You can't keep a good bad guy down.
What They Say
Central's forces fight with renewed vigor following Bradley's return, and the Fuhrer himself enters the battle. His first opponent is an armored tank. His second foe is even tougher.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a lot of very good moments to it throughout the show, and some of the best involved Hohenheim with his almost deadpan style and seriousness. His confrontation with Father at the start here is wonderful as he reveals exactly what it is he's done to him after the attack he let happen. There's a certain cold calculation to things as he lays out the facts to the old homunculus and lets it all seep into his mind as the attack reverses itself on Father. Yet for all that Hohenheim has done over the years, he's still a bit too confident in himself and his plan to realize that he's not the only one who has really progressed and changed during all of that, leading to a very chilling moment in their confrontation.
Outside of that battle, Central has turned into an even more intense battlefield now that King Bradley has returned. His power was already considered immense but now he's playing without holding back in the slightest, brutally taking out numerous Briggs soldiers with ease, even kicking the crap out of a tank with just a bit of real effort. There's a lot going on across Central in general with the Central forces now surging back against the Briggs soldiers since they have the Fuhrer to give them inspiration simply by being alive, never mind actually present in Central. Because of this shift, the propaganda war takes a different turn in order to protect Mustang as the focus is now that General Armstrong may be leading the coup, a position that she'd have no problem taking on considering the overall threat. Going into it, she knew she could be viewed as a villain no matter which way the battle went.
The most exciting moment of this episode is the return of Greeling though, who has his own longstanding personal grudge with Bradley that he wants to deal with. Using a simple excuse of owing Falman a favor, he drops in with plenty of style and lots of Greed's personality in order to do battle with him. There are numerous battles and fights throughout this series and plenty of them with payoff and excitement and this is yet another one to add to that list. Bradley unleashed, the Brigg's soldiers trying to help out and Greeling going at it the best he can makes it a spectacular fight made even better with the choreography and music associated with it. Bradley's casual attitude, yet serious nature, plays perfectly against the emotions on his sleeves Greeling character and adds to the overall excitement of the fight.
With a really nice tease at the beginning showing Hohenheim after he escaped from Xerxes, this episode starts off very well. It's a good sign when an episode covers so many different parts of the storyline and you want more of all of them. Sometimes you get a subplot that's just not interesting, but each one of these has both value and excitement. From that tease at the start to the big match and to the propaganda side. Add in all the other smaller battles going on around Central and it's a solid work through and through that has action with payoff. These are the episodes I was waiting for and teased about for awhile and the wait has been worth it. And all of this without Ed and Al!
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.