Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 14-16

14 Those Who Lurk Underground

Fuhrer Bradley and a team of troops show up to rescue Ed and Al. As the troops hunt down and kill the chimeras, Bradley hunts down Greed and the two get into a vicious fight. It’s revealed that Bradley is also a homunculus and his tattoo gives him the power to see everyone’s weakness. Bradley takes Greed back to the leader of the homunculi, someone referred to as Father, and Greed is melted into a philosopher’s stone that Father drinks.

It’s no surprise that Bradley is a badguy, so it’s nice the show gets it out of the way. However, the nature of his character as similar to the homunculus is something I didn’t expect. He’s considered Wrath from the deadly sins, which makes some sense as people occasionally comment that he’s increased war in the kingdom since he started reigning. Now that he’s out as on the enemy team for the viewers, it’ll be interesting to see if we get more glimpses into their plans.

15 Envoy from the East

Scar ends up joining forces with some strangely talented girl named May Chang who is seeking Ed. Ed and Al end up fighting the bodyguards of Ling Yao, a prince from the eastern kingdom of Xing seeking the secret of immortality. Roy and his crew detain Barry the Chopper, the armor that Al fought outside the fifth laboratory.

This is a big wait and see episode. The show pulls back and gives a glimpse of a lot of characters, but doesn’t follow much of plot arc. It is worth noting that these past couple of episodes, the show has started toning down the comedic aspects. Ling is a goofy character, but the show makes the comedy work a bit better as it’s integrated more into the dramatic style and less amplified as previous episodes. I still don’t find it funny, but it’s not grating anymore.

16 Footsteps of a Comrade-in Arms

Ed and Al return to central and no one has the heart to them that Hughes is dead. Eventually the brothers discover and go to talk to Hughes’s wife and daughter. Ed blames himself for involving Hughes in something dangerous. Meanwhile, hoping to sate Roy’s curiosity, Envy and Lust work to frame Ross (the woman who was bodyguard for the brother’s for a brief period) for the murder and she is taken into custody.

This episode lingers on Ed and Al processing the grief of losing a friend and also contemplating whether or not they should continue their investigation if it means putting lives at risk. It’s good to see these events have real weigh for the characters and the show does give a decent amount of screentime to the wife and daughter to a character. I appreciate the show’s willingness to take time off to explore simple human drama and try to connect with characters another show would simply ignore.

© 2015 James Blake Ewing