Foundation (2021) s02e08 Episode Script

The Last Empress

Shadowmaster's silencer.
You're having me followed?
Oh, I always keep an eye on anything
that interests me.
And I am not going to bother asking
how this came into your possession.
But I do want to know
how you discovered the
servants' passageways.
The servant byways haven't changed
since my tenure at the Gossamer Court.
Mmm. Knowledge of the byways
is state secret.
You wouldn't remember them.
And I oversaw your erasure,
before they returned you home.
Cloud Dominion has developed
the ability to restore memories.
I have all my memories
from my time here.
All of them.
The whole time,
I thought we trusted one another.
No. You thought I trusted you.
Why would I just offer up
our own state secrets?
To impress you?
You knowing about the passages
makes you a suspect
in the attempt on my brother's life.
Hardly. The marriage,
it advances Dominion.
I wouldn't endanger it.
Well, then there remains the question,
what are you doing in
Demerzel's quarters?
Lady Demerzel has made it clear
that she is a threat to the queen.
No. Demerzel is the closest
Empire has to family.
Where did she come from, Dusk?
She will always be here,
as she always has been.
The time for ambiguity
has passed, old friend.
Demerzel is a robot.
The last surviving robot in the galaxy,
and yet she sits as
handmaiden to Empire.
What is her real purpose?
She will always be here,
as she always has been.
Yes, you've literally just said that.
Has someone planted those words
in your mind, Dusk?
Can you hear yourself?
You're as programmed as Demerzel is.
Sh She will always
be here, as she always has been.
She She will always be here,
as she always has been. She will
I know that.
The design on her tool chest.
Eight planets.
For so long, the robots and the humans
lived side by side
in perfect harmony.
But looking back now,
what happened seemed almost inevitable.
The humans were cruel to them.
And in the end, they were more human
than we could ever have known.
The robots grew to understand
their station, and
Look at that part. They're so
poignantly rendered, the lines…
All they ever desired was
the acknowledgement of full personhood.
And when denied, they turned to murder.
[DUSK] Emperor Benefoss was slaughtered
at the hands of a robot.
The first law of robotics
was circumvented,
which should not have been possible.
But that violation, first of its kind,
ignited the wars.
Robots against robots.
Robots against men.
We eventually won,
and the robots were eradicated.
[RUE] All except for yours.
She will be here,
as she always has been.
Why this phrase again and again?
I don't know. I don't know.
Every time I try to remember,
there's there's nothing.
If you can't remember how
your most trusted adviser came to you,
what else might be missing?
Dominion can restore anyone's memories.
Even yours.
Please, let me remove
that cotton wad from your mind.
That's odd.
There's no movement.
Chroma is activated by proximity of
the viewer, so from where we stand…
[RUE] None should be still.
Excuse me, Empire.
You're wanted at the execution.
Seldon's little crimson envoy.
From the Foundation.
Day's having the whole event
broad-beamed across the galaxy.
[GAAL] Where is Salvor?
Tucked away snug.
She discovered I killed Hari.
Please, no more babe-in-the-woods
from you.
I'd just as soon have it all out.
You've known Hari was dead
since the moment it happened.
You felt him drowning, didn't you?
water filling my own lungs.
I felt everything.
Why? Why did you do it?
I am sorry, Gaal.
But hell, think about it.
The fact you can access suffering
from over a distance
shows how formidable you are.
And the way you hid the truth,
not just from Salvor, but from me?
Hari was cargo you needed to drop, and
I thought, for Salvor's sake, you would.
But I saw your heart, you cared for him,
and I'm on something of an accelerated
timeline, so I did the hard thing.
I want to see Salvor. Now.
That isn't possible.
Because you're not really here.
[GAAL] Salvor? Can you hear me?
Salvor, can you hear me? Salvor.
[TELLEM] She can't.
What is this? Why am I in here?
See those dishes above your head?
They're muzzles, tuned to cancel out
your specific psychical pitch.
Spend enough time here
and eventually
the last of your defenses will fall.
[TELLEM] I feel how hard you're working
to keep me out.
There's something you really don't
want me to see.
Because it's mine.
Not for long, child.
It's time.
Put it up.
[CROWD CHANTING] Cleon! Cleon! Cleon!
Many of you have no
memory of Hari Seldon,
the aspiring revolutionary.
Over a hundred years ago,
Empire, as an act of benevolence,
banished Seldon
and his followers to Terminus.
And how did they receive our gift?
With gratitude? [CHUCKLES]
How I wish it were so.
[DAY] Seldon's exiles have been forging
an alliance
with Anacreon and Thespis,
the very same terrorists who have killed
100 million citizens of Trantor.
And now they have the gall
to send their envoys here.
Willing vessels of Seldon's insolence.
Empire will always be benevolent,
my friends.
But do not mistake benevolence
for weakness.
Collar of Typhon.
It's a relic of my ancestors.
Elegant in design.
- Effective in retribution.
At this very moment, the Imperial Fleet
is forming an enclosure around Terminus.
Seldon's zealots will soon find
they have no haven there,
nor anywhere else in the Imperium.
On this day, the very day
the Star Bridge terrorists were hanged,
we send two more to meet their fate.
Poly Verisof,
the high claric of the Church of Seldon.
And Constant, vested daughter of those
who so aggrieved us.
Who dies first?
- [DAY] The claric or the girl?
Perhaps we let our
future empress choose.
Queen Sareth?
Let's not prolong
the poor girl's suffering.
Constant, I'm sorry.
I didn't expect it to end like this.
[CONSTANT] In the name of
the Galactic Spirit, I submit myself,
a holy brother of
the Foundation, to its will.
- Let my eyes…
- Is that a prayer?
…which are the Spirit's eyes…
Is a god who presides over killers
truly a god?
Let my eyes,
which are the Spirit's eyes,
look only forward to the future
which the Spirit has divined.
Let my heart… [BREATHES SHAKILY]
…which is the Spirit's heart,
join its humble beating with
the great rhythm of the Spirit.
Guide me through the darkness,
and together we will
shorten the darkness.
- Guide me through the darkness.
- Guide me through the darkness.
[CONSTANT] Guide me
through the darkness.
Guide me through the darkness.
Guide me through the darkness. [SOBS]
- Guide me through the darkness.
- Guide me through the darkness.
[CONSTANT] Guide me
through the darkness.
- Guide me through the darkness.
- Guide me through the darkness.
Guide me through the darkness.
Guide me through the darkness. [SOBS]
- Empire!
- What?
- Was that a whisper-ship?
Yeah, I'm sorry, folks.
Beheading's been canceled.
Hober Mallow.
Damn fool just declared
war on our behalf.
Fuck, I knew it was him.
Before I even
saw his fucking face, I knew it was him.
- [CLAVIGER] He's over there.
Anyone got eyes on him? Where'd he go?
[DAWN] Sareth!
- Sareth. Sareth.
[CLAVIGER 2] Target lost.
[PANTS] Let me up. [GRUNTS]
Your aura was damaged by
the ship's gravitational pulse.
Get off! [GRUNTING]
- [PANTS] Constant! Where's Poly?
- [WHIMPERS] I don't know.
Go! Get out of here!
[HOBER] Good girl, Beki!
Let's go. Come on.
- Beki!
[HOBER] Let's go. Come on.
Stop them!
Right, there's two switches.
I don't know which one does what.
You're just gonna have to pick one.
Just close your eyes… [BREATHES HEAVILY]
…and if you hear something drop, well,
just know how grateful I am to you.
What, for killing you?
For saving me.
[HOBER] Okay, uh…
- Uh…
[CONSTANT] How did you even find us?
[CHUCKLES] You kidding? The whole
damn galaxy knows where you are.
Warning. Hostile craft detected.
Okay. We need to jump right now.
Well, I think I found the
revolutionary you were looking for.
Still think it should've been us?
Nah. Our ship would never fit
on that balcony.
Mallow did prove one thing though.
Empire can be touched.
- We'll be safe here.
You talk about safety
when our palace is still on fire.
[GRUNTS] And when are these fucking
nanobots gonna start working?
- They will.
- [DUSK] Day!
The worlds are watching.
We must move swiftly and decisively.
You used to laugh at me, Brother Dusk.
You said Seldon was a ghost story.
A child's fantasy.
You want an apology?
This was an act of war!
We must answer in kind.
War? What war?
If it comes to violence,
we will destroy them utterly.
No. I think I would rather talk to them.
- What?
- I'm going to Terminus.
Better you stay here, so the
people can see nothing has changed.
And follow my brother's example? No.
I do not fear change.
Those whisper-ships belong to us.
That planet belongs to us. I'm going!
Well, that's child's fantasy.
- Don't be a fool!
- [SARETH] Day has spoken on the matter.
And you are right.
Your realm has been
leaking blood and stars for too long.
It's time for big hands
to bind the wound.
- Our wedding.
- It can wait.
I will go. And I will look
the ghost of Seldon in the eye.
And I will reclaim what is ours.
You will have a planet
as a wedding gift.
Brother Dawn,
Trantor is yours until I return.
Keep her safe.
I will.
Ready my shuttle.
Bring me the high claric. He's coming.
And prepare the Rubicon.
[DEMERZEL] Yes, Empire.
[RUE] The Cleons are fragmenting.
[SARETH] And I'm wedging myself
between the fragments.
I know what I'm doing.
Do you? Vengeful plans don't often have
romance in them.
I know you had an assignation
with Dawn at the heat sinks.
I am earning his confidence.
Turning him against them.
You're fucking him.
Or you're about to be.
You're already fucking Dusk.
- You love him.
- You love Dusk!
That doesn't matter.
I'm not engaged to the Emperor.
- What will he do when he finds out?
- I don't fucking care!
It is your duty to care!
I know we are far from Cloud Dominion,
but you must think of it.
Think of your people.
Think of our beloved home.
Empire does not let
the pettiest infraction go unpunished.
You have suffered terrible losses, yes.
But there is so much more to lose.
[RUE WHISPERS] Once you are married,
can dispense with Day however you like.
Wife and widow are both called Empress.
But for now, you need
to master your emotions.
Rue, I am listening.
And I do value you.
But I am your queen,
and I will make the choices.
Yes, Your Grace.
Your will is mine.
Is this how Tellem kills me?
Sighteds don't kill Sighteds.
I hope that means Gaal is still okay.
They're getting her ready for the table.
What table?
I shouldn't say,
but it's a very special honor.
I don't like the sound of that. I
Okay, something is really wrong in here.
It's those. They cancel out your pitch.
Okay, so I'm in a mental prison,
not just a physical one.
H-How do they work?
What do those numbers mean?
I don't speak numbers.
Neither do I.
I wish Hari was still here.
I'm sorry about what happened to him.
He was insufficient,
but I know you liked him anyway.
He wasn't insufficient, Josiah.
He was brilliant. And he would
understand exactly how those things…
They're after the Radiant, Salvor.
It's on the Beggar's.
It won't look like itself.
Find it,
protect it. Protect Gaal. She needs you.
[STAMMERS] Josiah, the table where
they're taking Gaal, where is it?
In the palace. That way.
But you're in here.
Let me worry about that. Go.
And whatever you do,
try to forget about this.
[HARI] Other Seldon has what appears
to be a duplicate Radiant.
But in truth, there's only one,
and we both have it.
In two places.
To look into it,
is to look into his hand.
[SALVOR] Show me the vault.
Salvor Hardin?
Hari Seldon.
How are you here?
I'm not here.
Um [STUTTERS] Not physically.
M-My mind sort of snuck in
through the back door.
The Radiant, which you took
when you left Terminus?
Yes, I did.
You're suggesting it serves as a kind of
quantum portal into the Vault?
Well, that makes sense.
It's a single quantum system
existing in a state of superposition.
Why didn't I know that already?
I'm the one who built the bloody thing.
- Well, you didn't.
- No. Rhetorical question.
One could argue I'm not the one
who built the bloody thing.
I'm a copy of myself designed
by a designer, just like the Radiant.
So I suppose I could've withheld
this knowledge
out of my design. But to what purpose?
Why before I died would I withhold
so useful to the only c
I'm not the only copy. Am I?
Is he the one who told you
the Radiant could do this?
I-I'm not sure if I should…
I'm not meant to know.
So there's another me.
What's his purpose? I'm already here
to galvanize the Foundation.
Why go to all the trouble of
creating a backup as a
Oh, that's very clever.
A second Foundation.
But if the other me
has information I don't,
and if we approach all this as one great
big experiment,
which it kind of is,
then that would make
this Foundation the control group.
Kept in the dark,
a left hand blissfully
unaware of what the right hand is doing.
Fuck. I'm the left hand.
None of which explains just
what you're doing here.
- We need your help.
- We?
Me and Gaal, and [STUTTERS]
Don't tell me any more,
you'll contaminate the math.
I don't care about the math.
Gaal is in danger.
[HOBER] It's an enclosure.
There must be hundreds of the
Imperial fuckers. We're sitting ducks.
Not if we run dark.
- The Spirit's built for stealth.
And we're far enough away
it's possible our gravity signature
wasn't detected.
Do you think she survived?
- The prophet will protect her.
Constant is his loyal servant.
She's safe in his hands.
I thought I came here to pray.
I don't think I did.
I know you're in there
in your fucking office.
She went to Trantor for you.
She had more to give than her life.
Didn't think you'd come out.
I felt I owed you as much.
I watched the broad-beam from Trantor.
- Is she alive?
- I don't know.
A whole lot of people
have dedicated their lives
to pretending you know everything.
I sat her on my knee the moment
she started thinking about it,
and I said, "Choose any job on Terminus.
Choose my job. Choose any job.
Just promise
Just promise me
you won't choose the robes."
I didn't want her becoming one
of your mendicants.
One of your dupes.
I only met your daughter for a moment,
but she didn't seem easily fooled to me.
And for what it's worth,
- I hope she's alive.
- Constant was good!
she believed in you.
They were gonna take her head for it.
You value history,
but you don't care
about the people living in it.
I cannot account for individuals…
nor can I predict their fates.
But I do see them. I do.
I see them very well.
Psychohistory is made of their memories,
their choices,
their stories.
Everyone who's ever lived has built it.
Trillions of decisions.
So you see, they all matter.
You tell me she'll survive,
and I'll believe you.
If that was so,
you would've chosen the robes.
What do we do, Doctor?
We do the hardest thing there is.
We wait.
Empire said you were
sent to the Spacers?
Yeah. Seldon hoped
I'd convince them to swap sides.
Wanted me to be a blade.
I guess he didn't
bargain on how blunted I was. [CHUCKLES]
Sorry about Beki.
I'm so sorry that…
I couldn't save Poly.
He was the reason I joined the Church.
The reason so many others
embraced Seldon's vision.
He kept that spark alive
for over a hundred years.
But then he faltered.
I saw it happen and
and I couldn't help him.
I was a shitty student of the Church.
I remember this, uh, homily. A parable.
About how life
is like collecting jewels in a bag.
And in the end,
you don't want the bag to be full,
you want it to be empty because…
you've given them all away.
He gave them all to me.
Approaching the Rubicon.
[DAY] Well, High Claric.
How do you feel about your mission now?
I would've imagined it
to be uncomfortable,
being stared at by Empire.
I've met Hari Seldon.
I'm used to fame.
Oh, Seldon.
He must have some
appeal that escapes us.
The chief characteristic of the Church
of the Galactic Spirit
is that it works.
We dress it up,
but underneath, it is science.
Scholarly rigor.
How all the children love his rigor.
I said we dress it up.
[DAY] He predicts war.
Foundation and Empire.
This is a warship.
So, it seems he was right about that.
This will be his Second Crisis.
I will be, I believe,
the only one to witness both.
Except Seldon, in his way.
And I…
in mine.
Seldon claims he will defeat Empire
against all expectations.
Like the stone egg that breaks the bowl
in the old fable.
But his predictions
presuppose our ignorance, don't they?
You and I, knowing what's predicted,
can throw it all off, can't it?
I have faith in Foundation.
Ah, watch the rigor melt like candy.
See, Poly…
you think you've just taken on
the trappings of religion,
but once you start kneeling and praying,
it's hard to get back
to standing and thinking.
In the real world, Claric,
there's a natural order.
There is no egg so strong
it survives a nuclear blast.
[POLY] There's an old saying
among Wardens,
"Violence is the last refuge
of the incompetent."
That's a pithy saying.
You're probably right about that.
[SALVOR] So now I'm in this prison
I shouldn't know this. Mentalics,
telepaths. I shouldn't know any of it.
But you're still listening,
and you're still gonna help.
They're about to do something terrible
to Gaal, and I can't help her.
These dishes,
they're disrupting me somehow.
And I was hoping you could tell me
how to make 'em stop.
Well, describe them to me.
No. Better yet, show me.
If you can see me here,
I can see you there.
Yeah. Those are the problem.
Well, they're reading you.
Encephalic sensors.
They generate wave forms out of phase
with your brain waves.
The waves are colliding
and eliminating each other.
Can you help me turn them off?
I can do better than that.
Y-You hear that…
Those are dissonant sounds
made to keep you unfocused.
Now, I bet that we could
readjust their frequency to break rocks.
- Thank you, Dr. Seldon.
- You're welcome, Salvor Hardin.
Oh, wait! The Second Crisis.
Has it started?
Always a Warden.
Things are rather up in the air
at the moment.
But Terminus survives, right?
Hober Mallow.
- Hmm?
- Hober Mallow.
According to Gaal,
he's gonna "pierce the Empire's hide."
You shouldn't have told me that.
- I can't make you use it.
If I do, it could change everything.
Never let your sense of morals
prevent you from doing what's right.
Good luck, Warden.
If the left hand doesn't get
to put its thumb on the scale…
what's the point in having a thumb?
[PERSON] Hober Mallow!
Get Hober Mallow!
Looking for the Locris wine. Thought
it'd be a nice way to honor Poly.
"Take care of the body,
and the spirit will follow."
Something Poly never quite embraced.
So, not the Locris wine?
We're vulnerable here.
If we jump,
the fleet will be aware of our presence.
I think we should seize the moment.
And by seizing you mean…
- Are you opposed to sex?
- Not categorically.
You're worried this
would kill my father?
No, no. Arguably that's a plus.
Then take off your trousers.
Yeah. Okay. Uh…
I couldn't decide between
kissing first or disrobing first.
But disrobing first
seemed more efficient.
Yeah. That was efficient.
You're nervous.
- [CHUCKLES] Ashamed of your body?
- No.
Is [SIGHS] Is something
not functioning?
Turnabout is fair play,
wouldn't you say?
Day is off-planet.
I can't think of a better opportunity
to resume our line of inquiry.
Now the Locris wine?
You never guessed my name.
But I'll allow it.
Let's promise to always
attend each other's executions.
- Our first date was your beheading.
- Mm-hmm.
Our second was mine.
Okay. Deal.
Now the wine.
Spirit Rising, stand down.
You've been apprehended
in the name of Empire.
- Can he see us?
- Yeah, and hear us.
Hober, your wrist.
[BEL] Mr. Mallow, Brother.
Don't bother trying to jump,
your drives are off-line.
We're gonna dock, and we promise,
we'll make you comfortable on board.
[DUSK] You were looking for answers.
I think we may find them here.
Someone put a hidden message
in an aberration.
But new chroma activates old,
and only an old master
would recognize that.
Some believe that with age
comes inferiority,
but there are advantages to a lifetime
of experience amassed.
[RUE] Where are we?
- You came.
- Of course.
Back in the throne room,
what I said for Day's benefit,
that was a performance.
You know that, right? [CHUCKLES]
- As long as he thinks he owns me.
- He doesn't.
I've been thinking about
what you proposed.
It's all I keep thinking about.
This. This one little thing.
This is something
he can't take away from us.
Are you sure?
[DUSK] In all my years,
I've never encountered this stairwell.
I doubt Day has.
I wonder if any of us have.
Odd sensation.
[RUE] What?
To feel like a stranger
in one's own home.
You all right, Gaal?
I think you're fine.
Here. Let me.
Remember when I told you
that I was mistaken for a god
when I was a little child?
I was so protected by my people,
I felt like a prisoner.
Most of the time I sat on a crystal
in our tallest sacred tree,
all by myself.
Some days felt like an eternity.
But it was still a shock,
the day I realized my skin was soft
and wrinkled like a rotten fruit.
I'd gotten old.
It wasn't fair, I thought,
that my life be almost over,
and I'd never even gotten to live.
But then I discovered a child.
A little girl like I'd been.
I had to use all my power
to relocate my consciousness inside her.
And I was afraid
that I'd fall between bodies,
like falling between a boat and a wharf,
getting crushed in between.
I practiced for a year.
It was still terrifying,
but I committed.
This leap through the air
into an occupied mind.
She was my second incarnation.
Who? The little girl you showed us?
Her parents were so proud.
And our religion was renewed
by this great miracle.
And so, every six or seven decades,
when I felt my current body
starting to fade,
I would select another child.
Each new incarnation,
my powers grew. [CHUCKLES]
Soon I could see inside the minds
of anyone around me.
Read their thoughts. Control them.
And then one day I started to
hear voices from other worlds.
I heard your voice, Gaal.
Calling out from Synnax
more than a century ago.
This crackling intelligence,
just trying not to drown.
It was me who planted the seed
in your head
- that you should leave.
- [GAAL] What?
[STAMMERS] That all came from inside me.
- I solved Abraxas, I
- It doesn't matter now.
We've all ended up where we belong.
[GASPS] What is she doing to you?
- Help me.
- I'm doing this for them.
Once your power is my power,
I can keep our people safe.
What happens to me?
You'll be with me for a time.
I heard that little girl
for several years,
like a voice coming from
the bottom of a well,
growing fainter every day,
till I could only hear the silence.
I still listen for her though,
just like I will always listen for you.
We used to have an instrument,
a very old instrument.
That fussed with people's brain signals.
Changed their mind, so to speak.
These whistles are pieces of that.
They're harmless on their own.
We use them
to teach the children to unvoice.
- But play them together.
[TELLEM] You can't fight me anymore,
The tuning plates are aligning us.
[WAILING] Help me!
Please, you can't let her
[SARETH] We shouldn't stay here, Dawn.
I can't allow Day to rear our child.
I thought I could, but I…
What if Day died?
He's left you in charge.
- They'll just decant another.
- Then we destroy the exponents.
If there are no more clones
to replace him, then…
we would be free.
No, they're
[SIGHS] They're not
just cells and tissue, they're
they're still my brothers.
And even if I could find it in me,
- Demerzel would stop it.
She's responsible
for protecting Genetic Dynasty.
It's in her programming.
But who programmed Demerzel?
[DAY] Terminus waits.
This is my destiny, Demerzel.
[RUE] What is this place?
[DUSK] Whatever its purpose,
Demerzel took great pains
to keep it a secret.
[DAWN] I always thought
we were autonomous,
a pure extension of Cleon I,
that Demerzel served us.
But in truth,
Demerzel may serve only him.
Dusk was right.
We've been pulling too many threads.
I don't think it's safe.
For him or for me.
I don't even think it's safe for Day.
You're all just puppets.
That much is clear now.
answers about Demerzel's origins.
This chamber has been considered
many things,
but at first it was a prison.
Welcome, Cleon XVI.
I've often wondered what you see
while the rest of us are sleeping.
All that we must be missing.
What thoughts haunt you.
A prison for whom?
The three of you.
You don't wield the real power.
Demerzel is Cleon's only true heir.
His forever Empress.
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