After a nightmare about his mother and Nina, Ed is shocked to find out from Hawkeye that Tucker and Nina were killed. She refuses to let them go with her to the scene of the crime though because she feels that it’s better if they don’t see. Meanwhile, back in Lior, the Homunculus Envy has been masquerading as Cornello and has split the town into two warring factions. Envy is working with Lust and Gluttony, and the three talk about Tucker’s death and the guy who killed him. Lust doesn’t like Ed, but she knows that they can’t let him die since they’re going to use him as a sacrifice. At around this same time, Hughes and Armstrong are telling Mustang about the man with the scar on his forehead whom they’ve dubbed Scar. Scar is going after well-known alchemists, including Tucker and Basque Gran, and Mustang realizes who the next target might be.
Ed and Al spend this time reflecting on what alchemy is and whether Ed could have done something about something that was futile. Ed feels that he’s an idiot who hasn’t grown at all since they tried to revive their mother. The two are then approached by Scar and barely have enough time to react to his attack. They try to run away, but Scar is able to cut them off and use his power to destroy anything they attempt to use to escape. He eventually corners them in an alley and leaves them no choice but to fight, and he manages to destroy a huge chunk of Al’s armor. This infuriates Ed, and he ignores Al telling him to run away, however he’s unable to do anything against Scar and gets his automail arm destroyed. With his chances of survival almost gone, Ed gets Scar to promise to spare Al in exchange for his own life.
Fortunately, Mustang and company arrive in time to save Ed. Mustang tries to fight Scar, but Hawkeye realizes that Mustang can’t use his flame ability because it’s raining. She thus trips him out of the way of Scar’s attack and then forces Scar to back off a bit with pistol fire. Scar is still ready to take everyone on, but Armstrong then steps in and engages him. While Armstrong keeps Scar busy, Mustang’s men get Ed and reveal that Scar was the one who killed Tucker. After a bit of fighting, Armstrong figures out that Scar is an alchemist as well, and Ed realizes that Scar stops at the decomposition stage of the three parts of transmutation. Given the dangers, Armstrong is careful about attacking Scar, and he backs off when Scar seemingly finds an opening in his strike.
Hawkeye uses the opportunity to shoot at Scar, and she manages to knock off his sunglasses, revealing his red eyes. This combined with his dark skin gives away the fact that Scar is an Ishval person, and with the odds against him now, he decides to create a hole in the ground so that he can retreat through the sewer system. With the battle over, Ed runs over to check on his brother and gets smacked because Al is angry that Ed didn’t run away earlier. Al calls Ed an idiot for choosing death and makes it clear that Ed should live in order to study alchemy more and find a way to return them to their original bodies as well as to perhaps find a way to save a girl like Nina. Still, the important thing is that they’re both still alive.
In the aftermath, Mustang and the others explain to Ed and Al how the Ishval people were a religious group from the East that became one side of a civil war thirteen years ago. After seven years of fighting, it was decided that the group would be wiped out, and State Alchemists were used. Mustang thinks that Scar is justified in wanting revenge, but Ed rejects that notion because people who have nothing to do with it are getting dragged in. Regardless, Mustang declares that they have to kill Scar. As for Ed, he decides that he and Al have to move forward, and in order to get some repairs, they have to go visit their mechanic.
As much as it sucked to watch Ed be so shell-shocked almost the entire time and get defeated so pathetically easily, this was a pretty good battle episode. To make up for Ed and Al, Hawkeye really stepped up and shined – the way she tripped Mustang made me laugh – and Scar and Armstrong weren’t bad either. I also thought Envy’s new voice actress did a pretty good job, though this is another case where I don’t remember how the original voice actress voiced the role. I do have to say though that I’m liking Gluttony’s voice the more I hear him.
Story-wise, this series continues to take a different path from the first one, but many of the core elements (the Ishval civil war, Lust and Envy’s conversation) are still the same since they’re based off the same manga. I think the problem I have with the show in general right now is that it’s hard to get really excited until something completely different/new happens. Fortunately, they’re moving fairly quickly, so that point may be soon, and next week will have Winry and Marcoh.