In the thirty-ninth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, well, I didn’t see that coming. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
Clearly, I didn’t get the whole “end-of-season” thing right at all, because NEW CREDITS! New songs! Obviously a new direction for the story. Oh, well. That’s what I get for trying to understand this based off iTunes. Let’s get to discussing “Daydream.”
- For an episode that ends with two COMPLETELY UNFAIR shockers, the most surprising part of “Daydream” is the character development, because SWEET BABY GAMGEE there is a ton of it. This is one of the most character-rich episodes of the entire show, and I love it.
- And I fell for it. Again. And again. And again. This show has made me take the bait more times than any other Mark Watches show I’ve covered. I am a permanent fool because of FMA:B. Which is damn entertaining, y’all, because THIS SHOW MESSES ME UP.
- Let’s talk about the first thing that made me nervous and frightened: Edward stepping in front of Kimblee and stopping him from transmutating. YEAH. THAT IS FUCKING SCARY. Pissing off Kimblee? Literally at the bottom of the list of things you should do to Kimblee. (Of course, I should have realized that this was an intentional thing. In hindsight, it actually seems super obvious. However, in hindsight, everything about this show is obvious, and it’s like the past simply teases how unprepared I am. Oh, well.)
- The flashback to just a few minutes before the cold open not only reveals that “Daydream” opens in media res, but then gives me ONE OF THE BEST SET OF SCENES EVER. EVER.
- First, there’s Winry’s refusal to get revenge against Scar. Instead, she tends his wounds, referencing her own parents’ kindness and dedication to caring for others. It’s such a powerful moment, one that Scar recognizes as extremely rare and unexpected. It forces Scar to reflect on his own obsession with hatred. How can someone be so sympathetic toward someone who has undeniably done something so horrific? Why is this young woman resisting what she rightfully deserves?
- It’s interesting to then contrast this with Edward’s reaction. God, I feel like my last review both completely predicts the layered characterization of “Daydream” while GETTING EVERYTHING HORRIBLY WRONG. Because Edward is willing to compromise with Scar, as much as he hates to, though at first, it’s an impossibility. He wants nothing more than to bring Scar to justice, translation be damned.
- AND THEN THERE’S MAJOR MILES. Oh my god, the more I think about his role here, the more I’m convinced that his interaction in “Ice Queen” is just horrific translation. Because he clearly doesn’t believe that people should just ignore their ethnicity or their culture. No, he is proud to be Ishvalan, and he reveals to Scar that his whole purpose is to change the Amestrian military from the inside. This ultimate goal of his is what motivates him to agree with Dr. Marcoh’s insistence that they let Scar go. If he can stop the disaster that the Homunculi are planning in Amestria, maybe he can help change the world, too.
- Of course, I want to parallel this with Alphonse because both character behave in this episode under the assumption that there is hope for a better life in the future. Certainly Alphonse’s treatment of Jerso and Zampano reflects this more obviously than the other characters, but you could say that Major Miles has hope that he can improve how Amestrians treat Ishvalans. That hope is what drives these characters forward. Miles uses a great metaphor when he explains this to Scar. Yes, he’s just one person, but perhaps the ripples he creates from his actions will eventually radiate outwards and make waves. I love that idea, that one person can affect the outcome of the future.
- Let’s go back to Al, though, who inspires the chimeras to work with them by using his own body (well, lack of one, I should say) as a sign that he refuses to give up. DID Y’ALL FEEL THE SAME SWELL OF PRIDE THAT I DID? Alphonse is often the voice of optimistic reason on this show, and this is one of the most inspirational moments in all of FMA:B.
- It’s also nice that Yoki gets his own moment here where he contributes positively to the group’s mission!
- WINRY SUGGESTED HER OWN KIDNAPPING. Bless her heart. I mean, seriously, it’s no secret at this point that I am a very serious Winry fan. Look at what she does here! She puts herself in the hands of a murderer who could easily change his mind and kill her, and she does this because she believes that they can all stop the plan to turn Amestria into a giant transmutation circle. She is so altruistic.
- Newsflash: Ed and Winry touched.
- Okay, I’m done being ridiculous for the moment. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SCENE IN THE MINE. Scar thinks about his old master (who we haven’t seen in quite some time), who at one time told him that he needed to let go of his hatred. It’s such an important scene because it ties in with what Alphonse, Miles, and Winry all believe: they can change the world without making it worse. Their optimism is in direct contrast to what Scar believes, which is that there’s no hope for anything but revenge.
- HEY, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT FOR MAY? Oh my god, my heart. She realizes that she can’t bring the Philosopher’s Stone (or how to make it) back home because she knows the emperor of Xing wouldn’t hesitate to murder people to make one. So what’s she supposed to do? Never go back home? DID YOU HEAR MY HEART SHATTER AT THAT MOMENT?
- (For the record, I don’t think a humane way to achieve immortality exists.)
- Yeah, then there’s a disaster: Major Miles finds out that Olivier was sent to Central Command, meaning that Kimblee’s men and Bradley’s cronies are now going to run Fort Briggs. WHICH IS WHERE THE GROUP IN THE MINES ARE HEADING.
- But then Alphonse comes up with a solution! He doesn’t have a body, so he can withstand the blizzard!
- EXCEPT YEAH, THAT’S NOT TRUE.
- because THERE IS STILL WIND and BLINDING SNOW, so it’s not that simple and –
- why the
- why is
- the white what is that
- what the F C AJDS;
- AL’S BODY
- OH MY GOD, HIS BODY IS SO EMACIATED
- NO, HIS BODY AND SOUL HAVE CHANGED TO MUCH AND HIS SOUL MIGHT REJECT HIS BODY AND VICE VERSA
- WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME
- WHY ARE YOU MAKING AL SUFFER
- WHAT THE FUCK IT’S FATHER
- OH MY GOD HE’S LISTING THE HUMAN SACRIFICES
- YOU’RE KIDDING ME
- AL. ED. HOHENHEIM. IZUMI.
- WHO IS THE FIFTH SACRIFICE
- WHY MUST THIS SHOW HURT ME THIS WAY?
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