In the eighth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Ed seeks out the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone while Al is tormented by a revelation of who he might be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
What have you done to me?
- For an episode full of villains monologuing the hell out of our protagonists, I got a real kick out of “The Fifth Laboratory.”
- Oh god, of course they are souls embedded in armor. I should have guessed that from the bright red eyes! And yet, there are still a whole lot of unanswered questions raised here, not only concerning the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone, but whether or not something else was created in the past, too.
- Of course, there’s the brilliance of putting Ed face-to-face with a person who is soul-bonded to their armor. Obviously, the Slicer is his antagonist, but what does that mean to someone who has a brother in the same predicament? This is what Ed struggles with as the Slicer gets closer and closer to ending Ed’s life. Initially, Ed is fascinated with this reveal, and almost plays with it like it’s a game. But the Slicer’s strength and endurance is unreal, and a lot of that comes from the fact that he doesn’t have a physical body to be slowed down by.
- I appreciated the humor, then, that came from Ed’s realization that Al would be perfectly fine fighting the Barry the Chopper. If Ed couldn’t ever beat Al in a sparring match, then he’d probably be perfectly fine fighting the guard known as 66.
- Seriously, can we just spend a moment talking about how monumentally fucked up this is? 66 was already dead when he was brought back to guard the Fifth Laboratory. These criminals will never get their bodies back, and were expected to guard that place forever. And then there’s the idea that the state (assuming they were behind the research here) GAVE MURDERERS A WAY TO CONTINUE MURDERING ANYWAY. WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK.
- Okay. So. Alphonse. When 66 initially began suggesting that Al was a puppet, I didn’t think much of it. What he was saying didn’t actually dawn on me immediately at all. I mean… that can’t be true, right? Al is totally a person! He had a history. We saw it in flashbacks! And then Barry begins to drill the idea into Al’s head until I can’t even ignore it anymore. No. I mean… no. No!!! That can’t be true, right? Right?
- Oh my god, was that what Ed wanted to tell him in the previous episode?
- OH MY GOD, IS AL NOT EVEN A REAL PERSON?
- I DON’T LIKE DOUBTING THIS.
- Hey! Now I understand why I had to watch the post-credits sequence in episode 6! Ed’s arm is malfunctioning because of the missing screw, isn’t it?
- I totally did not see the reveal about the Slicer being brothers coming at all. Nice touch!
- HOLY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! How great is it that at the precise moment that Ed feels like he’s been defeated, he flashes back to the moment when he felt the same thing at the hands of Scar? He remembered what Al asked of him. Oh my god, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. He chose to live. CONTINUITY IS LOVELY.
- And then there’s all the talk of whether or not the Slicer or Barry are people, and of course Ed’s going to treat them like they are because it’s not about having a physical body. Al’s essence is in that armor, and that’s the same case for these men, too, even if they are convicted serial killers. It’s a deliberate attempt on Ed’s part to see these people as human.
- THEN I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!!! Okay, so, because of the credits, I now know the woman is named Lust, and I don’t get it! Obviously, she doesn’t want Ed to know who created the Philosopher’s Stone, but I can’t figure out why she’d want to hide that from him. Then there’s more talk of human sacrifices! Plural. Who are they sacrificing? WHO IS FATHER? Why spare Ed instead of just killing him? I AM SO LOST. What are these people’s powers???
- I CAN’T STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.
- WHO THE HELL IS THAT GUY IN CENTRAL PRISON
- Oh god, Hughes is telling Mustang about possible promotions. Oh god, my prediction is coming true.
- This show is pain, y’all. Literal pain.
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