Mustang’s group is saved by back-up hiding in the rafters, but this entire situation shocks King Bradley’s wife because she realizes that she might have been abandoned by her husband. Mustang promises to protect her, but he opts not to tell her about what happened to King Bradley. He and his men make an effort to only injure the Central forces they come across, but that only pisses off the enemy commander who sends more men. Olivier meanwhile uses this chance to point out the weaknesses of the Central forces and asks the two generals watching over her for control of those forces, but they refuse and point out that she’s in their custody.
They want her here to keep the Briggs soldiers from rebelling, however this just causes Olivier to laugh because Briggs abides by survival of the fittest, so even her death wouldn’t stop them. As if on cue, the alarms in Central go off because the Briggs soldiers have made their move, and it turns out that they were being hidden inside the Armstrong estate. Across town, Mustang’s group gets resupplied by an ice cream truck driven by Rebecca and Maria Ross. After picking up the group, Ross makes a stop to let Mustang talk to the person who procured these weapons and set this part up: Jean Havoc.
Outside of town, Ed’s group can see that things have started happening, so they get ready to head in. Since their goal is Father, Scar proposes using the underground tunnel, and the group leaves behind Marcoh, Yoki, and the injured Heinkel. Ed first pays a visit to the dome to tell Al that he’s going, and what the brothers don’t realize is that Pride is sending a message to Father by tapping on Al’s head. Back inside Central, Olivier’s superiors try to get her to make the Briggs soldiers withdraw, and she finally decides to make her move by stabbing one general in the arm and shooting the other in the head. A short time later, Fu picks up information about how things are progressing by listening in to the reports coming in to Olivier’s brother. Fu’s priority is still finding Ling, but he senses the presence underground is larger than it was the previous day.
Ed’s group meanwhile finds their path blocked by a large number of troops. Instead, they head to the Third Research Laboratory, take care of the handful of soldiers there, and enter the underground that way. Since the tunnel goes in both directions, they decides to split up, with Hohenheim taking Lan Fan in one direction. Hohenheim chose Lan Fan because he knows that she wants to go look for Ling, and he lets her go as soon as they get out of sight of the others. At around this same time, one of the Central generals gets frustrated by what’s going on and decides to activate the Homunculus army to combat this uprising. These Homunculus awaken with a shriek that’s heard by everyone underground.
Not surprisingly, last week’s cliffhanger didn’t amount to anything, and Mustang and company were fine. In fact, they were more than fine, and it’s like they didn’t even need their full effort to beat the forces in Central. That made things in the first half fun to watch because for once the good guys seemed like they couldn’t be stopped, and and the action was pretty exciting and had some nice music to boot. I especially liked Olivier’s speech to the two other generals and how the Briggs forces appeared on cue. However, the best part of the episode was the return of both Maria Ross and Jean Havoc just before the halfway point. It’s great to see everyone getting involved, particularly those I had long since forgotten about.
Compared to all that was happening on Mustang’s side, in contrast, Ed’s group hasn’t done anything significant yet other than sneak underground. They should probably be worried that Pride was sending a message to Father by tapping on Al’s head – I certainly am – but unlike the audience, it doesn’t appear that they’re aware of it yet. Anyway, the cliffhanger (if you could call it that) and preview suggest that things will get exciting for them soon because they’ll have their hands full with the Homunculus army. It also looks like Olivier will get more screen-time next week, which is great because she was already pretty awesome this week.
Unfortunately, as you may have heard, I am retiring from anime blogging at the end of this season, so this will be the last episode of FMA that I’ll be blogging. I wish I could have chosen a better stopping point, but up until a few months ago, I hadn’t expected it to go longer than four seasons. Regardless, I’m excited about where the story is headed and will continue watching the show even if I am not blogging it.