Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Season 1, Episode 20 Review: Father Before the Grave

The first thing that Hohenheim brings up upon seeing Ed is how he heard from Pinako about the failed human transmutation. He also accuses Ed of burning down their old house because Ed was running away from bad memories and wanted to hide what he had done. Despite this meeting though, he goes with Ed back to Pinako's place, and later that night, he enters Ed's room and almost pats a sleeping Ed on the head as if wanting to embrace his son. He then asks Pinako if it was really his wife in terms of her physical features that his sons transmuted, and Pinako is surprised at the implication that it wasn't Trisha. This shocks Ed as well since he had been secretly trying to listen in. Back in Central, Winry gets mad at Ling for suggesting that Al's body is really convenient. She can still remember how, back when he first got it, Al had realized that his armored body couldn't sleep.

At around the same time, Ed has a nightmare where he's accused of being responsible for putting Al in that body. He wakes up to Pinako yelling to him about his father leaving, but he doesn't see Hohenheim off. Hohenheim pockets a picture of the entire Elric family before heading out, and he also warns Pinako to run away to another country because something bad will happen soon. Later that day, Ed has Pinako take him to where she buried the corpse of the failed transmutation. Despite his mental determination, Ed's body revolts and he's greatly pained as he tries to dig it back up. He perseveres and eventually succeeds in digging up what's left of the corpse. Inspecting it confirms what Hohenheim had been implying that it wasn't Trisha and Ed now believes that Al can return to his original body.

After discovering this, Ed calls Izumi to see if what she transmuted was actually her child, but she is haunted by the thought of it and hangs up. Before leaving Resembool, he visits the graves of Winry's parents and tells Pinako what he found out about them. Pinako had also remembered that Trisha's last request was to tell Hohenheim that she couldn't keep her promise with him and that she's sorry. Pinako doesn't know what the promise was referring to though, and she had forgotten to pass the message along to Hohenheim. Ed then takes a train back to Central and is surprised to find part of Al's armor missing, due to his previous encounter with Lust. After transmuting it back to normal, he tells his brother about what he found out concerning the corpse and how he's confident that Al can get his body back. Since he was able to get Al's soul from the other side of the Gate, then that means they can get the body back too.

Along these lines, Al remembers that back when he was inside the Truth, he saw himself. He also remembers being able to see out from inside the creature that they transmuted, but his soul hadn't been permanently fixed onto it. Ed then gets a call from Izumi because she had confirmed that what she transmuted wasn't her child, and she thanks him. Sharing similar sentiments, Al admits that he had blamed himself for what happened, and he's now relieved to know that he hadn't actually killed his mother. Al also doesn't want Ed burdening only himself with the responsibility of getting his body back. Recounting how his feelings about living with this body have changed, Al declares that he doesn't want nights alone anymore. The two brothers are thus determined to get Al's body back from the Truth.


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