If anyone wants to know how we feel about Foundation 2×10 “Creation Myths,” just tell them “thanks. We hate it.” Not because it’s bad but because it’s really, really, really good — and it’s about 86,990,413 levels of painful. And we’re wondering how we got here, after the season started off so squarely in the realm of a “naked Lee Pace fighting Blind Angels” good time. It’s like someone tricked us.
Which, ok. To be fair, we probably should’ve known the Second Crisis wasn’t exactly going to be all fun and games. But it’s like every time we thought we knew what to be upset about and where things might be headed, something would fundamentally change. And if we suffer major losses, only to find out — surprise! — most of those people survived, but now we have to lose other characters we really loved and see the survivors go through their grief, isn’t that somehow even more cruel than the original deaths? It sure feels like it. So, yeah. As we’ll probably say many more times, thanks. We hate it.
No, we did not sign up for this, actually.
Foundation 2×10 answers our “wait, what?!” about where the latest Hari Seldon came from at the end of the previous episode. And, it turns out, a lot of what we thought we knew…wasn’t true. He didn’t actually drown. (Although, sadly, there’s still no word on whether or not he really used to have that hair. Instead, it was all him and Gaal working together, with her using her abilities to make even Tellem believe Hari was gone. But that came at a price: She couldn’t be honest with Salvor about what was going on, or else Tellem might be able to find out.
So, this rift that’s between mother and daughter, all those times Salvor was upset over Gaal just…not seeming to care about her or Hari, it was all a ruse. Cruelly, it was all also a loss of all-too-precious time they could’ve had together. Gaal always knew she was going to lose Salvor. Her whole mission has been to try to change things — including trying to solve the puzzle of how to make sure The Mule didn’t kill her daughter (among countless others). Well, we now have proof that there is a way to change at least some of the future. But it comes at a horrible, unfair price.
The Mule doesn’t kill Salvor in some far off, apocalyptic future — she’s gone now. Gone because she stepped in to save her mom, when a not-totally-vanquished Tellem controlled poor little Josiah. So, we don’t just lose Salvor. We lose the kid, too. And, to drive the point home, this is just as things were starting to have a chance at being good between Gaal and Salvor. But does that mean the time they could’ve spent getting closer, making moments, was wasted?
Therein lies the paradox: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Maybe, if Gaal gave Salvor some reassurance and didn’t create that tension, there wouldn’t be as many “what-ifs.” But then, whatever we did here clearly changed our doomed future. Or, at least, we’ve made one relatively small difference. Possibly not enough of one, sure. Yet, the next bit of effort might scrape away, little by little, at the impending darkness.
Do nothing, and the future looks exactly as expected. But do these things…and we sob our eyes out. So, all we can say to that is: Thanks, we hate it.
The Foundation survives
The fight between Bel Riose and
Lee Pace’s exposed abs Empire could easily be the most fun part of Foundation 2×10. Especially since it comes after General Riose has finally stood up to the evil asshole he thinks killed Glawen (not to mention, thousands of others). Throw in some castling, a brilliant plot by Hober Mallow, Hari — not that one. The other version — and the ship’s Spacer, and you’ve got yourself a party.
…but it also hurts.
Everyone’s about to die, but Bel has a way to hopefully save one person. So, we get to go through all the heartbreak of Hober’s big emotional speech to Brother Constant. And we go through the quieter grief of Bel and Hober drinking shitty wine as the world ends. But, we also get the great surprise of Constant’s rescue, and all those reunions…and Glawen looking utterly lost when he realizes he doesn’t get his reunion. Because, for him, that’s impossible. After all, “space, once folded, stays folded.”
And the fold leaves Glawen right back where he started — believing his husband’s dead. Except, this time, Bel is actually gone. (We think. Seems pretty clear cut.) Is the only way to save the universe to separate this particular family while leaving so many others intact? If so…why?
No, seriously. Why.
More on Foundation 2×10
- Have we mentioned yet that it’s long past time for the AMPTP to make fair deals with WGA and SAG-AFTRA workers? Because it is.
- Beautiful (but ouch) bookends with the “how could there be nothing and then suddenly something” voiceovers.
- Really loved all the edited footage of Gaal and Hari switching places. (Or being one…or whatever.) The reflection in the water is a particular favorite. Same goes for the score during this whole opening bit.
- “So we counted primes together. A barricade of numbers to shield our thoughts.” !!!MATH TALK!!!!
- “Close your eyes, listen to my words, and dream.” Gonna dream about not losing Salvor like that, actually.
- The Gaal/Salvor hug is a powerful enough moment, what with how Leah Harvey portrays about 86,988,329 emotions all at once and all. But then, think about how this is so close to the end for Salvor…and yeah. Hate it.
- “If you hadn’t managed to escape, we’d all be dead.” And now she is! It’s not fair.
- I, too, would kneel at the feet of Gaal and Salvor if given the chance.
- “Cleon made me whole again. Just not as whole as I had hoped.” Laura Birn also does some fantastic emotional stuff in this episode. Extra unfair, considering Demerzel is literally supposed to be a robot. Why do we have to get attacked with feelings, even from a robot?
- Really, every bit of dialogue from Demerzel in that scene with Rue and Dusk is just…art.
- “He looked at me with such desire, as though I were a mystery he would sacrifice everything to solve.” Ok but am I the only one with a completely TV-rotted brain who immediately thought Caskett here or.
- At least we’ve solved the mystery of the naked attack.
- “None of us were free. We were fools to think we ever would be.”
- “But your Spacers will also die.” “A small price to pay for my people’s freedom.” Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
- “In other words, we played you.” I love him. I’m going to miss him.
- Also, “we played you” feels like writers laughing at us after all the twists in Foundation 2×10.
- “I fucking love it.” Me, watching Constant and Bel kick the shit out of this man.
- Farewell, naked Lee Pace. Shame you had to get airlocked and float to your death with clothing instead of without.
- “All is once again as it should be or will soon be so.” Does this mean everyone I lose in this episode is “as it should be”? I refuse.
- This particular Brother Dawn has a good memory, and Dusk’s mark was brilliant.
- Hober’s entire speech. Art. Get you someone who is as obsessed (but not in a creepy way) as Hober is. And y’all gave me that just before killing him, huh? Ok then.
- “But wouldn’t that be something?” Help.
- “A few weeks ago, I thought I might die in a prison colony. Going down with the ship. At least there’s a poetry to it.” Poetry and pain both start with the letter P, kids.
- “A toast…for those who are toast.” “I know a better one. Here’s to those who fight and ask why.” THIS WAS FROM EARLIER. I am emotionally compromised.
- “This tastes like Beki’s arsehole.” Shitty wine and gallows humor with a friend. Good way to go.
- “Your heir is merely a cluster of dividing cells.” Tell that to the forced birthers.
- “There is much that can go wrong.” …because all those asshole clones aren’t going wrong?
- Low-cut robe: He thinks he’s ready to take Day’s place now, huh?
- Not me getting emotional about Dawn telling Demerzel she was the closest thing he ever had to a mother.
- “You taught us hope. Please, you can’t leave me.” I hate it.
- “Mom…Mom.” I’m going to set something on fire.
- “Don’t you see what this means? It means we’re not trapped. You were right. The future can be changed. You can still get it back on the right course. I have absolute faith in…” Going to set myself on fire, actually.
- Lou Llobell out here killing it. (Killing me.)
- I’M UPSET
- BUT AT LEAST I HAVE POLY!!!!!
- “You’ve seen for yourself. It’s larger than it looks.” It’s a TARDIS. We know.
- “My head understands that, Hari. But — but my heart — my heart needs Salvor’s death to have mattered. Because if it doesn’t…” Same.
- “You take the pain and the what-ifs, and you weave them into a narrative that propels you forward.”
- “Those losses matter if we make them matter. You wouldn’t be alive if Salvor hadn’t acted. I would’ve given up a countless number of times if Yanna hadn’t sacrificed herself for me. I keep going because Yanna can’t.”
- Hari Seldon getting philosophical about death, and grief, and carrying on, and finding meaning…did not have that on my “naked Lee Pace show” BINGO card. But I do love it. And the dialogue is, as usual, gorgeous.
- It’s giving Giles and Buffy in “Lie to Me,” though…
- LOL the decanted exponents, shuffle-stomping like cavemen. And, of course, clothing is not a thing here.
- …Demerzel, that’s not a toy you’re supposed to have to play with.
- “If salvor’s sacrifice taught me anything, it’s that I can’t do this on my own. It’s too big for one person. Hari, please. Please don’t make me abandon the only family I have left.” Cool. Back to pain here.
- Raych flashback? More pain? Why not.
- …that flash forward doesn’t look promising.
Thoughts on Foundation 2×10 “Creation Myths”?
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All episodes of Foundation Season 2 are now streaming on Apple TV+.