In the forty-fourth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Al bonds with his father, we learn of Edward’s fate, and HOLY SHIT THAT ENDING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
Seriously, I don’t think there’s been a bad episode of this show. It’s so continuously fantastic!
• Obviously, there are a lot of important developments to the plot, but this episode backs an emotional wallop, especially when it comes to Alphonse and Winry.
• It’s important to put Al’s reunion with his father into context: Only Edward had seen their father prior to this, so it explains why Al is largely shocked into silence. But it’s not just that. It’s strange for Al to return to Leore after what he and his brother did to the city all those months ago. Their complicity in what the state military ordered them to do had terrible effects on the citizens, but the citizens don’t exactly view it that way. They needed to be made aware of what Cornello had done to them, and though it was a difficult process, they’ve ended up in a better place because of the Elric brothers.
• Rose in particular is grateful for what they’ve done. It’s interesting to see that episode through Rose’s eyes because, like Winry, I thought Edward’s treatment of Rose was mean. Ultimately, though, she found his advice to be empowering. Hell, all of Leore did! I love how Rose puts it: The town learned to rebuild and to live without relying on miracles. They are repairing their city on their own two feet, instead of relying on some charismatic leader to tell them what to do. That’s awesome!
• Let’s have a moment of silence for Winry’s silent cry for Ed. Because my heart is not equipped to deal with this.
• It’s not equipped to deal with Al/Hohenheim either. Their interaction is responsible for the second time I teared up in “Revving at Full Throttle.” I’m thankful that the show has made Hohenheim such a layered character because it benefits the scene we see here. He’s shocked that his son still sees him as a father, though I didn’t personally find it all that surprising. Al was too young to fully understand what was happening. Plus, he’s never been quite as angry or cynical as Edward has been. Once Al demonstrates his trust in his father, Hohenheim returns the favor, telling him about his incredibly bizarre and disturbing past.
• Oh god, I love that you have so many characters who are all at different stages of knowledge. At some point, Edward is going to hear about who his father really is, and his head is going to explode.
• Plus, there are now two key bits of information that Al has. One, Father is like a “leather bag” modeled after Hohenheim. So, if they can destroy Father’s “body,” they can then fight the thing inside of him! Which I’m sure is going to be a disaster in and of itself. Secondly, Father is waiting until “The Promised Day” arrives to enact his plan. WHICH I DON’T UNDERSTAND AT ALL. What does that mean??? WHY???
• Thankfully, “Revving at Full Throttle” finally shows us what Edward’s been up to. He’s been hiding (in North City, I think?) while he heals. It’s good to know that Heinkel and Darius are both completely on Edward’s side.
• Because otherwise, that whole confrontation with the Military would have been DISASTROUS. As it was, it was tense as hell, and I was so worried that either Darius or Heinkel would die. Thankfully, Edward is fully healed, as he easily takes down all three soldiers without much of an effort. Also, isn’t he holding on to a bag of food the entire time? My hero.
• I think Edward’s taste in cars is absolutely absurd. That car looked like a Hot Wheel threw up.
• So, I have no idea how Edward is going to find Al. At all! Cell phones would be really handy right about now.
• All of this is interesting, entertaining, and engaging, and yet, it’s the story of Bido and Greed that I found the most compelling. Let my previous review stand as evidence that I outright forget an entire character. HE’D BEEN GONE FOR SO LONG, DON’T JUDGE ME.
• Y’all, Bido witnessed Olivier’s discovery.
• Which revealed that THE MILITARY IS USING THE SOULS OF THEIR OPPOSITION TO POWER THE DUMMY ARMY.
• THAT’S IT
• OH MY GOD, THAT HAS TO BE WHY THE MILITARY IS CONSTANTLY ENGAGING IN WARS WITH OTHER NATIONS.
• OH MY GOD THIS IS SO FUCKED UP. So is the ultimate goal to bring the entire world under the rule of Father? It has to be. This show is too much.
• Okay, it’s not like everything that happened in Dublith was a field of rainbows and cupcakes, but I’m still kind of heartbroken by what happens to Bido. HE WAS JUST LOOKING FOR HIS FRIEND. HE THOUGHT THAT LING/GREED WAS HIS FRIEND. HE WAS KILLED BECAUSE FRIENDSHIP. Of course I’m going to be sad about this. It’s just so brutal and heartless!
• It gives way to an absolutely unreal sequence in which Ling’s soul, still in Greed’s body, fights against Greed’s nature, refusing to become inhuman. I love how the animators chose to represent this struggle, especially since it lends a physicality to this that would have otherwise been hard to imagine. Ling, meditating within Greed, suddenly confronts the “being” in front of him, pointing out that Greed killed his friends. Oh god, he threatens to take over Greed’s body!!! Can he even do this? I suspect that he is getting more and more powerful.
• I’m assuming that the post-credits sequence confirms that it is possible for Ling to override the Homunculus itself. BECAUSE GREED ATTACKS BRADLEY IN HIS HOUSE AND HOLY SHIT, MRS. BRADLEY IS RIGHT THERE. IS SHE GOING TO FIND OUT WHO HER HUSBAND AND SON ARE? OH GOD, SHIT IS SO REAL RIGHT NOW.
• I love this show.
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