Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 57 Review

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Episode 57, "Eternal Rest"

This is the last thing you see before you die. "But all I wanted to do is bring toys to all the good girls and boys!"

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Running under the streets, Ranfan learns of the return of Bradley. Fu confronts the man who he holds responsible for the loss of his granddaughter's arm. Olivier and Izumi interrogate one of the generals, who tries to get soldiers to side with him, but fails. Soldiers instead throw down their rank badges. Needing to escape Central HQ before it's overrun by enemy soldiers, Izumi suggests making an escape tunnel, and the group take the secret path beneath the Fuhrer's office. Edward, Roy, Riza, and Scar encounter the scientist with the gold tooth who helped Father create Wrath. The man summons the potential Fuhrers that weren't killed in the experiment to make Wrath, who attack the group. Greed and Fu engage Wrath in combat, during which Ling takes back his body out of concern for Fu. Fu does a suicide attack with explosives, but the Fuhrer cuts the fuses. Suddenly Buccaneer runs his sword through Fu and into Wrath, injuring him. Bradley kicks the two away and they fall to the ground, just as Ranfan arrives on the scene. Izumi decides that she will leave everything up to Olivier and escape herself and the two women discuss Edward briefly. The scientist with the gold tooth activates an alchemy array formed with the alchemy labs in Central. The black hands of human transmutation take apart Edward, Alphonse, and Izumi.

Channel YOUR inner Greed!Ninja-kabob!

Comments:

We continue the epic fight with Bradley in an episode that sort of takes it down a few notches. You would think it would have gotten more intense, but with Fu, it sort of got a little repetitive. It was the same thing, really, and Greed and Fu didn't really use much teamwork to fight him. The stuff you saw in the second OP sequence for the show was more exciting. And parts of this battle seemed really inconsistantly animated. Frankly, I was a little bored by this part of the episode, except for Bradley's own awesomeness. Step it up, Greed.

One thing that bothered me was how Bradley was surprised by Buccaneer. According to Buccaneer, he got Bradley from where he couldn't see, from behind Fu, but that's stupid. Bradley couldn't see an enormous man, the size of a bear, coming up behind a little old man? He's got the Ultimate Eye. I know the scene with Buccaneer and Fu's sacrifice is supposed to be the emotional center of this episode, but I thought it was just silly. What I did like, however, was that Bradley finally got injured, given all the effort put in to do even that much.

The theory in the fan community is that unlike the other homunculi, Bradley cannot regenerate his injuries. Proof is in the fact that he decided to escape the train rather than just let himself get killed and regenerate like any of the others would have. That, and he seems very intent on preventing any injury, where the others are a little more reckless. Perhaps this is because Bradley is a human who rejected souls from a Philosopher's Stone injection until the only thing left was Father's spirit of Wrath. Later evidence seems to support this, but I won't spoil anything.

Compare this to Bradley in the first series who purposely allowed himself to be blasted by Roy's flames just to see what it would be like. It was a little disappointing that he didn't get that much to do in the first series. I would have liked his battle with Roy to have been a bit longer (though what we got was pretty neat). He certainly gets a workout in this show.

Doctor Goldtooth appears again in this episode and stirs things up by summoning the leftover Fuhrer candidates. But to me, this scene is another thing that, while it looks cool, is sort of stupid. I mean, first of all, we're supposed to believe that they kept the candidates around, and didn't just make Philosopher's Stones with them? Second, the Fuhrer candidates themselves are just like the homunculi dolls, last minute mooks in a long obstacle course to the "final boss" character. It's a waste of time. Third, why not just kill Dr. Goldtooth immediately? I mean, I don't expect Edward to do it, but Roy, Riza, or Scar should have immediately just offed him instead of waiting for the middle of the fight to come up with the idea.

And what's with Roy? I know he can control his flames, why doesn't he just fry these guys? It's okay for Riza to shoot them in the head, but Roy doesn't want to hurt them with his flames? Surely he has a moment to snap his fingers. At least in the first series Roy and Bradley are in an enclosed space and he has an excuse to hesitate.

Then there's the cliffhanger, with Dr. Goldtooth activating an alchemy circle around Central. Don't get so excited, cliffhangers don't really pay off that often in FMA.

I didn't dislike the episode, don't get me wrong. The fight was still pretty good, even if it didn't escalate. I loved the scene where the soldiers give up their ranks and throw down their hats, a great scene from the manga. I even liked the padding with Olivier and Izumi talking about Edward. But it just didn't seem to live up to its promise. At this point of the story, we need less bullshit prelimary obstacles and just get to the fight with Father.

Spirograph! They say breaking up is hard to do!

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5