Mark Watches ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’: Episode 47

In the forty-seventh episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Edward is reunited with his father and Alphonse, but both meetings do not go as planned. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.

HOLY SHIT, I LOVE THIS SHOW.

  • There’s just so much going on here! I think I’ll always be able to look back on this show and appreciate how deeply complex it was. I think it’s a challenge for any fictional narrative to balance a large cast of characters, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood does it with style and grace.
  • Well, it also constantly ruins my life, so there’s that, too.
  • I mean, the opening scene alone isn’t fair. Is Al beyond the Gate? Where is his soul right now? I don’t understand what Pride did to him at all. What are the logistics of this?
  • NO, MY AL. DON’T DO THIS TO AL.
  • So let’s talk about Edward. There is a lot to say about Edward Elric. As sympathetic as the character Hohenheim has become, I think it’s entirely understandable why Edward would greet his father with a punch to his face. He doesn’t know his father’s past. Still, as we see later, that doesn’t necessarily change how he views Hohenheim easier. I appreciate that in this regard, the show respects Ed’s anger. His father abandoned him! And yes, he had his justification for doing so, but Edward needed his father to be around when his mother died, and Hohenheim wasn’t there for him.
  • Of course, that’s just my personal speculation on this dynamic. It was much more clear to me that Edward refused to become part of the problem, even when a solution to his and Al’s lack of bodies was presented to him. As willing as Hohenheim was to offer himself up to his sons to give them what they were searching for, Edward is just as adamant that he’ll do no such thing. LOOK. LOOK AT HOW PROUD HOHENHEIM IS THAT HIS SON WON’T EVER USE A PHILOSOPHER’S STONE. My heart was CRUSHED in an instant by the look on Hohenheim’s face, y’all. I honestly think this was one of the most significant scenes for both Hohenheim and Edward’s characterization. If Edward had been presented with his father somewhere during the first ten episodes or so, I don’t think he would have turned down the opportunity. But Edward has seen and experienced the true price of these Stones, and he refuses to to be a part of it. It’s admirable because it’s not like Edward has to go out and kill someone to make a Stone; no, that price has already been paid. Edward would rather not sully his moral standing to get what he wants, and I think that is INCREDIBLE.
  • I also think it’s realistic in terms of character development that Edward does not have the same reaction as Al did to learning the truth about his father. Again, I think it relates to Edward’s anger, which makes up so much of his characterization. His immediate reaction is a combination of fury and disgust, and it’s yet another thing about his father that he can hate. I think that’s why he throws Trish’s dying words in Hohenheim’s face. He wants to hurt him, sure, but he doesn’t necessarily expect to.
  • Which is why he tells Darius and Heinkel that Hohenheim is not what he expected. That’s true in my case, too! He seemed like a robotic monster of a father, and yet I had no idea why he was the way he was. I think Edward anticipated the same detached disinterest from Hohenheim as he experienced before, but instead, his father CRIES OPENLY IN FRONT OF HIM. It’s confusing! Could you imagine being Edward and going through this sort of complicated song and dance with your father?
  • Then we have to be tormented by that flashback with Trish, and CAN WE JUST APPRECIATE TRISH AS A CHARACTER. I just wish we got so much more of her, because I’m totally enamored with this idea of the mother being the emotional keystone of the Elric family. She was the one trying to do whatever necessary to keep her family together, and when she couldn’t do that, she tried to keep her children happy. AND SHE SUCCEEDED.
  • Everything hurts because Trish Elric.
  • Unrelated thing I want to comment on: the eclipse. So… Bradley is going to use an eclipse? I don’t get it. I don’t get so much about this show. God, there are only 16 episodes left AND I STILL HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS IS GOING TO END.
  • Anyway, back to Edward! I loved that Ed, Greed/Ling, Darius, and Heinkel all discuss how strange their arrangement is. What motivation do Darius and Heinkel have to stay with Edward? Sure, he saved their lives, but they don’t have an obligation to stay with Edward anymore. Plus, they both have grown accustomed to their new bodies! Which is fascinating in and of itself, y’all, because we haven’t really seen chimeras like this. (Though there are plenty of characters inĀ FMA:B who must deal with bodies that are strange, constantly changing, or in flux. I would be SUPER interested to read a treatment of this show as analyzed through the lens of bodies, identity, and disability. HAS SOMEONE WRITTEN THAT YET?)
  • Also, did anyone else read this conversation as Edward subtly asserting his power over the group? Like, it felt as if it was a quiet reminder that he was actually controlling things, despite that Greed feels like he is.
  • HEY, IT’S AL!
  • OMG REUNION
  • THIS IS SO GREAT
  • THIS IS
  • WAIT
  • WHY IS GREED SO UPSET
  • NO
  • NOPE NOPE NOPE
  • FOREVER NOPE
  • Okay, I know I’ve already said this, but how did Pride do this??? Where is Al’s soul???
  • In the midst of all this chaos, “Emissary of Darkness” rapidly switches over to Major Miles and Lt. Grumman, who are searching for Bradley’s body in the rubble of the train explosion. Unsurprisingly, they don’t find him. I don’t think they will, and it’s only a matter of time before Bradley emerges again. That being said, I really think he’s going to face difficulty in just “appearing” publicly after the accident. How is he going to pull that off?
  • And because we clearly don’t have enough plot threads to follow, GRUMMAN IS PLANNING ON USING THIS DISASTER TO TAKE BRADLEY’S PLACE BY LETTING EITHER ROY MUSTANG OR OLIVIER ARMSTRONG TAKE ON BRADLEY’S ADMINISTRATION.
  • DANG IT.
  • At least Miles is suspicious of Grumman. But still.
  • Back to Edward! It’s not lost on me that this is the second time that Greed has clashed with another Homunculus. Is this something he’s done many times before?
  • I found it endlessly upsetting that Pride knew he could get away with seriously harming Edward in a way that didn’t kill him. UNFAIR.
  • But then we get one of the COOLEST sequences in the entire show: Edward causing the blackout in Kanama, which makes Pride utterly useless. AND THEN EVERYTHING IS PITCH BLACK. It’s both creepy and played for humor, and I think the balance between the two tones is utterly perfect, y’all.
  • I also find it upsetting that Selim is a container. I really have to let that idea sink in because every time I hear it, it disturbs me until the end of time. I mean, this episode features a lion-like chimera attempting to shred a child to death with said child just standing there smiling. I’m going to have nightmares forever, I fucking swear. Have I just flat-out said yet that this show is constant nightmare fuel? Because it is.
  • Nina Tucker. Nina Tucker. I still haven’t forgiven y’all for that.
  • I was such a baby then.
  • Okay, enough reminiscing about the good ol’ days, which were like two months ago.
  • OH SHIT, GLUTTONY IS AROUND. I forgot about that! I genuinely did!
  • Is it weird that I still feel kind of bad for Gluttony? He can’t help what he is!
  • Oh, wait, he’s doing that thing where he becomes his true form again. NEVERMIND, EVERYONE GET OUT OF THERE.
  • Ling. LING. Oh my god, I love the idea of Ling and Greed switching places when the other “person” has skills that the other doesn’t. It’s such a bizarre situation, but they seem to be finding a middle ground more often than not. But… how is this going to work? What if one of the Homunculus does kill Greed? What happens to Ling?
  • I’d rather not think of that because I totally don’t have to anymore because
  • LAN FAN LAN FAN LAN FAN LAN FAN
  • EVERYTHING IS PERFECT AND LAN FAN IS PERFECT AND HER NEW AUTOMAIL IS PERFECT AND I AM SO EXCITED THAT LAN FAN IS BACK.
  • BRING ON THE NEXT EPISODE BECAUSE LAN FAN IS BACK.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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