Mark Watches ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’: Episode 33

In the thirty-third episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Kimblee heads north to find Scar, while May, Dr. Marcoh, Al, and Edward all find surprises of their own in the north. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.


  • I mean, I think it’s pretty significant that the appearance of a character for like three minutes is more entertaining then SCAR AND KIMBLEE FIGHTING EACH OTHER ON A MOVING TRAIN. Which is pretty fucking exciting! But oh my god, Olivier Mira Armstrong. I can’t.
  • So let’s talk about some other things! I lived in Boise, Idaho for nearly 7 years, and because of that, I’ll always hold a love for snow. I have a lot of positive memories associated with white winters. I moved to Southern California at age 8, and then I didn’t see snow again until I was 21. Twenty-one! So I don’t care how annoying I am whenever I’m somewhere where it is snowing. I love snow. I don’t get it where I live, so I will cherish it when I experience it. This also includes when I was stranded in Boston during Snowmageddon 2009, and I walked to where I was staying in a literal blizzard, and the next day I annoyed every native Bostonian by building forts and snowmen outside while they were all miserable whilst going to work. I swear to y’all, I got so many looks of pure hatred that I was worried they could melt snow. Apparently, when you live in a snowy location, snow is the devil. NOT FOR ME.
  • Can we discuss how neat it is that Edward realizes that this adventure, as horrifying as it’s been, has allowed him and Al to go to places he never thought they’d go? This resonated with me a lot because I have felt the same thing about my own life in the past two years. Edward and Al never believed they’d travel so far north, and yet here they are. I dunno, I thought it was a neat moment.
  • There’s another example of me completely missing the obvious in this episode’s commission video. Y’all, I clearly saw May get onto a train headed north with a hooded man in “The Führer’s Son.” I also saw Scar with a hooded man. At no point in time did I ever think, “Hey, that’s probably a significant detail. Perhaps one of them is Dr. Marcoh and the other is Yoki!” No, that thought never entered my mind, despite that it wouldn’t make sense for May to hide Yoki.
  • Goddamn it.
  • Kimblee and Scar’s fight is SO GREAT. There’s such a fascinating dynamic at work. It’s revenge versus apathy. We’ve got a fighter who has spent years perfecting his style versus someone who has spent years in jail. Both have different goals. And Scar’s personal stake in ending Kimblee gives us a thrilling and violent fight scene. This is why Kimblee cuts his losses and severs the rear train cars after he’s impaled by a pipe. He knows he’s currently at a disadvantage, and he’d rather fight on his own terms. But this is also about the thrill that the confrontation provides, and we get another taste of Kimblee’s horrifying sense of duty and violence. He knows that he is dying, yet he orders the train to keep moving north. In his fucked up mind, the fact that he’s about to die validates the fight itself.
  • Kimblee creeps me out so much.
  • I really like May. A lot. And she demonstrates an amazing capacity for empathy here by doing whatever she can to limit the pain Dr. Marcoh feels after Scar transmutates his face. She doesn’t have to, and it doesn’t benefit her, and yet she still feels sorry for not being able to cure him. It makes me wonder what alkahestry is all about. If it’s purely used as a medical application, how does Xing deal with sickness and disability? How is it used in every day life there? How often do the Xing alchemists use their alkahestry as a weapon? (Clearly, May is able to do so.)
  • No, only 30 seconds of Winry? Not fair.
  • Ugh, I still feel weird about Garfiel.
  • Surely, there has to be a better or more efficient way for people to get to Fort Briggs than walking? I think I just misunderstood when Kimblee said that the train was going to Briggs. Perhaps that’s the local city? I dunno, I admit to being confused here.
  • I’m gonna guess that the cold affects automail and that’s why Edward has a problem with his. Maybe it’s a size thing, though? Because that one gigantic dude has a ridiculous automail arm. (L O L AT IT BEING A SIZE THING. Oh, Edward, you’ll never escape the size jokes.) Or maybe it just has to be A GIANT CROCODILE MOUTH CLAW. What the hell, y’all??? That thing should be illegal.
  • One of the things I love about the military soldiers and officers at Briggs is that they take absolutely no shit, and it suggests that the unforgiving environment requires people to be brutal, cynical, and distrusting right off the bat. Captain Buccaneer doesn’t care that Edward and Al are state military, and neither does the Briggs Mountain Patrol.
  • But guess who won’t ever care ever?
  • Olivier.
  • Mira.
  • Armstrong.
  • CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS. This show has intentionally reversed expected gender roles for Olivier and Alex. We’d expect that the buff, massive, and brick-like Alex would be vicious and aggressive, but no. He explodes with feelings. He rips off his shirt when he’s excited. He cries all the time. He’s got those little feelings sparkles above his head. And it’s his sister, who wears lipstick and has gorgeous flowing hair who is the more aggressive one. She’s presented as a symbol of power and ruthless discipline, and I FUCKING LOVE HER ALREADY. It’s such a refreshing character dynamic because it’s not a repeat of Izumi Curtis, who is another aggressive woman on this show. No, Olivier is so much different, and I can already tell this just from what little I’ve seen. IT’S SO EXCITING.
  • Like, these people are not only on the edge of the world, but they’ve got to protect Amestris from Drachma. They are susceptible to the elements, to spies, to random attacks, to anything up on that wall, and it has hardened them. My god, I LOVE THIS SO MUCH AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE OF IT.
  • Olivier crushing Edward’s expectations and entitlement as a state alchemist. I want this until the end of time.

The video commission for this episode is now archived in my store for just $0.99! You can purchase the entire show at once for only $49.99 for 64 videos!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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