Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood now officially feels like it's spending too much time up north at Briggs. Though we had a really exceptional episode last week with all that we learned about the past and Hohenheim, the storyline taking place in the present has this drawn out feeling that's really starting to wear down on me the more I watch it. There are things that I like about it, but with Armstrong gone down to Central and the way Kimblee moves at such a slow pace for events to play out, it's leaving me feel kind of cool towards it all.
This episode spends all its time in the north as it plays through two main story ideas. The first has Winry, Scar and the rest slowly making their way out of the tunnels to get away from Kimblee and they finally do meet up with Alphonse. Al didn't have the best of times trudging through the snow via the direct route to meet up with them, but now that he's there he's one more body to help watch out for things as they make their way towards a nearby village where some Ishvalan's have set up refuge in the last few years. There's some cute moments to be had here, especially with Winry and Mai digging Al out of the snow, but the story arc is more for later in this episode when Alphonse collapses because of events involving his brother elsewhere.
Ed's arc doesn't fare much better as it feels like we're once again facing off with Kimblee, something that's been happening since he came to Briggs. Kimblee's intent on getting Scar so he's set out now that the storm has finished out. Miles wants him dead since that's the only way to deal with things, though Ed obviously doesn't want to go along with that in the slightest. So while Miles sets up sniping positions to take him down before they get close, Ed's more interested in trying to ferret out some information first. It's not an event that will go well for either side because it's patently obvious that Kimblee is not a man that you can sneak up on even from a distance. And with the two chimera he has in tow, he's got some extra stopping power around him to deal with anything else. All of it does lead to a decent series of events that forces Ed to really understand the consequences of his no-killing policy, but even that doesn't help to save an episode that otherwise feels rather plodding and meandering.
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