Episode 33, "Al, Captured"
Synopsis: Greed's gang subdues Alphonse and take him off. Edward searches around town for him while Izumi asks Dante about what happened. Dante shows Izumi a matchbook from The Devil's Nest. In Greed's lair, his henchmen reveal that the military turned them into chimeras. Greed introduces himself to Al and asks him about his body, wanting to obtain the secret to eternal life, but Al refuses to tell him and attacks him with alchemy. However, Greed is unharmed, and shows Alphonse that he can come back from seemingly fatal injuries. Suddenly, Izumi and Sig arrive, demanding Al be returned. Meanwhile, Edward runs into Major Armstrong who tells him that the military is also looking for Al and planning to raid the bar. Izumi beats up Greed's henchmen, but is unable to take down Greed, who easily brushes off her attacks, tranforming parts of his body into hard armor. Edward arrives as the military closes in on Archer's orders. Ed engages Greed in a fight, but makes little headway, Greed unveiling his fully armored form. The military storm in, with Kimbley betraying Greed. Greed is forced to retreat, taking Al with him.
I love this episode. Compare this episode to episode 13 of Brotherhood. Episode 13 of Brotherhood takes this material, and takes a giant sloppy dookie all over it, then washes it down with bloody pee. Not to mention it spat on the manga material.
I love Greed's banter with his colleagues and Alphonse. He's wicked, sure, but friendly in a way. I love his snarky, jaunty, off-beat personality. Greed's speech about what he wants out of life is excellent. He's my favorite character in Fullmetal Alchemist. What helped endear him to me was his voice actor, Junichi Suwabe, really brings his character to life. It's too bad I can't say the same for his English voice actor, the patron of mediocrity, Chris Patton. He does capture some of Greed's slickness, but he doesn't sound nearly as powerful in the role. It was one of my biggest problems with the English dub.
I would have liked to seen more of Edward and Izumi's team up to fight Greed. It was just one attack and then she was already out of it. I did like their indivudal combat with him, though. Izumi's been kicking some ass lately. They break up the fight Ed has with Greed in the manga into this fight and the one in the next episode, so we get a bit less, but it's still great. I love his bit about "correcting mistakes" (ie, the homunculi) and Greed urging him to fight him like he plans to kill him. It shows Edward's change. In his life, he went from somebody who thought of alchemy as this great thing full of possibilities to passively lamenting that alchemy can do bad things, to now hoping to actively help correct those mistakes. But Greed says that he doesn't have the nerve to, because it means having to kill.
As expected, Kimbley betrays Greed. He probably should have kept closer tabs on him. Clearly the rest of Greed's team didn't trust him, so what made Greed? Forget greed, this guy's weakness was his pride.
The one thing I wonder about is Izumi and Dante. When Izumi talks to Dante at her house, she seems to suspect Dante had something to with Al's abduction. What does Izumi know about Dante that she didn't tell the brothers? If she thinks Dante would be willing to kidnap Al, why send the brothers to her at all?
There's so much to like in this episode. The dialogue, the art, the combat, the characters. But the next episode is even better.
5 out of 5