The 62nd episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes focuses on Yang’s escape from Heinessen. Lebello is told of an ambitious plot involving Lennenkampt, which leads to close combat in the stairwell of Lennenkampt’s hotel. Ultimately, things do not go exactly to plan and Yang and his men are forced to improvise on several parts of their return to space.
The episode begins as tension builds in Heinessenpolis. Yang, Frederica, Schenkopp and Attenborough are riding in a transport when Yang asks why he was broken out of imprisonment. Schenkopp says that he was interested in learning about what happens when law-abiding men are broken out of unlawful imprisonment. Yang thinks about it and discovers that he is being bugged, but then asks Schenkopp what he would think if he actually did seize power like Schenkopp always tells him to do and his character changes. Schenkopp says that Yang would then just be like any other man, and he will just become another man who will make life harder for future history students. Schenkopp says that he may as well go along with the plan first before getting into those details, and Attenborough adds that Yang owes a debt of gratitude to them for saving him and he also owes nothing to the Alliance government now. Yang says that sounds like a threat and he believes Schenkopp and Attenborough are too optimistic in thinking anyone could live with both the Alliance and the Empire as enemies. By the time the night is over, Yang thinks he could very well be dead. Schenkopp admits that is very much possible, but that he would rather die as a rebel serving under Yang, and he thinks his descendents would be happier as a result.
Yang thinks about it for a second before his stomach growls. Frederica grabs a picnic basket and hands Yang a sandwich before giving him some tea, which she confirms after Yang asks, contains brandy. Attenborough sarcastically asks if they are in the middle of a picnic, and Schenkopp says a picnic would be more fun than this.
They arrive at an abandoned building and walk into a holding cell containing Lebello, who immediately lists the laws that Yang has broken thus far before demanding his release. Yang nervously scratches his head before Lebello asks if Yang has any demands. Yang asks for the truth, before changing his mind knowing that would be futile. He then requests that their group is guaranteed safety for a certain period of time. Lebello says he can’t do that for enemies of the state. Yang then says he has no choice but to sell out the nation to the Empire. Lebello asks if Yang has no shame because of all of the things he did as an admiral. Schenkopp interjects and says it is interesting that a nation can sell out an individual, but the reverse can’t happen. Yang asks if Lebello will go along with their proposal, which he reveals involves taking Lennenkampt hostage and leaving the planet, which Schenkopp says would be easy for them. Yang then asks that the Alliance not pursue them and to act as though they were threatened not to do so. Yang says he will take responsibility for the riots and he asks Lebello to go to the Empire and ask that they go after him. Yang also adds that he would like those who served under him, but are not involved to be protected from punishment. Yang says if he agrees Lebello would also be released. Lebello sighs and states that he will not apologize for taking the actions he felt were appropriate in securing the future of the Alliance. Yang takes that as implied agreement. When Lebello then asks when he will be released, he is told after they have taken Lennenkampt.
I don’t know if I should be referring to Lebello as a pragmatist or not in his role as Prime Minister. He is prioritizing the survival of his country over any morality or laws. His hypocrisy on the Schenkopp’s observation becomes relevant later.
The next morning, the Rosenritter men are up early to scout the Shangri-la hotel. Bagdashu tells Schenkopp that he should be worried about the people in the Alliance going back on their word. He says Lebello isn’t the man to worry about, but anyone else high up who says yes, since that is a default answer when there are no options. People like that will go back on their word whenever the situation changes to favor them. Schenkopp says that he is more worried about Yang’s attachment to the Alliance’s commitment to democracy, but Bagdashu points out that Yang would not get his pension back now, and he’s been forced out on his own. Schenkopp asks if Bagdashu has given up, and he replies saying it is one of his best traits and that was best illustrated when Schenkopp saw through his plan two years earlier. Shortly before they set off to the hotel, Schenkopp says they will go with a frontal blitz before Blumeheart tells him that the hotel is surrounded by troops. When asked for a suggestion by Schenkopp, Blumeheart points down at the ground.
At the hotel, Lennenkampt asks Ratzel if Steinmetz’s fleet has moved, which it hasn’t. Lennenkampt says that is good because he says it is important that the situation is contained by the units that are already on the ground. Lennenkampt then prepares to order a lockdown of the city from a few minutes later when there’s an explosion in the building. The Rosenritter had used underground conduits to get into the basement of the building and climbed up the elevator shafts before cutting the elevator cars loose to prevent reinforcements from arriving. They also tried to blow up all of the stairways leading up, but were unsuccessful on one of them. Blumeheart tells Schenkopp that it was the eastern stairwell and they head off in that direction. When they arrive, Schenkopp is quickly able to deal with an Imperial soldier who had charged at him before Blumeheart advises him not to lead from the front. Schenkopp dismisses the advice because he believes he has 115 more years to live in his 150 year life and a fierce hand-to-hand battle ensues in the stairwell.
With his side firmly in control of the skirmish, Schenkopp tells Blumeheart that he now has responsibility for getting Lennenkampt and to take 10 men with him. He tells him to also act quickly because time is the most valuable part of the mission. With the numbers more even in the stairwell, a young soldier charges at Schenkopp and his attack is parried. Now prone, the soldier is asked by the Schenkopp if he has a lover; he says he does and is merely pushed back down the stairs by Schenkopp, who realizes he has bought valuable time.
I think this skirmish was interesting because rather than fighting another guy wearing a facemask, he’s up against a kid who forgot to drop his down. Even Schenkopp can’t bring himself to kill someone who appears human. Having loved ones to further humanize himself ultimately saves the soldier from being another number for Schenkopp’s personal body count.
Blumeheart arrives near Lennenkampt’s quarters and is informed they can’t use zephyr particles because they are being fired on continuously. Blumeheart orders them to charge into the room because their exit routes may be sealed if they hold their position. The guards are quickly defeated and Lennenkampt is isolated in one room. A Rosenritter soldier opens the door and is shot through the head by Lennenkampt before he is captured by Blumeheart and another soldier. Lennenkampt asks to be killed, but Blumeheart won’t let him have the privilege and he says he is only interested in Lennenkampt’s living body. Lennenkampt believes that means he is being used as an exchange for Yang, but Blumeheart says that Lennenkampt should be honored to be considered at the same level as Yang. Lennenkampt is then gagged as Blumeheart reemphasizes the importance of time. Lennenkampt is lowered down an elevator shaft along with the rest of the Rosenritter as Saam arrives with reinforcement to protect Lennenkampt much too late. Saam asks where Lennenkampt is before an explosion is heard and he is told that because of their method of escape they are unable to follow.
Back at the abandoned building Blumeheart unties Lennenkampt, who asks him if he is part of the Rosenritter, and if so if he feels he is betraying his fatherland. Blumeheart says his grandfather was a republican who was arrested by the Imperial government and died during interrogation. His grandfather was just dissatisfied, so Blumeheart says the only way he can go back is to retaliate. He then tells Lennenkampt there is someone he has to meet. The door opens and through it walks Schenkopp, then Yang and behind him Lebello. At this point, Lennenkampt realizes he has been sold out by Lebello. Later, Lennenkampt thinks that he can no longer go back, and he can never show his face to Reinhard again. He then notices that the rope used to restrain him was left on the floor of the cell.
It is certainly easy to see how this situation will now ultimately play out. Also, it is interesting that Lebello at least appears ashamed at having sold out another man to save himself, it is after all what Schenkopp said in the last episode about all politicians doing that in the end.
Meanwhile, Schenkopp dumps a tied-up Lebello off in a park before heading back. At about the same time, a Rosenritter soldier walks into Lennenkampt’s cell to discover the Imperial Admiral had hung himself. Schenkopp returns and Bagdashu whispers something to him before they head to the cell. Blumeheart tells Schenkopp when he arrives that he never expected him to commit suicide. Schenkopp says he never would have let Lebello go if they knew this would possibly happen. He says that his death will be kept secret except to those who have to know.
Yang is then told the details and says that they will have to negotiate as though Lennenkampt were still alive. He thinks to himself that he will be going to hell for this one act alone. Frederica then says they could apply makeup to him so he will appear to be unconscious, Yang says that is a good idea, but wonders who would want to do that. Frederica volunteers herself because she says a woman would be a better fit for the job. As Frederica gets to work on what she hopes will be the only corpse she ever has to apply makeup to, Yang comes in to apologize. Before he can say anything, Frederica says that she has no regrets and that she has been happy during the 2 months they’ve been married. With Yang around, she thinks her life will always be interesting. Yang confirms she wanted an exciting married life before leaving. He then thinks to himself if heading toward a death without dignity is worse than living a life without dignity.
I think Yang is eventually going to just live his life rather than just worrying about whether he is doing the right thing. I think that is easier when options are being eliminated by doing things like fighting both the Alliance and the Empire simultaneously.
The next day, Yang’s men overran the spaceport and prepared to go into space to meet up with a ship commanded by Attenborough. Cazellnu is called and he is quick to join up with Yang despite being offered a promotion to stay on. Lebello decides to bring Bucock back because Yang could potentially still have a use for him. Lebello also realized that he was going to quickly be deemed a villain by future historians, as the 2 men who were meant to be perfect working together were never going to work.
Thoughts: Attenborough wearing the pirate outfit in space was certainly out of place, though not entirely inaccurate considering what will happen next. It looks like next episode will be revisiting Julian on Earth, so hopefully there is some action, or at least Poplan and/or Mashengo doing all the heroic things.