Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 27-29

27 Interlude Party

Recap episode time! Hohenheim sit on the edge of a party while lots of clips from previous episodes play as Hohenheim contemplates his role in all of this. There’s also a part where someone who looks exactly like Hohenheim/Father taunts Hohenheim. As a recap episode, the framing device helps it have some freshness for faithful viewers. At the end of the day it’s a recap episode. You’ve seen most of it. It’s okay. Next episode, please.

28 Father

Ed, Ling, and Envy come out of Gluttony’s stomach to find themselves in Father’s chamber. A fight ensues. Ed and Al find they can’t use alchemy after Father casts some sort of alchemy. Ling agrees to take a philosopher’s stone from Father and the stone turns him into a new version of Greed. Ed tells Scar about Envy’s role in the Ishbal civil war. May and Scar use their own blend of alchemy to cover a hasty retreat.

It’s interesting to get this deep into the belly of the beast. This feels like the battleground of the big showdown of the show, so to suddenly have our heroes pop into the lair and have a fight is a shock. I’m not sure I completely agree with the choice, it feels like this could have happened somewhere else and worked better. However, it does give Ed and Al a new quest to learn Scar and May’s version of alchemy as it is not affected by Father’s counter-alchemy.

29 Struggle of the Fool

After Scar and May disappear, Envy leads Ed and Al out of the lair to meet up with Wrath. Passed onto Wrath’s supervision, he thinly hides a threat to kill Winry if Ed and Al continue their research. Meanwhile, as he escapes, Scar comes across Doctor Marcoh (Masayuki Omoro), the same doctor who gave the boys the tip about his research a couple of season ago.

It strikes me that Ed and Al have an interesting relationship with Father and the Homuculus. While typically the hero and villain would want to kill, or at least subdue, one another, here the villain is far more powerful than the hero, but needs the hero to be preserved in order to fulfil his plans. Therefore, the underpowered, outgunned hero is left alive, but made more and more aware of his helplessness as he becomes aware of the scope and depth of the plans of his enemies. It’s a compelling and interesting dynamic that makes the show move more towards a battle of subterfuge and deception instead of straight-up battle.

© 2015 James Blake Ewing