Every world has ghosts. In science, the supernatural symbolizes the impact an innovator leaves after his demise, like Hari Seldon and his Foundation. In the artistic world, the ghost often refers to the memories left by the deceased, like the clones of Cleon.
After Hari’s protégé Raych stabbed him, Hari’s followers and his Foundation suffered a significant setback. In the absence of Gaal and Hari, no one else could understand the psychohistory predictive model. The best they could do was to follow the path and face one challenge at a time through their own instinct. Foundation Episodes 3 & 4 uncovered the struggles on Planet Terminus and witnessed the beginning of the end of the Imperial Galactic Empire.
‘Foundation’ Episode 3 Recap
A flashback sequence dated 400 years earlier from the current timeline pictured Cleon The First. The fading emperor wanted to see the completion of his ambitious Star Bridge. But in his condition, his desires remained unfulfilled. Ironically, at the current time, the Star Bridge was demolished by terrorists in Episode 1.
Episode 3 began 19 years after the bombing of Star Bridge. Brother Dusk (Cleon XI) was on his deathbed and had already witnessed the death of their ambitions. The Empire’s humanoid robot, Eto Demerzel, prepared for the ascension of Cleon XI, and his clone brother celebrated his last day with grace. In the end, Cleon XI (Brother Darkness) was cremated, and a new young baby (Cleon XIV) arrived to continue the legacy.
17 years later, Cleon XIV ordered the removal of Cleon XI’s mural, and his memories ended. His ghost wouldn’t be remembered anymore.
As the Empire saw a generation of Cleons, Hari’s Foundation started colonizing Terminus. Hari had predicted the actions of his followers, but in Terminus, they discovered a Vault that wasn’t outlined in any surveys. The colonists failed to analyze the Vault because it was protected by a null field. Anyone who tried to approach it, they blacked out. As a direct result, countless myths grew around it.
Salvor Hardin, warden of Terminus, an outlier and daughter of the first colonists, was the only person who wasn’t affected by Vault’s null field. For the colonists, she was special, but no one knew what her specialty meant. On Terminus, while patrolling and maintaining the fence, she saw an Anacreon ship landing on the planet. The Barbaric kingdoms of the outer reach, Anacreon and Thespis, were bombarded by the Empire after the attack on Star Bridge. After their mutiny, they were abolished by the Empire.
Anacreon was violating Imperial aerospace, and thus Lewis, the head colonist, tried to contact the Empire to seek help. However, all communication channels were barred. With no aid from the Empire, the colonists prepared a defense to resist the upcoming attack.
At night, the Vault called Salvor again, and she got mysterious visions. However, before she could understand them, a group of Anacreon’s took Salvor hostage.
The Ripple Effect
Again and again, the curious seekers asked Hari Seldon to tell them their individual fates. But Hari wasn’t a seer. He was a scientist who predicted the fall of the Empire through a predictive model designed to forecast the behavior of large populations. The fate of one individual always remained a mystery. However, in the last three episodes, the Foundation establishes a peculiar ‘ripple effect.’ The actions of individuals were slowly fulfilling Hari’s predictions. Because the beginning of all ends begins with an individual., it spreads to the population. One can always trace back the effect of individual actions. But it’s too late. Too late to save anyone.
‘Foundation’ Episode 4 Recap – The Scars of Imperial Empire
Episode 4 begins with an individual’s decision that will affect the future. Cleon XIV, the youngest clone, tried to kill himself. He was saved by an aura that repels kinetic energy. The aura was explicitly designed to protect the Empire from attacks.
The rebellion of Anacreon and Thespis, the suppression of the mutiny and explosion of Star Bridge. These events led to the loss of faith in the Empire’s sovereignty. Ambassador Thanwall informed about the death of Proxima Opal. The conclave decided on a new successor, Zephyr Gilat, but another candidate was gaining the support of the masses. Zephyr Halima demanded a primary Octavo, a heretical scripture. It outlined the importance of individuated sentience.
In simple words, Hari explained in Episode 2 that the Clone of Cleons had no soul. Because the soul of Cleon The First faded away with him. The clones were just vessels that had nothing new to offer to the human world. A robot, if scrutinized further. Hence, Halima dismissed the authority of the Empire Clones, and Brother Day feared that if the galaxy came to believe that, it would be the end of the Imperial Empire. Like Hari predicted.
Cleon XIII observed the ripple effect and how the individualistic actions of Cleon XII accelerated the fall. He revisited Hari’s warnings and concluded that the fall of Star Bridge led to the birth of home-grown insurgency in the Empire. In the end, Cleon XIII, annoyed by Cleon XII’s impulsive actions during his stay in the middle chair, stops him from attending the conclave. Cleon XIII terminated Cleon XII’s watch and confined him to Trantor to attend to the wounds he had allowed to fester.
Grand Huntress of Anacreon
In Episode 3, Salvor Hardin spotted an upcoming Anacreon ship. Anacreon bandits took Salvor hostage, and their leader Phara ordered Salvor to take her to the Vault. However, Phara wasn’t aware of Vault’s null friend and thus blacked out as they breached the perimeter. Salvor took Phara hostage and brought her to the outpost. She informed others about Anacreon, who claimed to be scrappers and were looking for a navigation module.
Salvor interrogated Phara and subconsciously infiltrated her dark mind. She found out that her face was scarred by keloids, and her left eye was replaced by nano-glass. Salvor presumed that she lost her eyes when the Empire bombed Anacreon. Phara would have been a small child at the time. Anacreon’s neutron bombs had high ionizing radiation that wiped out more than 80 percent of the population.
Phara probably would have become an orphan. In the attacks, she lost her mother, father, and little brother. Salvor sensed deadness inside Phara, who wanted to die. She suddenly remembered a name Phara slipped out, Larken Keaen. During the Anthor Belt dispute, Ambassador Xandem from Planet Anacreon and Honored Diplomat Shae un Shae from Planet Thespis brought gifts for the Empire in Episode 1.
The Anacreon gift was a bow carved for its greatest hunter, Larken Keaen. Salvor concluded that Phara was not a scraper as she told them but was the Grand Huntress of Anacreon.
‘Foundation’ Episode 4 Ending
Hari Seldon predicted that the fall of the Empire would begin at the edge of the galaxy. The Anacreon Huntress attacking Terminus in the outer reach was the beginning of the fall. After Phara’s arrest, her bandits surrounded the Foundation Colony outside the energy burier. They unpacked their heavy armor to breach the fence, and the colonists didn’t have enough weapons to fight back.
In Trantor, Cleon XII discovered that the communication buoy in Outer Reach had gone dark. He sent a team to investigate and remind the Foundation that they were still under Imperial Command.
Phara told Lewis that she needed a navigation module, and after that, she’d be off the planet. She needed the technology to leave the poisoned world and find another star system where her population could thrive. Lewis would probably bargain with Phara to save the Foundation. However, if he joined hands with the traitors, the Empire would seize the outpost. It was a difficult situation.
Near the fence, Salvor and her lover Hugo witnessed Anacreon bandits setting up a flank cannon to take down the energy fence. Salvor surmised that Anacreon destroyed the communication buoy, and it was a pre-planned attack on the Foundation. However, she couldn’t understand their exact intentions. In the end, Salvor told Hugo that she saw visions connected to Hari. She envisioned herself in Hari’s imperial library in Trantor with a boy holding a knife to her. The knife resembled the blade kept by Hari’s protégé Raych. She wanted answers and the episode ended on a much-needed cliffhanger.
The last frame depicted child prodigy Gaal Dornick in an escape pod. She was sent out to space by Raych, and the visual explained that Gaal survived. A large ship opened its gate to take the pod in. Probably, Gaal would find her way to Terminus and save the Foundation.
Foundation is a 2021 space science fiction series based on the sci-fi novel series of the same name written by Isaac Asimov.