‘Foundation’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 4 “Barbarians at The Gate”


In last week’s Foundation episode, we saw the Empire starting a new cycle of clone leaders with the death of Brother Dusk and the birth of a new Brother Dawn. On Terminus, Hari Seldon’s Foundation is facing its first crisis with the Anacreons landing on the planet. You can read the full recap of the episode here.

Warning: spoilers for “Barbarians at The Gate” below!

The Empire is facing multiple crises

From the start of the episode, the Empire is facing multiple crises. The first one is the death of the Luminism spiritual leader, Proxima Opal. Her succession seemed assured with Zephyr Gilat, but another candidate is now gathering support, Zephyr Halima. It angers the brothers because this candidate wants a return to the Primary Octavo, which is a scripture linking the soul to individual sentience. This scripture is against the mere existence of the clone brothers. Brother Dusk decides to go to the conclave to influence the vote.

Civil unrest seems to be equally rampant since the destruction of the Star Bridge with a Sinkers insurrection. Brother Day reveals that the communication to the Outer Reach and Terminus is cut off. The youngest clone, Brother Dawn, doesn’t understand why it’s significant. Brother Day reminds him it’s where Hari Seldon’s partisans are exiled. He thinks all of this was predicted 30 years ago by Seldon.

Dissensions between brothers

The first hints of problems between the three brothers can be seen in this episode. First, Brother Dawn seems to be sometimes out of sync with his older brothers. When Brother Day and Brother Dusk talk at the same time or do the same gesture, he follows a few seconds later. It could be the sign that Brother Darkness was right about him in the last episode and something is wrong with Brother Dawn.

Brother Day is more emotional and tyrannic than before. He interrogates statisticians who have been studying Seldon’s calculations and gets mad when he is told the predictions could be true. The clone is also critical of Brother Dusk’s actions when he was in power: his attitude towards Thespis and Anacreon, the fact that he allowed Seldon to flee, etc. Brother Day and Brother Dusk have a confrontation and the former accuses his brother to have ruled by taking impulsive decisions, and he will not do the same. Then, Brother Day orders Brother Dusk to stay on Trantor and try to repair his mistakes while he will go to the conclave.

After his brother’s departure, Brother Dusk orders an inquiry in the lack of communication from the Outer Reach and Terminus.

The Foundation encounters its first challenge

On Terminus, Salvor Hardin is now a prisoner of the Anacreons. They want access to the Tower and the Warden is their key. The leader, Phara, threatens the children to get her to comply. Salvor neutralizes her by bringing the woman to the alien artifact and makes it back to the city with her for interrogation. Phara pretends they are scrappers looking for a navigation module. Salvor is trying to organize the city’s defense, but lacks men or firepower to do so. During Phara’s interrogation, Salvor shows incredible insight and reveals Phara’s entire backstory. She realizes the woman is the Great Huntress of Anacreon.

Lewis Pirenne, one of the leaders of Foundation, is angry with Salvor’s interrogation. He tells her she is an anomaly and has no part in the plan. Salvor realizes Phara wants the Empire to come to Terminus because Seldon predicted the fall would start of the edge of the galaxy. The rest of the Anacreons starts a siege of the city and bring a weapon to destroy the city’s protective barrier. Salvor has another vision. This time the boy is in Hari Seldon’s library. Because of her vision, she thinks the Vault came from Hari. She is afraid to have put Seldon’s plan in jeopardy to which Hugo, her lover, tells her maybe she is the plan.

The episode ends with Gaal Dornick’s stasis pod being found in space by a mysterious ship.

A new episode of Foundation will be streaming on October 15 on Apple TV+. Stay tuned for more recaps on Nerds & Beyond.

I am a legal secretary from Belgium. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, watching movies and TV shows, travelling to see friends and to go to conventions and trying to get better at photography. My main goal is to pet as many cats as possible. Currently obsessed with Lucifer, Game of Thrones, Star Trek Discovery and the Handmaid's Tale.

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