The disjointed dreams of Hohenheim appear as the series slows down for a moment.
What They Say:
Visions of the past play out by a warming fire as Hohenheim reflects on the unavoidable follies of man: the pain that comes with a loving family; the hidden truths of alchemy; and the roots and results of war.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
After twenty-six episodes with only one week off I believe, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood takes a breather with a recap episode that uses a bit of a framework in which to tell it. The show has had a lot going on in its first twenty-six episodes that any recap is going to really not do it justice, but it’s a time honored tradition to try and actually do it. With all that’s gone on in the in the last few episodes, and the previous one in particular, I have to admit that a bit of a breather isn’t a bad thing so everything can soak in a little bit.
The recap works around the idea of Hohenheim sitting on a fallen tree as numerous people are dancing around a large campfire in front of him. At his side, sharing a drink, is an adult version of Pinako which is just bizarre to see since we’ve only seen her in her diminutive size. The two engage in discussions about the nature of man and the way he always seems to go to war, cause violence and never learn from past mistakes. Throughout the conversation there are times when others get involved, including different aspects of Hohenheim himself but also different aged versions of his wife and children. The past is something that definitely haunts him but it’s what pushes him to his goals, even if there is internal conflict within.
Each of the moments of discussion that Hohenheim has with himself brings about various scenes from the series in order to accent the ideas. The war with Ishval is shown, the turning of a city into a Philosopher’s Stone and the general idea of violence that’s out there. The struggles that Ed and Al go through are covered as well and there’s even surprising attention paid to Ling and Lan Fan with their battle against the homunculi. Given its dream-like nature, it’s not a surprise that the flashback and recap side is as disjointed as it feels, with plenty omitted and odd pieces included. This isn’t a recap that really does much for the faithful viewer nor is it a good jump on point for new people. It’s nice to recount some of these scenes, particularly seeing Bradley and Greed going at it, but by and large it’s just a montage of moments and scenes where some are relevant.
Amusingly, the best parts of this episode are the new opening and closing sequences. The new opening sequence is full of vibrancy and action, definitely the kind that gets you sucked right into it. The ending may be the best though as it focuses largely on Winry as she works away at the shop in Rush Valley. What I liked about this is that it shows her working hard and carving out her own place in life. While we know she has strong feelings for Ed, seeing her focusing on herself and her goals and training and work is highly appealing and speaks very well for her. It’s not nearly as action packed as the opening, it is mostly just stills, but it’s the best way to end an episode and get you to reflect on it.
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.