Hell hath no fury like Mustang unleashed.
What They Say
As Envy writhes within the firestorm unleashed by Mustang's vengeful rage, Hawkeye must take drastic measures to prevent the Flame Alchemist's hatred from burning out of control.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The buildup of events are definitely moving along at a large scale, but like any good story it's the smaller and more human elements that elevate it to epic levels. The bulk of this story revolves around Mustang and Hawkeye, going back as far as the Ishvalan war where we see a poignant scene of Hawkeye burying an Ishvalan child as Mustang looks on, understanding what she's going through and listening to her requests to be freed from the alchemy her father has placed on her. It's a good if brief reminder of how well tied the two of them are into the present.
With Hughes' killer now fully named and within Mustang's reach, he's gone all out to have vengeance upon him and kill him, brutally. It's a really cold and intense scene for the master of flame as he's ready to take that final step until Hawkeye tries her best to bring him back to reality. What's conflicting about all of it, as Ed and Scar watch on as well, is that there may be an element (large or small) within the viewer that will root for Mustang to go the distance and do the deed of killing this squirmy little pile of homunculi evil. Envy even goes so far as to egg Mustang on to make that leap beyond and do it, which will forever alter him. Even with the price that must be paid, you want Roy to do it.
What's really difficult to watch though is how Envy handles the whole situation afterward, when he realizes exactly what's going on around him. Though it's far too much exposition and drama on his part, which will lead to people mocking it I'm sure, it's a solidly profound piece that humanize the homunculi more than I would have would have guessed possible within the series based on past actions. There's the general belief that most, if not all, of the homunculi are irredeemable but even that's part of the theme of the series in that everyone can be redeemed. But can a homunculi be and will it be understood and accepted by the humans around it? That's the challenge, both for the characters and for the viewer.
Though the bulk of this episode is all about the character drama, we are treated to a great deal of fun at Central for the last few minutes of the episode. The Armstrong family continues to be one of the best assets of the series and we finally get a chance for the Major to really let loose in a fight as he goes up against Sloth. It's all very patriotic with its tone and music and there's a wonderful simple intensity about a fist fight that allows it to work. It's a great counter balance to the deeper things brought out in the rest of the episode and leaves you feeling jazzed by the whole episode while looking forward to the next one. Definitely one of the best character driven episodes of the series to date.
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.