As if Fu’s valiant sacrifice last time wasn’t enough to give me goosebumps, the story drops two more bombs on me this episode. That still didn’t take away from Fu’s initial passing however, as Lan Fan frantically went over to help Ling knowing very well that her grandfather wasn’t going to make it. Seeing the tear fall from her eye while her voice remained unshaken in the situation spoke volumes to me about how much she was enduring emotionally at that moment. Because of that, it was pretty heart-wrenching to see Ling frantically cry out for any medical alchemists out there to use his philosopher stone to save Fu. Still, the first bomb ended up not being Fu’s eventually passing, but Buccaneer’s.
With Wrath momentarily out of the picture after plunging down into the water, it was pretty awesome to see Greed grant Buccaneer’s request to hold the fort down, transform into his completely armored self, charge headfirst into the Central soldiers, and lay complete waste to them all. It was an uplifting moment to see the tides shift so dramatically with Greed’s help, which is why I wasn’t expecting Buccaneer salute his men with some last words and pass away soon after. I was so caught up in the ass-kicking moment that the emotional drop off to that solemn moment was even greater. Talk about taking the viewer’s emotions for a ride and doing it damn well. It all happened so suddenly that it felt like hitting a wall at the end of that ride. The only semi-bright side of his death is that he went out with a smile, which Olivier used as a reason for everyone not to mourn for him.
As for Ed, Al, and Izumi, it looks like that five human sacrifice the Gold-Toothed Doctor used last time merely transported them to Father. Pretty heavy toll if you ask me for a relocation/teleportation type of alchemy, but it did seem to have an adverse effect on Al. His armor was basically lifeless on arrival, which has me wondering if his soul got a chance to reunite with his body as he passed through the gate along the way. I figure that’s the most likely explanation for things since we’re nearing the end of the series and I don’t really see any other opportunity for him to do so. The other possibility of course is that Al never gets his body back, but I seriously hope that isn’t the case because it just wouldn’t feel right after all him and Ed have been through.
In any case, with Hohenheim getting sucked into the black mass of eyes that Father is now, the focus quickly shifted on looking for a fifth sacrifice. It pretty much answered the question I’ve had if Hohenheim is indeed consider the fourth one, but bomb number two came when it came to getting the last one. If this series has taught me anything, a character never wants to be featured in an eyecatch like Buccaneer and Hawkeye were here, as the Gold-Toothed Doctor got his King Bradley candidates to slice Riza’s throat to force Mustang into performing a human transmutation and become the fifth sacrifice (reaffirming my suspicion from last time about that being the requirement). First Fu, then Buccaneer, and now Riza all in the span of two episodes? The casualties sure are piling up at this rate.
In Hawkeye’s case, it was pretty hard watching her bleed to death even from my perspective, so I can only imagine what it was like in Mustang’s shoes. They sure left on a good cliffhanger too, with Roy sounding like he’ll agree to do so in exchange for the Gold-Toothed Doctor saving Hawkeye’s life with the philosopher stone vial he has. It’ll be interesting to see how all that unfolds, but my immediate thought was what horrible timing to have Ed separated from them. I’m sure he’d be able to save Riza if he could get his hands on that vial, or at the very least, stop her bleeding by shortening someone’s life like he did with his own before. I’m willing to bet that Roy would be more than happy to volunteer. Riza!!!
* I shuffled the images around and added a few more, so force refresh (Ctrl+F5) if images don’t seem to match up with my text links.