The 28th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes provides a little more background on the admirals who serve under Reinhard, particularly the duo of Mittermeyer and Reuenthal. Also, the next stage of combat against the Alliance begins to take shape, while internal politicking begins to take a toll on some characters.
The episode begins with Reinhard examining Oppenheimer, a noble who had sided with the Lippstadts, but was now saying he had no choice because he was related to Littenheim. Reinhard accepts the reasoning and allows him to return to his previous position, but first Oppenheimer presents him with a gift. It is a painting by a famous Imperial artist, but Reinhard admits he doesn’t know the first thing about art. He wants Mecklinger to send it to a proper museum, but Oppenheimer insists the painting is for Reinhard alone. The painting is now viewed as a bribe by Reinhard, and he asks Kißling to arrest him. Oppenheimer then questions how he could have retained Streit despite how close he was, while arresting him to which Reinhard responds that he is much more resourceful and talented.
The arrest now leaves the position of Chief of Military Police open. Reinhard wants to install Kesler in the job despite the Military Police having their own standard for choosing who leads them. He thinks they need an outsider to lead them and orders Feldewelt to take care of it. Now alone in his office, Reinhard wonders if this is what it is like to take power and why no one seems to understand him. He looks at his picture of Kircheis and gets the confirmation he thinks he needs that he is doing the right thing.
Theodore von Lücke enters the room and informs Reinhard of the events near Iserlohn. Reinhard curses Yang for forcing an Imperial withdrawal, before heading off to a ceremony to promote three more men into his admiralty. Kempf apologizes for being defeated and ending Reinhard’s winning streak, but Reinhard tells him that one victory will more than make up for it.
Then, there is a little background on Mittermeyer and Reuenthal, the twin stars who head the rest of the admiralty. Mittermeyer is from a middle class family whose father believed becoming an expert was the way to advance in society. His family took in a young girl named Evangeline whose father had died in battle and seemed to idolize Mittermeyer. As he advanced up the ranks, she would always be there to welcome him back. Later, he encountered Reuenthal for the first time in the middle of a bar fight. The two bonded instantly, their relationship cemented with a beers as they sported bruised faces.
One day, Mittermeyer in an inspired mood decides to buy flowers, a cake and a ring and proposes marriage to Evangeline. She accepts as his father cheers him on from a distance. The two are wed and their happy marriage continues to this day, though without children.
Reuenthal, on the other hand, tends to look down on women. He has a history of short-lived relationships with women who he effectively uses before abandoning them. Only Mittermeyer understands why Reuenthal acts the way he does.
Five years earlier, the two were in a hopeless situation on the ice world Capuchelanca. Having killed too many enemy soldiers, they looked set to accept that they could no longer surrender, but they were saved by reinforcements. As the two celebrated their escape back at the bar, Reuenthal began to talk about his views on women.
Reuenthal had come to view them as creatures who lived only to betray men. His father, who could barely be considered a noble, had lived as a bachelor until he was 40, but was in great financial shape. An acquaintance set something up with his mother, who was part of a much more elite family, but in financial ruin. His mother’s family used his father’s wealth and the age difference between the two created a rumor that she had a secret lover.
In the middle of this Reuenthal was born. His two different eye colors, the blue eye matching both of his parents eye color, and the brown eye matching the alleged lover. One time, his mother looked set to stab him in the eye, but stopped herself as she was caught by a maid. She later killed herself. His father became an alcoholic after his wife’s death and constantly reminded Reuenthal that he wished he had never been born.
As Mittermeyer prepared to lecture Reuenthal about his views, Reuenthal fell asleep. The next day, Reuenthal wants Mittermeyer to forget anything he said as he was drunk. Mittermeyer, though, says he remembers nothing. To this day, the topic has never come up again between the two.
They come across Anton Hilmer von Schaft in a corridor. The Inspector General of Science and Technology is eager to meet with Reinhard, and leaves quickly. The two admirals wonder what exactly he has accomplished in his six years at his post. However, he does have something worthwhile. He proposes an attack on Iserlohn with another fortress. Reinhard wants conditions that they can construct a new one nearby without Alliance interference, but the plan is actually to attach engines to Geiersburg and move it to Iserlohn.
On Phezzan, Kesselink and Rubinsky talk about the Empire’s plan. There is a need to unify space, and just the fall of Iserlohn will not be enough. Rubinsky wants Yang pinned away from Iserlohn for long enough for the fortress to be captured.
Reinhard appoints Kempf to head the operation with Muller as vice-commander. The move is a surprise to Bittenfeld who talks over drinks to Muller, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer. They believe Oberstein engineered it in a way to prevent Reuenthal and Mittermeyer from officially becoming Reinhard’s number twos. They talk about Reinhard’s shifting appointments before Muller says Streit is the next to be promoted. Muller says Oberstein is meekly accepting the move.
The conversation then shifts to a dog Oberstein picked up. Muller says he picked up an old dalmatian who eats only boiled chicken, and Oberstein goes out in the middle of the night to pick up meat for the dog. Bittenfeld comments on how Oberstein can only be loved by a dog as he is one himself.
Meanwhile, Reinhard talks to Hilde about the state of the Empire as the two ride in a car. She says that the country has recovered financially from the civil war, but the political situation is far from stable. She believes Reinhard should be more concerned with internal politics than resuming conflict with the Alliance. Reinhard says that he is leaving the military duties up to his subordinates, and he has no plans to leave Odin.
Back at the bar, Reuenthal talks about a theoretical battle he would have with Bittenfeld. The latter would have the initial advantage, but Reuenthal would ultimately come out of it as the only one standing. Mittermeyer brings the conversation back on topic by saying he can’t believe someone like Schaft, with no combat experience, would have a plan approved by Reinhard. He says that this battle will be useless if the Alliance is not destroyed this time because misusing soldiers is not healthy for a nation. Mittermeyer realizes he is now in a position where he has to constantly consider his arguments. Then he asks Reuenthal to change his ways.
At the Prime Minister’s mansion, Reinhard talks about the Kaiser. The young child has dozens of attendants, but is effectively powerless. Reinhard could have him killed off, but keeping him alive is the better option, something Oberstein agrees with.
The episode ends with the beginning of the operation to take Iserlohn. Nobody knows what the future holds for all involved.
Thoughts: A rather interesting contrast between Mittermeyer and Reuenthal was established here. It’s always nice to have some detailed background on someone other than Yang or Reinhard…Continuing off last episode, Reinhard’s managerial style is nearly opposite Yang’s. While Yang tries to get consensus amongst his subordinates before acting, Reinhard acts leaving his subordinates constantly off-guard and perplexed by some of the moves as though he is trying to play politics…Mittermeyer’s sudden impulse which carries him from casually walking down a street to proposing marriage was completely unexpected for a series like this, but is totally in line for someone nicknamed the Gale Wolf.