‘Foundation’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Were Salvor & Gaal Related?

The end of Foundation Season 1 is all about bringing tears to your eyes. Be it the union of Anacreons, Thespians, and Termini or the separation of Salvor Hardin and Hugo Crast. It runs high on emotions as it follows Salvor’s closure and Hari’s disclosure. For the first time, Foundation Episode 10 depicted a Cleon who was ready to bend the rules to save history. The last episode truly depicted a world created by Isaac Asimov filled with human connections and emotions. Let’s explore further how the choices of these characters will influence their present and future.


The Story of the First Betrayal

In Episode 1, the delegates of Anacreon and Thespis arrived at Terminus. Cleon XII invited them and offered to facilitate a peace treaty between them. Little did we know then that it was the Empire that fueled their enmity.

In Episode 10, Hari’s consciousness, hidden inside the Vault on Trantor, narrated the history of the First Betrayal, the origin of hatred between Anacreon and Thespis.

A Thespin King, King Throy un Thark, was newly married to an Anacreon huntress centuries ago. The marriage united the two valiant powers in the Outer Reach. However, the union was short-lived. According to the legend, the king slit the queen’s throat on the wedding bed. The only witness, an Anacreon handmaiden, testified that the king got drunk and, in a fit of rage, murdered the huntress. However, a few years later, the handmaiden confessed that she had falsely testified. The real murderer was the Empire.

The first clone of the Imperial dynasty, Cleon II believed that the new alliance could prove fatal to the aristocratic Empire. He commanded his salient assassin, Shadowmaster, to murder the queen and implicate the king. The Shadowmaster seduced the Anacreon handmaiden, and thus she lied to the public, forging a long rivalry between the two planets.


Curation of the Foundation

Where others saw chaos, Hari saw a pattern. He knew that the union of Anacreon and Thespis was necessary for the Foundation to succeed. But what was the Foundation after all? Hari said that the Foundation was never meant to curate knowledge. It was intended to curate people. Humans from different planets have their differences yet share a common soul. These children of the Outer Reach, the Anacreons, Thespians, and Termini were the pillars of the Foundation.

Hari’s prediction brought them together to fix what the Empire had broken. A common peace and harmony among people. And to win this revolutionary war, they needed the warship Invictus. In Episode 9, Salvor told Hugo that she had a feeling that Invictus was needed for the success of the Foundation. She was right.

Hari encouraged the union to build more ships like the Invictus with their combined skills. The appearance of Invictus near Terminus was one of Hari’s predictions, and the result proved that they were going in the right direction. The War with the Empire was inevitable, and the new union had to brace itself to end the supremacy of the Clone Dynasty. The revolution had just begun.

Foundation Episode 8 Recap Ending, Explained The Great Spiral
Apple TV+

Saving the Revolution from the Empire

Salvor feared that the Empire ships would arrive at Terminus to investigate the comms bay. Hari had a plan for it too. He asked them to take the Invictus to the star’s far side and activate its quantum drive. The energy signature coming out of the ship would be read as a mega-flare by the Empire.

The mega-flare is a phenomenon that wipes out all life in the solar system. Hari said that the Empire consisted of thousands of solar systems, and a dangerous star with dead planets in the Outer Reach wouldn’t bother them. Following Hari’s plan, the Foundation and the union would be free to flourish away from Empire interference.


The Origin of the Vault on Terminus

When Deliverance arrived on Terminus, the mysterious Vault was already present on the planet. Many legends grew around it throughout the years, and only Salvor could handle its null field.

At the end of Season 1, Hari revealed that the Vault was created from his body tissues. On the day of his death, Hari swallowed a pill that contained millions of self-replicating molecular machines. When Raych killed Hari, the ship members disposed of his body in a casket and jettisoned it into space.

In space, these machines broke down Hari’s body tissue into constituent elements. They scooped up more material as they traveled through space. These elements ended up on Terminus and formed the internal scaffolding of the Vault. Hence, the Vault was made from Hari’s body. Hari’s consciousness was locked inside it, but it wasn’t awake.

Like Gaal Dornick activated Hari’s consciousness with the help of the device in Raych’s dagger, Salvor activated it with the help of prime radiant. Hari predicted Gaal would awaken his consciousness, but to his surprise, Salvor finished the chain of commands.

He said that in Gaal’s absence, his awakening was triggered by the Anacreon attack. As the null field expanded, the consciousness rebuilt itself until Salvor finally opened the Vault.

The Origin of the Vault on Terminus
Apple TV+

The Fall of the Clones

In Episode 9, Brother Dusk unraveled a conspiracy against the Empire. An insurgent group had altered Cleon XIV’s DNA. These alterations led to the formation of an imperfect Cleon that broke the perfect pattern. Brother Dusk and Shadow-master killed the insurgents and brought Brother Dawn back to the palace.

But only Brother Day had the power of execution. Hence, as soon as he arrived from Maiden, he visited Dawn’s chamber to confront him. Day expressed that he always treated him like his son, but despite such adoration, Dawn wasn’t a Cleon. In an emotional speech, the imperfect clone told Day that he wanted to be something more than just the echo of Cleon. Dawn’s speech moved Day that led to an emotional change in his character.

In the meantime, Brother Day visited Azure’s cell and took her for a walk in the imperial garden. He gracefully threatened her and then mercilessly killed each and every person who ever interacted with her. Brother Day wanted to erase Azure’s existence from the galaxy so that no one would know about Dawn’s imperfections. In the end, he shrouded Azure’s senses and sentenced her to life imprisonment.

On judgment day, Brother Day spoke of change. He remembered his holy pilgrimage to the Great Spiral on the Moon Maiden. Brother Day recalled the accusations of Zephyr Halima and informed his brothers that a soul incapable of change is doomed to stagnation. He wanted to bend the rules and spare Dawn’s life, but Brother Dusk revolted. And before Brother Day could break the pattern and damage the clone’s permanence, Demerzel killed Dawn. The act she regretted gravely.

An emotional Day cremated the body of Dawn, whom he considered to be his son.


The Cleon Crisis

In the end, Shadow-master informed Brother Day that the rebellion’s gene alterations were not limited to Brother Dawn. They had adulterated the source, i.e., the body of the original Cleon. According to him, these clones were no longer pure copies of the Cleon.

The end hinted that Brother Day could be adulterated too. It may be the reason for his emotional vulnerabilities and attachments, which were also deemed as flaws in the Imperial Dynasty. In anger, Brother Day attacked Cleon’s glass cabinet to end the perfection.

In Episode 1, a former Brother Dusk executed a traitor in the palace who worked for Hari Seldon. It could be theorized that Hari planned the alterations to Cleon to accelerate the fall of the Empire. More will be revealed in Season 2 of Foundation.

Foundation Season 1 Episode 1 2 Recap & Ending 2021 Series Isaac Asimov
P.C. Apple TV+

The Real Identity of Salvor Hardin

Salvor asked Hari’s consciousness if the visions she had were messages sent by Hari. He denied sending any such messages, which worried Salvor as she struggled with an existential crisis.

In Episode 10, Salvor’s birth mother, Mari, told her that they had a seed program on Deliverance. It wasn’t safe to give birth to a child in space, so they banked their eggs and embryos in the seed bank. Raych and Gaal’s romance flourished during space travel, and she became pregnant with Raych’s child. Before Raych stabbed Hari and sent off Gaal on a cyro-pod, she deposited her embryo in the seed bank.

In Gaal’s absence, Mari chose her embryo because she thought that the lineage of such a great mind shouldn’t come to an end. Hence, she explained that Salvor was Gaal and Raych’s daughter, who was given birth by Mari. Gaal, Raych, and Salvor were linked through genes, and therefore, Salvor had visions of Raych and Gaal’s childhood. It was even the reason why Salvor was able to use prime radiant, which was only used by Gaal.


‘Foundation’ Season 1: Ending Explained

At the end of Foundation Season 1, Salvor decided to meet his mother and thus embarked on a space journey to find Gaal. She left Terminus on the spaceship Beggar and left behind her lover, Hugo Crast.

In Episode 9, Gaal routed her cryo-pod to her home planet of Synnax. But she probably knew that by now, her parents would be dead, and her planet would be submerged in water, a disaster she predicted.

After 138 years, Gaal’s cryo-pod landed on Synnax, and she witnessed the inevitable. The land was submerged in water. She took a boat and traveled towards her wooden house, but everyone and everything was gone. Not a single hint of human life was visible.

Suddenly, Gaal saw a red light illuminating the deep ocean. She saw a crashed spaceship and found a woman in a cryo-pod. Gaal rescued the woman and brought her to the wooden harbor.

The woman was Gaal’s daughter, Salvor Hardin. Salvor came to her senses and told her mother that she had come to see her. It was the leap of faith Gaal was looking for. Before she could drown herself in the depths of despair, Salavor rescued Gaal. She might have lost Raych, but a new safe harbor arrived in the form of Salvor. Gaal now had all the reasons to strive for a future, a future with her daughter in it.

Salvor Hardin was Gaal Dornick's daughter
Apple TV+

‘Foundation’ Season 2 Expectations

Foundation Season 2 would follow Gaal and Salvor’s story to return to Terminus to start the revolution against the Empire. In Episode 10, Anacreon Rowan gifted a grand huntress bow and arrow to Salvor. He mentioned that this weapon was offered to the Empire in peace. The stance of Rowan offering the Anacreon weapon to Salvor suggested that she would unite the universe and become the new light in the dark Imperial Dynasty.

There was a mention of a second foundation on Hari’s home planet, Helicon. The second season would explore its purpose and role in Hari’s grand scheme of things.

Last but not least, Gaal told Hari that she possessed special powers to foresee the impending danger. Like Gaal, even Salvor had the power to read people’s minds and dig out their buried secrets. If the lineage of Gaal has special powers, then it marks a new race that would rule the universe.


Foundation is a 2021 space science fiction series based on the sci-fi novel series written by Isaac Asimov.

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Shikhar Agrawalhttps://dmtalkies.com
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 6 years, majorly writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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