With the brothers split apart, they're both trying to figure out where the other is while the truths slowly come out.
What They Say
Hohenheim and Alphonse enjoy a chance to get reacquainted. Their bond is restored with ease, inspiring the father to share his secrets with his sons - but one of them is far away and on the run.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the last episode which started to right the ship that was tiling a bit with this series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood goes back to setting the stage some more. This particular aspect of the show has some really good moments over the course of it but sometimes it can get a little bit draining as well as you wait and wait and wait for something to happen. Much has been laid out so far so you can get the gist of the plan easily enough and now you want to see more movement towards it. We got some of that the last time around and earlier when we had the big Hohenheim background story, but right now it's back to moving the pieces around the board.
An interesting subplot that comes through here takes us back to Central where we see from a different angle where Olivier is shown the hanging bodies waiting to become an army. Her curiosity about it does net some answers about where the souls come from, but it's what's happening behind them that's intriguing. Bido is brought back. This particular chimera hasn't been seen for a bit that I can recall but he's been out there searching for Mr. Greed all this time and is surprised to find him deep down under Central. Unfortunately, this is the new Greed who has no recollection of the past and therefore has no problem in killing an intruder regardless of his protestations of friendship. But this is all a slippery slope as it forces the internal battle between Greed and Lin Yao to surface again as Lin is doing his best to gain control and utilize Greed for his own purposes.
The main thrust of the episode is split into two parts as each one focuses on one of the brothers. Alphonse has made his way to Liore and come across his father there, which has the potential for a lot of awkwardness. But Al's personality and the larger problem at hand has him treating his father well and accepting things he's told at face value, which includes the truth of where he came from. That puts a kernel of doubt in Al's mind as to his own existence but it's good to see Hohenheim think about what kind of trust these kids have placed in him. Ed finally does return to the show with this episode as he's recovering in another town some distance away from the previous battle. He's got a pair of guys working as bodyguards for him but when they try to withdraw some funds from the bank to help pay for the medical expenses, it signals the military to come in there quickly to take out Ed. And Ed is naturally caught up in things which leads to a fun car chase and the transformation of a car that shows Ed's horrible sense of style. There isn't too much to this particular arc but it's finally got Ed moving again and there's the knowledge that his father wants to see him to tell him all the truths.
I had hoped for a bit more of an uptick in the series after the last episode but it's gone back to being a bit more methodical in setting up things. The cast has grown big enough that they can move between different areas easily enough and cover very interesting stories but we get a lot of quiet downtime here that doesn't really progress the story forward well. It does bring Ed back into the picture which is good and we get to see a key moment for Greed but by and large this episode left me feeling a little tired of it all. I love the show but its pacing is becoming more and more frustrating since you can see so much of the writing on the wall.
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.