The 68th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes puts the focus back on Yang and what he must do. Julian and his men deal with a struggle to get back, while events and circumstances begin to dictate what Yang has to do. Eventually, he has to follow what everyone else thinks he will do and head to El Facil. Once there, he begins to plan for the next phase of their plan to fight against Reinhard.
The episode picks up with Julian on Odin right after Reinhard gave his speech from last episode. Hearing the message, Julian and his crew tried to rush back to Alliance territory, but the situation was complicated by the fact that their hotel room was robbed. They were left in unfamiliar territory with no identification, nor did they have the Earth Church data.
Meanwhile, Ernst von Eisenach fleet was entering Alliance space. The “Silent Admiral” has a reputation for being hard to please. A young servant is forced to learn the admiral’s code for which drink he wants based on the times he snaps his fingers.
Back on Odin, Boris Konev surprises Julian and Mashengo when he hands them the data disk. Later, he explains that there are a lot of laid-off military officers who survive through blackmail, receiving bribes and robbing citizens. When Julian asks how Konev got the disk back, Konev explains that although Phezzan is politically extinct, he used his merchant connections on Odin to get the disk. Mashengo says he now sees why Konev was a secretary to the Phezzan High Commissioner, though Konev doesn’t want to be reminded of his time there. Konev then enquires about Poplan’s whereabouts, which Julian and Mashengo do not know.
Poplan, continuing his ways with women, was busy fleeing from an angry Imperial officer after having slept with his wife. As he was running away from the officer’s errant shots, Poplan challenged him to a fight on the battlefield. When he gets back to the hotel, Poplan is scolded by Konev, but Poplan insists on experiencing the pleasures of Odin. Julian realizes it is futile to argue, and Mashengo again says man cannot go against his fate. Julian then says they should probably get going, though they all realize that it will be difficult to find Yang. Konev says getting to Phezzan would be easy, but after that they would be trying to avoid Imperial fleets, though they still don’t know where Yang is. Julian says he knows where Yang eventually has to go, however.
Poplan makes for a nice change of pace in this series in general. While everyone else is generally serious about everything, he is out there having fun and only being serious when it really matters. Mashengo is also pretty good as a straight man in a comedic sense.
On Heinessen, Trung was busy making preparations for the battle with the Empire, while also working on a task that conflicted with his official duty. With that in mind, he meets with Fischer, Murai and Patorichev to give them an assignment. Murai wonders why they have been pulled for this assignment, and Trung hands him something he wants delivered to Yang. It is a contract for 5560 ships to be transferred over to Yang. Trung wants the three of them to bring Yang the contract and the ships. When Murai asks why they are doing that when they should be concentrating their forces, Trung says they wouldn’t stand a chance even if they did. Patorichev asks if they are just surrendering the capital, but Trung says that he and Bucock plan on putting up some useless resistance though Patorichev thinks it sounds like a suicide mission. Murai tries to stay non-committal on the mission, but Fischer is quick to accept while telling Murai they do not have to hide their true intentions. They then accept Trung’s assignment.
Later, Trung has a conversation with Bucock and tells them they accepted the assignment along with Soul. Bucock thanks Trung for all he has done, but Trung insists there would be no Space Fleet without Bucock. Bucock then goes on to say that he should have died at Rantemario, but for Trung stopping him. This only seemed to delay his death by six months, which Trung apologizes for. Bucock says that was good since he could be by his wife’s side for that much longer as he remembers the time with her. Trung goes on to commend Yang for his continued commitment to his belief that a democracy’s military exists only to protect the people. Bucock says that was true at El Facil and abandoning Iserlohn and that history will remember his as an equal to Reinhard. Trung wonders what Yang will be forced to undertake according to his virtue, and Bucock says that Yang is more likely to be defeated by his commitment to his ideals than by Reinhard. Bucock then says he wishes Yang had ignored the ceasefire order at Vermillion for his own sake.
Even Bucock thinks there are exceptions to democratic rules here in his wish for Yang. Also, the montage of Bucock with his wife has me thinking the end is near for the old man.
After leaving Dayan-Han, Yang’s fleet traveled from supply base to supply base, but they were quickly running low on options. On the Ulysses, Cazellnu tells Yang that they have no money left, but he has a proposal. Cazellnu thinks they should use Boris Konev’s merchant connections to try to raise funds. Yang is skeptical at first because he can’t see how investing in a private military operation makes sense. Cazellnu argues that they can see the possibility of Yang defeating Reinhard, so they will give him money in the hope he does so. He also says they will continue to invest so they do not lose on their initial investment though they do not intend to give the money back. With Yang still skeptical, Cazellnu says that the success of the scheme depends on the beauty of the woman. Yang takes a few seconds before realizing that the woman here would be Iserlohn. He then says for that purpose they will be heading to El Facil.
On Phezzan, Odets managed to make it there successfully. However, just as Mittermeyer predicted, he never had a chance to talk to Reinhard on behalf of the Alliance government. In a waiting room, a note was slid under the door to him, which leads him to a meeting that night with a man who has a plan to cause civil war in the Empire. That man is Adrian Rubinsky, who tells Odets they have to create rumors of potential treason within the Empire’s ranks. Since the Lohengramm Dynasty is new, Rubinsky says this will be much easier, they key will be in adding credibility to the rumor. Conveniently, Rubinsky is aware that Odets came from a broadcasting background specializing in public opinion manipulation. Odets understands what Rubinsky wants, and he figures he has nothing to lose.
It’s nice to see Rubinsky re-enter the picture. Considering the way things have been written lately, I would think a rumor involving Silverberche or Reuenthal would be the way to go for Odets. Still doesn’t make him any less of a clown government official though.
The next day at the Drakur bar, the regulars lament the fact that the capital is being painted over in Imperial colors and the loss of their culture to the might of a military power. There is, however, another man in the bar who thinks they should go along with the changes in a positive way. They may have lost their autonomy, but there are still chances to make profit with the large merchants out of the way. Another man sees the potential for dealing in military resources with the campaign against the Alliance underway.
On December 2nd, the Empire’s assault on the Alliance began with an attack on Losiana, which was a manufacturing hub of warships for the Alliance. The base’s commander, Baunsgaard, seeing the approaching enemy fleet orders all navigable ships to be launched with as many men as possible. Desch questions the order, but Baunsgaard tells him to get those ships to Yang while he puts up resistance against Mittermeyer’s fleet. The resistance proves to be fierce, and about half of the Alliance ships manage to get away. With everyone assuming Yang would be heading to El Facil, the ships went in that direction, though it would be about a week later before Yang’s fleet actually arrived.
Yang, though was hesitant to join up with El Facil. To recklessly join up with a force that could not hold it’s own with the Empire did not seem to suit him, but since he needed a headquarters from which to seize Iserlohn, he had no other option. After landing on El Facil he is greeted by Romsky who says he helped Yang during the evacuation. Frederica greets Romsky, and then remembers him as the doctor who took care of her mother. Yang thinks to himself that Romsky doesn’t seem like a bad person before heading off to several press gatherings.
The next morning, Yang puts down the newspapers which hail his arrival on El Facil and says he hates this part of the plan. Schenkopp says he has no choice and it is obvious the leaders of the government would want to take advantage of Yang’s fame. Attenborough adds that it is better for this to be out in the open in a democracy, and if Yang wanted secrecy he would be better working for an autocratic government. Schenkopp then insists that it is better for Yang to go along with this and wave happily to the cameras.
At a press conference, Romsky talks about how important Yang is to El Facil’s commitment to democracy and how this will be the start of a new age. He introduces Yang to the press, and Yang simply states his name and says he is pleased to meet the press before sitting back down. Everyone is stunned for a few seconds before applause breaks out, though Cazellnu is clearly unhappy with Yang.
That’s 2 consecutive posts with bizarre press conferences, though the Giant Killing one seemed to offer actually answering questions. Yang’s 2 sentence statement sums up the fact he doesn’t want to be there more than anything else.
After the press event, Romsky says they need to think of a new name for the government which reflects their ideals. He suggests the Free Planets Alliance Legitimate, which stops Yang in his tracks. He thinks they shouldn’t worry about being a legitimate body and should go with something new. Attenborough adds that using Legitimate Government in the name did not work out so well for the Imperial Legitimate Government. Romsky sees it is bad luck and says he will have to think of something else.
Yang’s Irregulars, though, had now become El Facil’s Reserve Force. Positions were given to Yang’s officers, but they were more focused on their first mission, seizing Iserlohn.
Thoughts: I guess it is only a matter of time before the trap to take back Iserlohn is revealed. Trung and Bucock should face their suicide mission fairly soon. Julian should also see Yang again, and maybe that whole Katerose/Charlotte/Julian love triangle can actually play out as a distraction to everything else. I can dream can’t I?