With last week’s episode focusing on the Alliance’s faux constitutional democracy, this week focuses on Reinhard’s past and present within the Imperial Court.
The episode begins with Reinhard’s promotion to Imperial Admiral at the age of just 20. The older members of the military scoff at such an idea, despite the fact he is clearly much better than them. Kircheis also earned a promotion, which leads to a conversation with Paul von Oberstein.
This conversation reveals a bit about the Empire’s past in how it dealt with its population. Due to advances in technology, von Oberstein can see with artificial eyes. His natural blindness would have been catastrophic under former Kaiser Rudolf’s regime and it’s eugenics laws, but he’s been able to climb the ladder in the military to captain.
Kircheis and Reinhard then leave to go visit Reinhard’s older sister, Annerose. The occasion makes Kircheis remininsce about the past and the lives the three of them led before things got to the current state.
Kircheis and Reinhard met when the latter’s family moved in next door. Reinhard’s family was very poor nobility and it led to attempts to bully him at school. Kircheis, clearly enchanted by Annerose, tries to protect Reinhard though it’s not really necessary at all.
Then one day, the two of them come home to find out Reinhard’s father had sold Annerose to the Kaiser, whom she would serve in the Imperial Palace. Annerose said this was done for Reinhard’s sake, but he vows to get her back.
With a gun and a hastily thought of plan, Reinhard and Kircheis try to storm a party at the palace. It falls apart when the former sees a woman who looks vaguely like his sister, and gets into a confrontation with a noble.
The two run away down a steep embankment, and at the bottom Reinhard tells Kircheis that he wants power and the fastest way it can be acquired by becoming a soldier. Kircheis joins him in this venture to end the flashback.
The episode pretty firmly establishes that the two of them are only doing this for the sake of freeing Annerose. They look down on the nobility as separated from the rest of the Empire’s citizens, but they need to get to the top in order to change anything.
Other Thoughts: Surely fountain water on it’s own wouldn’t be able to get the blood off of Reinhard’s suit jacket…I’m hoping for some episodes which focus on the cultures of the Alliance and the Empire, but that might be a few weeks off…Since the battle for Iserlohn is about to start, it’s time for a little interlude: