The ambitious space opera Apple TV + is preparing for its final unveiling. FoundationThe epic first season flew by in the blink of an eye, all breathless action and carpet pulling. Can all that excitement do its magic and attract a hungry audience for its well-deserved second season?
The science fiction series based on the fiction of Isaac Asimov had a lot of work this season and somehow found time for several series worth of action and building the world. As the first season ends, many unanswered questions remain. However, the writers have done more than adequate work to excite viewers about what is to come.
Foundation review: ‘First Crisis’
In this week’s episode, titled “The First Crisis,” Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) takes complete control of a ghost ship that kills planets. Invictus after a long battle with Phara (Kubbra Sait) and her Anahreon soldiers. Now she is back near Terminus – but her communication systems are down. So there is no way to know if anyone can hear her calls for help in correcting the ship’s course before she jumps again.
Brother Dawn (Cassian Bilton) accepts Azura’s (Amy Tyger) fantasies about escaping the city and then gets a signal waiting to pull the trigger. Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) invites him to look at the mural that adorns the great hall of the empire – the one that dictates the great exploits of the imperial clones.
Dusk tells him that he painted a scene from their hunt and that he is proud of it, but it’s a trick. He painted a secret message that he can only see when he puts on the color blindness treatment software Azura gave him. Then some palace guards come for him and he knows Dusk intends to kill him. He has to run.
Reversals and revelations
There is only one episode left Foundation’In the first season, it’s time for serious twists and discoveries. Luckily, the show saved some great ones for this penultimate rodeo. The radius of the vault is expanding so much that it makes everyone on the Terminus unconscious.
Salvor arrives and begins frantically searching for his mother, who collapses at the foot of the vault holding a puzzle cube that Harry Seldon (Jared Harris) gave to the people of Terminus when he died. It turned out to be like a remote control for a mysterious artifact. The vault opens and reveals a stunning beam of light.
And who goes out? Why, Harry Seldon, that’s who! Salvor finally puts an end to Phara’s reign of terror (that’s a big “hell of a group chat” from me – it was time). And now it seems that the warring civilizations at the end of the entire universe could unite to make a real difference. With Invictus for their part, they will have a much more commanding presence when making demands on the Kingdom.
Running with Logan’s Run
George Lucas was not the only person who was from Asimov in the 60’s and 70’s. A number of imitators and fans rose up, including William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, who collaborated on the book Logan’s Run, after which a rather stupid film was made in 1976.
That film and Lucas’ debut film THX 1138, both are about people desperately trying to escape from societies built on conformism. There is a scene in this episode Foundation it dramatizes a likely source of inspiration for both where Brother Dawn flees the city and tries to find Azura’s apartment in a dirty, busy, fun part of town inhabited by the lower classes. It is wonderful directing things. Director Roxann Dawson (who also directed last week ‘s episode Foundation) makes a banquet of a young prince who sees real life for the first time.
It makes it heartbreaking when it turns out Azura is a double Dawn with the guy they cut to look like him. Azura played him, made him lower his guard, so they could put her boyfriend in his place and make an exact change within the empire.
Of course it doesn’t work. In a scene of startling violence that reminded me of both Game of Thrones and the cult film by Kurt Wimmer Equilibrium, Dusk has his guards break into the apartment and kill Azura’s entire crew. Pretty smooth thing!
Complications and consequences
Actor Cassian Bilton really gets a hell of a showcase this week, playing both Dawn and his double. The double is a clean and confident little eel, and Bilton obviously enjoys the few seconds he has to mock his creation. But the best thing is to see into the depth of the sadness he is falling into. It looks and sounds so honestly lost.
Dawn’s journey from a heartless and heartless monarch in anticipation to a weeping victim was very captivating. And to see it come to the fore with Bilton as the center of attention – with the malicious assistance of Terrence Mann, in fine form as the relentless Dusk – serves as a great closeness to the episode.
The only question is, what does Dusk want from him? And will Day be able to stop him? It is very gratifying to see at once what the consequences look like for this type of royal family.
Look Foundation on Apple TV +
New episodes Foundation arrives on Apple TV + on Friday.
Look at: Apple TV +
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of a long-running series of video essays The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He wrote for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books i Nylon Magazine. He is the director of 25 feature films and the author of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.
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