The 85th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes returns to a focus on internal Imperial politics. Elfriede’s child looms large in this episode as Lang and Rubinsky begin to make moves to oust Reuenthal. At the same time, Lang’s work becomes the focus of the admirals with Mittermeyer and Lutz standing out in particular. Finally, Reinhard must wrestle with his relationship with his sister after announcing the move of the capital to Phezzan.
The episode begins with Mittermeyer enquiring about the status of Elfriede on Phezzan. He is angered to learn that she has escaped with the child and no one has really investigated her whereabouts because they were investigating the terrorist attack that killed Silverberche. Mittermeyer can only say that Kesler would have had her apprehended by now before hanging up. His mind then turned to the child, and the fact that he and his wife had not been successful in conceiving one in 8 years of marriage.
On July 1, Reinhard arrived on Phezzan and was stunned to learn that the Internal Security Department of Lang had captured those responsible for the terrorist attack. This earned Lang a promotion and a cash reward that he donated to the welfare department. Immediately, this was seen by many as an act of hypocrisy, but it was fairly consistent with his way of living. Interestingly, he had always donated to charities and educational facilities most of his life anonymously, but this was not known until after his death.
These little tidbits filled by the narrator sometimes complicate matters. Lang to this point has seemed like a bad guy almost the entire way through. The donations to charity suddenly cloud matters, and for all we know he could be thinking he is doing what is best for the Empire in much the same way Oberstein does.
Six days later, the state funerals were held for Silverberche, Steinmetz and Fahrenheit. With Oberstein’s coordination, the ceremonies were executed flawlessly to the point where Bittenfeld thought that should be his sole position. At the same time, Lutz told Holtzbauer that he had decided to get married, but that he couldn’t do it this year because he was supposed to be in mourning. When asked who he thinks Lutz is marrying, Holtzbauer jokingly suggests the nurse that took care of him, only to be shocked when he confirms that is who he will be marrying.
Later, several of the admirals talk over drinks about what they will have to address next. Since Silverberche’s and Yang’s deaths were both caused by terrorism, Mittermeyer suggests a number of groups who would resort to such tactics. Wahlen, meanwhile, vows to make sure that he sees the end of the Terraist cult. Bittenfeld also holds doubts as to the motivation of the Internal Security Department.
Lang, meanwhile, meets with Rubinsky to discuss a variety of issues. The former Phezzan ruler laments that he was not given the opportunity to simply hand over Phezzan to Reinhard and had to be forced into hiding. Lang, goes along with the charade, but thanks Rubinsky for his help in providing evidence for apprehending the terrorists. Rubinsky then pulls out a hologram containing a picture of Elfriede and says she is a mentally ill woman who thinks she is part of the Lichtenlade clan and says she gave birth to Reuenthal’s son. Lang realizes the implication and tells Rubinsky that he will recommend him to Reinhard only after he succeeds in destroying Reuenthal. Lang then prepares to hear Rubinsky’s first plan.
Lang is probably meeting with Rubinsky because he doesn’t necessarily see him as much of a threat at the moment. The fact that he seems to know vital information about Reuenthal further convinces him that there is some way to bring the admiral down. I’m not even sure it is a personal vendetta against Reuenthal anymore, but he is simply convinced that Reuenthal must be plotting something.
A few days later, Boltik was arrested for suspicion of being an accomplice to the terrorist attack. The fact that he was injured in the attack was considered suspicious by the Internal Security Department. While jailed, he was poisoned and died, though officially it was considered a suicide.
After hearing the details, Lutz is concerned that his own injury in the attack could prove a foundation for being accused of being involved in the attack since there was no concrete way to prove he wasn’t involved. He tells Holtzbauer that he is worried that the Reuenthal affair has opened up the possibility of one official running amok with accusations and toppling innocent people, but he to take care of Lang before his influence can spread. For that he asks for Kesler’s assistance on Odin.
Dominque asks Rubinsky what the motivation was for trusting Lang and having Boltik killed. After enquiring as to whether she is willingly being ignorant, he tells her that the goal was to have Lang be responsible for the death of an innocent man. He would be able to use this incident as a way of keeping Lang in line.
Dominque walks out of the room to check on Elfriede and her son. Dominque tells her that Reuenthal will soon be involved in a plot of high treason, and being able to command a fleet will not be able to protect him. Elfriede says that is exactly what she wants and Dominque says that getting her son to hate his father will be difficult if he dies too quickly. Elfriede then asks for milk and diapers for her baby, which Dominique agrees to provide.
Dominique walks back toward Rubinsky and discovers that he is having a seizure. It is revealed that these are becoming more frequent with Rubinsky having to down a large number of pills to calm down. He refuses to see a doctor, but Dominique says it is the curse of the Grand Bishop and Kesselink. Rubinsky at least acknowledges the possibility of the Grand Bishop having supernatural powers, but Dominique says if he did he would curse Reinhard. Rubinsky refutes this by saying that the Kaiser has been sick with increasing frequency.
As much as Elfriede seems to be determined to cause Reuenthal’s downfall, it seems that Dominque may be determined to do the same to Rubinsky. This will probably take a few more weeks to confirm, but I’m not so certain who is in control of that relationship anymore.
On July 22, Reinhard officially announced the transfer of the capital from Odin to Phezzan, which meant that nearly all government officials would be transferring to the new capital by the end of the year. While Mecklinger would remain behind, there were many families that would be able to reunite with loved ones for the first time in many months. Hilde would be able to see her father for the first time in about 10 months, but this did not prevent her from asking Reinhard if he was going to ask his sister to join him on Phezzan. Reinhard at first gave an official answer questioning her involvement in matters of court politics instead of the military before he gave her his real answer which said Kircheis’ grave was on Odin, and he had no right to move the places where the dead lie.
Later, Reinhard received what appeared to be an absurd request from Trunicht, which Reinhard immediately decided to accept. He wished to serve under Reuenthal in the Neue Land, and Reinhard felt that it would be easier on Reuenthal if the Alliance citizens had an outlet for their frustration like Trunicht. Hilde pleaded to give Trunicht a different position away from the former Alliance territories, but the Kaiser did not budge. Reinhard was stunned when Trunicht immediately accepted and questioned if the man had any shame. Reinhard vowed to deny him any future appointments on this basis.
The appointment caused ripples within the military as well. Mittermeyer was worried that there might be some plot to entrap Reuenthal. Büro raised the possibility of Oberstein being behind a plot, but questioning the Kaiser’s personnel decisions would bring more problems. He would go through Bergengrun to draw attention to the matter.
Meanwhile, Ferner discusses Trunicht’s move with Oberstein. He thinks it is curious that Trunicht would agree to such a move as well as the Kaiser’s rationale for making the decision. Oberstein stands firm behind the decision saying that it is a way of cleaning house along with the move to Phezzan. Ferner comes to think that Trunicht will be serving to expose harmful elements within the former Alliance territories before Oberstein dismisses him. After the meeting Ferner wonders what will happen when all of the harmful people have been removed. He wonders if they will go after Oberstein, then he realizes that Oberstein already knows that is a distinct possibility.
I was thinking at this point that Reinhard could have just sacked Trunicht for having no shame. It is his government after all. However, it seems that rather than make Reuenthal’s job easier, it will simply make it impossible. Reuenthal could see the appointment as a betrayal by Reinhard, or he could be viewed as incompetent by the citizens of the former Alliance territories simply for having Trunicht as his right-hand man.
At the end of the day, Reinhard sits down and remembers a time that his sister told him that he had to be the light in the midst of a power outage. Reinhard believed that his sister would always be there to help him, but now thought that the moment she was unable to help him was her call for help. He knew that he had an infinite debt to repay her for all that she had done for him.
Thoughts: This was really more of an episode that set the stage for everything. Lang and now Trunicht are involved in plots to take down Reuenthal. Whether they both involve Rubinsky is another question. On the other hand, there is some tragedy that Reuenthal can so easily have a child with a woman that Mittermeyer hates, while he himself is unable to have one of his own.