Episode 4, "A Forger's Love"
Synopsis: The brothers come upon a town where an old acquantince of their father, Majihal, lives. Strange disappearances and ghostly apparitions rile up the community and Ed and Al doubt the idea that people are coming back from the dead. However, Majihal is not all that he seems, and a past love moves him to commit terrible atrocities to regain what he lost.
Aaaaand the show stumbles. Damn it.
The premise is decent enough: the Elric brothers come upon a town where the people are afraid of people coming back to life and meet an alchemist friend of their father's who refutes this as impossible. But the episode plays out as an entirely forgettable affair at best, and annoying at worst.
It was pretty predictable, for one. Majihal, the only alchemist in town, was writing letters the brothers' father about human transmutation. It's said that people have been returning to life. A story about a beautiful woman who was probably Majihal's age dying years earlier. When you watch enough entertainment, a new character is immediately under suspicion, and these other things put him under further scrutiny. I'm not sure what I would have done differently in writing this, but it seemed pretty obvious who was behind all this.
Also, wow, four episodes in, and Edward's already killing villains? Sure, it was sort of an accident, but he didn't really seem to mind that Majihal died. And everything sort of returned to normal pretty quickly afterwards, despite the community having lauded Majihal as a hero just a few hours before his death. I guess they just said, "Oh well" and moved on.
I don't know, this all sort of rings hallow. The next episode, at least, is pretty decent.
2.5 out of 5