The 36th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes focuses on the Phezzani plot that has been alluded to in the last few episode. The episode also sees the reintroduction of Annerose as she meets with Hilde. Most importantly, though, is the exposure and the extent of Phezzan’s plot to Reinhard, and what, if any reaction he may have to it.
The episode begins by explaining that no buildings on Odin can be taller than the Neue Sans Souci, not even the Premier’s office. Then it is explained that no one had been given the title of Premier since the 31st Kaiser gave it to himself many years ago.For years, the Secretary of State had ended up with the same powers, but none had given themselves the title of Premier. That changed when Lichtenlade was replaced by Reinhard, who then insisted on the Kaiser giving him the title of Premier.
The events of the episode begin with Hilde informing Reinhard that Kesler has requested an urgent meeting. A little later, Kesler tells Reinhard that an informant said that two former Lippstadt members have snuck into the capital. Those two happen to be Alfred von Lansberg and Leopold Schumacher. Reinhard thinks nothing of the former, but he is impressed at Schumachers former position in the Imperial military despite his commoner origins.
Kesler wonders why the two would leave the relative safety of Phezzan for Odin, but figures they have to be involved in some sort of plot. More worryingly, the two had authentic documentation from the Phezzani government which leads Kesler into thinking that their government would be behind the plot. Reinhard tells Kesler to maintain surveillance on the pair.
After Kesler leaves, Reinhard comments on the raging thunderstorm outside. He says the historians compared Rudolf’s bellows to thunderstorms. He then says that storms are mostly wasted effort that actually do not accomplish anything, much like Rudolf in his opinion. Reinhard vows to be different. He then asks for Hilde’s opinion, in regards to Lansberg.
She says that he his a romantic and that could play some role in his desire to return. Reinhard says that makes little sense considering his age and that he has spent less than a year in exile. She responds by saying that terrorism is the likely motivation. Fighting against all odds against the powerful would motivate someone like him. Reinhard asks if he is a target for assassination, however, Hilde disagrees because with Phezzan behind the plot, Reinhard’s death would mean the economic and political collapse of the nation. She thinks that rather than assassinating someone, the plot probably involves kidnapping someone important. She has three potential targets the first being Annerose. Reinhard reacts angrily to idea of his beloved sister being kidnapped, which leads to Hilde backtracking and saying Lansberg’s ideology would not allow him to kidnap a woman. He would probably choose a more difficult target instead. With Reinhard and Annerose probably eliminated as targets, Hilde names the third; the Kaiser, who fulfills Lansberg’s idea of rescuing him from the clutches of Reinhard and Phezzan’s desire for someone they can manipulate. Reinhard has an idea of who could be the mastermind of the whole plot, and he thinks the informant could very well be a Phezzani agent himself.
Meanwhile, Lansberg and Schumacher are hiding in a Phezzani owned hotel and wait to receive word on when they can carry out the plan. Their host, Grasnov seems suspicious to Schumacher, who follows him out the door. Schumacher confronts Grasnov in an elevator and demands to know what else Commissioner Boltik told him. Schumacher has noticed that reforms in the Empire seem to be having a positive result, and the success of their plan could reverse everything. He wants to know what Phezzan’s real motivation is. He thinks that they could be leaking details of their plan out in the hope that it fails. Grasnov says Phezzan wants him to succeed, and Schumacher says he will make it do so because his comrades on Phezzan are depending on him. However, he wants to hear it directly from Boltik. With Schumacher’s gun pointed under his jaw, Grasnov says he will see what he can do to get Boltik there.
Later, Hilde visits Kircheis’ grave to lay some flowers before heading to see Annerose. Hilde introduces herself as Reinhard’s secretary and before she can actually start a conversation, Annerose has Konrad von Moder come outside. He was the last survivor of the Moder family, and Annerose has been entrusted to take care of him.
Annerose is told that Reinhard ordered more guards to take care of her since she is a potential target for terrorists. Hilde says Reinhard would like Annerose to return to his side, but that he said she probably wouldn’t agree to do so. Annerose says that she has no need for and does not deserve to be guarded. Hilde disagrees, but Annerose turns the conversation to the past. She talks about how their father sold everything to move them to the capital. At first it seemed like they lost everything, but it allowed Reinhard to make his first friend. She remembers the promise she made with Kircheis. He exceeded everything she expected of him and he died, while she lives on.
Hilde appeals to Annerose, asking her first if Kircheis would be happy if she were killed by terrorists. Then, she asks her to think about the living and Reinhard in particular if she were to die. Hilde says that Kircheis died far too young, but asks if it is too soon for Reinhard’s spirit to die. Annerose asks if Hilde is implying that she abandoned her brother. Hilde says that Reinhard needs to know if he still matters to his sister, and that is very important not just to the two of them but to many others throughout the Empire. She again appeals to at least take up the offer of increased protection, and Annerose allows her to do anything she would like that would not force her to leave her villa.
At the Premier’s estate, Boltik has been summoned before Reinhard to answer a few questions. Reinhard asks if Boltik is a full representative of Phezzan or if he is simply running errands. Boltik says on protocol he is the latter, which surprises Reinhard as he had not seen anything that showed Phezzan placed importance on protocol. Reinhard cuts straight to the point and asks what exactly Phezzan wants. Boltik says he’s not clever enough to know, which disappoints Reinhard because he thinks he can see straight through his act. Reinhard rephrases the question by asking what Phezzan would get out of kidnapping the Kaiser.
Boltik is surprised that Reinhard has seen that far ahead. He then tells Reinhard what Phezzan wants. They want Reinhard to control all space and want to help him toward that goal. Reinhard angrily asks why their first act of assistance would be to kidnap the Kaiser. Boltik believes Lansberg will take the Kaiser and flee to the Alliance to set up a government-in-exile. Reinhard will have to respond and subjugate the Alliance. The sooner the better because Phezzan believes a will to avoid conflict will develop over time. In addition, opinion in the Alliance will be divided over the issue.
Reinhard then asks what he is expected to do. Phezzan would like him to control all political and military power while Phezzan would control the financial side of things. Reinhard thinks that is missing one aspect, Phezzan’s political status. Boltik says they would like to continue self-government under Reinhard’s authority.
Reinhard then says the plan relies on the Alliance accepting the Kaiser’s government. Boltik tells Reinhard that Phezzan can take care of that end as well. The potential for Reinhard to look foolish still exists, so Reinhard asks for a pact to be made on one condition, navigation rights through the Phezzan Corridor. Boltik is hesitant to agree and Reinhard begins questioning Phezzan’s intentions. Surely they would let him through if they have the same goal, or do they want the Imperial fleet to suffer massive casualties trying to get through Iserlohn? Reinhard relents and says that Phezzan is merely trying to be involved if 2 of the 3 powers form an alliance.
Back at Annerose’s villa, Konrad von Moder walks into Hilde’s room. He asks why she seems so determined to protect Annerose, and she replies by saying that their way of life will not be disturbed. There are merely more people who would like her protected.
Thoughts: Lansberg commenting on the quality of Imperial beer versus Phezzani beer was worth a thought. Multinational beverage conglomerates are much more common these days, and the example here shows that while the Phezzani people could have access to better beer, their companies don’t deem it profitable enough to do so…Annerose’s vision of Reinhard and Kircheis might be a bit rose-tinted to say the least…For the Alliance, the Iserlohn fortress could come to look like a comically expensive variation of the Maginot Line.