TL;DR – All the pieces move into place, and we see where the imminent peril is arriving from.
Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.
Foundation Review –
We have reached the pointy end of the season, with only two more episodes left today, which means that many of the season’s plotlines are crashing towards their conclusions. This week we give Trantor a rest as we see the rest of the galaxy slowly fall apart.
So to set the scene, we open in on Anacreon as a Young Phara (Naisha Kripalani Dhankani) and her brother Ilex (David Jacob Sumod) play in the forest. But as they walk home, a bunch of lights appear in the sky above and rain fire down on the planet below, immolating Ilex in front of Phara. In the present time, Phara (Kubba Sait) has one drive to take over the ship and burn Trantor to the ground. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
The strength of this episode was the force of will between Phara and Salvor (Leah Harvey) as they both need each other but are both trying to outmanoeuvre each other on the Invictus. They are two people that in have a lot of overlap in their goals. They are both passionate about their people. There are both forces of wills, showing how individuals can completely derail all plans. This is combined with the ship being super-old and low tech, with all the issues that go with that. There is a suggestion that something horrifying lurks outside the galaxy, which would be an exciting change.
The emotional beats of this episode happened on Maiden, as Brother Day (Lee Pace) made a gamble and walked the spiral to shore up the relationship of Empire with one of the most prominent religions in the galaxy. While the red makeup effect they used for Brother Day was not as effective as I think they would have liked. The combination of the location and the story made this profoundly affecting. Using an actual pilgrim Eskel (Michael Elwyn), to bounce off Brother Day made the ending all the better when he usurped his story with Demerzel’s (Laura Birn) history to fake his way through the interrogation. The highlight for me was the conversation between Demerzel and Zephyr Halima (T’Nia Miller). It is a conversation between two people of faith who truly believe and know that one of them is here to kill the other.
The weak point of this episode, and unfortunately the season so far, was everything that happened on the ship with Seldon (Jared Harris) and Gaal (Lou Llobell). As though characters king of just disappear in the books, I knew they had to incorporate them somehow. But even with them dropping critical bits of information, like there is a second foundation, much earlier than in the books. I am sorry, but it just does not work for me. I think part of it is treading the same ground as the other stories in the show, and it just feels like it is wasting everyone’s time.
In the end, do we recommend The Missing Piece? Yes. While you do have to give up, it will not hit as hard as the start. Many of the storylines have picked up as we rush towards the end, and I very much want to see the First Crisis.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Foundation
Directed by – Roxann Dawson
Written by – Sarah Nolen
Created by – David S. Goyer & Josh Friedman
Based on – Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Production/Distribution Companies – Skydance TV & Apple+
Starring – Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey & Laura Birn with Elliot Cowan, Daniel MacPherson, Sasha Behar, Kubba Sait, Pravessh Rana, T’nia Miller, Julia Farino, Michael Elwyn, Ann Firbank, Jayne Giordanella, Sarah Naudi, Nikol Kollars, Nikhil Parmar, Geoffrey Cantor, Gerard Lee, Muiris Crowley, David Jacob Sumod & Naisha Kripalani Dhankani