Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 7-9

7 Hidden Truths

El and Al return to Central to discover the library that housed the doctor’s research on the philosopher’s stone has been burned to the ground. Fortunately, they discover Sheska (Chika Fujimura), a girl who worked at the library and has an amazing memory of everything she’s ever read, including the doctor’s research. Sadly, the discovery they make is that the key component to make a philosopher’s stone is a living human.

This is a dry, exposition filled episode. The show does try to make it livelier with a lot of comedy, but it’s still consistently the weakest element of the show. I do enjoy the banter between Denny (Yuki Hayashi) and Maria (Kaori Nazuka), the two new escorts for Ed and Al, a small consolation prize for a poor episode.

8 The Fifth Laboratory

The doctor’s research leads Ed and Al to The Fifth Laboratory, an ostensibly abandoned facility that the brothers find heavily guarded. Against orders from their military friends, the two sneak inside. They discover souls tied to armor similar to Al. After Ed defeats the suit of armor he battles and refuses to kill him, the owner of the armor agrees to tell him all he knows. But Lust kills him before anything is revealed.

Picking up the slack of the last episode, this one achieves a much better balance between pushing the plot forward as well as delivering some great action. Both the Ed and Al fights are strong. The Ed fight in particular ends up with quite a few interesting twists. This is also the first time Lust and Envy reveal themselves and it’ll be interesting to see how the show moves forward now that Ed has met two of the people behind the scenes pulling the strings.

9 Created Feelings

Ed recovers from his battle in the previous episode. Winry arrives and scolds him while Al seems out of sorts. In the previous episode, Barry the Butcher (Hideyuki Umezu), the armor Al fought with, suggests that Al has no way of knowing that he’s really a person and not a creation of Ed. Eventually, Al has it out with Ed and the two end up getting in a fight before reconnecting over mutual memories of their childhood.

Getting another episode about Ed recovering so quickly after episode six means the show dragging its legs. Also, the conflict wedged between the brothers feels contrived and unfounded. Having Al’s loyalty to his brother so easily shaken seems implausible. Also, this is another comedy heavy episode and it’s just as unfunny as ever. It’s a disappointment to get two lackluster episodes bookending such a fantastic episode. The show loses its momentum every time an episode like this is thrown into the mix.

© 2015 James Blake Ewing