Episode 30, "A Single Fine Thread"
Synopsis: In the Domain of Phezzan, machinations are set in motion, as Adrian Rubinsky plans to move his support to Reinhard in hopes of taking control once he unites humanity. This surprises the representative of the church of Terra. Rupert Kesserling is sent out on behalf of Rubinsky to plant the seeds for the upcoming conflict, including drafting former Imperial officer Leopold Schumacher and former noble Count Alfred von Landsberg for the scheme.
Adrian Rubinsky plays puppetmaster in this episode, pulling strings here and there, but will all the players dance as he wishes? We'll just have to see.
All of the events in this episode are, again, set up for events down the road, which means it wasn't a particularly thrilling entry, though the political maneuverings were somewhat interesting in a calculating way. What we have here is the majority of Chapter 3 of the second book, including a little of Chapter 4 (the part where Schumacher and Landsberg are brought into the plot). I expect the next episode to cover the rest of Chapter 4, including perhaps Heinrich von Kümmel, Mecklinger, and the call to Yang for the inquiry.
Phezzan is like some kind of libertarian free market utopia, with most things dedicated to business dealings. The government is held in contempt, as are insitutions like religion. Because of the accumen of its people, the planet has enjoyed a great economic and technological prosperity and the people value free speech and the value of a good rumor. But most of the people are unaware that the economy of Phezzan, and its people by extension, are really the playthings of the Terra cult, who want to use Phezzan's economic power to manipulate the major powers in the galaxy and bring humanity back to Earth.
Rubinsky is giving a lot of trust to his assistant, Kesserling, who feels comfortable speaking freely of his opinions to his superior. At one point he oversteps slightly, but nothing significant is made of it. Rubinsky is confident enough to delegate without believing he can be outdone by his own subordinates. And he has them do a lot of dirty work, like getting rid of people like Nidhogg, who was spying for Oberstein. Dominique Saint-Pierré herself was involved in the "accident" that killed Oberstein's spy. We haven't seen much of her since the first season and I guess they wanted to expand her role a little.
Anyway, a middling episode, because there wasn't much to chew on, but everything's setting up for the oncoming storm of activity. I'm looking forward to the inquiry adaptation.
3 out of 5