You know it's a special episode when they don't run an opening credits sequence.
What They Say
Millions of lifeless bodies litter the landscape of Amestris, and a being with the power to create suns is unleashed upon the world. Unless Hohenheim has something amazing up his sleeve, all is surely lost.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Amestris has come to an end and it's positively haunting as everyone seems to be dead, laying where they were, as an eerie silence covers the country. The stillness is unnerving to say the least, but even more so when you realize that the sacrifices appear to be all that's left. With supposedly some fifty million people having been ended because of the homunculus' plans, it's more than those who have survived can bear. But the entire problem still resides in that Father has now seemingly obtained immense amounts of power from his plan and is ready to use it in order to establish his full rule.
Considering the time scale involved with what the flask homunculi has been working with, it's little surprise that Hohenheim does have something up his sleeve in order to try and restore the balance of life to Amestris and to the world itself. It's an intriguing plan that takes quick effect as there really is no time to lose, and it's the kind of thing that definitely feels epic and powerful. Yet in the short term, it's a plan that minimizes the main cast of characters for the duration and leaves us just watching massive amounts of energy floating around. Though he's the namesake of the series, Ed takes a bit of a back seat as the show turns the main characters into Hohenheim and the homunculi as their story is one that is ages old.
While Hohenheim is taking the lead on things against Father, there's a lot of support for him along the way as well. The fight between Bradley and Scar leads to Scar engaging in a really powerful moment where he has to see where his stream of life will lead him. Bradley has a powerful moment as well as he waxes on lightly about his life and the way it followed a very particular route. He's been a complex character in a lot of ways, even at the end. What Scar does however is alter the fundamentals of how alchemy works in Amestris as we learn there's been an inhibitor in there for quite some time and that allows the Sacrifices to take their fight directly against Father with even Greeling getting back into the game at the very end. It's all properly epic and full of action, but because of the godlike powers of Father, it's still got a bit of a hands-off approach to a lot of it.
There are a few odd turns as this episode plays out, notably in what happens with Pride and Ed towards the end, but by and large it's all about raising the epic level of the storyline a few notches. I'm actually somewhat disappointed that things at the start of the episode turned around so quickly for Amestris in general since that gave it all a lot of importance. For it to be reversed in what's really the blink of an eye took a bit of the wind out of the sails since it sort of just reset things for Father to continue forward again. While Hohenheim dominates a lot of this episode, and rightly so when you consider the scope of the overall storyline, almost everyone has a good scene or two in the episode and everything is racing forward toward the conclusion. Though not quite as tense as some previous episodes, it's very good but not quite fantastic.
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.