In the fiftieth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Promised Day begins, and EVERYTHING IS ACTUALLY KIND OF HOPEFUL AND JOYOUS, so that means something else had to happen to bring me down. Oh god. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
The Promised Day is here, y’all.
- And it feels huge. It’s a testament to the manga, to the writing, to the animation, to the music… I mean, I don’t even know who to give credit to because everything has come together in such a spectacular way. It’s immense. It’s empowering. It’s thrilling. And somehow, there are FOURTEEN MORE EPISODES. THAT SEEMS FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. How??? How is that a thing??? That just means there are more things left to ruin me, and I do not want to be ruined anymore by this show.
- So let’s get to the details. A great deal of this episode serves to reveal just how coordinated the attack on Central is, and that obviously answers my question of how these people were going to pull this off when so much of their strategy had been exposed. BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY HADN’T. So much of what was gleaned by Central prior to “Upheaval in Central” was intentional! I’m glad to discover that Oliver’s behavior was part of her calculated manipulation of the senior officers.
- It’s… god, it’s a spectacle. First, Mustang had to determine whether or not his hunch – that Mrs. Bradley was indeed expendable – was actually true. Seriously, there’s been a lot of heartbreak over the course of this serialized story, but there will be few things as haunting as the look on Mrs. Bradley’s face to realize that she’s been betrayed. At this point, her own government either sold out their leader, or their leader – and her husband – was going to let her die.
- I can’t do this. I cannot watch Mrs. Bradley learn the truth. She’s going to be so emotionally traumatized that I don’t know how she’s ever gonna recover from this. How much guilt is she going to feel? What is she going to do when she discovers who her son is??? Y’all, I can’t. I CAN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS. IT UPSETS THE MOLECULES IN MY BODY.
- I think it was brilliant of Mustang to order his troops and friends to only injure other members of the military instead of killing. Obviously, it embarrasses those in charge, and Lt. General Gardner says so. However, I think Mustang does this because he sympathizes with those beneath the senior officers. How were they to know who was really pulling the strings? They’re just obeying orders. They’ve been lied to all of their lives. And if Mustang is truly genuine in his desire to rebuild Amestris, then he’s going to need these soldiers some day anyway.
- It’s an interesting juxtaposition with the brutality of the Briggs force and Olivier’s personal style. Obviously, this wasn’t a surprise to me; that being said, I hadn’t expected that Olivier would reveal herself to Gardner and… that other guy. I don’t remember his name! She takes great joy in not only analyzing the military force in Central, but in relishing the panic the two generals exhibit upon realizing just how horrible this situation is. She is telling the truth, though! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an example of a large-scale force invading/attacking Central. Single people? Sure. Scar and MacDougal are two examples of that. So it makes sense that the Central forces are fundamentally unprepared for what happens here.
- However, once she started revealing her true plans in Central, I JUST FELT THIS SWELL OF PRIDE FOR HER. Seriously, she is amazing. Complicated? Sure. The reason I brought up how she’s juxtaposed with Mustang is important because she’s much more willing to maim and kill than Mustang is. I can’t say I feel much sympathy for the generals who were behind this entire conspiracy, so while it was shocking to watch Oliver shoot Gardner in the head, it wasn’t something I batted an eye at. When the Briggs soldiers are revealed to have been in the Armstrong’s mansion, though, is when the actual killing starts. The Briggs way doesn’t involve mercy or passive aggression. Plus, I don’t think Olivier has much sympathy for any of the soldiers here, unlike her emotional attachments to the Briggs soldiers. (She’d probably punch my face off for that, but I feel comfortable saying she really does care for the Briggs force.)
- I do think that killing the Central forces is too much. (Am I wrong in assuming that Buccaneer stabs one of them in the neck? If so, then this whole point is garbage, so just throw it out if I misread that scene.) Like I said, the folks at the bottom have no idea what’s going on.
- How rad is it that Mustang is so calm for most of this episode? I expected a more harried reaction from him, but I think he realizes that he’s gotten the upper hand. (For now. OH GOD, IT’S ALL GOING TO HELL SOON.)
- Then Rebecca shows up WITH A LITERAL ICE CREAM TRUCK FULL OF WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. IT IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS EVER.
- BUT THAT’S NOT EVEN ALL OF THE SURPRISE.
- BECAUSE REBECCA HAS A PARTNER SHE PICKED UP IN XING.
- IT’S MARIA ROSS
- C R Y I N G
- OH MY GOD LOOK AT HER AND HER SMILE AND HER BEAUTIFUL HAIR AND I AM JUST SO HAPPY SHE IS BACK
- THERE’S STILL MORE
- JEAN HAVOC ORCHESTRATED THIS.
- HE IS RUNNING A BLACK MARKET WEAPONS SMUGGLING BUSINESS
- I LOVE HOW ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS APPEAR IN ONE SINGLE EPISODE.
- Okay, all that caps lock is starting to blur together. I really need glasses, I swear. I’m just so excited, though!
- Once things switch over to the party of people near Kanama, I was still excited! They’re going to head into Father’s lair and break the vessel in which his essence is contained and try to defeat him. It’s really happening, y’all. It is really happening now, and there’s no denying it. I’m curious what Hohenheim’s countermeasure is, though. And what happens to the souls trapped within Father? They just move on through the Gate?
- Can I share a totally evil thought with y’all? When Edward and Al bid one another goodbye through that slab of stone, my brain went instantly to the Doctor Who episode “Doomsday.” YOU’RE WELCOME. ENJOY THAT.
- Ugh, May, DON’T FALL FOR IT. DON’T GO DOWN THERE. IT’S BAD.
- No, “bad” is the wrong word. When Fu arrives in Central, we find out that he can’t locate Greed because of all the activity below the ground. FATHER IS DOING SOMETHING. What’s happening in the pipes? IS THIS SOMETHING I DON’T UNDERSTAND OR KNOW ABOUT YET?
- HOW CAN FATHER HEAR PRIDE? how is that possible I DON’T LIKE THIS.
- Laboratory 3. I can’t deal with this. They’re going beneath Central the same way Al and Ling once did. This is too much to deal with it. I constantly kept thinking, “This is really happening!”
- So, I know this episode is ridiculous in the best way possible, but my favorite moment? Hohenheim pairing off with Lan Fan just to tell her to go find Ling. BECAUSE IT’S SO PERFECT. If there is any character here who understands the complicated emotions behind feeling obligated to one’s family, it’s Hohenheim. He understands the anxiety she feels because he has felt it, too. And it’s such a neat character moment for both Lan Fan and Hohenheim! What’s been fascinating for me as a viewer, though, is watching how the show opens Hohenheim up to us. He starts off in such a distant, detached state that we’re meant to dislike him, especially when he is juxtaposed with his emotionally volatile son. They’re complete opposites! And yet, here we see him expressing genuine concern. We see him validating Lan Fan’s desire to seek out Ling. We see him do so in a way that isn’t condescending. And it speaks to the fact that despite Hohenheim’s bizarre physical state, he was once human, and he still has very human reactions to the world around him. It’s just that he’s walled a lot of these qualities off behind centuries of trauma and terror, you know?
- UGH I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
- And then
- AND THEN
- I GET FATHER’S TUBES
- I GET THEM
- OH MY GOD IT’S THE FLUID THAT POWERS THE IMMORTAL SOLDIERS
- OH MY GOD SOMEONE WOKE THEM UP AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
- THIS IS SO FUCKING TERRIFYING
- I WILL NEVER FORGET THOSE SCREAMS
- I HATE YOU ALL, I WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES BECAUSE OF THIS
- DAMN IT.
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