Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The fortieth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one that is certainly important and designed in a way that really does some amazing work. The bookend pieces to the show are intriguing enough in themselves without even taking the middle chunk of the show into account. And with an episode like this, where it's filled with back story, it can be told in a poor way so as to make the important exposition unappealing and difficult to connect with. Yet here they manage to make it exciting and completely engaging with every frame.
The opening piece is a wonderful bit of intrigue as General Armstrong is back at Central and already giving Mustang grief, though in a way that allows the two of them to setup a way to trade information. With what she's done back at Briggs, she knows she's going to have a difficult time with the Fuhrer and it's confirmed even more so when they meet. Keeping to her nature, she takes the bull by the horns and ends up taking Raven's place by showing Bradley exactly why Raven was such a fool, something that Bradley seems to accept with a bit of vigor and gusto as he brings Armstrong into the fold. This gets followed up by an even more fun moment as Mustang and Hawkeye trade a bit of information themselves while in the mess hall and Mustang is given the truth about what Selim is, something that really does seem to shake and surprise him. It's not often that he gets that look about him, but when he does it's a key moment.
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