In “Barbarians at The Gate” last week, the Empire is facing a religious crisis, riots, but also the first signs of dissensions between the clone brothers. On Terminus, Hari Seldon’s disciples are encountering their first challenge with the arrival of the Anacreons. You can read our full recap here.
Warning: spoilers for “Upon Awakening” below!
A look into Gaal Dornick’s past
The episode starts on the planet Synnax. From previous episodes, we know that Gaal was considered a heretic and had to leave the planet to avoid death. On Gaal’s birth planet, knowledge is forbidden. The habitants follow “The Faith of the Awakening,” a religion based on the idea that the rise of the water and the dead algaesare caused by the Sleeper. By banishing science and executing people deemed heretics, the population of Synnax hopes to be worthy of the Sleeper and its awakening. Gaal is part of the religious establishment like her parents and chases heretics. The girl is torn between her faith and her thirst of knowledge.
On a mission to the former university, she finds Docteur Sorn, taking books from the shelves. He tries to appeal to her reason and explains that the oceans rising and the dead algae are the result of climate change and pollution. For that, the religious leaders declare him heretic and Gaal is the one throwing him and the books in the sea. Following the death of Sorn, Gaal goes underwater to get one of the books, Kalle’s Book of Foldings, which will help her solve the Abraxas Conjecture and attracts Hari Seldon’s attention.
Gaal is now rebelling against the Faith by studying, trying to convince her parents that the floods have a scientific explanation, contacting Trantor University and entering an imperial math competition. Hari Seldon contacts her to inform the girl she has solved the Abraxas Conjecture and to invite her on Trantor. Then, Gaal decides to renounce her faith and leaves Synnax.
Phara’s plan is revealed
Salvor and Hugo are watching the Anacreons hiding their weapons. The invaders start firing at the fence and the Warden orders her men to ignore it knowing the Anacreons are only trying to provoke a reaction. The Empire finally arrives on Terminus. Phara seems really pleased with the news. The Imperial commander asks for more information about the planet and understands that the Anacreons have invaded. He contacts Terminus City and Lewis Pirenne. The Director immediately requests help and explains they have no armed forces. Salvor describes the situation and the Commander wants to speak to Phara. He asks for her to be brought to the Tower. The Warden tries to dissuade them, but the Anacreons cut off communication.
Salvor realizes it’s all part of Phara’s plan and rushes to the Tower to inform Lewis Pirenne. She is too late. Phara detonates a charge who takes down the fence and the Anacreons invade the city. Salvor finds Pirenne who tells her that Phara is at the curation storage and has taken her mother hostage. The imperial ship is moving towards the planet to help the population. Salvor finds Phara holding her mother at gun point. The huntress wants to take control of an imperial ship. They start to fight. Salvor wounds her and takes control until Phara’s men surround her.
Phara shows to Salvor the invaded city and the population fleeing. The huntress tells her she wants to take everything from the Empire like they did to her planet. Salvor says Terminus is innocent, but Phara thinks Hari’s predictions inflamed the Empire and caused the fate of Anacreon. People fights in the streets and an Anacreon wounds Hugo. The invaders use a canon and destroy the imperial ship.
Gaal Dornick’s awakening
The stasis pod of Gaal is now aboard the ship we saw last episode. The woman wakes up confused. She has blood on her hands and the knife which killed Hari is in the pod. Gaal panics and tries to use the knife to open the door. It finally opens thanks to the knife. After questioning the computer, she realizes nobody else is on the ship and that she slept more than 30 years. The computer is restricting her access to information, but Gaal is able to watch recordings of what happened after Hari’s death. Gaal learns Hari’s followers thinks of her as Raych’s accomplice and witnesses his execution. During his last speech, Raych urges Hari’s followers to not lose faith in the plan. He also seems to address Gaal saying she still can solve a puzzle.
Desperate, she goes into the shower and prepares to commit suicide when the ship suddenly changes course. Using science and clever questioning of the computer, Gaal is able to deduce the direction taken by the ship, but can’t see the star. She heads to the cargo bay to try to see the stars and notices a space suit. After putting on the space suit, Gaal goes for a space walk. She uses infrared and detects a dark stat which makes her afraid. The only habitable planet in orbit of a dark star is Helicon, Hari’s birth place. Since everyone thinks she is one of Hari’s murderers, she doesn’t want to land there. She tries to change course, but the computer doesn’t answer. Gaal starts to see puddles of blood who lead her to Hari’s body which starts to flicker. It’s a hologram of Hari Seldon.
What is going to happen to Salvor and Terminus? Is Gaal’s rescue part of Hari’s plan? What is waiting for her on Helicon? Stay tuned for more recaps of Foundation on Nerds and Beyond!
A new episode of Foundation will be available on Apple TV+ on October 22.