In the end of ‘Foundation’ Episode 7, Salvor Hardin was trapped with Anacreon Phara Keaen, inside the war-ship Invictus. The ship had been programmed for random space jumps, and Salvor and Phara decided to stop the protocol to save their lives. In another part of the galaxy, Gaal struggled to dig out information from Hari’s digitized consciousness inside a ship headed to Helicon. Last but not least, Cleon XIII decided to take the holy pilgrim, the Great Spiral, to challenge his opposition, Zephyr Halima, on Moon Maiden.
The latter half of the Foundation Episodes’ consistently follows these three prominent storylines. A formalist approach has brought boredom to the tale and is slowly losing its touch. Let’s find out what happened in Foundation Episode 8.
The Invictus’ Space Jump
Phara and Salvor found the Invictus’ control room. But in the pursuit, they lost another foundation member. Salvor cunningly tricked Phara and his commander and locked them outside the control room. Lewis Pirenne scrutinized the controls and found “EXO” written on one of the control circles. He surmised that maybe the crew was betrayed by someone in their command, while Salvor believed that perhaps they encountered something from outer space that led to their death.
Lewis checked the navigation control pod and found a human attached to the controls. He finally understood the mystery behind the blinking lights and explained that this ship didn’t have any spacers. The crew had to be sedated manually before the jump, and these lights signaled them to reach their jump cradle.
In modern space jump ships, a genetically engineered spacer conducts the space jumps. These space Jumps needed massive processing power, and before the spacer-tech, the Empire used to hardwire humans directly to the ship. The man in the navigation cradle was shot and thus unable to navigate on his own. The commander probably activated random jump protocols.
To save the Foundation, Salvor decided to use the navigation cradle. Lewis warned her that she wouldn’t be able to handle the strain and probably die. However, before Salvor could change the route, Phara and his commander attacked them. The Thespian lancers attacked Invictus from the outside, which Hugo called from an outpost. In combat, Phara shot Lewis, and amidst the chaos, they failed to stop the trans-spatial event. Invictus jumped into another unknown.
The Second Foundation in Helicon
In Episode 7, Gaal told Hari about her special powers to foresee the impending danger. Gaal continued her story in Episode 8 and informed Hari that she often saw a big wave in her dreams. She believed it would destroy her planet, Synnax, and she taught herself math to calculate the probability of the event to stop it. But she couldn’t find one.
Gaal finally asked Hari why he and Raych were traveling to Helicon when all the foundation members were going to Terminus. Hari revealed that they were heading to Helicon to establish a sister organization of the Foundation, also known as the Second Foundation. According to Hari, it was necessary to build it on Helicon for the survival of humanity.
Gaal tried to interrogate Hari about the purpose of the second Foundation. But Hari told her that it must be kept secret. Annoyed by Hari’s secrecy, Gaal decided to leave the ship. She destroyed the ship’s heat transfer system and forced Hari to tell her about the second Foundation or let her go. After an argument, Hari opened the door to the cryopod. Gaal entered the cryopod and left the ship.
The ship exploded due to an increased temperature. Gaal routed the cryopod to her home planet, Synnax. However, her planet might have already been destroyed by the wave. An impending danger Gaal often dreamt about.
The Great Spiral
The Spiral was a trek of over 170 kilometers without food, water, and rest. It was designed to push the body to its limit of endurance. If the pilgrims endured this distance, they would reach the center of the Spiral and enter the sacred cave, known as Mother’s womb.
The pilgrim had to immerse themselves in the pool inside the cave. If the Triple Goddesses of the Moon Maiden were willing and pleased, they would grace them with a vision. On their return, a panel of Zephyrs would interpret the vision.
Though Cleon XIII successfully finished The Spiral, he didn’t have any vision. Hence, he lied to the Zephyrs that he saw three large petals inside the Mother’s womb. The panel interpreted Cleon’s vision and asked him about the mythology of the birthroot flower.
Zephyrs told Cleon that after Dol collided into Surah and created the triple moons, the maiden was covered in a blanket of birth roots. It was a sign from the Triple Goddesses that their world could sustain life. They deciphered Cleon’s vision and explained that the three-petaled flower symbolized the three elements created out of one. Like the Clones of Cleon and the Triple Goddesses. The Zephyrs declared Cleon’s vision as holy and believed that these clones had a soul. They indirectly commanded Zephyr Halima not to make false accusations against the Empire. In the end, Zephyrs gave Cleon XIII the absolute authority to exercise his monarch on Moon Maiden.
Regaining his pride, Cleon XIII ordered Demerzel to finish Zephyr Halima so that she didn’t cause any more trouble for the Empire.
‘Foundation’ Episode 8 Ending
Demerzel followed the chain of commands. She was an artificial tech who couldn’t ignore or reject the Imperium’s authority. In an emotional scene, Demerzel poisoned Halima to kill her. Halima told Demerzel that she had a pure soul even though she was a robot. She saw in Demerzel’s eyes the faith, the love, and the compassion. But the man who ordered her to carry out inhumane acts was soulless. In her last moments, Halima inquired whether Demerzel taught Cleon about birthroot flowers. Demerzel denied sharing any such information, but in her mind, she knew how the Empire tricked the Zephyrs.
Demerzel confronted Cleon and questioned whether he had an actual vision of the birthroot flower or if he saw it in his room. She had pressed and framed an ancient birthroot flower which she acquired herself when she walked the Spiral. Demerzel brought the frame with herself on the journey and believed that Cleon might have seen it. Cleon cunningly refused to observe any such frame in Demerzel’s room and thought it to be a mere coincidence. Demerzel, in an emotional state, told Cleon that having those visions at the end of the Spiral changed her perception of life. Cleon mocked her and said that even a robot got a holy vision. Demerzel, in a dead tone, sarcastically commented that having no vision would be an absolute emptiness. Only a person without a soul wouldn’t have any visions at all.
Cleon understood the sarcasm, and while the spacers prepared him for the space jump, Cleon recalled the moments inside his Mother’s womb. In reality, he didn’t have any vision. Hari, Halima and Demerzel, were right. The clones of Cleon have no souls. They are just empty vessels that offer nothing to the known universe.
Foundation is a 2021 space science fiction series streaming on Apple TV+.