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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Season 1 Episode 26 Review: Reunion

The fight against Envy proves to be difficult, and Ed has a hard time fighting something that has individual souls on it asking for his help. After getting slammed into the ground, he ends up getting swallowed by Envy. Inside of Envy, Ed regains consciousness near the Homunculus Philosopher's Stone, and seeing it allows him to make a sudden realization. He figures out a way to get out of this world, and he uses this fact to get Envy to release him. Back in the real world, May Chang has been looking for Shao May and manages to find the panda going underground with Al and Gluttony. She and Scar follow them down, but whereas Al and Gluttony are able to get through without incident, Scar and May Chang have to fight wave after wave of Chimera guards. What bothers May Chang is that she senses something bad underneath them, but it's not more Chimera, it's a person. Meanwhile, Wrath tells Mustang of his past being raised in a facility with the other candidates to become Fuhrer. He was the one who survived the process of combining a Philosopher's Stone with a human body, so he became the country's leader. Mustang thinks that Wrath could still live as a human, but Wrath is prideful of being a Homunculus. Back in the world inside of Gluttony, Ed has Envy gather all the pieces of a stone mural. Ed realized that the pieces are all from Xerxes and match the one he saw when he was there, and what's drawn on it is a human transmutation circle. His idea is to transmute himself, thereby disassembling and reconstructing himself, and that would open the Gate and allow them to escape back to the real world. Before he does this though, he confronts Envy about what happened to the people of Xerxes because he's realized that they all disappeared to create a Philosopher's Stone. Envy doesn't deny it, but he refuses to tell Ed who's behind it or what the plan is for Amestris until after they escape. He's also willing to offer up some the Xerxes souls attached to him as the toll for opening the Gate, and he correctly guesses that Ed sympathizes with them because he wants to believe Al, who is also only a soul, is human as well. Envy asserts that those souls can't return to being human, and Ed has no choice but to use them. He hears the thanks of one of the souls as the transmute goes through, and the next thing Ed realizes, he's in front of the Gate. There are actually two Gates though, and sitting in front of the other one is Al's body. Ed immediately tries to run towards it, but the Gate he was in front of pulls him in, and Al explains that he can't come along because Ed isn't Al's soul. The Gates close once Ed has been pulled in, but a moment later, he punches his way back out to swear to Al that he'll one day come to get him. Source Here

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Season 1 Episode 26 Review: Reunion

A bit of a chatty episode, but it had a powerful conclusion. The dynamics of the Gate, or "Doors of Truth", or whatever you like to call it, are a little perplexing to me. Okay, so, Edward, Ling, and Envy are inside an unsucessful version of the Gate. Ed decides to transmute himself to open the real Gate and send them across to the real world (they have no way of knowing if this will work, so the idea seems a little strange and only works in the moment). So, he opens the Gate, and ends up at the Doors in the white space. Across from the Doors he came out of is another set of Doors that Alphonse waits next to. Then he's taken via the same Doors he entered to the real world. Wait a minute. Those are the same doors he used to get there, so he's going to get back to the real world via the same ones? Wouldn't go to the other gate to leave? The same gate takes him to a different place than he was? If the Doors can do that, why would there be a seperate set for Alphonse? Or does each individual get a different set of Doors? The next thing I want to talk about is Edward's over-explaining. While I do somewhat enjoy learning a little about the nuances of alchemy arrays, he doesn't need to spend ten minutes explaining everything he's figured out. It would have been enough for him to say he discovered the pieces he found belonged to the Xerxes ruins and he figures they did a trasmutation that destroyed the entire country. I mean, he's doing a lot of exposition, especially to one character who doesn't understand alchemy at all and couldn't care less about the explanation and another who already knows what went on. But don't get me wrong. I didn't hate this episode. I quite liked it. I liked the weird pair of Alphonse and Gluttony. One, a soul bonded to a suit or armor, the other a murderous eating machine with an otherwise affiable, even cute, personality (when he's not in a rage). It would almost make for an interesting spin-off in itself, if it weren't so creepy. This is hardly a consolation for me, since I'd rather see the brothers together, but it's nice to see Alphonse taking the initiative by getting to the source of their problems. Watching Mei's Xingese alchemy in action against the chimeras was pretty neat, too. She and Scar make an interesting team. Though to be honest, it does seem a little too convenient to me. Mei also seems to be abe to sense things others can't, too. Is she a Mei-ry Sue? Eh, borderline, I think. The other Xingese have that skill, too, but then that just lends more credence to my thought that the Xingese are a little too overpowered, or at least overskilled. One of my favorite parts of the episode was Bradley's flashback. You know, his actual real name is King Bradley, that's not just his title. He's Fuhrer-President King Bradley. That's like if a guy named "In Charge" was Supreme Commanding General. It's weird that he looked a lot like Selim as a kid, considering they aren't really related. (Er... well...) We also got to see the gold-toothed scientist for the first time, and he'll reappear later. Even having read this part in the manga, I almost expected Bradley to immediately slaughter all the scientists after becoming Wrath. It would have been pretty cool, at least. The best scene, though, and perhaps my favorite scene in either series, is in the end when Edward bursts back through the Doors of Truth to promise Alphonse he'll return for him. Romi Paku really makes this scene work. I can't imagine anyone doing as good a job selling that part as she does. It's a powerful scene that made me really appreciate this incarnation of FMA. Next week looks to be... uh, anime-only filler. Hm. Yeah, the preview has scenes that aren't in the manga, with Hohenheim hanging out with what seems to be a younger Pinako at a town festival. Is that little girl reaching her hand out for Hohenheim who I think it is? Where's Chris Hanson when you need him? Well, I hope it's decent filler, at least. Source Here