Episode 24 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes returns to the coup by the National Salvation Military Council (NSMC) on the Alliance government. Yang had defeated the 11th fleet and was well on his way to ending the coup, which happens to be exactly what happens in this episode.
The episode begins with Yang’s fleet rapidly approaching Heinessen, and receiving reports of rebels who wished to join Yang’s side. Yang, though says they can’t place their trust in people who switch sides so easily because they have all been produced by a military culture that creates people with immovable ideals. That in turn led to the NSMC being formed with a belief they could not lose because of the ideals they held.
On Heinessen, the NSMC holds out hope that the Artemis Necklace will protect them from Yang’s fleet. Yang already has a plan for destroying the Necklace, but he doesn’t want to put the billion citizens of the planet at risk by destroying it with nothing to follow up. First, he wants to use Bagdashu to disseminate a little information he can’t actually confirm at this point. He wants Bagdashu to transmit a message to all of Heinessen that says Reinhard and the Galactic Empire are behind the whole coup. Bagdashu is surprised that he is being asked to lie, but Yang says that what he will say is fact even if he can’t prove it.
Bagdashu’s message on why he changed sides, and his allegation of Imperial involvement hit the airwaves. The NSMC are furious at the traitor, but even they can’t believe they are involved in one of the Empire’s plans. That is until Arthur Lynch shows the Council the plans he received from Reinhard including his future position in the Imperial military. Dwight Greenhill is surprised and also angry at Lynch for being exactly the person the rumors said he was.
At this point, Yang commences his plan to destroy the Necklace. Inspired by the nation’s founding story of Ale Heinessen escaping in ships disguised as ice, he attaches engines to blocks of ice and has them accelerate up to near light speed. Under his understanding of relativity, the ice would have near infinite mass at that speed and would destroy the necklace without hitting the planet or killing anyone in the process. The plan works just as expected, and the NSMC’s last line of defense is eliminated.
Greenhill realizes the plot is up, though Evans tries to convince him to use the population as hostages, but Greenhill refuses. He wants those who want to surrender to Yang to do so, but he insists they destroy all evidence of an Imperial plot. Unfortunately, Lynch kills him. The rest of the NSMC take care of Lynch, though and Evans transmits a message to Yang.
Evans begins by saying he is the acting head of the NSMC after Greenhill took his own life. The news is an obvious shock to Frederica. Then, Evans argues that they did the right thing by attempting to change the political system, but Yang tells him they were despots because they took away the people’s civil rights. The two argue over corruption and rights, but neither ever compromises before the transmission ends.
Yang’s fleet restores order on Heinessen as soldiers are permitted to rejoin their old regiments. Evans ultimately took his own life and his body is being transported along with Greenhill’s before Schenkopp stops Louis Mashengo and asks him to do an autopsy.
Frederica, meanwhile, mourns the loss of her father. She relives all the good and some bad moments between the two of them, including her career in the military and his eventual decision to lead the NSMC.
Yang finds Bucock and gets him up to date on the events since the two last met, while Julian is confronted by Truniht and the Terraism cult members who kept him safe. Truniht wants to meet Yang again, and Julian, knowing how well the two don’t get along, is hesitant but asks Yang anyway. Yang knows he has to and is immediately caught in a photo-op. He is later furious that he is once again being used by Truniht to preserve the latter’s power.
Then, he receives word that Merkatz has arrived from the Empire and wants to take refuge. He arrives at Iserlohn and is asked to surrender his weapon, but Cazellnu knows his intentions are good. Later, there is a debate on allowing Merkatz to join Yang that revolves around Merkatz’s family. He left them in the Empire as he didn’t have an opportunity to get them as he fled. While there are questions as to whether the Empire can use them as hostages, Yang sees this as a good thing as he would have brought a fake family if it were a trap. Yang then talks to Merkatz, and agrees to take him in.
In the final scene, Yang shows some concern over Frederica, but she dismisses it before leaving as Julian walks in. Julian expresses some of the same concerns over Merkatz’s family, but Yang says he thinks the Empire’s civil war is probably over with Reinhard now able to exercise complete control over his nation. He wouldn’t need such a cheap trick and would instead come straight at Iserlohn.
Thoughts: Well the ice missiles were something completely unexpected, though I have serious doubts over whether it is actually possible…This seems like a good time to end the season on the Alliance side. I can’t see much more happening, while there is still drama on the Empire’s side…The Terraism cult now has influence over the heads of the Alliance and Phezzan, how long before they show up in the Empire?…The women in this series don’t seem to need much time to mourn over deaths, there’s significance in that somewhere.