The 64th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes marks a return to Imperial court politics in a way. The aftermath of the events on Heinessen lead to divisions within the Imperial government, seemingly pitting Oberstein against the admirals. At the same time, Yang begins planning for the next phase of resistance against the Empire, while Julian plans a trip to an unexpected location.
The episode begins on Earth as Julian looks at the vast mountain of rubble that now serves as the burial ground for so many followers of the Earth Church. Boris Konev says it is tragic that the cheapest parts of religion are the lives of its followers. He then changes the topic to Yang and says that Julian has told him that Yang is not like that in how he treats his worshippers. However, Yang probably realizes that being a soldier is a cursed existence, so he wouldn’t want Julian to worry about such a thing. Instead, he should critique the military from his position.
Further away, Poplan says he is amazed at the number of older people willing to rush in and protect Julian. Mashengo says that it probably has to do with Julian’s virtue, but Poplan dismisses that due to Julian’s lack of affairs.
On his ship, Wahlen praises Julian and Poplan for their assistance in dealing with the Church. He then asks Julian if there is anything that they would like in exchange. At first, Julian says they would like safe passage back to Phezzan. Poplan nudges him and tells him to be Phezzani and start making demands. Wahlen asks if they need compensation, and Julian says they will have to take account of damages. Wahlen says his fleet has to leave quickly, so Julian asks for a trip to Odin because he says his men have never seen the Imperial capital. Wahlen sees no issues with this request and agrees.
Outside the ship, Poplan compliments Julian for successfully making such an audacious request. Julian says he simply wants to broaden his experience as Yang repeatedly emphasized to him. He says this represents a chance to see conditions in the Imperial capital, and traveling with the Imperial fleet means there should be no problems getting in. Poplan adds that there are a number of Imperial women worth seeing on Odin.
It is fairly hard to see where Julian’s choice of destination plays in the scheme of things. Surely the battlefield will be somewhere in Alliance space, which makes Odin about as far away as possible.
Back on Odin, news of the destruction of the Earth Church made it at the same time as news of the unrest on Heinessen. Müller takes a call from Ratzel on July 30th to hear his side of the story. Ratzel states his belief that Lennenkampt instigated the unrest through his actions, and ultimately tarnished the Reich. Müller asks if he can prove it in court, and Ratzel says he believes he can.
Prior to a meeting of the admiralty, Müller tells Mittermeyer what he heard from Ratzel. Mittermeyer says that it was rather small-hearted of Lennenkampt to do what he was alleged to do, but adds nothing else.
As the meeting gets underway, notably missing Reinhard who is ill, Müller presents Ratzel’s case to the rest of the admirals and Lang and asks for a decision to be reached that serves not only the governments involved, but also the people as well in determining responsibility. Mittermeyer jumps in to say he agrees with Müller because the Kaiser cares about protecting the people from those who treat them unfairly. He says that if Yang has been framed, then they should work to clear him. Oberstein disagrees and says that there was a necessity to guard against a future plot by Yang, and to do this in secret could have been necessary. Mittermeyer angrily disagrees and says that it goes against the principles of the new government and makes it no different from the Goldenbaums. Their actions in using force against someone as popular as Yang have only clouded things, and he wonders how future generations will look upon them.
Oberstein retorts by bringing up Mittermeyer’s actions against Lichtenlade. Reuenthal jumps in and defends their actions against Lichtenlade as a fair fight and entirely necessary. He says the Yang is different in that they are fighting a retired soldier who is now married with charges of a crime he didn’t commit. He asks Oberstein if that is really what the Kaiser would want. Mecklinger says if they want cooperation with the Alliance, they should reach out to Yang and tell him to stop causing military problems, before sending out a team to investigate the charges and Mecklinger volunteers himself to go to Heinessen to sort things out.
Oberstein tells the admirals that they are missing the point. They are focusing on the anonymous tip and charges, when they should be looking at Yang’s abduction of Lennenkampt. He asks if they are willing to ignore that crime and trivialize the Kaiser and the Reich in the process. Mittermeyer restates that the major issue is Lennenkampt taking the tip at full value which led to everything else that transpired. He says they should put everything out in the open and over time deal with the damages.
Lang interjects and says that this affair will damage the Kaiser. Punishing Lennenkampt alone would reflect badly upon Reinhard’s leadership and administration. He asks that they tread lightly on this matter. Reuenthal angrily yells at Lang. First in pointing out that he has ignored formalities in this meeting in saying he speaks for the Kaiser. Second, Reuenthal wonders why Lang is even attending a meeting meant for High Admirals and higher, since he is the Minister of Internal Affairs. He demands Lang leave the meeting, or Reuenthal will kick him out himself. Lang looks over at Oberstein, who tells him to wait back at his office before angrily walking out.
The reaction to Lang’s comments by Reuenthal are classic stuff. One has to think that Oberstein has been manipulating things to give Reinhard a great enemy to fight in a reborn Yang. The methods aren’t exactly ethical, but Oberstein has never cared about ethics anyway.
Later, Oberstein walks into his office as Lang stands up and says he’s never been so shamed in his life. Oberstein walks to his desk and sits down before pointing out that Reuenthal’s line of argument was likely the correct one. He says it shows the rest of the admirals are concerned that Lang is too close to him. He made a mistake in allowing him to attend the meeting, and when Lang apologizes, Oberstein says that he doesn’t mind being hated, he just doesn’t want to be presented with new problems. Lang still says that Reuenthal was overaggressive toward him, and he asks to monitor him. Oberstein quickly says that Reuenthal’s achievements are at a different level to Reinhard’s trust of Lennenkampt, and that he should use that as a reference in gathering evidence against Reuenthal. Lang vows to bring Oberstein incontrovertible evidence before Oberstein leaves.
Meanwhile, Reinhard lays in bed attended to by Emil, who says Reinhard has been working far too hard recently. Reinhard says he is surprised that his body is so frail, but Emil says he would be in a much worse state if he had to deal with Reinhard’s workload. He says that Reinhard shouldn’t work so hard, and the Kaiser responds by jokingly asking if Emil wants him to slack off. Emil says that he meant nothing of the sort, but he says that his father told him that the strongest flames burn out quickest. Reinhard thinks that Emil doesn’t understand that it is the thought of smoldering without accomplishing his goals that frightens him. Emil then suggests that Reinhard find a wife, then start a family. Reinhard says that having security around just him is hard enough, but throwing in a family would make it much too hard for them.
Wenzel von Hasselbeck walks in and says Oberstein has returned with a decision from the High Military Council and seeks his approval. In another room, Oberstein reports that a number of the council were pressing for an investigation, but he says it is his opinion to make preparations for military action against the Alliance since they seem unable to govern. Reinhard says appointing Lennenkampt was his mistake, before commenting on the lack of talent some people seem to show when he isn’t constantly monitoring them. Oberstein points out that they could now move in and completely conquer the Alliance, but Reinhard angrily rejects the move. For now, Steinmetz will take over Lennenkampt’s role, and he will be allowed to suppress any disturbances with appropriate force. In addition, Reinhard wants someone sent to negotiate with Yang for Lennenkampt’s release because he wants to hear his side of the story before dealing with Yang himself.
Oberstein is dismissed, and Reinhard begins to think about how he felt when he heard the news. He thinks he was exhilarated by the fact Lennenkampt had failed. He wonders if he is just a ruler who thirsts for blood, before asks himself if seeking dignified wills and intelligence is all there is to ruling because he learns more from each new conflict.
Two days later on Earth, Wahlen’s fleet sets a course for Odin along with the Undutiness and its crew. Julian pulls the disk of data obtained from the Church and says it is their only souvenir. It should be useful in clearing Yang of any charges, but not necessarily in rooting out the rest of the Church he says to Poplan. Julian also wonders if it really is the end of the Church.
I’m fairly certain it isn’t the end of the Church, unless this arc was a waste of time. Actually, we know that at least one of the higher priests escaped, though the Grand Bishop is likely dead. Plots can still continue though.
At the Dayan-Han supply base, Schneider updates Merkatz on Yang in stating that they are definitely heading to them. Merkatz agrees with Schneider’s suggestion that they simply wait for them to arrive before asking if they know the location of Kaiser Erwin Josef. Schneider says there’s been difficulty obtaining information on him and Merkatz raises his hand to say he understands before walking to a window and stating that his greatest wish was the restoration of the Goldenbaum Dynasty. He then goes on to say that leading Yang away from war and finding Erwin Josef are the two remaining causes left in his life.
Meanwhile on the bridge of the approaching Lada II, Frederica works on planning for battle as Yang silently thinks of the overall situation. Schenkopp, meanwhile laments at how Yang seems unwilling to play the part of hero for their cause. Cazellnu says Schenkopp’s thoughts are like a teacher thinking about a student who didn’t turn out well. Schenkopp says that he had initially planned on becoming a teacher, but hated doing homework. Schenkopp responds by saying that Schenkopp certainly likes to give homework out.
Yang simultaneously thinks the states of the Alliance and Imperial governments are weak. However, a battle can’t be fought on military strength alone since logistics, organization and morale come into play. He laments at the lack of time he has to prepare. They need to have Lennenkampt’s death announced at the right time, otherwise the Imperial military will be all over them.
Cazellnu says he is surprised at how well Schenkopp orchestrated things considering the lack of intelligence he had. Schenkopp says it could have had to do with the Alliance government not thinking ahead, or it could have been his whimsical orchestration. Attenborough scoffs and wants to know why he is letting them know now. Schenkopp ignores that and says he is convinced that there was a conspiracy in the government, and an internal power struggle he wasn’t faithful to.
Yang continues to think and starts to believe they never should have left Iserlohn if the situation was going to turn out this way. They could have used the fortress to build a fledgling democracy, and negotiated autonomy from the Empire.
Cazellnu asks Attenborough if he regrets how things turned out, and Attenborough responds by pointing out that because of the consequences of serving under Yang, he became an admiral at age 32.
Yang continues thinking and believes because Phezzan knows about the Empire’s plans, they will be subjugated.
Cazellnu then asks Schenkopp and Attenborough what Frederica is doing. Attenborough says she is compiling information on Merkatz’s and their fleets, so Yang can plan for battle at any time. Cazellnu says this shows some people are better at some things than others, and that Frederica is better at what she is doing than cooking for Yang. Schenkopp says the real problem is with Yang in that they regard him highly, yet he takes naps on their watch. Cazellnu asks Schenkopp if it really means he is annoyed that he has gotten involved.
Yang thinks about sending Boris Konev home and gaining the support of the merchants. Attenborough says Frederica and Yang have come up with good battle plans, but they haven’t thought about what happens after. Yang continues his thought and says that plan relies on them meeting Julian’s ship. They need a base for that, so he has to meet with Merkatz and set up a chain of command. Attenborough jokes that they are not a rebel fleet, and are more a group of wayward sons. Yang looks up and asks Frederica for some tea before lamenting aloud at the fact that his planned 5 years of no work turned out to be just 2 months.
Back on Odin, Reinhard dictates the terms of the transfer to Phezzan to Hilde. Count Mariendorf will stay as regent on Odin while the military and diplomatic arms of government will move to Phezzan. High ranking officers will also go with him, with the exceptions of Kesler, Mecklinger and Wahlen. Reinhard says he plans on arriving on September 17th, with Mittermeyer leaving ahead of them on August 30th. Hilde thinks at this point that Reinhard is craving battle in everyone of his words. She worries that he may have risen too far, too fast, or that he needed to meet an enemy like Rudolf to give his life meaning. Reinhard reads over the message and kindly says the letter may be a little on the harsh side. He tells her to add that the transfer to Phezzan will be permanent.
On August 8th, Reinhard publicly announced the move of the capital to Phezzan, ending the stalemate between Phezzan, the Empire and the Alliance. The move also caught Reuenthal and Mittermeyer by surprise. Mittermeyer says he believes it is a cover to launch an invasion of the Alliance. Reuenthal thinks about what Elfriede will do, before Mittermeyer tells Reuenthal that he believes Reinhard’s biggest mistake was in appointing Oberstein. Mittermeyer sees Oberstein as someone who will eliminate those he disagrees with one-by-one, which will lead to fractures in the Dynasty. Reuenthal agrees and says the rift between Reinhard and Oberstein is the thing most worrying to him. He says he wonders what will happen if their views disagree at any stage. Reuenthal then thinks he used to plan to seize power and that he had a method for that, but the interaction between Oberstein’s manipulating and Reinhard’s policies leaves him nervous.
The episode ends on August 13th with El Facil’s declaration of independence from both the Alliance and the Empire.
Thoughts: I think it was interesting at the end that Mittermeyer is now saying the Reinhard is making mistakes, even if it is in private just to Reuenthal. The declaration of independence has to be part of a grand Yang plan or lead to a likely overreaction from the Empire, I would think. Since Merkatz brought it up, the location of Erwin Josef will eventually have to be revealed.