After the sacrifice made by Al is realized, Ed wears it all on his sleeve as he takes on Father.
What They Say
When the battle ends, the one known as Father meets his final fate beyond the Gateway. When the one known as Fullmetal enters the sacred space, he finds only the promise of a new beginning.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final arc of the series has certainly been one that has moved to epic levels and a big emotional chunk of it occurred in the previous episode with Alphonse essentially sacrificing himself so that Ed can have his arm back and use his powers to his full extent. Ed's taking everything he can against Father at this point, but even when he's down and nearly out there's always some way of gaining a bit more power to carry on. Considering the years he's been around, it's little surprise that he'd sacrifice everything and anything to continue on his quest.
And that includes a really strong segment right at the start when he thrusts his fist right into Greeling's body to try and take out the Philosopher's Stone from there so he can gain a bit more power. It's an epic struggle inside Greeling's body though as Ling refuses to let him while Greed goes on that everything was a lie to begin with and that he really wants to get inside of Father's body where he belongs, so he can try and end him in the way that only Greed can do. Greed, both as himself and as a part of Greeling, has been the best of the homunculi to appear in the series and the bonding with Ling really brought out a great side of him that made him so much more than any of the other homunculi. He truly became a core part of the cast as it went on and had some of the best stylistic moments of them all.
The fate of Father is fairly anticlimactic at best, but in all honesty that was always expected since villains rarely get a truly good ending to them when the bill comes due. The real meat of the episode outside of Greed and Ling naturally focuses on Ed and Al as Ed has to go beyond in order to bring his brother back to life. The difficulties in figuring out what needs to be done places an immense strain on the young man emotionally as he knows he can't give up, but the options he sees in front of him are not one he can choose from. The resolution he comes up with is certainly interesting enough in a sort of way where it's been there from the start but was something that just couldn't be seen. The final confrontation on the other side is somewhat tense as you wonder whether his gambit will pay off or not and whether the series will end cleanly or in tragedy.
The ending to this arc is one that couldn't live up to overall expectations, especially the way the final arc has raised things to such a high level. When you look at the individual parts, there's a whole lot to like. The final moments against Father are spot on, the emotions of those supporting the Elric brothers is inspiring and the connection shown between Greed and Ling is really beautiful. The big part of the show that really comes to fruition here is the most understated of pieces, but that's part of what makes it so wonderful. The sacrifices made by the brothers, the whole Brotherhood angle of the name in the US in fact, is shown in such a simple manner with no regrets that you can't help but to love both of these young men all the more. And their story is spot on here, making it the culmination of a wonderful journey for them that has a future that is wide open.
Hohenheim's final scene nearly made me cry though, as a father myself, there's a certain stronger connection you can make to a scene like that.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.