Episode 42, "Sign of a Counterattack"
Synopsis: In an abaondoned warehouse, Winry, Marcoh, Scar, Mei, and the chimeras wait for Alphonse to regain consciousness, which he eventually does. As they try to put him back together, Mei comes up with an idea, and lays out the pages of Scar's brother's journal. When put together the right way, they make a diagram of the nationwide alchemy circle. When Yoki sneezes, and pages turn over, Alphonse gets an idea. They turn the pages over and a diagram of a new alchemy circle can be drawn, using Xingese techniques. Meanwhile, Kimbley meets with Pride, who tells him to concetrate carving the crest of blood at Briggs. In Lior, the people are rebuilding the town, and Hohenheim arrives. He meets Rose, who shows him the Leto church, where he goes underground and meets with Pride, telling him to deliver a message to Father that he'll be seeing him soon. At Briggs, Drachma troops attack, aided by Kimbley.
So, we're supposed to believe that not only did Scar's brother have figured out that some group was making a nationwide alchemy circle to draw on the souls of all the people of Amestris, but that he already had a counter strategy planned? And that he coded his notes in a way which everyone conveniently stumbled on when Yoki sneezes. Right. Okay. Fine, I guess I bought weirder things from the first FMA series. Still, it is a tad too convenient. How exactly did Scar's brother figure that much out? Hughes figured out what was going on because he had access to all sorts of information, did Scar's brother have the same access?
Now for my theory about the reverse array, and this is something I've brought up with others when I talk about the later chapters of the manga. You see that bit from some episodes ago, where Hohenheim was spilling what seemed like blood onto the ground? Now remember that Hohenheim has souls inside of him from what happened in Xerxes? Well, my theory is that Hohenheim has also figured out how to make a reverse alchemy array and is setting it up by travelling the country and making his own seals, so when he confronts Father, he already has a plan in case he's not enough to take him down himself. My theory has yet to be proven in the newest chapters of the manga, but i wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. I also wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't happen, or there's a hitch, because with Arakawa, it's not always possible to predict where the story is going.
Two characters have a little meeting with Pride in this episode. The first is Kimbley, who's not taking his hunting of Scar that seriously, it seems. I mean, really, he's walking casually, not really particularly looking, then he goes off in a different direction. What a lazy ass. Maybe he should be Sloth. You know, so far, Kimbley's not been doing that great a job, quite frankly. Scar is ONE GUY. They gave Kimbley, a super mad bomber alchemist, two Philosopher's Stones and four powerful chimera, and he still hasn't been able to kill that guy? And what about the homunculi? They look incompetent, too. Pride should have offed him where he stood for failing so miserably. How much do they need to do to kill Scar? They have an entire fucking army!
The second meeting is between Hohenheim and Pride, which was pretty cool. Even Hohenheim runs from Pride. A good point was brought up about how Pride resembles Father when he was in the flask, which makes since if Pride was the first homunculi. He made him out of pride to look like him. In the first series, where Bradley was Pride, there was no real explanation for why (though it's possible it's symbolic, since he's the head of the country). I like that Hohenheim went through all this trouble to deliver a declaration of war.
Rose returns! She's certainly making out better in this series than she did in the first series, at least as far as health and lifestyle. Personally, I think what they did with Lior in the first series was pretty good, but I also like that in this series, Rose is happier. I mean, she's a pretty meaningless character now, but it's all right.
Drachma is supposed to be some sort of Baltic-like country, I think, right? We see Kimbley manipulating things so that they attack Briggs, but you know it's not going to go so easy. Watch how it goes.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5