Hawkeye’s bullets don’t stop Gluttony, but right as he’s about to eat her, Fuery and Hayate come to her rescue. Hawkeye and Fuery try shooting Gluttony full of holes again, and when this fails to have any lasting effect, Mustang himself steps in and blows the Homunculus out of the window. Hawkeye is less than happy to see Mustang there, but more importantly, they decide to chase after Barry’s fleeing body. They are joined by Havoc and Al, the latter of whom had heard that something was up through Ling, and along the way, they discuss the existence of the Homunculus. Barry’s body eventually leads them to the Third Laboratory, and although Mustang claims that getting this far is enough, Barry decides to rush inside. Mustang uses this as an excuse to go in with his team, however they are soon forced to split up in pairs at a juncture. Mustang and Havoc continue on into an abandoned part of the building, and there they are met by Lust. Havoc recognizes her as the woman he’s been dating, but he promises Mustang that he didn’t reveal anything to her.
When Lust expresses regret over how she wasn’t able to finish off Hughes herself, Mustang immediately shoots her, but she refuses to go down and regenerates every time. Lust then reveals that she’s got a Philosopher’s Stone inside of herself, and she prevents Mustang from lighting her up with his flame alchemy by breaking a water pipe above him. Even after Mustang successfully uses the hydrogen from the water and a lighter to blow up the room, Lust regenerates herself and impales Havoc. Mustang responds by shooting her and then plunging his hand into her chest to pull out the Philosopher’s Stone. He wants to use it to save Havoc, but before he can, Lust regenerates half her body in his hand around the stone. She uses the element of surprise to impale him as well, and she leaves him and Havoc to bleed to death.
Hawkeye and Al meanwhile find Barry standing over his bloody body, but they’re interrupted by the arrival of Lust. After Lust easily shreds Barry, her implying that Mustang is dead drives Hawkeye into a rage, and Hawkeye unloads all of her ammo into her. When she sees that it had little effect on Lust, she falls to her knees in defeat. Al refuses to let Hawkeye die though and tries to get her to run away as he protects her from Lust, but Hawkeye wants him to escape instead. Al, however, remembers all of the people who died and vows to protect her. Fortunately for them, Mustang suddenly appears after having closed off his wounds by burning them, and he starts incinerating Lust with the help of a lighter. He does it over and over again, and he doesn’t even flinch when Lust tries to make a final failed thrust towards him. As she turns to dust, Lust feels that it’s not bad to be taken out by a man whose eyes show no hesitation, but she suggests that they’ll soon be filled with agony.
In the aftermath, Mustang collapses, and Al and Hawkeye realize that he needs medical attention. Unbeknownst to them, King Bradley had been watching everything from the shadows, and with Lust gone, he decides to walk away without announcing his presence. Sometime later, Al returns to a waiting Winry, and although the two can laugh about the situation, they’re alarmed when Al’s damaged arm suddenly falls off. Back at the room where the battle took place, Barry is still conscious, but only as a hunk of metal with the blood seal on it. His barely-still-alive body, however, picks him up and scratches out the seal, and that leads to the end of both of them. Meanwhile, in Resembool, Ed has arrived back from Xerxes with Armstrong, and he decides to pay a visit to the graveyard. Much to his surprise, he discovers his father Hohenheim already there.
Well that was arguably the most exciting, action-packed episode of FMA we’ve had so far. I was disappointed at first that the battle with Gluttony was so short, but Mustang sure knew how to make an entrance to save Hawkeye. And then the battle against Lust was incredible. I loved how Mustang took the aggressive route and ripped the Philosopher’s Stone out of her, but Lust kept bouncing back after all the punishment dealt to her, and she ended up being all sorts of creepy. Seeing Hawkeye’s raw emotion against her was great as well, but what was most impressive was the final showdown where Mustang finally destroys/vaporizes her. All in all, it was a very impressive performance by Mustang, and BONES did a great job animating it. Why do I get the feeling though that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Lust…
I wonder as well what King Bradley/Wrath would have done if he actually had to intrude on the fight. In fact, I’m not quite sure why he didn’t save Lust since he’s probably more than able to defeat an injured Mustang. I doubt their Father would appreciate Mustang being allowed to stay alive with his knowledge of the Homunculus. And speaking of Father, it’s good to see that the story isn’t taking any breaks given how it ended with a nice cliffhanger with the reappearance of Hohenheim. All of this has gotten me a lot more excited about the series in general, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen from here. It’s just a shame that Barry won’t be around any longer.