Episode 64, "The End of a Journey"
Synopsis: Knox and Marcoh arrive at the military hospital to visit Mustang, who recovers in a room with Hawkeye and is quizzed on information about Ishbal. Roy has been studying to help the Ishbalan people. Marcoh offers to use a Philosopher's Stones to restore his sight, reasoning that ultimately it will benefit the race of the people that it was made from. Mustang accepts the offer, as long as they use it to heal Havoc first. At the Armstrong mansion, Scar recovers, and Oliver informs him of Miles' plan to help Mustang help the Ishbalans. Scar decides he will assist. Edward and Alphonse, entering Risembool, reflect on the Xingese leaving Amestris, Ling having promised to protect May's clan when he becomes emperor. Arriving at the Rockbell home, the brothers are tackled by a welcoming Winry. Two years pass, and Edward and Alphonse talk on the roof of the Rockbell house, reflecting on the vastness of the world. In Central, Grumman, now the Fuhrer, talks with Mrs. Bradley, and they are approached by a small Selim. At the Hughes house, Alphonse explains that he and Edward plan to thank all the people who have helped them. Alphonse meets with Jelso and Zanpano, the frog and boar chimera, who hope to get their bodies back. Alphonse states his intention to travel to the East, past Xing, to visit all the countries and learn their secrets. Edward, going West, is at the Risembool train station with Winry, and in his own way, proposes to her. She accepts. The train leaves and Edward is off on a new journey. A montage of photographs of events afterwards reveals that at some point Edward and Winry have children together.
The final episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood opens up with Roy Mustang getting a visit by Knox and Marcoh who plan to take care of Roy's sight problems. But Hohenheim said that he couldn't restore Izumi's missing parts with his Philosopher's Stone, so why should Marcoh be able to get back Roy's sight with his? Where did Marcoh get this Philosopher's Stone, anyway? Is it the same one Alphonse used to fight Kimbley and Pride, the one that Kimbley had in his mouth for all those years? I would have preferred if Roy stayed blind, to be honest. I think that eventually he would have risen up even with his blindness, since he's the type of guy who could overcome adversity, especially with the help of his loyal subordinates.
Another thing that comes to mind is that Riza told Edward, after relating the story of the Ishbal war, that eventually they (the people involved in the war) woudl have to answer for their acts if Amestris was to move forward, but I don't see Roy and the gang surrendering to authorities. I guess you can reason that by vowing to help the Ishbalans return to their homeland, they're redeeming themselves, but if it was as easy as that, why were they so determined to prove themselves criminals beforehand?
Still, it's good to see that Roy is planning to do something about Ishbal before trying to become the Fuhrer. I can assume he has less competition now that most of the generals have been arrested for conspiring with Father. I'm not sure whether or not he has to compete with Olivier, though, since, at least in the manga, the whole situation in Central was blamed on her soldiers, and yet she was never arrested and everything returned to normal again as if the new command just said, "Oh well, that's Olivier Armstrong for you."
Olivier doesn't seem like she's in any trouble at all. In the manga, she dismisses the whole thing by saying, "I do stuff like that all the time." Wow. That makes you wonder what sort of things she'd been doing before the series started. If they do an Olivier Armstrong spinoff, count me in as a reader/watcher. Her final scene is with the recovering Scar, who gives a big middle finger to the people expecting to hear his real name by saying he has no name, as he is twice dead. I found that amusing. I guess he'll just be "Scar" for the rest of his life. I'm just a little surprised that Olivier is allowing Miles and Scar to work with Roy, instead of attending to her own needs to obtain rentanjutsu... er... alkahestry. Maybe she's grown a little herself.
The Xingese say their goodbyes in a flashback to right after the battle. I'm still not that fond of the Xingese characters, but I found myself really enjoying this bit, because of the interaction between Ling and May, and how he promises to shield her clan and all of the others, prompting May to say how greedy he is, and Ling to admit that Greed may have rubbed off on him. Still, it was Ling's ambition that made him accept Greed to begin with. It was weird having my favorite character possess my least favorite character, but maybe Ling has grown on me just a little.
Grumman seems to have won the presidency, thanks to him probably being the highest ranking officer not arrested for treason. He finally got his wish to be the top man in the land, and didn't even need to do that much to do so. The last time we saw him he and Miles were busy trying to recover Bradley's body. Or wait, I think we saw him when his and everyone else's souls were taken by Father to open the entire world's Gate. Anyway, he wins, too bad for Roy. I have a feeling that he'll have Olivier and Roy eying his position soon enough, though. Roy probably has a better shot, though, since everyone is likely suspicious of Olivier.
Grumman is seen with Mrs. Bradley, who... uh, is she married to Grumman now, or what? Also, what is with Selim? Mrs. Bradley's son officially died in the conflict, but now she has a child that looks and talks just like the previous and she decides to continue calling him Selim? Is nobody suspicious about this? It's more frustrating than the fact that Pride got to live after being the biggest douchebag homunclus of them all.
But, of course, the biggest draw of the episode is that Edward and Alphonse Elric finally arrive at the end of the journey they started so long ago, arriving home to the peaceful hamlet of Risembool, and the open arms of the waiting Winry. I liked the use of "Trisha's Lullaby"
in the scene of her going to the door. Another great scene is Edward and Alphonse standing on the roof of the Rockbell home, looking out on the town, commenting on the vastness of the world, leading them onto their next journey, one to thank all the people who had helped them, and to travel the world.
Looks like Edward and Winry finally hook up. The scene at he train station is pretty cute, with Edward's clumsy proposal and Winry's clumsy acceptance. I haven't seen such awkward displays of love since Yang Wenli proposed to Frederica Greenhill in Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Hey, whatever works for them, right?
With Edward going West and Alphonse going East, one wonders what sort of new adventures await them before they meet again in the middle. Whatever they are, it appears that Edward returns and fathers two children, and that May returns to Amestris at some point. Ling becomes the Emperor of Xing... somehow... Even Havoc has his legs fixed. However it happens and whatever happens, it's left to the imagination, because this story has concluded.
Now, my preference is usually for bittersweet endings, one where there is victory and defeat, happiness and sorrow, where it's not clear whether the events of the show have achieved all that the characters set out to do, or may call into question whether it was all worth it or not. However, this is not one of those endings. This is a more classical happy ending. And frankly, I couldn't imagine a better one for this story. A bittersweet ending worked for the first series and the movie that followed, but I was glad that this ending left a smile on my face and the journey of the Elric bothers imprinted on my heart.
Despite my nitpicking, it was an excellent ending to an excellent show.
Overall Score: 5 out of 5