Episode 27, "A Stormy Night"
Synopsis: As the flashback continues, we see Wolfgang Mittermeyer arrested on Duke Braunschweig's authority. On a stormy night, Oscar von Ruenthal seeks the assistance of then Admiral Reinhard von Müsel and his friend Siegfried Kircheis. The two agree to intercede on behalf of Mittermeyer. Mittermeyer, in the meantime, is slated for torture, but resists his torturer. Braunschweig's nephew, Baron Flegel, arrives and likewise threatens harm to him, but Reuenthal appears with Müsel and Kircheis. Braunschweig's adjudant Ansbach then interferes and disappates the proceedings. Reunthal and Mittermeyer swear their loyalty to Reinhard.
We finally get to see how Reuenthal and Mittermeyer met and came into the confidence of Reinhard (and Kircheis, to a lesser extent). And it involves the boldness of the future Duke Lohengramm and the pure fortitude of Gale Wolf. It's a satisfying tale that also explains some of the special animosity of certain characters towards Reinhard earlier in the story (but later in the timeline).
Now, I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to the source material of this episode. Like I said, the Klopstock Incident and its fallout are from the side stories. Haikasoru (an imprint of Viz) only licensed, translated, and released the ten central books of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes saga, the main storyline, and as far as I can remember (I have the books, but I'm not going to browse all of them right now), the plot of this episode is also not in the main books, and may also still be part of the same short story. I have a little more confidence we'll be returning to the third book in the next episode, with "Reformer", which likely refers to Reinhards reforms as the acting head of state of the Empire.
Boy, Duke Braunschweig and Baron Flegel were even bigger douchebags than depicted previously. We really see how entitled and ruthless they are here, completely hostile towards anything but their own authority as aristocrats. It's like Merkatz has said last season, they were mentally ill, victims of generations of privilege. But it didn't mean that they were clear of responsibility for their behavior. They ultimately met their end because of their bloody-mindedness and stubbornness. Flegel was especially an unstable, violent, spoiled brat of a man, and it was quite pleasing to see him get undone, both here, and when he finally died. Mittermeyer headbutting him and then Reinhard point his gun at his heart were real highlights of the episode.
Brauschweig, meanwhile, was so volatile, Military Chief of Staff Ehrenberg, himself part of the old order suggested that the Duke avoid dishonoring himself by acting as if the whole incident never happened. In return for this dismissal, Ehrenberg sent Reinhard off to the front lines. Which was fine with Reinhard, who was aching to prove his meddle in fleet battles, which he did.
I really appreciated the part at the end when they flash forward again and name the various members of Reinhard's inner circle. It was as if it was reintroducing us to the Empire's central characters, while also introducing some newer ones that we would see throughout the rest of the story. It was like the introduction of a new age.
Overall, another solid episode.
4 out of 5