‘Foundation’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Hari Seldon Kill Tellem?


Foundation Season 2 Episode 8 revealed to us that there were things about Demerzel that no one knew, and it came to be known that she was the one who was in control and the one true heir of Cleon 1. Brother Day, amidst all the chaos, had decided to personally go to Terminus and resolve the issues through peaceful means, though we have doubts that he was just camouflaging his real intentions. Demerzel was not happy with this decision, but Brother Day had made up his mind, and Queen Sareth, by shrewdly vouching for him in public, had made sure that he remained under the delusion that he was doing the right thing. Meanwhile, Salvor was stuck in Ignis, in the mental prison that Tellem had put her in, and she knew that she would have to escape and save Gaal at all costs. So, let’s find out what happened in Foundation Episode 9 and if Brother Day and Salvor were able to achieve success in their respective missions.

Spoilers Ahead

How did Cleon 1 meet Demerzel?

In the secret passageway, Dusk and Rue found a hidden facility where they met the digital consciousness of Cleon 1. It told them how a young Cleon 1 had met Demerzel for the first time and the story of how she became an integral part of his life.

Cleon 1 was very young when, by accident, he entered the secret passageway and saw Demerzel for the very first time where she was held captive for the last 5000 years. Demerzel used to tell him stories (a reference to Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights), and the young Cleon enjoyed spending time with her so much that he started coming there every day. It became one of their little secrets, and Cleon never told his parents anything about it. Demerzel hoped that Cleon would release her from this prison and that she would be whole again and be able to act out her will. But years passed, and Cleon never gave her the freedom that she desired. Demerzel told him how Emperor Aburanis had trapped her after he emerged victorious in the war that was fought between the robots and humans.

Demerzel described how cruel Aburanis was, and she told Cleon that he did things to inflict pain on her. Demerzel was incapable of feeling pain as she was a robot, but she adapted soon and learned to shed a tear or two to give the former Emperor the impression that she was in pain. Aburnais didn’t kill her because he knew that Demerzel was the key to creating more of her kind.

What did Cleon 1 offer Demerzel?

Cleon 1 had grown fond of Demerzel and developed a very close bond with her. Cleon never married because he always used to compare every girl he met with Demerzel, and in the end, he always got disappointed. Cleon grew old, and he realized that he had to put a stop to this endless loop of getting to know a girl and then finally rejecting her as she did not meet the standards. He came to Demerzel and made an offer. He told Demerzel that he would free her, but she should stay loyal to the empire forever. He had installed a chip inside her, which made sure that she was never able to harm Cleon even if she wanted to, and additionally, she could never transmit out of her acquired body. Demerzel was infuriated, and she told Cleon that this was no freedom and was equivalent to being caged. Cleon told her very clearly that this was the best bargain that she could get, as inevitably, he had to curb the liberty of anyone who was in such proximity to the empire. He tells her that he has found a way to create his lineage and has vested in her the responsibility to shape the choices of the clones that will come after him and protect the genetic dynasty at all costs.

Brother Dusk was disappointed and angry after listening to what Cleon 1 had to say. He realized that Demerzel was the Empire and they were merely puppets being governed by her.

Did Brother Day Want Peaceful Relations With Terminus?

Brother Day met Bel Rios, whose ship was stationed just in front of Invictus (one of the oldest fighter ships owned by the Foundation), and he decided that instead of waging war, he would go down to Terminus and have a talk with Director Sermak and understand what he wanted. Brother Day had been pretending since the previous episode of Foundation that he wanted a peaceful alliance with the Terminus, but there was something else on his mind, and he hadn’t made others privy to it. Brother Day went down and met Sermak and the others at Terminus and asked them to take him inside their church, as he wanted to see what was happening there. He realized that the church served as a workshop where a lot of things not sanctioned by the empire were manufactured.

It could be seen that Brother Day just wanted to find an excuse through which he could curb the freedom of the residents living on the Terminus and put sanctions in place so that they weren’t in a state to cause a rebellion. He treated Poly with utter disdain and asked him to demonstrate how he converted people to follow the religion of Hari Seldon. Poly showed everybody how matter and energy were one and the same thing, and he converted normal metal into gold using a device in front of everybody’s eyes. Brother Day dismissed his preachings and claims and said that there was no larger-than-life philosophy involved here, as what he had done was merely alchemy. Brother Day said that he was not waging a war on Terminus but solely taking police action. Brother Day played his cards with a lot of conviction, and he made others realize that he was authorized to take such a step. He projected a kind of power against which nobody was able to speak. He asked his men to kill the priests and take the scientist into custody, as he would need them later.

Brother Day finally met Hari Seldon, the one who was present inside the vault. Brother Day told Hari that by evolving and breaking the genetic dynasty, he had already proven his calculations wrong. Day said that Hari always believed that the empire would reach a stage of stagnation, but that hadn’t happened, proving that not everything he said was true. Brother Day told Hari Seldon in Foundation Episode 9 that if Hari agreed to accept the fact that his calculations were wrong, he would not kill the residents of Terminus. But Hari told him that his calculations always had scope for infliction, and he couldn’t agree that they were wrong. Hari kept telling Demerzel that she knew that what Brother Day was saying and doing wasn’t right and though Demerzel did not speak anything there, the look on her face made it pretty evident that she somewhat agreed to what Hari was saying. But Brother Day had already made up his mind, and it was too late to convince him to act otherwise.

Will Demerzel go against Brother Day?

Brother Day ordered Bel Rios to bring Invictus down on Terminus and destroy the Foundation once and for all. Meanwhile, Glawen, who had led the fleet of ships into battle, had fallen down on the Terminus, but somehow managed to survive. Belrios knew that bringing the huge spaceship down meant that Glawen would also die. He hesitated, as he just couldn’t kill the love of his life with his own hands but Brother Day stood there, and he showed no mercy at all. He ordered Bel Rios to do as he was told, and that’s when Glawen quoted a verse from the Bhagavad Gita and made his partner aware of the power of love. Glawen told Bel Rios to do his duty as nothing could be achieved by going against Brother Day’s orders as of then. Bel Rios also understood that he would have to make that sacrifice, and wait for the time when he could tip the scales in his favor. 

Belrios brought Invictus down and destroyed the Terminus. But something strange happened at the end of Foundation episode 9, where Demerzel confronted Brother Day and told him that she had to return to Trantor for some important work. She revealed to him that she had gotten intimate with him only in the hope that she would be able to rectify his shortcomings. Brother Day hadn’t expected this kind of criticism coming from Demerzel, and he was literally shocked, not knowing where he had gone wrong. Brother Day believed himself to be the perfect man, but Demerzel told him that he was delusional if he believed so. She apologized to him for not being able to help the cause of the empire and told him that it was too late to change anything. Probably now, Demerzel would try to make amends from her end and take the reins in order to preserve what’s left of Cleon’s legacy and see to it that Brother Day does not end up ruining everything that she was told to protect by Cleon 1.

Did Hari Seldon Kill Tellem?

Salvor Hardin made a dramatic entry in Foundation episode 9 and was able to stop Tellem from taking Gaal’s powers. Gaal, after regaining consciousness, knew that the Beggar, Salvor’s spaceship, hadn’t actually left the planet but was hidden in the forest. Gaal went inside the spaceship while Salvor went to stop Tellem’s men from catching them. Salvor once again came face-to-face with Loron, who time and again, shapeshifted into Salvor’s lover, making it very hard for her to keep fighting him. Tellem, meanwhile, reached inside the spaceship quicker than Gaal would have expected and started implementing all her tricks to get the better of Gaal. She entered Gaal’s mind and made her see things that broke her from within. Salvor too was finding it very difficult to stay in control of her mind and not get distracted by what Loron was showing her.

Salvor somehow managed to get the better of Loron, and she killed him by trapping him in the entrance chamber of the spaceship and then taking out all the oxygen that was present there. Foundation Episode 9’s ending brought yet another twist to the scheme of things, and we realized that Hari Seldon had not died in that pool of water. He had been able to deceive Tellem and what she had seen back then was merely an illusion. Tellem couldn’t believe her eyes seeing Hari standing in front of her. She knew there and then that the mathematicians had been able to get the better of her. 

Is Tellem really dead?

Hari attacked Tellem and bashed her in a manner that made us feel like she wouldn’t be able to make it out of there alive. Hari, Salvor, and Gaal were able to save the prime radiant from falling into Tellem’s hands, and now we will get to witness in the season finale what course of action they end up taking. Tellem was very powerful and Hari and Gaal combined also found it pretty hard to stop her. Hari didn’t like her from the very beginning and in the end his intuitions proved to be right. As for Tellem, we can’t say for sure if she is alive or dead, but considering the kind of powers she had and how she infested the minds of young and innocent people, we won’t be surprised if she makes a miraculous comeback in the future. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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