In the forty-fifth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the full scope of the future is revealed. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
Oh god, I am so terrified for the future.
• I’ll get back to that word – scope – later in the review, as it’s an important concept in “The Promised Day,” but let’s start with that fight scene in the beginning of the episode. I think the most surprising part of it is that it didn’t end worse than it did. Mrs. Bradley was in the room when Greed called Bradley by the name “Wrath,” but it doesn’t seem like she picked up on how strange this was. Perhaps she didn’t hear him! But there were any number of ways that this could have turned into a disaster, especially if Greed had been able to wound Bradley. He couldn’t heal himself without risking exposure of his secret. I think this scene inherently confirms that Mrs. Bradley has no idea what’s going on. How could she know? Oh god, she’s going to be a MESS when she finds out.
• I realize I said this once before when referring to Selim’s inevitable breakdown upon learning his father’s identity. I REALIZE I AM DOING A VERY FOOLISH THING HERE. But I honestly don’t think Mrs. Bradley knows the truth! I AM NOT INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO EMBARRASS MYSELF HERE.
• THE ARMSTRONGS.
• PLEASE PASS ME ON THROUGH MANY GENERATIONS OF THE ARMSTRONG FAMILY. I LOVE THEM UNTIL THE END OF TIME.
• There is just so much here to enjoy. I love that Alex and Olivier’s father simply couldn’t care much about what’s going on. He’s so calm about ordering his son and daughter to duel for control of the family. Mrs. Armstrong and Catherine act like duels are just commonplace around the house, and I’m pretty sure that’s the case? Oh my god, it’s so amazing.
• But really, OLIVIER ARMSTRONG. As I said in the video for this episode, I’m curious as to how much Olivier plays up her personality in order to get what she wants. That little smirk after Alex asks if she got their father to leave so they couldn’t be held as hostages? IT BELIES SO MUCH. How much has she been lying about? How much of her personality is a facade? I AM SO TRANSFIXED WITH YOU, OLIVIER ARMSTRONG.
• MAY MAY MAY MAY MAY. I’m so glad that she wasn’t going to disappear from the show, though that doesn’t mean that I’m jumping for joy about Envy’s manipulation of her. It’s a complicated issue because on the one hand, I don’t want her to be taken advantage of. Clearly, Envy is doing what they can to get May to take them to Central. At the same time, it is true that May is leaving Amestris behind. She’s choosing not to care about all of these wonderful people. Not that it’s her responsibility to save this country! I wouldn’t argue that. But she knows for certain that if Father isn’t stopped, every one of these people will die. So Envy manipulates May’s sympathetic side to get what they want. oh god.
• And then everything gets so weird. Edward assumes that Al will be at Mustang’s old safe house, but in hindsight, that seems kind of silly. How did Al get from the far North all the way down to this house near Central without getting caught? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that he’s still somewhere near the north?
• Anyway, that doesn’t bother me that much, because Ed’s plan leads Ling to find the very same house, and HOLY SHIT THIS IS SO INCREDIBLE. LING FOUGHT FOR AND WON CONTROL OVER HIS BODY. Granted, it’s not for very long, but it still happened. That means it’s possible that Ling could one day get his body back!!! (Oh god, the parallels with Alphonse are undeniable at this point. Holy shit!)
• Just take a moment and try to imagine that you’re either Darius or Heinkel during all of these scenes, by the way. What a bizarre experience this must have been for them.
• So exactly how long can Greeling escape the wrath of Father? We now know that Ling can exploit the emotional weakness of Greed, but it’s not a permanent thing. Plus, it leaves Greed in a complicated state where his identity (and memories) are in flux. Which person is he? How will his returning memories affect the future?
• That’s what is so exciting about the extremely odd pairing here. I can’t predict how it will end. It would have been strange enough if Ling had joined Edward, but Greed? HOW DOES THAT WORK? What’s he going to do? WHERE IS HE GOING??? If his ultimate plan is to TAKE OVER THE WORLD, how will Edward use this to get to Al and Winry and stop Father?
• There’s also the revelation that Father is going to open the Gate on The Day of Reckoning, which might allow Al and Ed to get their original bodies back. That makes things complicated because it gives the Elric brothers an incentive to let Father open the Gate. But what’s the cost? What will they have to pay? What will Amestris have to pay? UGH I’M STILL SO UNPREPARED FOR THIS.
• It’s at this point that “The Promised Day” begins to rapidly switch perspective and setting, and it brings me back to my original point: The scope of this episode is huge. Starting in Dublith, we find out that the State Military is still pursuing Izumi Curtis. Essentially, we watch a giant game of telephone play out, and Alphonse is the one who starts the message: The Promised Day is coming. It’s time to prepared.
• Of course, at first, we don’t know what the content of the message is. We just know that it’s about the Promised Day, but it’s neat to look back and realize that Alphonse has helped unite all of the forces in the North and the East in preparation for the day that Father will activate the nationwide transmutation circle. The message goes from Izumi to Major Miles and Captain Buccaneer, then to Falman, then to Grumman, who passes it along to a new character, Rebecca! (Can we not make sexual harassment a joke, by the way? Grumman grabbing Rebecca’s butt isn’t funny at all.) Rebecca, who is a longtime friend of Riza, passes the message along to her, who then gets it to Havoc and Mustang, who was hiding in Havoc’s room the whole time.
• The scenes over the closing credits continue to show us that everyone is preparing for The Day. Oh god, it’s coming. IS IT GOING TO BE IN THE NEXT EPISODE? I’m so scared. Holy shit, this show is so immense.
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