Events are moving right along though the focus is kept small and on the action as the series continuse to gear up.
What They Say
After investigating the twisted roots of the Bradley family tree, Mustang gathers his most loyal troops. Meanwhile, Ed and his allies continue fighting Selim, who shocks everyone by turning on his own kind.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Action is the first order of the day with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood as a few fights are in progress as the episode opens up. While there's an interesting nod made by Ling's guardian, Fu, from Xing about what powerful chi forces are arrayed around them, notably with Ed's father, the fighting makes up a good part of what starts here. Having Lan Fan back in quite the different visual design is intriguing as she takes on Gluttony in a pretty intense manner, enough so that it's actually surprising Gluttong quite a lot. The other battle, between the chimera Henkel and Selim as Pride is pretty intense as well, though it goes in an amusing way when villagers see the beast like Henkel essentially brutalizing a little kid. Not that they make out well by what they see either.
There's some really intriguing material to be had in this episode as events move right along. Mustang finally makes more of an appearance as he gains some critical information from a source that turns out to be a lot more than was one expected. He's had some good information gathering elements so far but when we learn that Madam Christmas is actually his foster mother, it causes you to re-evaluate past scenes. With the Promised Day essentially at hand, he's now making his move and starts meeting up with those who are loyal to him and to the country's people so they can start in on what needs to be done to protect it.
The other piece that fascinated me, and the characters witness to it, was during the fight with Pride after it shifts over to being a duel between him and Ed. Pride's certainly not above doing whatever it takes to win which is why he tries to use Al against Ed, though that doesn't go as planned. When Gluttony is drawn into the fight and Pride is seeing himself up against a bit of a wall, he goes to the extreme by actually devouring Gluttony to gain more power in order to deal with the skilled foes he's fighting. Lan Fan's ability to sense homunculi is one that is very problematic so he has to deal with it pretty quickly. Gluttony hasn't been a favorite of mine, though he's had some strong moments, and this is yet another of them as his almost child-like nature is shown once again as he's devoured bit by bit.
Though not quite a huge episode, this one is one that sets up things while keeping the pace moving by having some action sequences and actual changes to what everyone is doing. After being the good boy for awhile, Mustang is now putting his plan into action and it's having consequences already. Ed and his group have to deal with a couple of homunculi while also learning that his father is a massive source of chi that may even dwarf all the others. The fight sequences are solid and make sense for what's going on and don't really feel tacked on. The ending comes a bit early as the epilogue is a bit lengthy but it helps to quietly set things up for the next episode as the things that humans do continue to confuse Father. Good stuff, not great, but definitely solid.
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.