‘Foundation’ Season 2 Episode 1 Ending, Explained: Did Hari Come Out Of The Prime Radiant?


For a young girl like Gaal Dornick, getting an invitation from the great Hari Seldon was like a dream come true. But it wasn’t just the invitation that Gaal was waiting for. In fact, she was waiting for an opportunity to leave her dying planet. The change in climate and the rising sea levels suggested impending doom, but the seers were too cynical to accept the reality that was right before their eyes. They believed that the higher power, or the Sleeper, would protect them against all odds. Gaal, on the other hand, had witnessed a nightmare. In one of her dreams that predicted the near future, she saw a rising tide that would sweep away all living humans from the face of the planet. She taught herself mathematics so that she could prove her visions wrong. But alas, all the calculations she made suggested only one possible outcome: the doom of Synnax.

On her planet, curiosity was considered a crime. The seers condemned all analytical learning that went against their Faith of the Awakening. But Gaal was curious and lonely. She only thought about the nightmares she had, the ones that she couldn’t share with anyone, for fear of being banished like the other heretics. Gaal, eagerly looking for an opportunity to escape, found out about a competition conducted by Hari Seldon. She didn’t waste a moment to participate and sent her solution for the Abraxas Conjecture. And there she was on Trantor, looking at the Star Bridge that she had only heard about. Finally, a dream came true. But hidden beneath that beautiful dream was a nightmare that she failed to see.

Yes, Hari had lied to Gaal. He needed a protege who would lead the first Foundation after his death. Gaal’s solution to the Abraxas was a stroke of luck meeting a good opportunity kind of situation, and Hari couldn’t thank her enough for such a miracle. But Hari never trusted the behavior of an individual; hence, he never disclosed his entire plan to anyone, not even Gaal. He kept everyone in the dark. He had created two (or maybe more) versions of his digital conscience that would appear from time to time in the future to guide his followers. They would only impart Hari’s followers with the necessary knowledge about an upcoming crisis, nothing more and nothing less. Hari had his reasons. He didn’t want any individual to stray from the course he had predicted or foreseen, or all of humanity would end up in a permanent age of darkness. So here we come to the reason Gaal locked Hari’s consciousness inside his own Prime Radiant.

On the spaceship, the Deliverance, Hari found out that Raych Foss and Gaal harbored feelings for each other. Things weren’t going according to Hari’s predictive model. He never wanted them to be together. Hari had planned to send Raych to his home planet, where he had created a second foundation, but knew that Raych wouldn’t be able to leave Gaal behind, which was why he staged his own death. He forced Raych to kill him, which would compel him to escape the Deliverance without Gaal. But Gaal had an intuition that night. She broke her routine and ended up witnessing Hari’s murder. In the heat of the moment, Raych sent Gaal to the spaceship named “The Raven” that was bound for Hari’s home planet. It was Raych who was meant to be on that pod, but again, a pattern was broken. Hari, as usual, couldn’t have predicted it in his model.

When Gaal confronted Hari’s digital consciousness on The Raven, she demanded answers, but Hari, being his usual cryptic self, kept her in the dark. Gaal was done playing games. She wanted to leave everything behind and go back to her home planet. She didn’t want to be a part of Hari’s plan anymore, and thus, she convinced him to let her go. However, before leaving The Raven, Gaal took Raych’s dagger, which was a primary storage device that had Hari’s digital consciousness inside it. This was also the key through which Gaal unlocked The Raven.

At the beginning of Episode 1 of Foundation Season 1, Gaal had told her daughter, Salvor, that she locked Hari inside the Prime Radiant. Gaal didn’t trust Hari anymore, as she lost the love of her life because of him. Above all, he had tricked her into doing things without giving her the option to choose. But how did Gaal lock Hari inside his own creation?

Hari’s digital consciousness, stuck inside the Prime Radiant, was on the brink of insanity. He himself had told the folks on Terminus that he’d created the vault so that his consciousness didn’t have to be sentient all the time. He suggested that the digital consciousness doesn’t age, which implies an eternal loneliness that can wreak havoc on even the strongest mind. Inside the maze, Hari saw his former love, Yanna. However, he was soon able to understand that his visions weren’t true. Yanna was speaking in verse. Nine syllables per line, something that was used by Kalle. It wasn’t the first time the name of this mathematician-poet has been mentioned in the series. At the beginning of Episode 1, when Gaal came to Trantor, she told Hari that she had solved the Abraxas using Kalle’s ninth proof of unfolding. And as soon as Hari saw Kalle inside the maze, he was certain that it was Gaal who locked him inside it, and he had to find a way to break free from the prison.

At the end of episode 1, Hari finds out that the Prime Radiant has developed a sense of self. Hari had used the math of Yanna and Kalle to build the Radiant, and it was the reason that its consciousness had the memories of both these women. It even had Hari’s childhood memories, which was why Hari had been imagining his conflicted relationship with his father. The key to escaping the maze was also hidden in his childhood memories, which the Radiant reminds him of in the end.

The Prime Radiant had a vested interest in humanity’s destiny. It is still a mystery to us whether the Prime Radiant wants to save humanity or not. We believe that it cannot leave its own fort, which is why it needs Hari to work on her behalf on the outside and become instrumental in fulfilling her goals. She wanted Hari to meet her in Oona’s world, which, we believe, is a new territory that we are going to witness in the upcoming episode. At the end of the episode 1, Hari is finally able to break free from the prison that Gaal locked him into, and it will be interesting to see how their dynamic will change after the confrontation, though we are certain that the former partners are going to join hands once again. Gaal knows that she needs Hari’s help to solve the second crisis. Additionally, Gaal’s choices throughout season 1 diverted the Foundation from the original trajectory that Hari had laid down, which means that if they don’t bring it back to its original path, then all of humanity will descend into eternal darkness from which there will be no return. Only Hari can undo such damage, and it would be interesting to see how Hari helps Gaal and Salvor solve the second crisis and protect the fate of the universe.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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