The 86th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes concludes the 3rd season of the series by revisiting Iserlohn. Slightly under 1 million people remain on Iserlohn, but Frederica and Julian have to be content with this being the foundation of a new government. Meanwhile, Reuenthal begins building his administration on Heinessen, while also laying the foundation of jealousy and betrayal. Finally, the new government is announced on Iserlohn, but its continued survival relies very much on the Empire.
The episode begins on Iserlohn where Cazellnu and Julian discuss their present situation. Julian says that Iserlohn has lost its strategic importance because it relied on two opposing powers lying on either end of the corridor. He also says he believes Reinhard attacked the fortress only because of Yang’s presence and nothing to do with strategic value. Following Yang’s death, Reinhard retreated back into his strategic self. After Cazellnu remarks at how similar Julian has become to Yang, Julian says a split in the Empire would be the way Iserlohn would become important again, but they must be prepared to wait a similar amount of time to the 50 years it took Ale Heinessen to escape the Empire. Cazellnu observes that neither Frederica or Julian have an easy task because both will be seen as having taken advantage of Yang to get into their current roles.
By the end of July, almost all of the deserters had left Iserlohn leaving just under a million people on the fortress. However, the ratio of men to women stood at nearly 2:1 with the vast majority of women already married with families. Attenborough saw this as a potential source of conflict between male crew members, while Poplan said that although nearly half of the men would end up losing he would not be providing them with help. Cazellnu, though continued to stress coming up with new ideas to maintain a military structure.
I found the male-female ratio very interesting. It suggests that there is a potential for unrest amongst those men who end up as losers in the relationship game. Continued fighting would probably solve that dilemma, but it is the last thing that they need at the moment at Iserlohn.
On Heinessen, Reuenthal was busy setting up the political and military structures that he would use to govern the Neue Land. On the military side, he had appointed Bergengrün to serve as the Military Inspector-General, much to the displeasure of Knapfstein and Grillpalzer, who would now have to serve under a man they shared the same rank. Serving under Bergengrün would be Ritschl, who served under Steinmetz and had familiarity with the internal situation of the Alliance. On the political side, Julius Elsheimer was appointed on the recommendation of Reinhard with Trunicht serving under him. Coincidentally, Elsheimer was Lutz’s brother-in-law.
Bergengrün discussed Trunicht with Reuenthal, and he stated that he believed it was a bizarre appointment. Reuenthal understood the appointment to be meant to humiliate the former Alliance head, and if he stepped out of line he would be executed. While that may have ultimately been what Reuenthal would have wanted, the conversation turned to what to do about the migrants from Iserlohn. While non-combatants would be allowed to go free, higher-level officers would have to register monthly. Then, Murai’s name popped up on the list and it was decided that he would have to be under constant surveillance. Reuenthal made the calculation that praising Yang would be enough to direct anger toward those who had deserted Iserlohn.
I think it would be rather strange that there would be a worry about anger at the Empire right now. After Trunicht and then Lebello had utterly destroyed confidence in government, I would think that the citizens of the Neue Land would be mainly focused on security more than their own self-determination at this point.
Elsewhere, Boris Konev, Marinesk and Cary Willock talk about their disgust at the situation at how Yang is being used as well as their homeland of Phezzan for the Empire’s gain. Konev then spots De Villier on the street in a crowd of people and the 3 men begin to follow the group of Terraist members. While they are doing so, they talk about Julian’s successes in following on from Yang. While Konev thinks he has talent, he wishes that Julian would be more cunning than Yang. The other two are more optimistic about him though. They stop when they observe the group going into the mansion of Trunicht, with Konev pleased he will be able to witness drama on Heinessen.
Back on Iserlohn, Julian tries to find the will to continue on from Yang by thinking about what his mentor would have done in certain situations. Julian is able to find the irony in the fact that democracy is being kept alive by a personality cult that Yang would have hated, but the fact that Reinhard never defeated him makes his memory live on. Julian, though, wishes that he were still alive even if they were losing battle-upon-battle. Julian later walks over and talks to Frederica, who is struggling with the fact she has her own enforced workload because of her responsibilities as political leader. All she is able to say is that they must create their own principles for action.
At the canteen, Julian is handed a drink by Katerose who says it is a Kreuser family secret recipe to deal with fatigue. After Julian painfully downs the drink, she tells him of her admiration for Frederica and then the length of time she spent with Yang and how much time her mother spent with Schenkopp. Then she told him how she once foolishly asked her why she fell in love with Yang. He speaks of his feeling of not being experienced enough for the job. Katerose understands it, but she says inexperience is something she lives off of comfortably. After Julian thinks that she is indeed Schenkopp’s daughter She says men who take advantage of the lenience of women are the worst.
Poplan observes the conversation from a distance and tells Attenborough about Yang’s luck with women transferring over to Julian. Attenborough seems more concerned with Poplan’s numerous relationships with different women more than Julian’s, though. He tells Poplan that different people have different values.
Call me cynical for the fact that Katerose seems more interested in Julian now that he heads the military operations there, but this really does seem cliche. As a mere ensign, he was supposed to be content with the daughter of one of Yang’s friends, but as he gains power suddenly he seems more interesting to certain women. I guess that is one problem I’ve had with this series is that bar Mittermeyer, the relationships formed seem to rely on someone gaining power before things develop.
Later, a meeting is held to decide the name of the government that heads Iserlohn. Poplan suggests the Iserlohn Commune, but that is rejected by Attenborough because every attempt at a government with Commune in the name had failed. Linz suggests the Iserlohn Republic Government because it would be temporary and he felt that Yang wouldn’t want a creative name. While it would be called the “New Government in August” in some circles, Julian was at least encouraged by the fact that the Alliance was founded by a group that had no famous politicians at the time. Frederica says they should hang pictures of Ale Heinessen and Yang in four places, but nowhere else because it would encourage idol worship. While he would be embarrassed to be held in such high regard, Frederica says he is needed to at least see what happens while his picture hangs.
Finally, 63 days after Yang’s death, Frederica announced the creation of the Iserlohn Republican Government which would stand for the ideals of Ale Heinessen in the midst of the adversity that democracy faced. While those on Iserlohn celebrated the continuation of democratic rule in the universe, the fact remains that only 1 out of every 425,000 people lives under democratic rule.
Thoughts: The third season concludes while focusing mainly on Reuenthal’s government, a plot by the Earth Church and the Iserlohn survivors. These seem to be very much the pieces that will continue the series from this point on. The Trunicht-led conspiracy is almost certain to play a part in Reuenthal’s downfall, but that could make Iserlohn important again in the grand scheme of things.