Episode 37, "The Flame Alchemist, The Bachelor Lieutenant, & The Mystery of Warehouse 13"
Synopsis: Jean Havoc, instructed to keep a log of his superior's behavior, gets the help of Falman, Breda, and Fuery in keeping tabs on Roy. However, in their investigation, Havoc is devestated to learn that the colonel is seeing a girl he likes. Mustang orders his subordinates to find Havoc a woman. Meanwhile, Frank Archer orders Sheska to put together records of the 5th Laboratory. She takes the assignment in hopes of finding out who killed Hughes. Major Armstrong suggests that Havoc date his shy younger sister, Catherine. Havoc arrives at the Armstrong family mansion to be introduced, but is nervous about Alex's description of her as looking like him. She turns out to be very cute and demure, but admits she'd rather date somebody more like her brother. Shortly after, Mustang's subordinates become frightened by ghost stories about a phantom military warehouse. Archer orders Sheska destroy all the materials she gathered. When Mustang joins his to investigate the warehouse matter, it turns out not to be what they expected. Archer and Armstrong are dispatched to the east, but Mustang manages to get himself and his team attached to the mission.
We get this weird comedy episode just when the main plot is revving up again. I rather enjoy the episode, since it even incorporates a little bit of the main plot into it, so it's not a total loss for people looking for plot and/or character development, and the comedy itself is pretty funny at times. I just question why it was placed where it was in the series. It seems to interrupt the flow of the show a little, and that's why it lost some points with me.
It's clever how they sneak in the bits that don't relate to the comedy in the episode, and the underlying plot of the show. Sheska runs into Falman after getting the mission from Archer and Armstrong shows up, Armstrong slips an envelope into Havoc's jacket which turns out to be info to pass along to Mustang, Mustang visits Gracia after talking about how ridiculous it was for his men to be afraid of ghosts, when he's afraid of what's real and in front of him, and by the end it's clear Mustang and Armstrong are working together behind Archer's back.
So part of this episode comes from a "gaiden" story where Havoc is at the Armstrong mansion to meet Catherine, with the same results. My favorite parts are Havoc trying to figure out what Catherine would look like using her parents as a template and Havoc seeing how cute she is and a moment later being freaked out by her holding a piano over her head. It's weird how they snuck some of this bit into Brotherhood through Yoki recounting his own sad story. I really prefer this version.
Another favorite scene in the episode is Roy's visit to the Hughes house, seeing Winry in the window, and then deciding not to come in. Winry doesn't say a thing, nor does Roy about it, but we both know what they're thinking immediately. It's an interesting moment.
My final thought on this episode concerns the English dub. If anything proves how poor the voice acting is for Roy's subordinates, it's this episode. God, it's like some of these VAs have never done any acting in their lives. Way to not sell the humor at all, guys.
3 out of 5