We changed Her Grace Iwatani’s first name at the last moment after realizing we’d already seen her and that her complexion matched her husband’s. It had been “Justiana,” which reads pretty white. There’s no rule that says human names and complexions need to sync up as they do on our world, but we’d already established a pattern with Iwatani, Miyamoto, and even Taro, so it was better to keep it going.

Panel 2 is likely to be my favorite Head-of-House gag that’s not an Annunziata sight gag. It shows us another side to Iwatani. It’s not a terribly admirable side, to be sure, but it does flesh him out a little bit. This is the first time he sort of admits that he can’t have everything he wants: he has to choose between the slow, patient dynastism that he’s been practicing and the wild self-indulgence of his fantasies. As we will later learn, there was a time in his life when he preferred the second option.

Some sociopaths don’t really feel genuine emotion for anyone else, but I’m more interested in (and scared by) the ones who can feel for others and choose the path of power anyway. So I think Iwatani is seasoning his manipulation with some genuine emotion. He does feel grateful, in his way, to the Peacemakers for returning his boy to him. And he probably really does think Rachel sounds remarkable. We know from his dealings with Syr’Nj that he has no trouble showing respect to women of distinction.

It’s just… none of this is going to stop him from setting the Peacemakers up to get killed. It won’t even make him hesitate. So in the final analysis, his better feelings only serve to make him a more convincing liar.