62 A Fierce Counterattack
Father’s attempts to use others to make philosopher’s stones is foiled, but Father still has enough strength to blow away half of Central headquarters. Al and Hohenheim shield many from the attack while Briggs soldiers attempt to attack Father to no avail. Greed arrives and when Father attempts to take Greed’s stone, Ed attacks enough that Father resorts to hand-to-hand combat. Ed loses his automail arm in the attack and Al convinces May to help him perform human transmutation to gain Ed’s original arm back. Al loses connection with his armor body, restoring Ed’s arm.
The climactic battle of the series is quite something. It shows that Father is a nearly unstoppable force even in his weekened. It’s only his own greed that leads to an opening, a rather ironic twist given that he is trying to take from Greed. My one confusion with this episode is how many of the characters seem to sideline themselves. Ed does get some support from other alchemists, but it seems a lot of them watch for no real reason. I do like Al recognizing that in order to keep up the fight, Ed will need another arm so he can continue using alchemy.
63 The Other Side of the Gateway
Father still has a tight grip on Greed and continues his attempt to take the philosopher’s stone. Greed decides to give himself over to Father, leaving Ling’s body, only in order to turn on Father and use his carbonization ability to make Father’s body fragile. This allows Ed to smash Father’s physical form. This releases all the souls Father trapped and sends Father to the Gate of Truth forever. Ed rejects using a philosopher’s stone to bring Al back in his original body, deciding instead to sacrifice his Gate of Truth and all his knowledge of Alchemy to bring back Al. As everyone recovers from battle, Hohenheim slips away and dies in front of Trisha’s grave.
Keeping with the theme that the Homunculus desires that which only humanity gives them, Greed’s betrayal is fitting. I like that the fight involves multiple forces at work in order to weaken Father instead of simply being a battle of pure brawn. Also, Ed’s sacrifice to bring back Al is a great way to finally cap off the series, a fitting exchange that brings Ed’s career as an alchemist to a close while also bringing the brother’s quest to an end.
64 Journey’s End
Series wrap-up episode time! Mustang begins working towards his policy of restoring Ishvalan politics. Olivier sends Scar and Miles to help rebuild Ishval. Ling and May return to Xing and the brothers go home to Resembool where Winry awaits them. Two years pass. Al decides to go to Xing to learn about Alkahestry while Ed decides to head West. Before he leaves on the train, he and Winry finally admit their love for each other in the dorkiest way possible. Nerds.
I didn’t need this episode. A good story knows when to bow out and leave enough for the audience to extrapolate and wonder what happens next. I think all I really need is the scene of Ed and Al returning to Resembool, which could have been the end of the last episode. Everything else is too much of a good thing in my opinion. I like the mystery of what happens next, which we get ruined here. It’s not the worst way to end of a show, but I could have done without it.
© 2015 James Blake Ewing