Episode 28, "Father"
Synopsis: Alphonse arrives at Father's lair, and is surprised by the appearance of the homunculi's creator. Suddenly, Gluttony bursts, and out of of his fake gate emerges Edward, Ling, and Envy. Father questions the brothers, interested that Hohenheim has sons, and heals the damage to them without so much as bringing his hands together. Ling tells the brothers that he's not normal, and Father tells Gluttony to eat him, as he is not a sacrifice. Ed and Al try to combat Father, but he disables their alchemy, and they are subdued by Envy. Ling is likewise subdued by Gluttony. Father, seeing Ling's determination, decides he will use him as a pawn, and, using a bit of Philosopher's Stone that comes from his body, transforms him into the new Greed. Ling accepts the spirit of Greed for his chance at immortality, and the new Greed inhabits his body. However, the new Greed has no memories of its previous incarnation. Scar and Mei arrive, with Mei and Xaio Mei reuniting. Scar's destructive alchemy and Mei's Eastern alchemy somehow remains working, and they attack Father and his minions, however Scar's destructive arm does no harm to Father himself. Scar, Mei, and Alphonse attempt an escape, and Scar disappears, but Alphonse is taken back into custody. Ed is subdued by the new Greed. Father orders the brothers to be taken to Wrath on the surface.
A pretty big event happens in this episode, the return of my favorite character, Greed! Although, to be honest, I'm a little hesitant to celebrate. For one, the reasoning behind his return is a little shakey. Then there's the matter of him not really being the same Greed I like so much. Finally, he posesses a character I dislike, which you might think I would consider an improvement on that character, but it just takes away from Greed, to me.
It's not a secret that I dislike Ling Yao. He's too much like Edward, and yet isn't Edward. The show already has an Edward Elric, it doesn't need another. Coupling that with the fact he spends so much time as a foil for Ed, it's almost like he's the third Elric brother, and two of those is enough for me. He's taking away from Alphonse, a character that has quiet nuance, instead of loud sensation to him. If Ling were the main character in a side story for FMA, I might appreciate him, but as a character in this story, I see him as an obstacle.
So, when I first read this portion in the manga, where Ling is posessed by the spirit of Greed, I was a little divided as to how to feel. Greed was my favorite homunculi, and really, my favorite character. He was this pretty amiable, charming guy who also had some pretty interesting abilities. I felt that, especially in the manga, he came in and left the scene too quickly, and wanted more of him. But this new Greed wasn't really that one. He was different. He still had a similar swagger, but he wasn't him, to me. And worse yet, he was Ling Yao, and Ling Yao was even wrestling control away from him at times. I didn't like that at all.
So, come this part in this series, I'm still of two minds on the matter. One, I love Greed. Two, I hate Ling. So Greedling, as I call him, makes me feel a mix of emotions.
The part in the episode itself is also a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the portion where Ling invites the spirit of Greed to take over was pretty well done. I was expecting the spirits to be white and Greed to be all black, but they made it red, which makes sense given the Philosopher's Stone. Mamoru Miyano gave a good performance here. But the moment when he actually becomes Greed is pretty underwhelming in itself, and the music they used made it seem like just another minor event occured.
But to take a break from being so critical, I do actually quite enjoy Yuuichi Nakamura as Greed, nearly as much as Junichi Suwabe in the first series. He's great in the role, really haughty and smug sounding. It's sort of weird hearing his voice come out of Ling, but I'll get used to it. I guess it's just strange that Graham Acre has posessed Setsuna F. Seiei.
Another big feature of the episode is Father. I've always wondered why he would bother bringing back Greed, when Greed is an element that is most likely to rebel, memories wiped or not. What makes him think this Greed is going to be any less greedy than the last one? One thing's for sure, Father is quite powerful. He's able to completely cancel out Amestrian alchemy and survive Scar's deconstruction attack without trouble. Not only that, but he restored Alphonse's hand and healed Ed without so much as a clap of his hands.
With Edward and Alphonse now at Father and his minion's mercies, but only because they're important human sacrifices, we'll see how Edward and Alphonse approach the problem of trying to get their bodies back and/or stopping Father from what he's planning.
Did anyone else feel bad for Gluttony in this episode? The poor fat bastard.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5