Episode 25, "The Door of Darkness"
Synopsis: Edward and Ling wander around the inside of Gluttony, looking for an exit. After hearing her story, Scar helps Mei look for Xaio Mei. Envy appears before Ed and Ling, explaining that they are inside a fake version of the Gate/Doors of Truth, and there is no way to escape. Envy reveals that he was the one who started the Ishbal war by disguising himself as a soldier and shooting a child, prompting Edward's rage. After being hit, Envy transforms into a giant monster, his true form. Back at Central HQ, Bradley explains that he could never have a weakness that Roy could exploit, and has Roy's subordinates reassigned, with Riza under him directly. Alphonse convinces Gluttony to take him to his creator, who, to his surprise, is in Central City.
Things continue heating up in this episode, with Envy revealing his true form and Roy losing his subordinates to keep him under control. They probably tried to accomplish too much in one episode, but it didn't seem too crammed. It was another excellent episode overall.
The humor actually worked in this episode, cutting some of the drawn out tension of Edward and Ling's situation. The scene of Edward trying "Elric telepathy" was even funnier than in the manga, since Romi Paku really helped push it. The shoe-eating scene probably could have been skipped, but since they felt they had the room for it, why not? I also liked Edward immediately asking Envy to help.
Mei and Xaio Mei's backstory was added to with scenes of them doing chores, training, eating, and sleeping together. Panda fu, indeed. I'm on the fence about the scene with Mei crying Yoki's fire out. It was sort of chuckle-worthy, but it also a little too cartoony. Also, now that you mention it, Yoki continuing to be around with without an explanation of his own situation bothers me. Poor guy. Anyway, I'm just nitpicking now.
Envy was certainly the highlight of the episode.
As for Envy's true form, huh. To be honest, I'm not sure I like it. I mean, it's a pretty cool design, yeah, but is there really a point to it? I mean, this is as pointless as Envy transforming into a dragon at the end of the first series and staying so in the movie. At least there it made him a threat again in the movie, but here, why? Isn't Envy powerful enough as it is? Do we really need a monsterous Envy? I don't dislike it, but I wonder about its necessity.Minami Takayama really gives Envy a more brutally sly edge. I was quite shocked by the inclusion of a flashback to Envy actually starting the war by shooting the child. I'm not sure whether I should applaud Bones for their guts or jeer them for trying too hard to be jarring. We certainly didn't need to actually see Envy shooting the child, but it did put across how ruthless he is and make Ed's rage more palpable.
Another thing I have difficulty deciding on is whether Envy's true form looks good or not. There's obvious CGI at work, but I don't think it's that ugly. I think they probably could have done a slightly better job, but it doesn't look that terrible. I'll just have to see how this plays out in the next episode.
Another bit of anger I could feel towards a character was Fuhrer King Bradley, with his denouncement of poor little Elicia's tears at her father's funeral. In the manga, I was thinking, "Oh shit, what a douche." Here, I was just horribly pissed off at his insensitivity, even though he's one of my favorite characters. He certainly has Roy in a corner, removing his loyal subordinates from his command. He's certainly set on using Roy for something (though so far it hasn't panned out in the manga). Wrath is one homunculi you don't want to challenge. Roy's in a position that's worse than Ed and Ling's.
I question Alphonse's judgement going with Gluttony to Father without his other hand to do alchemy with. Well, at least he's not just sitting around waiting for something to happen, but maybe he should have tried to get some more help. Gluttony doesn't seem especially bright, he could have tried to get one of Roy's subordinates before they had to head off to their new posts, and it wouldn't have crossed the homunculus' mind.
Still, excellent episode all in all. I don't like how Edward is taking part in all this action with Ling instead of Alphonse, but he'll be with him again soon.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5