Foundation season 1, episode 8 recap – “The Missing Piece”

November 5, 2021
Daniel Hart 3
Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV


Episode 8 brings a fascinating continuation to the story. The context is coming together as the series strengthens the universe.

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Episode 8 brings a fascinating continuation to the story. The context is coming together as the series strengthens the universe.

This recap of Apple TV+’s Foundation season 1, episode 8, “The Missing Piece,” contains no spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Once again, I am flabbergasted as to why this series isn’t being spoken about more intensely. It deserves more conversation. I suppose the release of Dune has not helped, but it’s clear this is a sci-fi series that can last several installments.

Foundation season 1, episode 8 recap

Episode 8 begins with a contextual flashback on the planet Anacreon. The young Huntress is running through the woods with her friend. In the sky, there are a series of missiles coming down on their world, and the explosions kill her friend. In the present day, the Huntress tells Salvor that after this event, she became a warrior. She believes the Gods approved her mission to destroy the Empire for revenge. She doesn’t care about mankind; she wants Invictus to be her voice and to destroy the planet Trantor. Huntress is on a selfless mission for revenge; that’s clear. She’s willing to be a martyr.

Episode 8 moves to Gaal; in the last episode, she figured out she could feel the future. She’s a little shocked. She explains to Hari Seldon that sometimes the feeling comes in dreams. Hari believes her ability puts Gaal ahead of the math. He tells her that mankind’s survival is for them to reach Helicon to trigger a second Foundation. Gaal is sick of having information hidden from her, and she demands that Hari opens the door so she can leave.

Keeping to his pledge, Brother Day heads to The Spiral to prove who is true, who is right, and who is wrong to the Mother in his challenge against Halima. This means he will suffer like a normal person and experience injuries. Dermerzel prepares him for the worst in case he reaches the center of The Spiral. It’s a risk. If he doesn’t make it until the end, it will bolden his critics. As he walks towards The Spiral, he’s accompanied by an older man. Brother Day struggles as he walks through desert lands.

As for Salvor and the Invictus ship, the jump cycle is fast approaching. Salvor tells Huntress’s acquaintance that the Empire will destroy them regardless of taking hold of the ship. Suddenly, one of the crew members is attacked by a live automatic gun turret. Huntress asks Salvor to disable it. Salvor helps disable it but uses it as a distraction to attack the Anacreons and escape with Lewis.

Salvor and Lewis try and work out navigation points so they can control the next jump. They find a navigation cradle that requires a cognitive link that is hardwired into the brain. Salvor offers herself to control the jump, but it means a massive risk to her life. The comparison is striking — Huntress and Salvor are both outliers and willing to risk their lives for their ideology and beliefs.

Back to Brother Day, and the man he’s walking with loses strength. He doesn’t want him to die, but the man talks about a peaceful transition by Mother. Brother Day asks him, “what if this is the end?” querying whether there is a peaceful transition. Brother Day continues to venture and finds himself at a cave. Delirious from the journey and his body injured and fatigued, he laughs. He sees the light ahead of him, and he looks enlightened as he walks into the cool water. Brother Day drinks the water to hydrate. When he returns, Brother Day is asked about his experience in The Spiral. He describes what he saw and insists it was real — he claims he saw a three petal flower swirling above him from the sand.

The counsel of Maiden asks Brother Day about the mythology of the birthroot flower. It’s a sign from the triple goddesses that their world can survive. They see the three petals as the three brothers, and Maiden announces that no other Zephyr will stand in his way. Brother Day succeeded in his mission, but at what cost?

Back to Gaal; she wants to know everything, but Hari Seldon refuses to reveal any further information. Gaal destroys a cooling system to prove a point. She tells him she burns to death, or he lets her go free. She begs him, believing he doesn’t need her. Hari lets her free, and she enters a cryo pod. Gaal leaves the ship, and it explodes. She routes the destination to Synnax and goes into cyro sleep. Is this the end of Hari Seldon? I doubt it.

Brother Day walks through crowds of people who now worship him. Halima is quiet. He thanks her for giving him the courage to embark on The Spiral. Dermerzel speaks to Halima privately. Halima correctly senses that Dermerzel isn’t happy with the outcome and asks if she can truly grow while attached to the Brothers. Halima tells Dermerzel she has the freedom of choice if she no longer believes in the Empire. Halima then senses that Brother Day sent her here to kill her, which is why she’s being oddly truthful. Dermerzel states she doesn’t have individuality and has no choice but to let her die as she serves the Empire. She weeps and apologizes. Halima appreciates her compassion and tells Dermerzel she has a soul. She calls Brother Day a soulless man and forgives her.

Dermerzel explains that the poison was transferred to Halima by the touch of skin, and there will be no pain in her death. It’s a revealing scene — if Dermerzel is conflicted by her loyalty, what does this mean for the Empire’s future? Is a treacherous act forthcoming?

The ending of “The Missing Piece.”

As Lewis and Salvor try and attempt the cognitive technology to route the jump, they are attacked by Huntress and her partner. The Thespin Republic turn up with their ship and demand that the Anacreons stand down. Earlier in the episode, it’s revealed that Hugo survived. He sent an SOS to the Thespin Republic and warned them of the Anacreons. Hugo’s warning message worked. However, during the struggle and plenty of fighting, the Invictus jumps space.

At the end of the episode, we receive a damning scene that doesn’t place Brother Day in the best light. Dermerzel is angry at Brother Day and is unsure why Halima had to be killed when he won. She then tells him that she had a birthroot flower when she visited The Spiral thousands of years ago, and she expected him to recognize the one in her quarters.

And it seems Dermerzel has figured out Brother Day’s lie. She tells him (ironically) that she is pleased he was graced with the same vision because to “see nothing” would be an emptiness she wouldn’t wish on anyone. Brother Day looks concerned. And then, Brother Day prepares for a jump back to Trantor. In a flashback, it appears Brother Day didn’t see a vision at all in The Spiral. He lied. He was kneeled in the water, lonely. His existence questioned. Not even Mother recognized him.

What did you think of Foundation season 1, episode 8, “The Missing Piece”? Comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Foundation season 1, episode 8 recap – “The Missing Piece”

  • November 5, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    I don’t think the ship exploded behind Gaal? Where is she going? Back to her homeworld?

  • November 5, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    It’s a total rewrite of the source material. Most Sci-Fi fans are turned off. I first read the Foundation series 40 years ago. This storyline is not even close to the books. It should have been called something else…

  • November 9, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve come to accept it as Foundation fan fiction.

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