Ed is devastated to find that Marcoh’s research materials were destroyed in a fire, unaware that it was Lust who intentionally burned the building down. Lust also joins Gluttony in attacking Scar in the sewers, causing a huge explosion, but Scar gets away, and Roy and his men later find Scar’s bloody jacket among the rubble. Meanwhile, Ed and Al are transferred into the care of Denny Brosh and Maria Ross, and they take the brothers to someone who’s familiar with the destroyed documents. They find this person buried in a room full of books, and after digging her out, they’re introduced to a woman named Sheska who loves books and was employed at the branch where Marcoh’s materials were. As it turns out, Sheska remembers the complete and exact contents of those books, and she’s able to copy everything straight out of her memory. It takes her five days to do so, and Ed and Al discover that Marcoh actually wrote a cooking recipe book. Ed knows that this is useful though, and he pays Sheska a large amount of money out of his research funds.
Back at the Central Library, Ed explains to Brosh that Marcoh encrypted his alchemy research to look like a cooking research. He and Al get to work deciphering it, but they have a hard time with it at first. In the middle of this, they’re paid a visit by Sheska who was able to put her sick mother in a good hospital thanks to the money Ed gave her. When Sheska expresses her gratitude over how they let a useless person like her help, Al tells her that she’s not useless and that trying your hardest for something is in itself a talent. As fate would have it, Hughes shows up to complain to the brothers about the loss of his archived documents in the fire, and so Ed and Al set him up with Sheska who remembers those files. Remotivated by Al’s words to Sheska, Ed resumes deciphering Marcoh’s work and finally succeeds. The answer he finds frustrates him though: the ingredients for the Philosopher’s Stone are living humans.
Disheartened by how far away their goal keeps getting, Ed and Al stay in their room until Armstrong comes by after hearing what happened from Brosh and Ross. By mentioning that the truth can be cruel, Armstrong reminds Ed of what Marcoh had said about the real truth beyond truth, and this in turn makes Ed realize that there’s something more to all this. Armstrong reveals that Marcoh belonged to the Third Laboratory, but what catches Ed’s eye on the map is the closed Fifth Laboratory building that has been put off-limits. Next door to it is a prison, and Ed suspects that prisoners who were to be executed were instead used for this research. Armstrong decides to personally look into this, but he doesn’t want Ed and Al doing anything for the time being. Despite this, the two brothers head to the off-limits building during the night. Ed is able to get in through a vent, but Al is too big to fit inside, so he waits outside. A short while later, Al gets attacked by someone wielding a cleaver.
Well this episode was very similar to episodes 18 and 19 from the first series (minus some of the Scar stuff), so there’s still not much really new. I was actually hoping for more from the fight between Scar and the Homunculi this week, but it was short, and they still haven’t shown what ended up happening between Lust and Marcoh. They are, however, at least moving fairly quickly through the story so that we can get to the point where the plots will widely diverge. It’s probably a really good thing in this case because it means that we’re past some of the slower, albeit amusing, parts with Sheska and figuring out Marcoh’s research, and next week’s episode should have plenty of action.
Speaking of which, Sheska’s new voice actress Fujimura Chika is portraying her in a more animated/hyper manner than Wakabayashi Naomi did, and it makes her a little more interesting to watch. It also took me a little bit of getting used to hearing Nazuka Kaori as Ross since I still closely associate her voice with characters from other big series (like SOUL EATER and true tears).