Ed and company arrive in Central, but Ling has disappeared again and left his bodyguards behind. He’s found by some police who question him about his documents to enter the country and then arrest him for being an illegal immigrant. Unaware and unconcerned about this, Ed and Al head to the military complex while Winry goes to the Hughes home. Sheska meanwhile is having to cover for Mustang because he’s fallen asleep while doing research. Focker finds out about it and questions Sheska about what Mustang is investigating, but she only knows that it’s related to the Fifth Laboratory and Hughes. What Sheska doesn’t realize is that the person she’s talking to isn’t the real Focker; it’s Envy. Not knowing that he’s being talked about, Mustang heads to the bathroom to freshen up and runs into Armstrong who reveals that he met the Elric brothers. After finding out that Armstrong didn’t tell the brothers about Hughes’ death, Mustang notes that they’d be hurt if they found out that Hughes died because he was involved with them. When Mustang subsequently runs into the brothers though, he finds himself also unable to tell them and instead lies about Hughes being in the countryside.
Unfortunately, Ed and Al then bump into Ross, and after she inadvertently tips them off on the fact that Hughes is dead, she tells them about what happened. Ed immediately starts blaming himself, and once he’s gets a grip on himself again, he and Al head to the Hughes home where Winry already is. Ed is ready to accept the blame, but Al points out that they’re both responsible. Al feels that even though he had decided on returning to his former body, he doesn’t want it at the cost of others dying. Ed ends up apologizing to Gracia, and she tells him that she doesn’t think her husband regretted it. She also doesn’t want the brothers to give up because that would mean that her husband died in vain, and she urges them to move forward. As Ed, Al, and Winry are then leaving, they hear Elicia telling her mother not to cry. Still pained by all this, the three spend the rest of the day moping around their hotel. When Ed goes to check on Winry a little later, she pulls him into her room and tearfully reveals that she had been practicing making apple pie and had wanted Hughes to try it.
Meanwhile, Envy returns to Lust and tells her about what Mustang is up to. Lust considers him to be an important human sacrifice candidate, and Envy comes up with a plan. The next day, Ross is approached by the military police and is arrested on suspicions of having murdered Hughes. When Mustang hears about it, he has Hawkeye gather whatever documents she can on Ross. What Mustang doesn’t realize is that his subordinate Jean Havoc is dating a girl named Solaris who is actually Lust in disguise.
Despite the new arc and the supposed Xing character focus, this episode turned out to be more about the fallout from Hughes’ death and the plotting of the Homunculi. Elicia once again pulls at the heart strings with how she told her mother not to cry, as did Winry’s apple pie scene. Having Ed and Al run past the phone booth was a nice ominous touch as well. Overall, it ended up being just about as emotional as episode 10 was, though that admittedly says more about the limited impact of episode 10 than of this episode. Even if you put these two episodes together though, I still think the first series handled Hughes’ overall death a bit better. Of course, that might also be bias towards the series I was exposed to first.
In any case, I enjoyed this episode, and all the talk about sacrifices and having Lust date Havoc gets me excited about where the story is headed. I’m curious how Ling fits into it all as well, especially since the new OP has him fighting King Bradley. Speaking of which, something about Lust’s character design looked off or different this week. I think it’s her lips, but maybe it was just my imagination.