Ed and Al arrive in Dublith and are soon reunited with their teacher Izumi Curtis and her husband. She greets them both by attacking them, but they find that she’s still not well and throws up blood all the time. Izumi also isn’t able to tell them much about the Philosopher’s Stone, but her husband does remember meeting someone at Central who did know about it. When he learns that this person was his father Hohenheim, Ed is angry because it means that his father is still alive, and he still blames his father for his mother’s death. Regardless, Izumi can only remember that Hohenheim was happy that his longtime wish would soon come true. Over dinner, they talk about the childbirth incident in Rush Valley, and Izumi tells the brothers to have pride in their own lives. Later that night, Ed and Al reminisce about how they met their teacher after she used alchemy to create a floodwall during a storm. She had taken them on as her apprentices only after they pestered her and after she found out that they didn’t have parents.
First, however, she had stranded them on an island and told them to survive for a month without alchemy. She also instructed them to find the answer to the phrase “one is all, all is one.” The boys struggled for the first few days because they were hungry and had a hard time getting food. The one rabbit they were able to capture was too cute to kill, though during their indecision, a fox came along and fed the rabbit to its own pups. A starving Ed even bit Al and started eating ants because he was so hungry. The experience taught Ed about the food chain and the meaning of living, and he and Al renewed their survival efforts. They learned to find and kill their own food, and soon, a month had passed. On the night before Izumi was going to come back to get them, they talked about the phrase she wanted them to think about. Reflecting on the food chain and on how everything is part of a larger flow, Ed felt that they’re nothing more than “one” in the “all,” but the “all” is made up of a gathering of “ones.” Izumi had laughed at their answer, but she accepted it, and they started their real training.
Ed now remembers one particular lesson Izumi had taught them about the transmutation circle and how they had asked about her being able to transmute by putting her palms together. At the time, she had mysteriously said that they might become able to do it if they reach the truth. Remembering his own experience after his failed human transmutation, Ed realizes now that Izumi must have had a similar experience. The next morning, he tries to talk to her about it, but she attacks him, and he’s forced to use alchemy on his automail arm to defend himself. This gives away the fact that he’s able to transmute with just his palms, and combined with how she’s figured out that Al is an empty suit of armor, she gets Ed to confirm what he saw. She’s not angry though and admits to seeing something similar after her own failed attempt at human transmutation. Back then, she and her husband struggled to conceive a child, and when they finally did, the baby had died. That’s what led her to the taboo, and the price of it was some of her internal organs. Izumi realizes now that she should have told them about this sooner. Ed and Al try to convince her that it hasn’t been so painful for them, but she tells them not to force themselves and hugs them, and they apologize.
Back in the past, while they were still stranded on the island and were discussing the meaning of “one is all, all is one,” Ed and Al had recognized how the fundamentals of alchemy were like the food chain. They had concluded from this that alchemy was life itself.
I came into this thinking that if they were going to do all the Izumi stuff in one week, then it would mean another episode of frenetic pacing since this part in the original series took 2+ episodes. This, however, didn’t turn out that bad at all. A lot of the stuff was the same from the first series, but they took out the masked man entirely, and obviously there was no original series Wrath either. In fact, given how powerful the hug scene was (it tugged at my heartstrings a little), I’d say that they did a pretty good job here. I wish though that they had ended on that hug scene instead of going to another flashback to emphasize the importance of alchemy. They could have stuck the alchemy stuff in earlier for almost the same effect and not diluted the impact of a scene where Izumi shows how much of a surrogate mother she is to the brothers.
In any case, I liked this episode more than last week’s, and I’m looking forward to seeing Greed appear next week.