Episode 46, "Operation: Ragnarök"
Synopsis: Julian confers with Admiral Bewcock and Schneider on Heinessen before heading off to Phezzan. He gets a chilly reception from the FPA Commisioner, but comes to appreciate the planet's liveliness and prosperity. At a welcoming party, Julian passes along the rumor that Phezzan's government is selling out the Phezzan Corridor to the Empire, which stirs the partygoers. He's confronted by Rupert Kesserling, who issues a thinly veiled threat. Later, Kesserling visits Bishop Degsby of the Terra Church and blackmails him. On Odin, Reinhard announces the name of his operation to punish the FPA and government-in-exile: Ragnarök.
Things are moving along here as Julian finds himself in a precarious position on Phezzan, Kesserling continues to plot behind Rubinsky's back, and Reinhard readies his troops for his expedition against the Alliance. We're getting to all the big fleet battles soon, but this episode had a different kind of combat.
This episode covered Chapter 7 of Book 4 of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes novel series. Again, aside from minute details, it's pretty much a straightforward adaptation, with a little bit of Chapter 8 toward the end. From Julian's dream about preparing breakfast for Yang, to his recalling his conversation with Bewcock on Heinessen, to recalling his conversation with Frederica back on Iserlohn, to his and Machungo's arrival on Phezzan, to the party where Julian is confronted by Rupert, to Rupert blackmailing Degsby, to Julian regretting how things at the party went, to the Empire about to launch into battle, this episode covers all the important plot points, and most of the dialogue, from the chapter. The only notable difference I can tell is that Kesserling is much more confrontational with Julian in this adaptation.
Julian's having a difficult time of it. The military command and government resents Yang, so him by extension, so he's being treated as a nuisance. Because he carries Yang's thoughts and ideas with him, he meets a lot of resistance. He tries to compensate for his lack of Yang's foresight and cleverness with boyish charm, which gives him an "in" to sow the seeds of doubt at the party, but Rupert Kesserling sees through him and takes the wind out of his sails by pointing out that Julian is basically just conjecturing. So his attempt to get the Phezzani public on his side doesn't seem to be going so well. The problem is, like Yang, Julian is really just one person, and while the Yang fleet makes an awesome force to be reckoned with, isolated, Julian can't do much on his own.
Bewcock already knows this before Julian has a chance to try. He acknowledges that while Yang is prescient, he doesn't have the authority to act in a way that would prevent the thing that is about to happen. And philosophically, he shouldn't have that authority, even if he could. A democratic republic is one governed by civilian politicians, chosen by democratic method by the civilian citizens. The problem here, then, is that the government of the Free Planets Alliance is more concerned with holding its own power than it is serving its citizens.
Meanwhile, Kesserling is plotting his father, Rubinsky's, downfall. Apparently he and Dominique gave the inexperienced Bishop Degsby all the pleasures that the world could offer until it was no longer pleasurable, leaving him a burnt out husk of a man. Drowning in booze and hard drugs, Degsby is vulnerable to Kesserling's insidious plan. I don't know how much help a drugged up clergyman would be in replacing Rubinsky and taking over the Earth cult. Maybe he plans on getting Degsby cleaned up before they try. And what kind of prize is it to have control of Earth, which like Degsby, is also a burnt out husk? I don't think Kesserling is being as clever as he thinks he is.
Reinhard is about to launch Operation: Ragnarök, assigning his high officers to their positions for the expedition. Naturally, the two with the key roles are Mittermeyer (vanguard of the entire operation) and Ruenthal (distracting the Iserlohn fleet). Honestly, I think Reuenthal will have the most difficult task, since he has to go against Yang. I mean, I don't think he's expected to take Iserlohn, but even distracting them for too long should be a tough task.
Perhaps we'll actually see some fleet action in the next episode.
4 out of 5