A little lighter in tone after the last few episodes, Ed and Al finally find themselves on the right path again.
What They Say
A secret encounter allows Mustang to spark new ambition in an old friend – an ally with loyal troops at his command. Meanwhile, Ed and Al share a chance meeting with their biggest fan – young Selim Bradley..
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
Sometimes Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood comes across as too much of a tease. We’re getting so many bits of information, so many little nods and winks towards things to come, that it feels like forever before we get the payoff with it. The last few episodes have been fairly intense with it and the writers know that so we do get some lighter moments here to balance it out, though that’s to the chagrin of some who really don’t appreciate the humor that sneaks into the series. I actually rather enjoy it for the most part so an episode like this is pretty welcome.
As is the case with many episodes here, there’s a lot of little story arcs going on that are all swirling around each other. After Kimblee’s being freed previously, we now see him on the hunt for Scar as Scar makes his way through the train system to his final destination up north, an area we haven’t seen in the series yet. Kimblee comes across as positively creepy here as he works within the system – but with style – and sets out to track him down so he can eliminate him once and for all. Scar himself doesn’t get much time, we see more of May and her panda doing little things for the trip than anything else, but the change in the dynamic is palpable here as Scar is generally more subdued and thinking ahead more of what he wants to get done.
Ed and Al are continuing their search for May since they want to know more about alkahestry on the chance they may find something that will help return Alphonse to his body. Their search is fruitless out in the streets, especially since May is on the other side of the country, but their library research nets them something very surprising – a meeting with the Fuhrer’s son. The young lad, Selim, is quite the fan of Ed’s and brings him back home where there’s an awkward meeting with his mother as she talks about Bradley in a way that the boys haven’t thought of him. And when he returns home briefly, that’s pushed all the more. I adore moments like this because even though it’s not exactly true here, the villain never thinks of himself as the villain. So seeing him in a very familiar setting like this and humanizing him is both grating and conflicting for the boys because of the way Bradley talks of family. It may be a cover, it may not be, and it may be both, but it throws a wedge in the beliefs that Ed holds in regards to the Fuhrer.
Though there’s barely any action here, it’s a very good episode that covers a lot of the ground. The best material comes with General Grumman arriving in Central to visit with Mustang after being contacted for help. It’s more of the comedy in the end, priceless comedy at that, but it also serves to highlight more of how the homunculi have operated within Central and in the various campaigns that have gone on over the years. This series continues to have layers and layers of story arcs and ideas that go above and beyond most other shows, which makes it continually engaging and fascinating to watch. If there is ever a show that will merit repeat viewings to get all the nuances, this will definitely be one of them.
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.