to so i.

Joel
I Did I saw that I loved it and I thought that same thing I realized I caught that that same pattern of his character being the kind of the prophet of doom and really interesting how that.

Priya
Yeah I loved it so much.

Joel
Nice. Ah, yeah, yeah, there's something else I wanted to say about Farra though in this episode. It's the one I think I'd liked her the most because she you know she she first appears to be like a kind of a.

Priya
It's like he was born to play these roles.

Joel
The typical just you know, crazy radical person. You know, but they really brought in like where where her thinking came from they humanized her in it. She was. She's nasty and horrible and psychotic. But. Yeah, you can see how she got that way and you kind of sympathize with her a little bit so I always like it when that when villains are you know made to be a little deeper and not just cut out some? yeah.

Priya
And yeah, definitely I feel like you see that sort of thing happening also with Brother Brother Day where you feel like yeah, he's kind of like a villain but you see these moments where there is greater complexity and you, just have to pause and think that you know. like just as in the real world. No one is like, black or white in terms of like you know, good versus evil that sort of concept. Ah, it's It's really. The show just taking its time to really flesh out the characters and give them these, dark sides and bright sides. Ah so I think that that was really well done and.

Priya
And all, right? So moving along to episode 6 which is called death and the maiden. it starts with Brother Day and Demerzel arriving at the maiden which is the luminous sacred planet and they are met only by Zephyr Halima instead of the adoring crowds. The Day would have expected Day offers the luminists a nice bribe which is a desalination plant to undermine Halima but she gains the upper hand with her eulogy of the deceased proxima which is also an attack on imperial cloning. Then on trantor Brother Dawn romances Azura the gardener and reveals his genetic peculiarities like his color blindness on terminus Lord Dorman crawls out of the wreckage of the imperial jumpship and is taken under custody by the and aronnians hardin is saved from captivity by the kids. And goes on a mission with abbas to try to sabotage the Corvettes and Strand Fara Abbas is killed in the mission while successfully destroying the ships during the mission salvor has a vision revealing that rash was supposed to have taken the escape pod instead of Gaal. Hardan and Hugo are captured and taken to Hugo's ship where Farah has gathered a few of the colonists to accompany them on a mission to the anthor belt hugo links command of his ship to salvor to save her from being killed by Fera and she takes the controls and the ship departs terminus.

Joel
Okay, yeah, that was a lot and thoughts on this one.

Priya
Well I thought that a lot of the scenes where they're on aboard the ship kind of dragged for me and then I was talking to Dan, who is my co-host on the Rehydrate podcast and he was also agreeing because he also started watching the show much later after I did um. I think he's only recently finished it but , he felt like these scenes sort of dragged to so I was a little bit like validated to feel that I wasn't the only one I don't know if that was the case for you if you found those fascinating.

Joel
And no and and actually I watched with with my son and he was particularly down on on the terminous scenes in general compared to the empire scenes which I think was a lot a lot of people had that impression when I watched it again. I I appreciated the terminus scenes a little bit more. because I think part of it is There was such a that. The empire scenes were so perfect. They were. They were so well done that it was hard. Yeah, you see a difference when you go to The. Terminus side and it could be the writing too that there was just better writers on the on the empire side doing that material but and it grew on me and I kind of got used to the yeah the deficiencies of of it. But and I I kind of also got to. Appreciate some of the nuances of the characters a little more the second time I watched it so it evened out.

Priya
And I think those scenes in particular must be particularly hard to write because and also to consume as a viewer because I remember a lot of people. Love the show. Um the expanse which also kind of takes place in outer space and all these different worlds and . Different planets I Guess do you do you? Do you enjoy The Expanse.

Joel
I'm one of them. Oh yeah, yeah I like it a lot. It's an amazing show.

Priya
So I keep thinking like I'm going to get back to it because I could never get into it because I started watching it and while I find like the overarching plot interesting I have such a hard time with people on ships. Doing different things and moving from point a to b so I think that might just be like a me problem that I don't particularly find this fascinating and maybe not even a writing problem because I feel like this is just very difficult to write. But I think that they've probably done the best they can and salvor's characters. Compelling in every scene that she's in but I just felt myself kind of tuning out during those scenes but then of course I would always be brought back in by the scenes where you return back to the cleons and I think that a lot of these scenes were. Lee Pace is having these interactions with the people on the maiden planet and, just these dialogues with de marzele are just some of my favorites. It turned into like a Lee Pace appreciation episode for me at times. Um. And then it's also it's also kind of , weird and creepy. Ah when Brother Dusk takes Brother Day to the brothel and he mentions that the memories of the girls are wiped clean before they leave Trantor. So this speaks to their existing some form of technology that can manipulate. Minds in some capacity. which is also a theme that we see pretty differently but it's there in the books. So I wondered if this was kind of like a nod to that.

Joel
Oh yeah I didn't really think yeah may have been I didn't really think about that. Um.

Priya
Yeah, it's not quite the same thing because you know that it's being done through like technological means but I feel like that's kind of like a concept that's sort of been plucked out of the books. Um and then Brother Dawn in this episode is just becoming a very sympathetic character for me. Um.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, cool.

Priya
And it just made the Cleon scenes even more interesting because like it's It's always fascinating when like you have you have an anomaly of this kind and, similarly in a similar fashion I felt in the in the books whenever there was an anomaly. It always struck me as more one of the more interesting parts of the Book. This is where I was even further drawn into the world of the Cleons.

Joel
Yeah, after 400 years of the same static characters. It. It would seem that you know they would start to feel a little trapped and you know Brother Dawn kind of expressed that that feeling of like. Is this all there is you know and and you know here I am like 1 of these like trapped static characters and I'm even like screwed up you know I don't have I don't I don't even do it right? because I don't even eat with the right fork and. All those kind of things so it was yeah, definitely made you sympathetic to him.

Priya
Yeah, and also it was interesting that he picked upon such like superficial things that make him different but were important enough for him to conceal so that he wouldn't be sort of found out. Ah, like I clasp my like right thumb over my left and my Brothers do it the other way. So It's kind of like Wow like there's so much about them that is so superficial that these little tiny details Matter. So that really struck me that.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, and it it made me wonder like about what it would be like to to be in the in the court. Yeah grow up as like in the yeah in the seventeen hundreds in France or something if you're in you know Louis the fourteenth court or something. Just yeah, how everything is so scrutinized. Oh that and you you have to be so you know formal and every do everything the correct way to it to an even higher degree I guess so let's move on to episode 7 with mysteries and martyr. Okay, so when Hugo ship the beggar reaches the anor belt they discovered. There's a huge ship in hiding in the anor belt that Farah knows all about it's a lost imperial jump ship from 7 centuries earlier. And Ferra forces Harden Hugo and the colonists to jump through space to it in their spacesuits. But somehow Hugo misses and flies off apparently to his death darwin opens the ship and then is killed by faro which I thought was kind of. Disappointing because I really liked his character in the book which was of course completely different but also because he managed to survive that ridiculous crash and now he's just killed because he opened the door and he's no longer useful to her so then the remaining colonists proceed to the bridge. Taking losses on the way from various hazards and automatic weapons on the maiden this one jumps around quite a bit on the maiden Brother Day decides to walk the spiral a sacred pilgrimage considered extremely dangerous and he must have his. Shield and nanites removed his aura I think they call it on then we go to trantor where azora convinces Dawn to escape with the help of her and her friends in the scar so she's apparently you know part of some underground movement. We go to the on to the Raven and the the digital copy of Hari's consciousness comes to life and he has this very tense exchange with Gaal Gaal who's totally traumatized because so many things are happening in a hurry and they're all terrible and. Harri's brain data has been stored in the knife ra used to kill him and it's thrown into the escape hud with her hari explains that ra was supposed to join him on the Raven while Gaal had an essential role on terminus. So Harri's confused and worried about this now. Hologram Hari.

Joel
Hari Leads Gaal to realize that she has a special capability of prescience which she proves by shielding herself from a micro meteoroid which she had miraculously anticipated breaking through a viewport and we were reminded of all of these clues we got along the way like that. She had she knew that starbridge was gonna fall before it happened she made some comment to geral on the on the ship about did you say something and he hadn't said anything and that there sort's a lot of little things that showed that she had some kind of presence. So what do you think.

Priya
So I thought that there is this so like 1 thing that I wanted to start with is that Zephyr Halma says to Brother Day. You are the reverberations of a dead man's ego. Think there is expressed this thought of course Hari Seldon mentions it in season episode 1, he says pretty much the same thing and then, there's also this question that one of the characters. Um asked and I forgot to jot down who it was that asked like imagine how. Much like like overconfidence or how big your ego would have to be for you to think that like you are such perfection that like every one who comes after you in your you know lineage I guess should be you. It should be an exact replica of you and, that sort of , kind of encapsulated in this statement that you're the reverberations of a dead man's ego. and .

Joel
Right? Who holds that I can't remember I remember the quote but I can't remember I think was it helema that said it.

Priya
I don't know but it was someone who was like pondering that like this Cleon Dynasty is just like the same over and over and over again. But I can't remember who it was I think it was in one of the recent episodes before she said this as well. Um. And then I I wanted to know how you feel about the revelation that Gaal can as she said feel the future I think I was definitely intrigued by the implications for the plot but I didn't quite or at least I'm not grasping how we see a payoff to that in this season. other than it seems like the same power that allows her to do this is also creating that link between her and hardin. But I wasn't quite sure if I saw a very. Clear payoff to that and then if there is a book premise for this as well.

Joel
No, and it's kind of the opposite. Um the book. You know there was no kale in the book effectively so you know of course there wasn't any idea of that for this character but it's kind of a problem that a lot of people find. I think is that there are with with Harden and with Gaal they have kind of special qualities and that the the idea of psychoistory is that nobody's really that special that it it doesn't require standout individuals for. Things to play out in a certain way and so it kind of seems to undermine the concepts of the the core concept of psychohistory. A little bit I the 1 thing is I don't know where they're going with that and there may be. Explanations for it in the next season. That's one of the things that I I picked up from listening to podcasts with the showrunner Goyer. In fact, I was listening to one this afternoon where he said there's often an expectation that we're going to. Explain everything during a season by the time it's over but quite often we there will be things we won't explain yet but they may be explained in a future season and there may be some things that will never be explained but he was kind of hinting at. A lot of the things that people are complaining about never really being resolved will be resolved in and he's kind of you know, pulling people to watch the next season as well. So I think that's that might be part of it.

Priya
Right? and and where we see the season kind of leave off. Um I'm hoping that we'll we'll receive those explanations in a future season because I felt like it definitely kind of leaves more to be desired. since you've set up all of this and then kind of. Just left it left us hanging on that. Um and by by book premise for this I meant more so like is this plucked out of like maybe another character or something that this is a nod to but I think all in all in all I think it's just speaking to the anomaly that we find that sort of turns. Hari Selden's plan or rather so sort of subverts it in a sense.

Joel
Ah, you just made me. You made me think of something. There is a character in in the prequels in the second prequel and I don't think this is too much of a spoiler to talk about it but her name was Wanda Seldon and she was Hari's granddaughter and she develops or surprises everybody with like with being able to read minds and or like to to sense kind of like ps yeah esp or something she can kind of get a sense of of what people are thinking at a distance and. and just as as a very small child and it turns out that she becomes important to creating the second foundation. So I think this could be like Gaal's role is.

Priya
So that.

Joel
But the problem is it's not yeah, the second foundation isn't supposed to be about prescience. So it looks like maybe in the show. It's going to have a little bit of a different you know way that that mentalics works than in the books.

Priya
So that's very interesting that you should mention that because it seems that salvo's ability is less about like this. Um this feeling the future that Gaal says but she has this uncanny ability to read people as she says so she like. Deduces that Farah lost a Brother and like a lot of things about her childhood trauma of seeing her home world destroy that she would never be able to know so I guess maybe that's an odd to that what you were describing.

Joel
You also might remember I I mentioned on your podcast when we did the quotes one that that one recently there's a book by Asimov called nemesis where there's a a young female character who. Gets in all kinds of trouble because she reads body language. So so well that she knows what people are thinking so that's kind of an asimovian kind of idea that hardens abilities kind of play into there.

Priya
So that's really fascinating I do remember you mentioning that. That's really I will definitely check that one out all right? So moving on to episode 8 called the missing piece. and I want to preface this by saying I think this was.

Joel
Yeah, yeah.

Priya
Ah, one of my favorite episodes. so it starts with harden and pyrene. All that's left of the colonists with Farah and her henchman Rowan. it starts with them reaching the bridge hugo reaches an anthor belt asteroid and calls his Thespin buddies for help. They attack the invictus just as Farah breaks through to the bridge while salvor fights her ship while salvor fights her ship leaps into the unknown on the Raven Hari tells Gaal that the reason they were are going to Helicon is to start the second foundation but she's had enough sabotage is the ship. And leaves in the escape pod bound for Synnax a voyage which will take one hundred and thirty eight years on the maiden Day completes the arduous spiral migration and ends by finding a subterranean pool where he has been told to expect a vision. Later he appears before the zephyrss and describes his vision of a 3 hree -pedaled flower resembling a plant secret to the luminists he leaves in Triumph and later instructs demerzel to secretly assassinate talama an act that causes her great distress due to her programming on board. The jump ship. De marele congratulates Day for completing the spiral and receiving a vision as Day is about to go into the jump. He flashes back to his time in the cave and it is revealed that he had no vision at all. So um. I think it's in this episode. What I was talking about previously that, it's more clearly shown. How salvor can read people. But I think the excitement of that was kind of like lost for me over. what's happening with Brother Day and how it ties back to. Ah. Gaal's voiceover saying belief is a powerful weapon and in this episode you really see Brother Day weaponizing religion this religion in particular to command their loyalty and I just think that Lee pace is absolutely brilliant in this episode. Um. There are moments during his walk through the desert where you feel like there's some depth to his character of Brother Day. He shows the old man that he ends up walking with a lot of compassion I felt by trying to help him continue on when he has fallen and then finally he actually takes the time. Even in his own tired and exhausted state to move his body off the path seems and he seems to be experiencing some character growth as a part of this process of probably for the first time in his life enduring a physical struggle of this kind.

Joel
Who without his without his nanites and his ara too. So that kind of human eyes. Do it for that period.

Priya
And then, exactly. And and it sort of speaks to the doubts that are repeatedly cast over whether the Cleons have a soul and you begin to feel as if the answer is yes they do have a soul. but in the end he turns around and weaves a false narrative of of a vision. He never had in the Cave. And he has demerzel assassinate halima and that.

Joel
Who There's another thing that's interesting. There is that he he not. You know all of his apparent human stuff with the the stranger and I love that guy I can't remember his name that he walked with on the in the spiral. But. You know all the friendliness to him was arguably to find out what people are expected to see when they get to the end of the spiral right? and the guy does tell him that you're expected to see a vision and so he's already got that he's He's kind of coming up with that plan. And he might be you know doing all of this kindness to just elicit that information.

Priya
And that's probably very in character for him. So that's I believe that.

Joel
But you want him to be human by this point. Yeah, he's been so he's been so nasty.

Priya
And yes, and I think that it's just the way that he's played the casting again. So brilliant. it just there. There seem to be so many layers to his character that you just want to like peel back in every episode and see like oh well, you know. He has a like you always wonder what he's truly thinking and I think this episode kind of just pulls you in even more into his his mindset. and then I think that the final scene between demarele and halyma was probably hands down one of my probably. My favorite in the entire show. Ah because it's acted so well first of all and, it creates so much more curiosity for me around the character of this robot who has seen it all as hollymas says and demerzel claims that she has no choice over her actions. But you clearly so can see like remorse and this this overwhelming desire to not follow this imperative but she ends up having to follow it anyway and, halima questions. Ah her as to whether she actually has no choice and she insists. But she feels that demarzel has a soul despite being a robot and it's actually Cleon who is human and yet has no soul for making her do these things that she doesn't want to do and that's when she says to holly mall like empire I do not have individuated sentience. Um.

Joel
Here.

Priya
And then later on you feel again like she is the one who has more of a soul because she describes the vision that she had thousands of years ago and then she says seeing nothing I would not wish that emptiness on anyone and it's a really chilling thing for her to say because she you can tell in that moment that she suspects. That Brother Day actually had no vision at all, but she cannot say that outright, due to her subservient position towards him. But, she kind of leaves him with that like food for thought that like just think about that. and.

Joel
Yeah, it's really she's putting the shiv in she's she's got a very. She definitely relished that moment Somehow you could tell she she had she had to get him back for for making her do that.

Priya
Yeah, so I.

Joel
And I think that's a first of all I wanted to point out that Goyer said that was his favorite scene and he also said that that was Laura Byrnes screen test was to do that scene and he said that in her screen test. She read that scene so and. CIncrediblydibly well that he knew she was going to be brilliant and in this role.

Priya
And I oh that's so good to know because I felt like she was like absolutely like heartbreaking like achingly beautiful in that scene and, yeah, she definitely deserved that role like it was so good. She was brilliant and.

Joel
Yeah, okay episode 9 the first crisis on the invictus hardin finds to her surprise that the ship is in orbit around terminus and that pyrene has had sacrificed himself in the navigator position by jamming that. Bike into the back of his neck and connecting with the with the ship and telling it where to go somehow subconsciously so Arden ties fara up and Rowan and then spots the beggar out in space and she jumps to it. And she manages to get inside then she sees Hugo on her screen shema shoots him and then at the last minute she communicates and finds out. It's her boyfriend and he reunites with his oh he had come over with his the friends. Dragged in the wake of the jumping invictus when the Thespins reach the invictus bridge far has escaped nobody notices at first meanwhile harden descends to terminus and finds that everyone the terminus people are the foundation people and the enacharyonians have all. Been rendered, unconscious by the expanded k null field on trantor this one does jump around on trantor Brother Dawn is called by Dusk to examine the painting of his hunt with Dusk he puts on the corrective glasses that Azora had brought him secretly. And sees the 3 Hidden Gilly raptors from their hunt and know Dusk now knows about his colorb blindness in panic he escapes the palace and finds his way to azora's apartment azora shockingly begins shooting at him and he runs away only to be recaptured and. Find another version of himself looking down at him mocking his distress. It is explained that this clone was raised to take his place and he had been led all along by azora's duplicity after Dawn's nanites are exchanged with his clone Brother Dusk arrives but with a bunch of stormtroopers and Don's clone is killed by the shadow master and azura is sheathed and taken away. This is a really shocking scene on terminus salvore uses the prime radiant to open the vault. And the null field dies and all the unconscious colonists and anacryonians wake up the thespons arrive in their very strange looking ships and they confront the anacryonians while leaving their ships hovering salvor tries to broker peace among.

Joel
The Thespins and the Anacreons and colonists and then Farra shows up and just destroys this Thespin ships and while she is using her ship to then she turns with and starts bombarding the vault with her ship Salvor. Picks up her bow while she's distracted and shoots her through the neck ari seldom walks out of the vault and seems to have been aware that this is the way everything should have turned out so plenty to talk about there.

Priya
And so I think that the show starts on a very, very poignant note. Um where I'm just paraphrasing here because it was a longer quote. Ah Gaal is narrating again and she questions what is man's greatest weapon. And she goes through a list of like actual weapons and then concludes that it's not all those things that you might think it's history because history is not fact, it's narrative and I think that sort of just gets to the to the crux of the matter because um. When reading the books I was quite struck by the fact that, we are so far into the future and history does not seem to have been preserved as well as you would hope for it to be preserved like historical accounts. People don't quite seem to know that the origin planet for all of humanity was earth. and that kind of struck me as really weird and kind of chilling because humans are so spread out across the galaxy now. so I think that's. That's a really good commentary on history and also as people say that history is written by the the victor and Hari Selden also says it later on. Ah so that. Also speaks to the fact that it's narrative and not always fact and, history can be manipulated into lies. so I think that that that exploration of these themes through Gaal's narration was very beautifully done and then.

Joel
I was gonna say add 1 thing about that first. It's really interesting. You might not well you might not have noticed this in the book. But there is 1 other thing that that Gaal dornick is noted for in the book. He is. Seldon's biographer and I think that's why they chose Gaal to be the 1 telling the story because it's told from the kind of a future perspective looking back on all this. So. It's um. It's not really Gaal. That's obviously in the books because Gaal parent would have have died before any of this stuff is happening but I just kind of think that's where they drew that from maybe but the other thing that strikes me is how much duplicity there is in this thing there there. It's a. Running theme of of major lies and even the narrators lying so and admitting that she's lying or kind of questioning whether she's really telling the truth so it makes it kind of like an unsteady ground. You don't know what. Leave.

Priya
And that's that's really fascinating. Yeah I I didn't remember because it's been a little while since I read the first book I didn't remember Gaal being described as a biographer but that I think that this.

Joel
It it was in one of those encyclopedia galactic a bits I think at the very beginning I think it's in the very first at the absolute beginning of of the first book and yeah.

Priya
Ah.

Priya
That's probably why I forgot it but that that really,, kind of fits in with her being the narrator of this that makes total sense now. Um the other moment that threw me in this or rather the the one moment that threw me in this episode was when. Suddenly, azurra becomes a narrator like for like 1 scene only and you feel like they're going to build her character up over the remainder of episodes even though you know that there's only 1 more episode remaining. So it's kind of. Weird almost to do that to get like almost be starting her off with like her own story and then to bring all of that to a very swift and it was a lot I feel like it was almost like sensory overload this episode where a lot of unexpected.

Joel
Yeah.

Priya
Things happen and then you find out that even the even the alternative Brother Dawn is still being controlled by these Rebels I Guess and he has sort of almost been hijacked for their purposes if I got that right? It was a little bit confusing. but.

Joel
Yeah.

Priya
Yeah, it was. It was a very weird episode and I felt very sympathetic towards Brother Dawn in this moment because like it's It's just like he's so innocent to like the the ways of the world in a sense and sort of lets himself get played.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, yeah, is with wolves. Yeah yeah, and I I thought about this and I think I understand why they chose to have Azora do the voiceover for that section I think it's really about building that. Ah, the shock value of it because I remember when I was watching it I felt drawn to azor I I always felt drawn to her as like a very sympathetic character and she was helping our poor Brother Dawn all along and then. When he's trying to Escape. That's when they have her describing what's going on and she's talking about this? yeah, idealizing the the culture of the scar where she lives and how everybody is free and can see the stars and the real stars and you kind of kind of get this. Really emotional feeling like yeah she is like this nurturing character. That's that's saving Brother Dawn from his horrible Static Palace life and you know giving him a real life and he's going to like yeah building this just romantic vision of it and. It's a setup. It's totally a setup to to you know, blow your mind when you find out that she's evil.

Priya
It and it all happens so quickly. It seems all in the span of 1 episode and I similarly felt a lot of like like.

Joel
Yeah, yeah.

Priya
Ah, sympathy towards her character as well and it just she was always so presented as being so gentle and so like nurturing and then to suddenly see her come out in a totally different form and the betrayal scene is just it's just. Heartbreaking because like when when that realization Dawns upon Brother Brother Dawn it's just I don't know my heart totally broke for him in that moment and I think the actor also plays it out really well as this like very naive and and just childlike you know teenage. Teenage boy who has you know fallen in love with this woman and he's run off putting all his faith all his eggs and in 1 basket or so it seems and then to be so so horribly betrayed is just heartbreaking.

Joel
And there's that one part of it where he's looking at her. He's looking at first. He's looking at himself. You know this nasty version of himself and then she comes in and is just kind of like draped over his shoulder. You know like.

Priya
And yes, so.

Joel
They they're they're like obviously intimate they're they're the real thing and he's been just yeah, totally yeah, the ultimate cuckolding? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Priya
Yeah, and it's so crushing my heart was so broken.

Joel
So you get to do the very final episode this the summary and what goes on.

Priya
Okay, so we've we've made it to episode 10 and this episode had a lot. so the opening shows Hari in his coffin flying through space transforming into the vault. Um. And then on terminus Hari tells the Thespins and an Anacreonians that their founding myth was a lie and they have no reason to hate each other he manages to convince them to band together against the empire and explains how they can buy time by creating an appearance of a massive explosion in the region. Hari also tells the foundation colonists that the Encyclopedia project was a lie and that they must themselves form the new power center to lead the eventual new empire Hari then returns the vault and tell salvor he didn't produce her visions this leads. To her this leads her to conclude that the visions came from her real mother Gaal and she decides to leave terminus to find her on trantor Day takes azura for a walk in the garden and explains that she has taken his legacy so now he will destroy hers. He explains that everyone who ever knew of her existence will be killed. Then does so with a turn of his finger azurra will be confined until death in a special chamber to live out her Days with with this knowledge in a so special kind of sensory deprivation chamber might I add, which is especially cruel punishment. Ah Day chooses to spare Dawn and a dramatic conflict with Dusk ensues to be interrupted by the sound of Dawn's neck being broken by demerzel after Day tearfully lays Dawn's body on the incinerator slab and it is turned to ash the shadow master appears and tells him that he also. Has been polluted by the errant dna and that maybe Dusk has as well demarzel returns to her chambers and tears her face off obviously in enormous emotional distress from killing Dawn in Gaal's escape tube she awakens descending to the surface of Synnax. Waters have risen and now most of her old village is destroyed. She spots a light beneath the waves dives down to it and discovers another escape pod with someone inside whom she takes to the surface. It seems it turns out to be Salvar Harden who explains that she is her daughter. And gives her the prime radiant so a lot to unpack there.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, and this is like the the you know the fireworks shows grand finale or it's just like Bam Bam bam bam bam you just like slapped back and forth through the whole thing and has the the biggest I mean. The episode 9 with the shock of Dawn's you know the duplicity of Azura was was a big shock but this one has like 1 after another right right through it and which I think which I found very Asimovian like kind of like the end of second foundation where you know the location of. second foundation is like there's 4 different revelations of where it is in in a very short time. So I really appreciated all the delightful surprises in this one and they were all great.

Priya
I you know that moment at the end where Salvor and Gaal are face to face and are meeting each other for the first time as mother and daughter on this like remote planet where they're like the only ones there. Kind of brought me back I just have to say this to that scene where I don't know if you've seen the prequel not the prequel. Um the newer star wars series where Ray arrives on the on the world or planet or whatever where, Luke Skywalker is and like meets him for the first time and then the. Movie just ends right? there. It was like that sort of a moment for me where these two very very pivotal characters are meeting and then everything just ends right there and then you have to wait like I don't know like 2 years to find out like what happens next. So yeah, that was like that sort of a cliff hanger for me.

Joel
No.

Joel
Hopefully it won't be that long this time. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was a good one. There's yeah yeah, and.

Priya
But it's very effective I know I hope so.

Joel
And I think that's a really good example of what Goyer's talking about with that. We're not going to resolve everything in one season you're going to have to wait for the next one to learn some more things.

Priya
It I mean it's it's simultaneously like as much of a cliffhanger. It is. It's also a very satisfying place to end. Um because it's almost like these 2 characters have been trying to find each other for the entire season and now they're you know they are together. so. Did you expect at any point that this is what the connection between these 2 characters would be because the.

Joel
You know what I did but like I have to tell you I was a super geek on this and and listening to all the podcasts and all the theories. So It was definitely a theory that I had entertained and was weighing as possible. But. The the Goyer interview that I was that I was just referring to that I listened to he says he he talks about the surprises and what people expected and what people didn't what you know what? what this percentage of of viewers who were surprised by various things. Turns were it was interesting that one he said he should have he gave too many clues because half of the audience about 50% were expecting it and but like if you go back to the the one that shocked us you know.

Priya
Ah.

Joel
Totally with that with Azura he said almost nobody picked up on that that was yeah and and me neither and I didn't see any theories that that picked up on that that expected that to to be the story and and also the when demersel kills Dawn.

Priya
And I definitely didn't so.

Joel
Was he said that that blew everybody's mind so he was very satisfied about those those ones and he said yeah if he was to do it again. He wouldn't wouldn't have even hinted as much as he did about the connection between art and and Gaal.

Priya
Ah, yeah, definitely.

Priya
And yeah, so let's talk about that scene where Demerzel kills Brother Dawn because I definitely was not expecting that and I thought like in the end like in that scene she shows almost. Uncharacteristically little emotion and then you see all the emotion come out in the later scene and of course the person who is also not very characteristic of themselves in that scene as also Brother Day where he has made this decision to forgive Brother Dawn and to not. Execute him and then to see her carrying out her imperative or what she you know believes she has been programmed to do, it's just very a very intense scene because it's also happening while, Brother Day and Brother Dusk are having this really physical fight where they're disagreeing with each other about the fate of Brother Dawn so it's it's like a chaotic scene and it works the chaos works I felt.

Joel
Well I thought it was like operatic. It was just so well staged that whole. No that I think every scene with with on the on the throne in the throne room with the. The 3 chairs and the you know the, it's just the set is so so operatic and so theatrical and the way that builds and to that fight scene and then the snap it just so perfectly. Very well directed and this one was the only. Episode directed by Goyer himself which was interesting. So I think he's got a talent for that. But there I wanted to point out 1 other thing there was one tiny hint that she was gonna kill him and it's a characteristic. Motion that she made way back in episode three with Dusk or darkness as he was heading to his suicide right? remember she puts her her palm against the small of his back to to push him forward to and.

Priya
Yep I do remember noticing that. Yep.

Joel
And she did the same thing with Dawn as they were in that right before that scene in that room so she was leading him to his death.

Priya
And yeah, that that really I think you I sort of thought about that in hindsight and also the length of time that she was sort of hugging and caressing him but I I kind of thought of that in hindsight after that. Shocking moment where she just like you know in a second just ends his life. and also no, you go ead? yeah.

Joel
So yeah, kind I was due to say this is but this is the first time it really comes like fully into focus the 3 laws of robotics and the first law. Um. Yeah, a robot shall never harm or kill or or harm a human caus a human to come to harm and yeah, this is she is. She's violated the first law so many times but we know that. She's able to violate the first law because she's been reprogrammed by the empire to you know to do they have their own programming that overrides her basic 3 laws but we see that the first law is still there and it's it has an effect on her. Yeah, she she managed to assassinate halima earlier and was obviously very upset about doing it but this was too much for her and she kind of has a psychotic breakdown.

Priya
Yeah, yeah, that that was such a scary terrifying. Um just visually , captivating scene I thought that was also very brilliantly done because like you really really really see a mental breakdown happening. In that in that you know Ai sort of sense like the way a robot would have a mental breakdown that was beautifully shown and I also think that this these scenes in particular very nicely juxtaposed the scene of like. Strangely blissful scene of like, Azura and Brother Day walking through that garden where he is where she's very stone faced because she knows that like her fate now is not going to be good. He's very calmly explaining to her what she has done and how it has impacted him and his legacy and it's just like from afar. It looks like 2 people taking a very casual stroll through a garden a very beautiful garden that she herself has cultivated and like you can't sense.

Joel
Mm.

Priya
From the body language that there is hostility between these 2 characters and that one is a captive and then he sits her down and he explains her fate to her and it is just horrifying particularly because it's a very calm sort of scene. He's very calm and measured in how he delivers that. Juxtaposed with how violent he gets with his own his own I guess Brother Dusk later on. So I think that that those 2 scenes kind of you know play off of each other in a very weird but.

Joel
Right.

Priya
Very visually fascinating sort of way.

Joel
It's almost like that's what he does. The best is that kind of yeah orific torture. Yeah, it's what he's built for is to deliver that kind of a scene just really? Yeah yeah, that one got me to that I found that one. Really theatrical well staged I I didn't think about it being her garden that she had cultivated and yeah, the perfect scene for her to have her downfall somebody made a joke on the stars end podcast I thought was kind of. Funny as that the moment when he he turns his 2 fingers to indicate that this is the moment that he's killed having all these people killed that she should have they should have had somebody some gardener in the distance like fall from. Fall down something. Yeah because she knows all all of them know her. So obviously they're gonna have to get a new gardening staff after this.

Priya
And oh right, that would make sense.

Priya
But I I just chalk that up to like I would imagine he has like cleared the space for this like this huge conversation that he's having with her but that would be really yeah and that would be really I mean.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, more the shadow Master helped him with that.

Priya
It would be kind of like comic relief in the midst of like a very intense scene. So yeah, it would just be almost like slapstick at this at that that point. yeah, so so this was.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, yeah, now it wouldn't be I don't think that would work.

Joel
Yep.

Priya
Pretty much. Ah, oh and my final thought on this was how did demerzel not know about this tampering with the dna because she seems to have her eyes on all things concerning empire and. She in particular has sort of been the one to bring these cleions into the world in a sense and sort of nurture them and, be their robot mother in a sense so it just seems very implausible to me how she could have not known that. Their Dna had been tampered with especially being a robot I would imagine she possesses the capacity or the ability to be able to determine such things. Um.

Joel
Well, if my only theory on that would be. We'll find out more in season. 2 is 1 thing but also I'm I'm suspecting that maybe she did know but you know it was part of.

Priya
You? Yeah yeah.

Joel
Ah, her juggling so many different things that she was She was almost like a Juggler who's got too many things too many yeah balls in the air and then everything collapses.

Priya
Right? And as you had mentioned the the there are these 3 laws of robotics and I feel like something has to happen to that intelligence when so many of these programs are sort of in contradiction to 1 1 another like so much of her programming is in contradiction to a lot of the original laws that were supposed to govern her. So I agree like she has her she has like too much on her plate essentially and.

Joel
Yeah, yeah, well, it'll be interesting to see where where it goes and it'll be really interesting to see how it plays out with the the contamination of the you know apparently they're both contaminated Now. Um. Dusk and Day so where does that go and where did the the future clones. Go now. How are they going to develop like major idiosyncrasies or are they going to start becoming real individuals going for.

Priya
I Mean we already kind of see that starting to happen where Brother Day at the end of the scene takes a giant hammer to the original original cleons I don't know if it was like a preserved mummified corpse.

Joel
Yeah.

Priya
But he seems like he's done with the whole thing like he's over it like he's over this whole legacy. He's over everything because I guess now he has to face the fact that, one his legacy is gone because his legacy was in how he brought up the the younger Brother Dawn. And then now to think that Brother Dawn was basically executed for being an anomaly and he too is an anomaly now so it kind of creates this huge like huge internal conflict this huge existential crop crisis for him and you know.

Joel
It Well it's going to put him and it has to put him in demerele in total opposition now because and he knows that Demerzel if if he is contaminated. Why wouldn't demerel snap his neck at the first top.

Priya
Like he's done so it'll be interesting.

Priya
Exactly yeah, that's something that made me when she snaps Brother Brother Dawn's neck it made me think for a moment that maybe she doesn't know about the others also being contaminated because she claimed that that was done by her because she is loyal to empire.

But I don't know we'll see how this plays out in season 2 like it's it's really doing a lot of good setup I think for season 2 and.

Joel
Yeah I haven't heard a date yet when it's coming out I think they've just about wrapped the filming but I I wouldn't be surprised if we hear in the next month or 2 a that would track with 1 the first one came out if it comes out in September or something. It would be nice I don't want to wait much longer than that.

Priya
I Know wishful thinking. But.

Joel
Okay, well, that's been a great. This has been a great conversation. I'm really happy you came on and I'm sure this will be entertaining for many of our listeners.

Priya
So yeah, thank you for having me on and this was really fun to discuss a show that I really enjoyed with someone else who also really enjoyed it and is a fan of Asimov's original work and can also appreciate the show. So yeah, thank you for that.

Joel
All right? Well I will oh did you ever decide what happens next on Rehydrate.

Priya
Oh okay, so, we've just completed the first 3 books from the foundation series on our podcast and we are still in the process of determining what we are going to be working on next. But um. We will definitely be out with another series soon. So stay tuned for that and again the name of the podcast is Rehydrate and you can find it on Apple Podcasts.