The scope of what the homunculi are up to is made plain to Ed and that changes his entire view.
What They Say:
The Elrics are at Bradley's mercy; if the brothers make one wrong move, those dearest to them will pay. As Mustang quietly gathers allies at his side, Ed discovers there may be no need to find a Philosopher's Stone.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
There’s been a lot going on in the Fullmetal Alchemist world lately and this episode manages to slow things down some for a bit of reflection. The quieter episodes often have as much impact as the big action ones with the revelations and such so they often require just as much attention. And in some ways, they have more replay value as a lot of it comes down to some verbal cues and nuances in order to hint at what’s to come.
Pressure is the name of the game in this episode as Ed and Al, along with Mustang, have everything laid out pretty clearly from Wrath after Envy takes the two brothers to meet with him. It’s said a little too clearly for my tastes, but the simple visual of having Wrath sitting at the table, sipping tea with only his sword by his said, speaks volumes about what he feels his position is in relation to the other three in the room. Ed thankfully picks up on it and realizes he can’t do anything and that’s even more apparent after Wrath starts talking. The revelations about where Mustang’s staff has been sent and the way it’s like they’re hostages is a strong moment. But what pushes him over the edge is that Wrath is obviously not above using Winry for his manipulations either.
Much of this episode is made up of the little moments. There’s the cute factor with Mayu sleeping inside of Al and the way that she manages to hide from Wrath when he suspects she may be there. Lan Fan finally learns what’s happened to Ling and it’s a crushing moment for her, but one that steels her resolve to do what she can and that puts her on the same path as someone like Ed when it comes to the automail. Mustang has a very sweet little moment, well, outside of his change issue, where he is finally able to pose the question about who it was that had killed Hughes in what seems like forever ago. The best though comes towards the end when Scar comes across Dr. Marcoh and Marcoh sees Scar as some kind of godlike figure that will save him. But only after Scar takes out his frustrations and anger on him…
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a decent episode here, one that I think will play better when seen a second time and you put all the pieces together with it. The shift in the power dynamic is plain though as Wrath now firmly has the Elric brothers and Mustang in his grasp, but the three of them will have their own plans in motion if Mustang doesn’t already have a master plan to try and push through. The cruel side of the show does come up here and there, such as Lan Fan having to realize what Ling has done and Scar’s ending moments with Dr. Marcoh, but overall this is a quiet episode that hints more at what’s to come than anything else. And those hints make you want more episodes right now.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.