The 91st episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes focuses largely on Reinhard’s personality and the Reuenthal rumor. With little to do, Reinhard begins to take in the arts much to the chagrin of his admirals. Meanwhile, rumors begin to spread about Reuenthal taking power for himself after a meeting between Lang and Rubinsky. Reuenthal then invites Reinhard to Heinessen, which leads to concerns being raised about the rumors.
The episode begins with Hilde returning to her duties, but never addressing Reinhard’s proposal thus leaving him hanging. As he became more accustomed to administrative work, Reinhard had more spare time on his hands, but never had any real hobbies or interest. He tried riding horses with Emil and Lucke and going out to ballets with, in one instance, Bittenfeld, to try to keep his mind occupied.
While the other admirals could laugh at Bittenfeld’s misfortune, it was having an effect on them. Lutz was called to attend a poetry reading with the Kaiser. Wahlen said these functions would normally be filled by Mecklinger, who had a genuine interest in the arts, and that he hoped to be switched with him before he was called to do something. Mittermeyer has his own concern since Mecklinger once said that as a work of art himself, Reinhard did not need to attend to the art of others since it would only lead to art that pandered to his own interests. Müller then asks Mittermeyer to join him in attending a session of “avant-garde” music, but Mittermeyer excuses himself because he is working on the 2 fortresses. He does tell Bayerlein to ask Reinhard to attend a function because he thinks officers having a broad intellectual interest, like Grillpalzer, is a good thing. In the end, Müller laments that having a war would be better than this, a statement that he would later look back on dejectedly.
Meanwhile, Rubinsky and Lang met to discuss Reuenthal’s upcoming betrayal. Rubinsky says they have to get Reinhard to pay a visit to the Neue Land, close enough to make Reuenthal want to act. Rubinsky also has to assure Lang that any assassination plot will fail leading to Reuenthal’s downfall. Ultimately, Lang would end up ruling the Empire with Rubinsky restored as leader of Phezzan, but Lang acknowledged that his fate was entirely in Rubinsky’s hands. They then talk about entrapping Mittermeyer and Oberstein next after Reuenthal, and after that the rest of the admirals would fall easily. However, when Rubinsky mentions the Mariendorfs, Lang doesn’t see any sort of threat.
Cutting quickly to Oberstein’s office, Ferner tells him that Lang is in contact with Rubinsky. When he asks Oberstein asks if they should leave things as they are, Oberstein raises his hand to suggest to hold off.
Back at his table, Dominique approaches Rubinsky and begins questioning him about Lang. She knows they both need a fire to spread within the Empire’s leadership and that Lang wants to be the one who rushes in to put it out. Rubinsky says that it is a matter of timing on when to dispose of Lang, but they have to seem useful to him before it reaches that point.
Oberstein’s decision not to intervene could prove pivotal. Perhaps he thinks he can get everyone trying to take down Reinhard if he times his move right. That can be my only guess at this moment.
In the midst of all of this plotting, a rumor began to spread of Phezzan. The variants of it revolved around invitations between Reuenthal and Reinhard where the visiting party would be purged and the host would come to take power through various means. Reuenthal’s contacts on Phezzan provided him with information on these rumors, which when read aloud infuriated Bergengrün for their absurdity as one relied on Reinhard being a puppet of Lang and Oberstein. Reuenthal then thought through his own scenario for seizing power by abducting Reinhard and making him move the capital to Phezzan, the major issue for that would be who he would come up against. Reuenthal then says they should issue an invitation to Reinhard, not to test the strength of such a rumor, but because there are issues that could only be dealt with face-to-face.
On September 9, Reinhard received the invitation and then learns of the rumors. The next day, he called an emergency meeting with the admirals to say he was going. Oberstein urged him to stay on Phezzan until the rumors were investigated, but Reinhard insisted that Reuenthal would not try to assassinate him. Mittermeyer then thought to himself that Reuenthal would only engage in fleet battle to defeat Reinhard and not a petty plot like Oberstein would. Then, Oberstein suggested taking a large fleet with him, but Reinhard rejected it because it would only cause panic, and also questioned why he would need to have a massive fleet when traveling in his own territory. Reinhard then asked Müller to travel with him as his chief attendant, before Lutz also asked to join so he could visit his sister, which Reinhard agreed to.
The meeting then continued with the decision on Mittermeyer’s fortresses being made. The Schatten Burg (Shadow Castle) would be constructed on the Neue Land side, while the Drei Großadmirals Burg (Three High Admirals Castle) would be dedicated to Steinmetz, Fahrenheit and Kircheis and be constructed on the side of the old Empire. After the meeting, Bittenfeld states that if another admiral dies the fortress would have to be renamed Vier Großadmirals Burg. Wahlen then compliments Lutz on his strategy for getting picked to go. Lutz can only say that he has lots of time on his hands since he hasn’t had an assignment since Iserlohn. Bittenfeld says he is in the same boat and wonders why he wasn’t selected. The banter between the admirals continues as they talk about Hilde being sick and how it was curious that she would not be going.
Something that’s become more noticeable is the attempt to turn the Imperial admirals into a group similar to the men on Iserlohn. It was probably needed since there wasn’t much known about them until they either died or lost in battle, but they really don’t work for me in that sort of role.
Mittermeyer and Müller separate themselves from the group. Mittermeyer asks if Müller is worried about an attempt being made on Reinhard’s life based on Yang’s assassination. Müller says he is and that he would prefer Reinhard stay on Phezzan, but he wouldn’t given his personality and the rumors. Mittermeyer worries that if Reinhard would be that easy to manipulate, there would only be more attempts made on him. Müller then asks if Mittermeyer thinks Lang is behind the rumors. Mittermeyer can only say it would be likely, but that there would have to be someone backing him. He doesn’t think that it is Oberstein though, because he would have arranged to travel himself to make sure the plot succeeded. Mittermeyer then asks Müller to bring along 50-100 ships to be enough to scare away potential attackers while not threatening Reuenthal. Müller says he will see what he can do, but it relies on Reinhard agreeing.
The takeaway from this is that Reinhard always acts in a predictable manner when it comes to politics and war. The thing that makes him someone to rally around and a great leader in battle also make him easy to manipulate. That he has large numbers of people who realize this and act to protect him while catering to his actions is a testament to his ability to pick people to serve around him. Oberstein, for his part, is probably acting in Reinhard’s best interest as well by trying to eliminate the risk to Reinhard. This difference is really at the heart of the Oberstein versus everyone else conflicts.
Before setting off, Reinhard tells Hilde that he is going to the Neue Land without her. However, when he gets back he requests an answer from her on “that matter.” He then clarifies that he meant his proposal for marriage. Hilde felt relieved at the manner the question was asked and it swayed her feelings in a certain direction. She wishes him well as he leaves while thinking that it couldn’t be helped that she wasn’t going with him. Then, it’s revealed that she dismissed the Reuenthal rumors and completely trusted Müller and the other admirals. She then thinks to herself that she has an opportunity to see Annerose while Reinhard is away.
On September 22, Reinhard left on his visit to Heinessen. He acknowledged Hilde as he began his walk up to his ship. Lutz waved to his fiance Klara as he walked. As the ships left Phezzan’s atmosphere, Reuenthal had to prepare to receive his guests.
Thoughts: Reuenthal’s potential plan is beginning to become more concrete. As a master planner, he has now thought of his opponents and the likely behavior of those involved in his plot to seize power. Hilde, though, seems to be in a different place as she is doing her duties, maybe going back to work was a bad idea without addressing the underlying question. The final scene probably could have been cut out in the end, but 2 minutes of filler isn’t the worst thing in the world.