Episode 58, "Human Sacrifices"
Synopsis: Edward finds himself going through the same experience he had when he saw the Gate of Truth as the gold-toothed doctor's array is activated. Greed and Wrath fight fiercely, until they end up hanging from a high spot. Ranfan grabs Greed's hand. Briggs soldiers shoot Bradley and he drops into the water below. Helped up by Ranfan, Ling is devestated that Fu is already dead. Central soldier open fire on him. Ling lets Greed come out in full-force by a dying Buccaneer's request and takes on Central soldiers. Buccaneer dies with a smile on his face. Olivier is informed of the status at the front gate of Central HQ, and decides to continue down the stairs into the basement. In the depths of Central, Edward and Izumi materialize in Father's lair, where he has disabled Hohenheim. Father is disappointed that a fifth sacrifice has yet to be prepared. The gold-toothed doctor has Riza Hawkeye seriously injured in hopes Roy will peform a human transmutation, and he seems to give in.
Continuing where the previous episode left off, Edward finds himself being carried through a portal very much like when he performed human transmutation (both times!), and ending up in Father's lair with Izumi and Alphonse (who is unresponsive). Wait. Wait a minute. You're telling me that that cliffhanger, that activation of a big transmutation circle around Central wasn't part of the nationwide array and the result was just teleporting the sacrifices into Fathers lair? Actually, I already knew this, because I read this part in the manga. Surprise! A massive letdown from last week's cliffhanger! See what I mean? Cliffhangers rarely pay off in Fullmetal Alchemist.
Well, back to Greed's fight with Wrath, which ends pretty unimpressively with Wrath being shot by soldiers from Briggs and falling into a moat (he'll be fine, and that's no spoiler if you saw the next episode preview). This sudden end brings us to a geniunely heartwrenching scene wherein Ling tries to get somebody to use the Philosopher's Stone he posesses to revive Fu (which I don't think can be used that way, since it has Father's Greed in it, but the guy's desperate). I glazed over this part in the manga, because I fucking hate Ling, but Mamoru Miyano really sells it. Poor guy.
But unlike Fu, Buccaneer doesn't just die. No, he has to have the longest, most drawn-out death since Oscar von Reuental, but not nearly as awesome. I kept screaming, "We get it, you're manly, just kick already!" Takes him half the episode to finish dying. Fucking shit, man, drawing out like that made it a joke. We're supposed to respect this guy for his badassery, but instead I was just wanting him to die to get on with the story.
The episode wasn't a total wash, though, since we finally got to see a fully armored Greed again. And damn, does he kick ass. So much ass. Though it does make me wonder why Greed never went full-armored before this in his battle with Greed, but I guess we can handwave it as being because he doesn't like to ruin his looks. I really like that for the animated version of all this they created that elevated tunnel, because watching him descend it, taking out the soldiers was probably one of the best scenes in this series. Though I also noticed some "speed line" action going. Given the number of times the first series used it, it can be forgiven here (speaking of the first series, did you see the Dante cameo?). You can clearly see in this episode why Greed is my favorite character.
Oh hey, remember when Edward Elric was the main character of this series? You know, the series titled "Fullmetal Alchemist"? Just wondering if you recalled those days. No, there's nothing further to add.
Isn't it fucking stupid that until this point, Father has not prepared a fifth sacrifice for his array? So he's waited until the last possible minute to do that? Didn't he figure that, you know, since The Promised Day was coming up, he might want to get on that? He's got to find one on that very day? Roy was a possibility for a long while, but they never really addressed him becoming a sacrifice or trying to get him to use human transmutation until now. It seems a little haphazard of Father and his subordinates. It gets worse, too.
As much ass kicking that goes on in this episode, I can't give it that high a grade, because of some of the patently ridiculous things that go on in it.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 (only because of Greed awesomeness)