Inverse Codex

Foundation Season 2 release date, plot, cast, and trailer for the Apple TV+ sci-fi epic

After a big leap forward into the future, the cast of Foundation tease what’s next in Season 2.

Future history isn’t what it used to be. Although the premise of Foundation is focused on predicting the future, the Apple TV+ series has been anything but predictable. Taking strands from the famous and influential Isaac Asimov novels of the same name, Foundation Season 1 ended by pulling various disparate plot threads together to result in two big cliffhangers. Here are the big twists, the clues for Season 2 from the books, and what some of the cast thinks of the journey so far. Spoilers ahead for all of Foundation Season 1.

Foundation Season 1 ending, explained

Although there’s been a lot going on this season, the actual finale came down to basically two major storylines

  • The revelation that the clone emperor dynasty — the Cleons (Lee Pace, Terrence Mann, Cassian Bilton) — has been corrupted.
  • And, finally, the meeting between Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) and her biological mother, Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell).
Gaal arrives back on her home planet, 138 years after the series began. Thanks to cryo-sleep, she’s still basically in her twenties. Apple TV+

Like the intricate and paradoxical nature of the series itself, one cliffhanger is slightly horrifying while the other is hopeful. But, both suggest that Foundation Season 2 will take place in an unprecedented future at least 138 years beyond anything established in Season 1.

That said, thanks to a lot of clones, computer simulations, and a lot of people hanging out in cryo-sleep, many of the characters from Season 1 can reappear in Season 2. Plus, Foundation has established many times now that just because a character has perished, that doesn’t mean we won’t see a lot more of them.

Foundation Season 2: Demerzel’s revelation

Demerzel (Larua Birn) gets her robot face out.Apple TV+

One character who will certainly reappear in Foundation Season 2 is the near-immortal robot Demerzel (Laura Birn), who, in the Season 1 finale, follows her programming and murders a “defective” Cleon clone (Cassian Bilton). Then, in a fit of guilt, rips off her own face, revealing her robot skull.

We’ve known Demerzel was a robot all season long, but the journey she’s been on is probably the one that will define Season 2 the most.

“I think he will be around for a long time,” Birn tells Inverse. “I think she believes she's lived long enough to kind of find her humanity and, and hold on to that.”

Earlier in the season, it was revealed that despite her (secret) robotic nature, Demerzel is a believer in the religion known as “Luminism.” In the episode “The Missing Piece,” Demerzel is comforted by the religious leader Zephyr Halima (T’nia Miller) and told that despite being a robot, Demerzel does, indeed have a soul. But, because Halima publicly asserts that the Cleon Emperors are literally soulless (because they’re clones), she becomes a political enemy of the Cleon Dynasty, Demerzel’s bosses.

Demerzel (Laura Birn) and Zephyr Halima (T’nia Miller) in Foundation.Apple TV+

“I think Halmia recognizes Demerzel as a sister of cloth, of the faith,” Miller tells Inverse. “She gives her a part to complete. I come back. It’s fine. Don’t feel guilty. I think she leaves Demerzel empowered.”

Because Halmia runs afoul with the Cleons, Demerzel is forced to murder her too. However, because it’s poison and Demerzel just leaves the room, we don’t actually see Zephyr Halima perish. Could she return next season? Or some future decedent of Halima also played by T’nia Miller?

“I don’t know. Let’s see,” Miller says. “Let’s leave it at that. For now.”

What’s the plot of Foundation Season 2

Gaal (Lou Llobell) and Salvor (Leah Harvey) on the surface of Synnax in the Foundation finale.Apple

In one of her voiceovers at the start of the series, Gaal mentions various names, including “The Mule.” While we don’t see “the Mule” in Season 1 of Foundation, this character will almost certainly appear in some way, shape, or form in Season 2.

In the second Foundation novel — Foundation and Empire — the Mule is basically a mutant villain who disrupts the Seldon Plan through telepathy and ruthlessness. In the Asimov universe, those who can use mindpowers to control others are called Mentalics. Much later in the novels, members of the super-secret “Second Foundation” (teased this season) all have this ability.

While Foundation Season 2 will first and foremost be focused on those two cliffhangers — the future of the Cleons, and Gaal’s and Salvor’s team-up — it almost certainly introduces the Mule. This could give Season 2 a more traditional structure, insofar as everyone might be concerned about the same thing at the same time.

When the show began, creator and showrunner David S. Goyer told Inverse, that because Asimov’s books never actually “got to the end of the 1,000 years,” the series could, in a roundabout way, complete the entire story.

To that point, in the novels, the character of Demerzel eventually appears on Earth (in the novel Foundation and Earth), previously believed to be a legend in the Foundation galaxy. In Season 1 of the show, Salvor’s father mentions Earth in passing, indicating that at this point, people still aren’t sure it’s even real. Could a search for Earth be a focal point of Season 2? Maybe.

Who is in the Foundation Season 2 cast?

Lee Pace as one of the clone emperors, Cleon.Apple TV+

The following cast members are all-but-confirmed for Foundation Season 2

  • Lee Pace as the Cleons
  • Laura Birn as Demerzel
  • Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin
  • Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick
  • Jared Harris as Hari Seldon

But, because of the time jump, beyond that, it’s not entirely clear. Because Hugo (Daniel MacPherson) took the giant warship Invictus to a secret location near the Foundation on Terminus, it’s possible he could return for Season 2, also. (It wouldn’t be the first time he’s extended his life through cryo-sleep.) But, because of the intergenerational nature of Foundation, we just don’t know who will appear in the next season, or how many years it will span.

Is there a Foundation Season 2 trailer?

As of yet, Apple TV has yet to release a trailer for the next season.

When is the Foundation Season 2 release date?

Back in October, Foundation was greenlit for Season 2. A release date has not been confirmed at this time, but sometime in late 2022 is the best bet.

Foundation is streaming now on Apple TV+.