The 87th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes begins the fourth and final season by setting the table for future conflict. The episode begins with more development of the relationship between Reinhard and his star admirals Reuenthal and Mittermeyer. On Heinessen, Reuenthal sets out to create an efficient administration that is popular with the people of the former Alliance. Finally, the arrival of Mittermeyer’s wife Evangeline on Phezzan brings back the topic of Reinhard’s need to get married.
The episode begins on Phezzan where Reinhard had fully immersed himself in administrative tasks. He tells Gluck, that they should consider postponing the construction of the new Imperial palace since the stress of repeated military campaigns have put stress on the Imperial Treasury. Also, he says he is fully comfortable with the idea of continuing to live in the the hotel for as long as needed. Gluck, though, asks him to reconsider such frugal living because it would mean that the Kaiser’s subordinates would also have to live uncomfortably. After glancing over at Hilde, Reinhard says he would think about it. The narrator then describes how Reinhard is a typical 24-year-old in regards to his knowledge of things outside politics and military.
With things calming down, it makes sense for Reinhard to be thinking about life outside of work. He’s set about doing Silverberche’s old job now, and is fully immersed in that without thinking about how others are living. After he learned the reason Steinmetz went unmarried, Gluck’s words serve as a reminder that he is an example to others who will insist on living a lesser life than he does.
Mittermeyer walks in and tells Reinhard that he believes it is best to construct Iserlohn-class fortresses on both ends of the Phezzan Corridor to protect the Empire’s interests. While Mittermeyer outlines the construction details, a storm makes its presence known over the hotel. Reinhard interrupts Mittermeyer and begins remembering the time he met Reuenthal, who asked for his and Kircheis’ assistance in freeing Mittermeyer from his imprisonment.
On that night, Mittermeyer refused to eat the food because he joked that his wife would not want to see him get fat. In response to that jibe, an “interrogator” was brought in from the Internal Affairs ministry, who told Mittermeyer that his primary function was merely to torture prisoners. After going through Mittermeyer’s background to him, he said it would be especially satisfying to break him with his electic whip because of his commoner heritage. Mittermeyer tries to dodge the initial strike of the whip, but is struck on the 2nd attempt. After the torturer talks some more about how he enjoys the moment people break, Mittermeyer trips him just as he was about to strike again leading to the whip striking its user.
Immediately, Flegel and three of his henchmen walk into the cell and talk down to Mittermeyer. After Mittermeyer tells him that he embarrassed humanity by using human words as a pig, he is held back by then henchmen which allows Flegel to land several blows. Mittermeyer then talks Flegel into taking his handcuffs off, and he takes advantage dominating the fight. As Flegel orders his men to shoot Mittermeyer, the trio of Reinhard, Kircheis and Reuenthal arrive to rescue their comrade.
In the present, Reinhard tells Mittermeyer that the incident allowed a bond to form between the four of them. In response to the escape, Braunschweig sent them to the front lines of battle, and that allowed them all to rack up numerous accomplishments and victories. Reinhard was finally recognized and given a title and rank of High Admiral, which allowed him to make his move to where he was today. He says it never would have been possible without the actions of Reuenthal and Mittermeyer.
The important thing to remember from this is not that the formation of their relationship is not actually based on a need to help others, it was actually founded on a distrust of a ruler. Reuenthal probably understands this, but Mittermeyer probably believes it was all for a righteous cause.
On Heinessen, Reuenthal was quick to create a government that was both capable and well respected. On the former, he sought to show the people that the frequent gridlock of republican democracy would not be seen in the Neue Land, thus minimizing the call for its return. For the latter, he set out in having those responsible for corruption under the former government arrested and tried. He also allowed a free press and open protests against his government.
However, the return of Trunicht was widely criticized by the people and Reuenthal suspected an ulterior motive for his return apart from serving his homeland. Reuenthal gave Bergengrün an order to have Trunicht under surveillance, but his advisor believed he was making too large a deal out of it. He tells Reuenthal not to destroy himself worrying about someone as insignificant as Trunicht, but Reuenthal says the reason he is having him watched is because he seems like a parasite.
Bergengrün openly wonders why Trunicht was appointed by Reinhard in the first place. Reuenthal, though, is caught thinking about why. Since even in an autocratic government, the ruler cannot kill someone because they don’t like them, he could not do that. So instead, he would rather have him live in shame. Thinking strategically, Reuenthal reckons that Trunicht is supposed to serve as a shield from the Alliance citizens from the Empire. However, he thinks that Oberstein could use Trunicht’s presence as a way of triggering his own downfall. He tells Trunicht that he doesn’t have the authority to kill Trunicht, so he is having him watched. He says he doubt they will have to monitor him for very long, though.
I think Reuenthal is falling into the same trap that Lennenkampt fell into. The possibility of a conspiracy by Oberstein will allow Trunicht to act on it because it is exactly what Reuenthal wants to hear. Unfortunately, Reinhard’s decision has essentially handcuffed him.
The next day on Phezzan, Mittermeyer waited at the spaceport by himself for the arrival of his wife. When she did show up, the two embraced and they quickly try to catch up on the last year apart as they head to a meeting arranged by Reinhard. Initially, it was requested that Reinhard postpone his meeting with the married couple, but he recovered from a fever that morning. After chatting mostly about their relationship and how the proposal happened, they depart with another storm approaching.
The fact that he desired to meet with the pair of them suggests that Reinhard is interested in marriage. Suggests is probably too weak a word here, though. The topics of conversation heavily skew that way. Will Reinhard act though?
Electing to walk home to their new home, Mittermeyer and Evangeline talk about Reinhard. They both believe that Reinhard should marry Hilde, but as Mittermeyer has no authority over anything in the Kaiser’s personal life, he privately dedicates himself to staying out of it.
As it starts to rain, the Mittermeyers run into their new home. Reinhard, is left to wonder about the relationship he and his 3 friends had. Then he remembers Kircheis’ final moments again. On Heinessen, Reuenthal has realized that although his influence is limited to the Neue Land, he is still the second most powerful man in the universe. Reuenthal still had not decided what to do with his power at this point, though.
Thoughts: About the type of episode I expected for the start of the final season. The plot angles are being further established with Reuenthal’s self-destructive nature becoming important quickly. The next part will be to establish what will happen to the citizens of Iserlohn now that they are strategically irrelevant at the moment.