Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Season 1 Episode 33 Review: The Northern Wall of Briggs

It still irks me that Bones thinks that a single episode for volume 15 was fine, but three episodes or more for volume 16 is right. It's not so much that I mind the filler, so much as it's infuriating that this is the time they could have used for more of the Ishbal war flashback. And still, in this episode, we see more stretching out of little material, for no apparent reason.

We get to see a bit more of Kimbley tracking Scar before the big showdown. I think it creates a build up to it that makes what we get sort of a disappointment. Kimbley makes the same damn creepy face over and over again, and it loses its effect after a while. Yes, we get it, he's wicked. Fine. I have a feeling he practices that face in the mirror every day just to get it right. It was at least good to see that Kimbley isn't just a maniac, that he can think pretty clearly and come to rational conclusions based on evidence. Of course, then he fucks up by taking on Scar by himself.

And what the hell is it with Scar still surviving? Edward, Alphonse, Alex Louis Armstrong, the homunculi, and now Kimbley have taken him on, and the guy never gets caught or killed. Can one Ishbalan warrior priest be that talented? It's ridiculous that he's survived this damn long. Come on, are you telling me somebody couldn't have just SHOT him? The homunculi are so inept they have to send Kimbley after him instead of teaming up and taking him down themselves? And Kimbley, the guy who can blow things up by touching them, is so easily taken down? Scar is overpowered as hell to begin with, but to make everyone else fall into some sort of incompetence field around him is bullshit. Just fucking shoot him. In the head. That he even survived the first encounter with the military back in episode 5 boggles my mind. I don't give a shit about what sort of ability Scar has. HE'S ONE GUY. KILL HIM.

The Amestrian military are a bunch of Stormtroopers.

Kimbley is pretty badass, though, insisting that the train continue, even with him pinned to it with the pipe, sputtering his weird ideals. You know he'll survive, but why didn't he just use the Philosopher's Stones he has to heal himself there? I guess all he's good for is blowing things up after all.

I think I like the reaction of the Elric brothers when they first arrive in the North, their awe at the snow. The flashback to them during one of Risembool's rare snows and Edward's use of alchemy to make a snowman was a nice touch. It's easy to forget that they're still kids, but the snow was more than enough to invoke their sense of wonder. In the manga, we never even got to see North City, so it was a treat to see it, if just for a few moments. This is the type of filler I don't mind at all.

The highlight of the episode, though, was Olivia Mira Armstrong, and Ed's encounter with her subordinate, Buccaneer, wherein he failed to deconstruct his automail. Yoko Soumi, "B.C." in Vandread, voices Olivier in just the manner I would have expected. Likewise, the voice of Buccaneer fits. I'm interested in hearing how Miles is handled. Romi Paku did some amazing feats in the episode with Edward's reaction to the fortress and Olivier. He was impressed/freaked out at the same time, and it sure sounded it. Olivier Armstrong is one of my favorite FMA characters, and I hope they won't disappoint me in how they treat this segment of the story.

It looks like Sloth will be appearing next episode, which means we'll get a bit of action, seeing what Olivier and her troops can do. I'm looking forward to it, and so should you.


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