In the fifty-ninth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, two characters are forced to make shocking decisions. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
I fell for it.
- That should be a sub-motto for this site. Like, welcome to Mark Watches! You are not prepared. (Also, I fell for it.) Because goddamn it, I have slipped comfortably into every narrative sleight of hand that this show has given me like they were one of those expensive bath robes you find at nice hotels. Oh, yes, Iâ€™d love to be toasty warm after a show. Oh shit, you betrayed me.
- At least in this case, the â€œtrickâ€ is actually quite positive. Of course I should have guessed that Mustang had seen a message in Rizaâ€™s eyes. Theyâ€™ve spoken silently to one another, which is a sign that they are meant to be as far as Iâ€™m concerned.
- No, look, okay, I know my shipping comments can be totally ridiculous sometimes (please see: the Armstrongs and the Curtises), but I actually think a lot of what we see in the first half of this episode relies on canon interpretations of the dynamic between Mustang and Riza. Itâ€™s more than just the promise or idea of a romantic relationship. (Though I fully admit that this is totally all over the text as well.) Just purely in terms of a military partnership, Riza and Mustang are often precisely on the same page as one another, and itâ€™s why we saw their fighting synchronize organically in the episode before. It also explains how theyâ€™re able to communicate with one another through a facial expression. Thatâ€™s a huge deal, and Iâ€™m happy that the show is able to explore this through CONSTANT EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION.
- Dr. Gold-Tooth is so fucked up. He genuinely believes that what he did for the FÃ¼hrer candidates was charitable. You are a creepy dude, and I feel no sympathy for your death.
- HOW GREAT IS THE APPEARANCE OF JERSO AND MAY AND ZAMPANO.
- ITâ€™S REALLY GREAT.
- I really do think that this speaks to what Bradley will later complain about: These humans constantly prove to be unpredictable. Thatâ€™s one of the great things about humanity within this world. Humans are clever. Theyâ€™re resourceful. Theyâ€™re genuine. And itâ€™s a neat portrait of what Iâ€™d like our world to be, you know?
- May. MAY. I donâ€™t know what her characterâ€™s endgame is (meaning that I donâ€™t know how sheâ€™s going to return home to satisfy her clan after all this), but I love that she makes such a deliberate decision to help someone else instead of doing whatâ€™s best for her. Truthfully, we havenâ€™t seen much of her alkahestry used specifically to heal, so it was also exciting to see this onscreen. PLUS, RIZA WAS SAVED. THANK YOU, MAY CHANG.
- FUCK YOU, FÃœHRER BRADLEY.
- I LITERALLY PREDICTED THAT HE WOULD SHOW UP AT THE WORST POSSIBLE TIME.
- WOW, WAY TO BE PREPARED, MARK.
- Except that Bradley isnâ€™t healing. Oh shit, his Philosopherâ€™s Stone is wearing down!!!
- Oh god, I just kept screaming for Mustang to light Bradley on fire. JUST DO IT AND MAKE HIM GO AWAY. But guess what? Thatâ€™s not who Mustang is anymore. His character development through this series has been leading to this very point, and itâ€™s been incredible to watch. Mustang would have committed that taboo months earlier, but not this version of himself. I love that he says he has friends who will stop him right as the camera pans to show Scar and Riza. I justâ€¦ friendship.
- GO AWAY PRIDE. GO AWAY.
- This is the worst father-son reunion of all time. Itâ€™s terrifying, but of course, it only gets worse when Bradley uses his swords to PIN MUSTANG TO THE GROUND INSIDE OF A TRANSMUTATION CIRCLE
- I CANNOT FATHOM HOW FUCKED UP IT IS THAT THEY FORCED MUSTANG TO USE HUMAN TRANSMUTATION. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS WRONG AND AWFUL AND UNSETTLING.
- oh my god LOOK AT WHAT THE DOCTOR TURNED INTO.
- WHY MUST THIS SHOW DO THIS TO ME
- I CANâ€™T DEAL WITH THE DESPAIR AND TERROR IN RIZAâ€™S VOICE
- I am so upset I AM SO UPSET.
- I didnâ€™t even feel that much better once Darius realizes that Father is directly below them. I mean, cool! Theyâ€™re going to find everyone soon, but itâ€™s so messed up.
- Can I also say that I love that I finally understand where the sacrifices are? We get to see Mustang pass through the Gate and meet Truth, and then heâ€™s deposited in Fatherâ€™s lair. I admit that I donâ€™t get how Mustang ends up there precisely, but itâ€™s not terribly important for me to know this. I love the idea that Mustang, Izumi, Ed, and Al arenâ€™t going to be alone in their fight against Father. Truthfully, theyâ€™re going to need all the help they can get.
- Because THE GATE TOOK MUSTANGâ€™S EYESIGHT.
- WAIT A SECOND, WHY DID PRIDEâ€™S FACE START DISINTEGRATING.Â
- And can we talk about the horrifying hypocrisy of Father? He starts ruminating on the tolls that the sacrifices paid for their attempts to become a â€œgod,â€ but he purposely ignores the fact that Hohenheim and Mustang donâ€™t fit his logic at all. Even worse, ISNâ€™T FATHER TRYING TO BECOME A GOD, TOO??? Iâ€™m so glad that Edward rejects Fatherâ€™s disgusting logic.
- Nooooo, a direct parallel between Scar and Bradley, too many emotions, yâ€™all. Reminder: Bradley is actually Wrath, and Scar once was basically the human personification of wrath back when he was consumed with hatred and a desire for revenge. Oh god, thereâ€™s so much character development in this episode.
- BUT Yâ€™ALL. Yâ€™ALL. There is no bigger moment in this episode (and perhaps this whole fucking series) than the scene where Alphonse comes upon his body. Yes, it had happened before, but this time, his body is ready to join with him and return to the physical world.
- AND THEN ALPHONSE ELRIC TURNS HIM DOWN.
- HE REFUSES TO GET THE ONE THING HEâ€™S BEEN FIGHTING FOR THIS WHOLE TIME BECAUSE IT MIGHT MEAN THAT HE CANNOT HELP HIS FAMILY AND HIS FRIENDS
- ARE YOU CRYING BECAUSE I AM.
- I am convinced that there are few moments in FMA:B more heartbreaking than Alâ€™s body telling his soul that he wonâ€™t stop him from returning. I cannot do this.
- He asks his body to wait just a little bit longer, and my heart shrivels a little bit more. Oh, Alphonse, I care about you so much.
- I am perpetually in awe at what this show can do to me, yâ€™all. Holy shit.
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