Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 38 Review

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Episode 38, "With the River's Flow"

"Let's get crunk.""JRPGs!" "WRPGs!"

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Winry meets Sheska at Hughes' grave. The Elric brothers arrive at a town by a river, hoping to procure a ride. They get into an argument about what step to take next, with Edward wanting to go after Scar, but Alphonse wanting to go take on the homunculi first. This leads to a fight, and Edward storms off. Walking around town, Alphonse encounters Martel, Greed's last surviving chimera henchmen. Sheska reveals to Winry what she's found in investigating the death of Hughes, about how Juliet Douglas can't possibly be who she claims to be. Martel tells Al that she's looking to get revenge on those responsible for Greed's death. Edward, having trouble finding Al again, remembers that as children, when they fought Al would go by the river and he would retrieve him. Winry and Sheska find a way to listen in on a coversation between Juliet Douglas/Sloth and Envy, but she catches onto them somehow and goes after them. However, she hesitates when Winry recognizes her as the brothers' mother and disappears as Maria Ross and Denny Brosh arrive to see what they're up to. Ed finds Al by the river and they make up. On their way out of town, Martel offers them a ride on her motorcycle's cart, which they accept.

"I want to believe.""Yeah, you're on the Creepy Sex Chatline."

Comments:

What I really liked about the first series was their team up of Winry and Sheska. I was never a big Winry fan, but I loved Sheska, and when Winry is with her, I could like her a little more, because they play well off each other. There's some chemistry (no, not the romantic kind, but you can bet there's some fanart out there...). Their interaction in this episode is great, with Sheska wanting to confide in her, giving her all the info she found, but being unable to come to a conclusion about it. It's Winry who comes up with a way to put Sheska's information to the test, wanting to confirm it with her own ears. Their sneaking into the base, listening into Sloth's conversation, these were my favorite parts of the episode, and a lot more interesting than the Elric brothers' spat with each other.

Edward and Alphonse have this really childish fight after an argument you would expect them to settle more maturely at this point. I do like seeing them fight using alchemy, but over something like what to do next? It's a stretch. I do like how this series goes out of its way to show just how much the brothers care for each other, but now they're just doing the same thing they did before by using some bit from their childhood and tying it in with their current relationship, putting into focus how stupid their argument is. But the thing is, at this point in the show, we shouldn't have to go through this. We already know that Ed can be a jerk and Al can be a little naive and that ultimately they'll make peace with each other. But doesn't it remind you of something that would happen earlier in the show? Come on. Let's move forward, not back.

Martel returns in this episode, and I like seeing her again. She was my favorite in Greed's gang. Naturally, she's looking for revenge for Greed, but a part of me wished she'd find some way to live a life not thinking about that type of thing. Of course, if she decided that, we wouldn't be seeing her again, now would we? Even the first time I saw this, I knew things weren't going to end well for this woman. But she'll be around for a while longer.

I like how she gives a ride to the guy who killed her precious boss. Edward doesn't even know who she is. "Oh sure! Hey, free ride!" Remember, she was in Alphonse the whole time at Greed's hideout, and Ed never saw Martel before that.

I felt like some of this episode could have been combined with the last one, if they cut out the warehouse bit and Ed and Al's disagreement. But it wasn't that bad an episode. It just isn't where the show should be at this point.
 
FORM OF WATER!"RIGHT IN THE POOPER!"

Overall Score:

3 out of 5