Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 56-58

56 The Return of the Fuhrer

Bradley launches his lone wolf attack on Central headquarters. Greed shows up to battle Bradley on the top of the gate and the two lock each other in furious battle. Meanwhile, Father’s body is being consumed by the souls in Hohenheim’s stone. His body is destroyed, but Father’s strength is now so powerful he no longer needs a container to remain in a physical form.

After bringing the enemy to its lowest point, this episode is an upswing for the enemies as the heroes discover that they are once again on the back foot. This episode is heavy on the action and the action serviceable here. The Bradley fight benefits from other players occasionally coming in to help Greed, but as the action episodes go, there’s nothing particularly intelligent or exciting about this episode.

57 Eternal Love

Bradley pins Greed to the ground and then fights Fu alone. Fu attempts to kill Bradley by blowing both of them up, but Bradley cuts all the fuses before the explosion is lit. However, the attack distracts Bradley enough that the others are able to wound Bradley. Fu dies during the attack. Ed and his group encounter the doctor who helped create Bradley along with the rejected Fuhrer candidates. The doctor activated the circle and Ed, Al and Izumi are taken by the eye.

As an action episode, this one does a much better job of creating a varied, thoughtful fight with a lot more players involved in trying different methods to get at Bradley. While I appreciate that the show still lingers for the loss of life, Fu is a character that hasn’t been as big a player to give the emotional weight the show tries to gain from his death.

58 Sacrifices

Bradley is flung into the moat below the gate. Ling, now under the control of his body, launches an attack relying on Greed’s shield that destroys all of Bradley’s soldiers at front of the gate. Ed, Al, and Izumi find that they are in Father’s lair. Hohenhem is inside Father’s gooey body, subdued. However, the fifth sacrifice is still not ready. The doctor tries to force Roy to commit human transmutation by slitting Hawkeye’s throat.

What a brutal episode. Ling’s slaughter of the troops is a downright bloodbath and probably one of the show’s darker moments. The show follows that up by holding Roy’s affection for Hawkeye against him and asking him to do the worst alchemy possible to save her. As usual, the show does a great job of grabbing at your gut and putting you in dark place.

© 2015 James Blake Ewing