Foundation’s 8 Best Scenes So Far, Ranked
12 mins read

Foundation’s 8 Best Scenes So Far, Ranked


  • Foundation on Apple TV+ brings Isaac Asimov’s epic sci-fi series to life with a twist, focusing on the survival of the Galactic Empire.
  • Important plot points from Foundation, like the destruction of Terminus and Gaal’s vision of the future, set the stage for a compelling narrative.
  • Stellar performances by Lou Llobell and Jared Harris in Foundation make it a must-watch sci-fi series of the 2020s, blending visuals and engaging storytelling.



When a TV show falls into the sci-fi and fantasy genres, the visual and narrative scenes are expected to be unforgettable, and Foundation easily archives this. Based on the book series by Isaac Asimov of the same name, Foundation premiered on Apple TV+ in 2021 and has quickly emerged as the best sci-fi series of the 2020s. Though much of this can be attributed to the stellar source material by Asimov, the series takes liberties with the story in an engaging way that suits the TV format.

Starring Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick and Jared Harris as Hari Seldon, the story follows Hari’s attempt to create a Foundation that will preserve the best parts of humanity and save them from an extended dark age.

Starring Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick and Jared Harris as Hari Seldon, the story follows Hari’s attempt to create a Foundation that will preserve the best parts of humanity and save them from an extended dark age. He takes Gaal under his wing as she’s a brilliant mathematician who has visions of the future. Throughout seasons 1 and 2, it soon becomes clear that the Empire poses a bigger threat to the Foundation and the universe than either of them knew. As Foundation season 3 draws closer, the important moments from the previous seasons are more relevant than ever.

Watch Foundation on Apple TV+.

8 The Destruction Of Terminus

Season 2, Episode 9, “Long Ago, Not Far Away”

At the start of season 1, the Empire sends Hari and Gaal to the faraway planet of Terminus. The Cleon emperors, Brothers Dawn, Dusk, and Day, believe this exile will end Hari’s claims about the coming dark age and the need for the Foundation. This is because the Cleons are aware that this is a direct challenge to their grip on the universe. However, they don’t know that going to Terminus is what Hari wants because he’ll be able to create the Foundation far away from the Empire.

Unfortunately, by the end of season 2, Brother Day (Lee Pace) has become unhinged in his quest for power, and the reach of the Empire catches up to Terminus. The destruction of Terminus is a devastating and emotional moment in the show and has enormous implications for the future of the Foundation. It’s a poignant moment in the story for the residents of Terminus and marks the moment that Day went too far in testing the limits of his power.


Foundation’s Genetic Dynasty & The Clone Emperors Explained

The genetic dynasty in Foundation can be confusing for both its complexity and its simplicity, with different characters often looking the same.

7 Hari Is Killed By Raych

Season 1, Episode 2, “Preparing To Live”

Hari Seldon death in Foundation.

Raych (Alfred Enoch) was one of Hari’s closest confidants and began a relationship with Gaal not long after they met. It seemed that he would be a vital figure throughout the series, but in only the second episode, he kills Hari and is then sentenced to death for his crimes. It’s a confusing moment because the audience doesn’t yet have the context for why Raych betrayed both Hari and Gaal. Later, it’s revealed that he and Hari planned this together because Hari was already dying and wanted to capitalize on his passing to elevate him to the status of martyr.

However, this doesn’t take away from the impact of his initial death and the anguish Gaal feels when she witnesses it. This moment illustrates to the audience that everyone is vulnerable, even the main characters, and that the narrative is only just getting started. Of course, Hari comes back to life after his consciousness is uploaded and then put into a new body, allowing him and Gaal to carry on their work. Despite this, Gaal needs a long time before she can trust him again.

6 Gaal And Hari’s Audience With The Empire

Season 1, Episode 1, “The Emperor’s Peace”

The pilot of Foundation was an effective opening for the show that presented Gaal’s backstory and Hari’s dubious purpose quickly and concisely. Gaal leaves her home planet after being noticed by Hari for solving a complex math equation, and she travels to Trantor, the capital of the empire, where Hari and the Emperors reside. Immediately, she’s placed in danger because of her connection to Hari, but she realizes that she must go along with his plan to save the universe from destruction.

The largest conflict of the episode is whether Gaal will appear with Hari before the Emperors and back up his claim that the future is heading for an extended period of war and darkness, and the only way to stop it is with the Foundation. Gaal ultimately decides to add her voice to Hari’s call for the Foundation after she sees the future he describes. It’s after this that three of the most powerful Foundation characters come face to face and set the series’ course.

5 Demerzel Is Cleon’s Heir

Season 2, Episode 8, “The Last Empress”

The Cleonic Dynasty and Lady Demerzel in Foundation

Although the genetic dynasty has been reigning for thousands of years, none of Cleon I’s clones have been his true successor. Demerzel (Larua Birn), the robot who serves as an advisor and war counsel to the Cleons, is the one who has been pulling the strings since the first Cleon’s death. The complete backstory between Demerzel and Cleon I isn’t uncovered until the finale of season 2, but in “The Last Empress,” the audience understands that she holds the ultimate power.

However, Lady Demerzel could have a problem in Foundation season 3 because she is programmed to be eternally faithful to the genetic dynasty of the Cleons, despite knowing that their success means the universe’s doom. Even if she understands the purpose and need for the Foundation, Demerzel cannot overcome her allegiance to the continuation of Cleon’s reign. As the one true empress of the galaxy, Cleon has more power than anyone but is still trapped by the actions of a long-dead emperor.

4 Salvor Is Gaal’s Daughter

Season 1, Episode 10, “The Leap”

Salvor (Leah Harvey) has a parallel story to Gaal throughout season 1 and has visions of both Gaal and Raych, which leads her to believe she has to find Gaal. It’s not until the season’s finale that she is told her true lineage. She is the daughter of Gaal and Raych and was initially an embryo the pair were going to raise together when they arrived on Terminus. Of course, none of this came to be, and when mother and daughter are finally reunited, they’re about the same age because Gaal has been in cryosleep.

This reveal is the greatest shock from season 1, as the audience didn’t see it coming any more than Salvor did herself. The relationship that Gaal and Salvor slowly build in season 2 is tentative but significant, as neither thought they would have the opportunity to know each other. Though they only spend a short time together and don’t always agree on the future of the Foundation, their relationship influences Gaal’s decisions and trajectory in the story.

3 Brother Day Fights Off Assassins

Season 2, Episode 2, “A Glimpse Of Darkness”

Lee Pace as Brother Day in Foundation

This scene was released by Apple TV+ as a teaser for season 2 before its premiere, and watching it all over again in season 2, episode 2 was well worth the wait. Although it’s provocative because the actor, Lee Pace, battles the hired assassins completely naked, the scene is valuable for much greater reasons than that. It’s an excellent example of the show’s visual language, lighting, cinematography, and fight choreography. Pace’s Brother Day moves quickly and effortlessly throughout the space, and the camera easily moves with him.

In terms of the narrative, the full meaning of the scene doesn’t come out until later in the season, but Brother Day is furious that anyone would dare send assassins after him. It turns out it was Lady Demerzel who sent them after him because his quest to marry and have an heir was a threat to the genetic dynasty. This scene is an early moment that hints at Demerzel’s true intentions of protecting the dynasty as a whole and how unconcerned she is with the individual Cleons.

2 Gaal’s Vision Of The Future And The Death Of Salvor

Season 2, Episode 2, “A Glimpse Of Darkness”

When Gaal starts having visions, she doesn’t know what to make of them, fearing their power and the answers they hold. However, Hari wants to use them to see the Foundation’s path in the future and pressures her to go further to discover their fate. What Gaal finds is a terrible war filled with hardship, devastation, and the death of her daughter, Salvor, at the hands of The Mule, a mentalic. However, even though her visions are incredible to behold, that doesn’t mean they can always be trusted.

Salvor does die by the end of season 2, but not at The Mule’s hands, and much earlier than Gaal thought possible. This revelation throws a wrench into what Gaal and Hari believe and makes them realize that the future is more malleable and open to change than they thought. While the fact that Gaal’s visions aren’t always true is good for the series, as it opens the door to many possible futures, it’s devastating for Gaal, who loses her daughter.

1 The Population Of Terminus Is In The Vault

Season 2, Episode 10, “Creation Myths”

The vault on Terminus in the season 2 finale of Foundation

Foundation‘s season 2 ending revealed that all hope is not lost for Hari, Gaal, and the future of the Foundation. Although Terminus was destroyed in the penultimate episode of the season, it’s shown that the people living on Terminus were saved by being inside the Vault when the Invictus was released onto the planet’s surface. It was shown earlier in the season that the vault can alter and transform matter, so as long as the Vault is safe, so is the Foundation. However, Hari and Gaal have more work to accomplish than ever before.

Foundation season 3 will need to transport the Vault to a safe location where the Foundation can continue to prepare for the coming war with the mentalic The Mule. Gaal has feared this confrontation for a long time thanks to her visions, and the 152-year time jump between seasons 2 and 3 means the war will be a significant part of the upcoming season. It will also be interesting to see what role Demerzel plays, as she decanted three new clones to be her puppets as she rules the galaxy from the shadows.

Foundtation Apple TV Poster


Isaac Asimov’s novel series is brought to life in Foundation, a television adaptation of the epic sci-fi saga created for Apple TV+ but deviates somewhat from the original source material. The show follows a group of exiled humans that find themselves as the last chance to save the Galactic Empire – from itself. 

Jared Harris , Leah Harvey , Lou Llobell , Lee Pace , Troy Kotsur

Release Date
September 24, 2021


Streaming Service(s)
Apple TV+

Rupert Sanders

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