Foundation season 1, episode 4 recap – “Barbarians at the Gate”

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 8, 2021 (Last updated: October 15, 2021)
View all
Apple TV Plus series Foundation season 1, episode 4 - Barbarians at the Gate


Impulsive actions are the theme of episode 4 as we learn more about the Brothers and why the Anacreons are on Terminus.

This recap of Apple TV+’s Foundation season 1, episode 4, “Barbarians at the Gate,” contains no spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Now that the foundation (unintentional pun) is set in the series, we have a wonderful story on our hands. We are still getting used to names, planets, civilizations, so feel free to comment below if we have missed anything or made an error. Episode 4 was another good chapter.

Foundation season 1, episode 4 recap

Episode 4 begins with narration coupled with a scene; there was once a man (Brother Dawn) that came to Hari Seldon and asked what his fate would be, but Hari told him that the movement of masses can only be measured, and not individuals. Brother Dawn jumps off a building but feels nothing when he lands due to kinetic energy. Azura watches nearby, which catches Dawn’s attention.

Episode 4 then flits to Brother Day, and a woman he’s acquired for sexual services for 24 hours asks him if it is true that no one can touch him. He dares her to touch him, but when she tries, kinetic energy repels. He asks her to try again, but softer and slower, and they start hooking up. Unfortunately, his moment of intimacy is cut short. An ambassador tells the Brothers there’s been a death, and there needs to be a successor for the Proxima, but the contest for leadership has been challenged. There’s a need to keep the Brothers uniformed, which means keeping Brother Dawn up to speed.

Meanwhile, on Terminus, Salvor tells the Anacreon people that they should not be here, but they ask her to take them to the Tower and threaten her. She tells them that she can only take one through the fence, so she does. She escorts the Anacreon closer to the Vault, and due to its power, it knocks out the Anacreon unconscious. Salvor now has an Anacreon prisoner.

Salvor tells her parents that the Anacreons claim they are scrappers, but she’s hesitant and does not want to alert the others. She asks Hugo for support for the interrogation. Salvor notices the Anacreon prisoner has an artificial eye that was caused by the Empire attacking their planet. She wonders if the prisoner’s parents died, and teases them. Eventually, she senses that the prisoner lost their brother, and they finally break, speaking in their language. Salvor tells her parents and Hugo that the prisoner wants to die and she understood some of what they were saying. The prisoner is a grand huntress of an Anacreon.

The Foundation tells Salvor to stand down after learning of the prisoner, but Salvor reminds them that they are not prepared, and she tells Lewis that she is not screwing up any plan. Lewis tries talking to the Anacreon prisoner and tells them that the Foundation’s plans are still ongoing, and Hari Seldon’s formulas are still in action. Meanwhile, the Anacreons approach the settlement, so Harriet radios Salvor for backup. Suddenly, Salvor sees visions of a young boy in an Imperial Library — the boy threatens her. She then returns to the present, and she tells Hugo that it is the Vault — she feels it wants her to stay away.

Brother Day takes out his anger on the mathematicians for not being able to figure out the work of Hari Seldon for decades. He then tells Dusk to focus on Trantor. Demerzel and Dusk believe they should focus on their principles, but Brother Day states they should not be scared anymore. He blames Dusk for the destruction of two plants and the Star Bridge, but he thinks he can save their legacy. Demerzel warns that they cannot act on impulse.

The ending of “Barbarians at the Gate”

A few things happen as episode 4 ends.

Firstly, Salvor and Hugo approach the perimeter. The Anacreons are building a flak cannon to try and bring down the energy shield. Meanwhile, the Anacreon prisoner asks Lewis who is in charge. She claims they came to Terminus for items because they are technologically bankrupt, and they are dying since the Empire set their atmosphere on fire. They want to find a new star system and have nothing to lose.

Secondly, Salvor tells Hugo that she believes that the Anacreons are up to something bigger and that the Vault is connected to Hari — in the vision, she saw Hari’s library in Trantor. Hugo wonders if Salvor is part of Hari’s plans.

The episode ends with Gaal Dornick floating in her bubble ship through space.

Additional points

  • Brother Day asks Brother Dusk why he ignored Hari’s to-do list. Dusk reminds him that Hari is dead, but Day says the movement is still alive.
  • Dusk tells Darwin that communication has gone down in the outer reach and wants it investigating.
  • Brother Dawn spies on Azura — he’s become obsessed with her. He looks into Azura and speaks to her because she saw him jump from a building earlier. He asks what she wants. Azura offers him medical advice and gives him a plant called Wolves Breath — it stimulates the blood vessels and promotes healing. Dawn asks an assistant to eat it, and if she doesn’t die, he wants a batch sent to him.

What did you think of Foundation season 1, episode 4, “Barbarians at the Gate”? Comment below. 

Apple TV+, Weekly TV
View all