Mark Watches ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’: Episode 7

In the seventh episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Elric brothers are disappointed by what they find at the Central City library, but are surprised by someone they meet in the process. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.


  • Seriously, the very first shot post-opening credits is of the burned down National Central Library. Hey, we got hope in episode six! Let’s crush it in the first second of episode seven. So evil. SO EVIL.
  • Then Gluttony and that woman show up, go after Scar, WHO TRANSMUTES GLUTTONY’S ARM!!!!!!, and there is an explosion, and Scar is hurt? How is all of this happening in the first five minutes?
  • Calling it: Colonel Mustang’s ambition is going to become a major plot point in the show.
  • Oh, hey! Some more Riza, but not a whole lot.
  • More Hawkeye, please?
  • Seriously, I love that there are so many secondary characters in the state military! I get the feeling that we’ll examine the military’s culture and hierarchy at some point, especially since things are already so dense. “Hidden Truths” introduces us to 2nd Lt. Maria Ross and Sgt. Danny Brosh, who take Armstrong’s place as security for the Elric boys. They provide humor and commentary on the events here, and it’s a nice addition to the cast. (I hope they’ll show up again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see them again.)
  • But the best part of “Hidden Truths” is Sheska, who I adore. There are so many things they could have messed up about her character, but the writers treat her with respect and adoration, and it’s my favorite thing here. Sheska is obsessed with reading, and it’s the reason she was fired from her job at the library. She literally could not stop reading.
  • Sheska is a shy and self-deprecating sort of person, so she spends a lot of her time her worrying. She worries about being unemployed. She worries about her mother’s health. She worries that she’s always going to feel useless. However, Al helps her realize that her unique combination of talents – how well-read she is and her photographic memory – are invaluable skills that they can use. I love that this is about affirming how special she is instead of demonizing her further for being strange.
  • Look, y’all, I was incredibly awkward, viciously smart, and possessed an eidetic memory for many years. (It seems to have faded in the last five years or so, which I’m perfectly fine with for reasons I’m not going to get into right now.) I felt socially inept all the time, and I constantly judged my own self-worth because I didn’t fit in. It wasn’t until the latter half of high school that I met teachers who told me that I should value the things I was good at, and it meant the world to me!
  • This show deals with the passage of time in really fascinating and realistic ways. I like that Edward and Al don’t figure out the cypher in 24 hours. It takes them over ten days to decode Dr. Marcoh’s recipes.
  • I still don’t get why Gluttony and her friend are so desperate for the Elric brothers not to discover what’s in Dr. Marcoh’s research.
  • So, let’s talk about that. So. So. Does that mean that the image in the opening credits of a bunch of weird humanoid things in red liquid was always a reference to what the Philosopher’s Stone really is?
  • Oh my god, I just realized that Gluttony’s friend has mentioned a sacrifice multiple times. Do they want to sacrifice Ed to make a Philosopher’s Stone??? I AM TRYING TO PUT THIS TOGETHER.
  • I’m glad that the show doesn’t try to hide how horrifying this. Human sacrifices!!!!!!!! And until Ed recalls Dr. Marcoh’s hint about “truth within the truth,” it was made clear that they weren’t going to pursue the Philosopher’s Stone if it meant dabbling in something so vile.
  • On top of that, I’m totally fascinated that the show is willing to also address the creepy and disturbing implications of the government sponsoring research into something so awful. Is it possible they experimented on prisoners in that Fifth Laboratory?
  • Wait, before we talk about the final scene, I just want to comment on how much I love Armstrong. He is, perhaps, the strangest character I have ever come across for this site. I mean, for a super buff character whose power is pretty much crushing skulls, the writers deliberately have him toy with the expectations based on gender roles. He sparkles, he cries a lot, he loves giving the Elric brothers hugs, and he’s kind of my favorite thing? Like, if there were an episode of just Armstrong and Winry hanging out, I’m pretty sure it would be the best one. I’m pretty damn sure.
  • So! The prison. The prison. Nothing is fair. NOTHING. Oh my god, Al’s sad voice when he gets left outside is bad enough, but then THOSE THINGS.
  • oh my god
  • i am terrified for the next episode.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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