The 99th episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes sees the resolution of a few plot strands amidst a look into the future. Mittermeyer returns to Phezzan and the somber mood of Reuenthal’s end is replaced by the future of his son. At the same time, Reinhard finally gets an answer to his proposal to Hilde. While the Terraists continue to plot, a rumor leads to the ultimate fate of young Erwin-Josef and Lansberg. Finally, with New Year’s approaching, the festival returns to Iserlohn, even if only for a few days.
The episode begins with the return of Mittermeyer to Phezzan. His arrival is a somber one, and Müller acknowledges the mood in his greeting. Mittermeyer and Bittenfeld went immediately to Supreme Headquarters for a debriefing with Reinhard, after that Mittermeyer was summoned back for a meeting with Reinhard alone.
Reinhard asks Mittermeyer if he remembers the meeting at Linburgstrause with the four of them. After Reuenthal’s death, only the two of them are left alive. Reinhard then orders Mittermeyer to stay alive because no one else would be able to teach military tactics, and more importantly, Reinhard would lose another friend. Tears welling up, Mittermeyer acknowledges that order and left while believing Reinhard was fighting the same urge to cry.
In the last episode, Bergengrün believed that Reinhard was heading down a road to loneliness and despair. Mittermeyer’s interpretation of the mood here suggests that Reinhard was very much aware of that and needed to change course.
With Heinrich and Reuenthal’s son accompanying him, Mittermeyer went to the Mariendorf estate to talk to Hilde. He asks for her assistance in persuading Reinhard to let him take care of the child, since the child could be subject to punishment for Reuenthal’s actions. Hilde points out that since the son is illegitimate the law wouldn’t apply, so he could take care of the child. Then, after laughing a little, Hilde wonders if Evangeline would feel the same. Mittermeyer then realizes that he never did ask her opinion because he thought she would feel the same. He then says he plans on asking Evangeline if Heinrich could also join their family since he recently lost his parents. Mittermeyer thanks Hilde, but then she asks him as the treasure of the Empire to continue to protect Reinhard. Mittermeyer is humbled saying his talents do not compare to Kircheis or Reuenthal and that he had survived by luck. Nonetheless, he says his loyalty to the Kaiser will not waver, and he will serve him to the fullest extent.
Mittermeyer returns home and calls out to Evangeline to come see him at the door. Holding Reuenthal’s son, Mittermeyer is asked which cabbage patch he got him out of. After taking the child off of him, she says that it was Reuenthal’s and that Hilde had called her before he arrived. She says that she will happily be the child’s mother on the condition that she could name him. Mittermeyer has no issue with that, and the child is named Felix. The couple knew the name meant happy in some ancient language, and Evangeline was holding onto that name for a child that would possibly never be born. Mittermeyer is satisfied with the name and as he holds Felix in the air, he thinks that someday he will tell him about his real father, a proud man who bowed only to one man. Then, after sneezing outside while holding baby supplies, Heinrich is let in by Evangeline.
Back at the Supreme Headquarters, Reinhard sits down for tea alone with Hilde. He nervously points out how the weather has been cold, then asks her if she is coming down with a cold. She responds by saying that would be especially bad for the child she is carrying. Reinhard slowly glances back at her for confirmation of what he thought he heard. When she blushes, he understands and then once again asks her to marry him because he has realizes how important she is to him. He goes on to say that she’s never given him bad advice and she is too good a woman for him before trailing off. She looks up and accepts the proposal if he is willing to accept her. They both nod in agreement, with Reinhard looking especially happy.
Hilde then remembers the conversation she had with Annerose, where the latter thanked Hilde for loving Reinhard. She says that her brother would be happy with Hilde by his side. With his older’s sister’s blessing, Hilde thanks her, before the action returns to the present as the two happily embrace. Hilde knew Reinhard’s virtues and flaws, and that even the flaws were valuable on their own.
So, do we finally have a time when Reinhard calms down. The recognition that Mittermeyer and now Hilde are important people to him should mean that he no longer feels a need to put them in danger. Whether he’s able to do that is an open question.
The second half of the episode begins with the remaining Terraist leaders arguing over their course of direction. Despite killing Yang and Reuenthal, the death of Trunicht and the fact that Reinhard was getting married and Hilde carried his heir was killing their plans. De Villier insisted that all was on track even if the child was born because it did not necessarily help the Kaiser.
Meanwhile on Heinessen, a rumor was being floated that stated that “the Kaiser is dead.” Wahlen asks Hauff if the rumor means Reinhard is dead, but Hauff says the rumor implies that Erwin-Josef is the one who had died. He goes on to tell the story of the rumor, which began a month earlier when a man had been arrested in the town of Cramhorse on Heinessen.
The man was cornered in a building by several Imperial officers. Once inside of his room he glanced over at something bundled under a blanket. The officers quickly closed in and broke into his room. The man fought them off, but was eventually subdued. One of the officers then moved the blanket to reveal the body of a child wearing noble clothing. The officers begin questioning the man on who’s body that was before he eventually reveals that it is the Emperor.
Hauff goes on to reveal that the man was Lansberg and he had kept a log indicating that Erwin-Josef had died 8 months earlier of starvation. Lansberg had spent the time since then running with the body. Wahlen comments on how sad a death it seems, then asks what happened to the body. Since no one claimed it, it ended up in the public catacombs while Lansberg was sent off to a psychiatric facility. Hauff asks if Wahlen wants to see him, but the answer is that it would be a waste of time. Resources were limited and there was no point trying to look into a relic of the past.
On Iserlohn, Boris Konev brought news of the whole affair. At the same time, while many praised Julian for not becoming involved in a battle that year, some wondered whether the next year would see him recognized for entering one. While Julian himself thought there were battles ahead, a growing part of him felt that he could become something other than a soldier.
Preparations for New Year’s were well underway at the fortress. Cazellnu couldn’t help but think that they were still in mourning for Yang, but Frederica said that her husband would not begrudge a celebration among friends. Julian arrived on the bridge and Attenborough and Poplan asked him if they could take the stage next year, but Julian jokingly said they would get a better answer from Reinhard. As Julian looked around and noticed how little the festival atmosphere of Iserlohn had changed even if the people were different. Karin then arrived and directed Julian toward Frederica and the Cazellnus. The two flirt a little before heading over in their direction as Schenkopp looked on.
The 3rd year of the new calendar began, and the new year would see Reinhard married in January and it would go on to determine if the period of peace would last.
Thoughts: This was probably one of the most positive episodes in tone that I could remember, well apart from the Terraists and the dead body. The ending narration discussing the coming, and presumably last, year of the series will probably prove vital to the future. With the legitimacy of the crown secure, Reinhard should be able to completely control the future direction the Empire takes. The stance he takes regarding Iserlohn will determine whether peace reigns or everything falls back where it was.