The 4th episode of The Duelist concludes in rather contrived circumstances. Reinhard spends time depressed over the duel, when suddenly his opponent wants another chance at him. While Benemunde worries about closing loose ends so she isn’t discovered, Reinhard puts work in on improving his skills with a sword. The final duel comes, and while the conclusion was never in doubt, the duel itself leaves plenty of questions.
The episode begins with Littenheim and Helksheimer who have come around to thinking that it was best they got half of the mining rights as they could find a way to get the other half later. Benemunde, meanwhile, was worried about their plot being revealed by their assassin since they had not heard from him in 10 days. Her butler vowed to take care of that problem whether Reinhard was killed or not.
Elsewhere, a depressed Reinhard had nearly recovered from his injuries as Kircheis tried to encourage him. He was caught up by the fact that he tried to help his sister only for her to run to the Kaiser to save him. Kircheis realized the mental wounds were deep, but he had to leave. Soon after, Reinhard was disturbed by an arrow which broke through the window. Attached to the arrow was a challenge for another duel from the assassin. Reinhard took it as an opportunity to lift the depressing feelings that had fallen over him.
Kircheis later returned, while Reinhard was doing a terrible job covering up the damage from the arrow. Reinhard then proposed getting some practice on his fencing skills using the end of the duel as an excuse for training for the next one. Reinhard also did some research on sword fighting at the library, where he was particularly impressed by a style of swordsmanship shown by the inhabitants of a certain eastern country on ancient Earth.
The library bit seemed a bit over the top, especially when it comes to later in the episode. That particular style of fighting would have no relevance to this, but then of course they force it to be relevant.
The day of the duel arrived with Reinhard and his assassin meeting in snow-covered forest with swords on horseback. The assassin says his excuse for continuing with this feud was because he could not get work after their first encounter. They took their horses in opposite directions, then got to the business of fighting with Reinhard noticing that the assassin was not fully healed and must have been under strict orders for him to be doing this.
Kircheis had followed Reinhard to the forest without his knowledge and was prepared to ensure Reinhard was not killed. He then noticed Benemunde’s masked butler was there with a rifle with a similar goal.
At about that moment the assassin succeeded in tackling Reinhard off of his horse. Then it became dual fights as Kircheis began fighting the butler, but the butler got away when Kircheis was distracted by the sound of snow falling off a nearby tree.
Reinhard’s fight continued more evenly than their first encounter, but then his sword broke. The assassin then went in for the kill, only to have Reinhard catch the blade. He kicked the assassin away, then demanded confirmation that Benemunde had hired him. The assassin refused, and as Reinhard walked away, the assassin pulled out a crossbow and shot himself with it. The assassin said he couldn’t live with being defeated in a duel by an amateur and died before he had a chance to give Reinhard an answer as to who hired him.
And this was just silly. With just a little bit of research on samurai, you too can be able to catch a blade coming at you.
With the duel over, Reinhard went back to his horse and noticed signs that Kircheis had been there. Back at their apartment, the two of them made comments back and forth as to their own indirect knowledge of what had happened without actually talking about the duel itself.
The episode ended with the bond between the two of them stronger, as the narrator noted, and the whole incident had no affect on their promotion track to the top.
Thoughts: What was that? The last line by the narrator pretty much summed up how much this story meant, nothing. I must be in the worst 5 week period of Legend of the Galactic Heroes watching that is possible. It appears The Retriever, or any of the multiple names I’ve seen of it, is the next story up. Maybe this one won’t be as bad.