In the fifty-fourth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mustang is confronted by his comrades when it’s clear he won’t back down. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
LOOK WHAT THIS SHOW JUST DID TO ME.
- I MEAN… SERIOUSLY? DID THIS HAPPEN? DID I JUST DEVELOP FEELINGS FOR ENVY????
- Y’all, I love that this show forces the audience to think about our own perceptions of the villains in a way that’s fiercely uncomfortable and unsettling, because holy shit what did this episode do to me?
- I”ll tell you what it did: It got me to believe that Envy had hidden in plain sight as Riza.
- NOPE. SO MANY NOPES.
- Has anyone been keeping track of how often I’ve completely taken the bait during Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood? I’m guessing it’s around 30 times total, at least.
- Riza Hawkeye. Put her in a museum because SHE IS A NATIONAL TREASURE.
- This episode gives us the most heartbreaking view of Riza, who was entrusted with her father’s research, only to see its application manifested in front of her in the torture of Envy. And this all happens before Envy has his emotional breakdown regarding his sad, humiliated state. It’s such an amazing way to re-contextualize what happened in “Flame of Vengeance.” We’re reminded of Riza’s personal stake in this. We see her sorrow at the end of the Ishvalan Civil War. We’re forced to think about her father dying. We cannot divorce Riza from this narrative. As much as Riza’s disobedience of Mustang is based in her desire not to let him go down such a dark path, it’s also about her desire to let her father’s research disappear forever. She can’t deal with the thought that what her father discovered is being used for this.
- And yet, Mustang doesn’t stop. He burns the shell of a body that Envy resides in to non-existence. And as the original form of Envy crawls out of their now-disintegrating body, Mustang places his boot on top of him, ready to crush him.
- I felt awful, and it was such a confusing reaction for me. Envy killed Maes! Envy has done horrible things! Why don’t I want this to happen? Why do I feel so horrified by what Mustang is doing?
- AND THEN EVERYONE SPEAKS UP AND IT’S SOME OF THE BEST WRITING IN THE WHOLE SHOW, AND OH MY GOD. Edward tries to get Mustang to think about how this will reflect on him as a leader; Scar begs him to think about what kind of world he’ll create if he continues on this path; and Riza admits that if she has to shoot him, she’ll end her own life once this ordeal is over.
- Is that the sort of Pyrrhic victory that Mustang wants???
- (Also, I kind of love that out of every bit of reasoning, Mustang responds most to the idea of a world without Riza. WILL SHIP IT UNTIL THE END OF TIME.)
- This was enough for me. This is all I needed, and I would have been satisfied. Plus, I was so drained by the experience. And then the show reminds me that this isn’t over.
- I’m just… I’m so flabbergasted by what happens after this. When Envy fails at turning these people against one another, I’m dealt a vicious blow of feelings about ENVY. Like my reaction to Gluttony, I ended up feeling sad for this creature. Was Envy always created with the intense and painful desire that lay in him? Did he always know that he wasn’t good enough for himself? Through the kindness and mercy of strangers, Envy is forced to admit that he is jealous of the human capacity for forgiveness and compromise. It’s something that his own family cannot and will not ever give him.
- And so Envy collapses into a puddle of his own tears, wailing about his own prolonged humiliation, and EVERYTHING JUST FEELS SO FUCKING WRONG. How??? How is this show able to do this to me? How was I able to feel absolutely fucking horrified by Envy killing himself?
- I am in constant awe of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
- THE ARMSTRONGS. THEY KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER STORIES.
- I WAS SO SCARED THAT ALEX WAS GOING TO DIE. THERE WAS SO MUCH BLOOD. SO MUCH BLOOD.
- BUT THEN SLOTH POPPED HIS SHOULDER BACK INTO ITS SOCKET AND ALEX WAS RENEWED BY SPARKLES AND IT’S SO GLORIOUS AND THE MUSIC IS GLORIOUS AND I SO DESPERATELY WISH I WAS ALEX LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BEST FRIEND. Could you imagine the hugs you would get from him??? They’d be perfect.
- Best moment, though? Olivier insisting that her brother wasn’t built to be destroyed by Sloth. My precious babies, I swear.
- I didn’t comment on this, but the Briggs soldiers HAVE A TANK. A TANK.
- AND BUCCANEER AND HIS MEN HAVE INFILTRATED CENTRAL
- SERIOUSLY, HOW GREAT IS IT THAT THEY’VE MANAGED TO PULL THIS OFF? It’s so satisfying to watch them utilize Central’s weaknesses (which largely stem from their underestimation of the other side) to take control. Granted, there’s still a lot to deal with, such as Hohenheim confronting Father. What the hell, this is so messed up.
- BUT IZUMI CURTIS. IZUMI IZUMI IZUMI.
- I need the next episode right now.
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