Synopsis: Tucker takes Alphonse into the basement of the factory where he's been trying to bring back Nina. He requests that Alphonse let him use the Philosopher's Stone, but Alphonse reveals his hesitance, since he is the Stone. At Dante's estate, Izumi provides evidence that Hohenheim and Dante had once been lovers, 400 years earlier. Roy Mustang and Alex Louis Armstrong, now promoted, are sent North. Fuhrer King Bradley takes a secret elevator to Dante's lair, where Envy appears, angered by missing the chance to kill Hohenheim. In exchange for information, Alphonse allows Tucker to use the Philosopher's Stone to bring to life his Nina chimera. Edward is confronted by Lust and Wrath, trying to use Scar's locket to immobilize Lust. Lust betrays Wrath, however, wanting Edward to make her into a human with the Stone. The two make their way to the factory. Tucker's Nina chimera is made, but is barely alive. Sloth arrives, pointing out that a piece of Al is now gone.
A lot of this episode is set up for the final few episodes, with very little action until the second half, and mostly a lot of explaination and suspicions. However, it's still a pretty good episode, even if not terribly exciting, and with a few flaws.
One thing that didn't escape my notice was how foolish Alphonse was to go to Tucker alone. Tucker, who's proven to be capable of turning his little girl into a chimera, team up with gangsters, and is now obsessed with bringing back his daughter. But this isn't exactly out of character for Al, it's just kind of stupid of him to trust Tucker. And really, I don't think he fully does, because he's hesitating quite a bit. Unfortunately, it's too late once Tucker has the array activated. I wonder why Alphonse floats, by the way. Then again, Edward kept a secret from Alphonse, both about the homunculus they created and digging up a piece of their mother.
Tucker only ends up making a pathetic doll that can hardly be considered "alive". At this point, Tucker is in such a sad state, it's difficult to even hate him. He's suffering an eternal hell of being himself. It reminds me of that Spider-Man comic where Spidey sits down with Green Goblin and refuses to kill him, because his punishment is living the Hell that is his life, and ol' Normie agrees. (Of course, in later issues he just goes back to being blissfully murderous, but that's cape comics for you.) I know that a lot of people just prefer that he plain dies for his crimes, but I like it better this way. Call me cruel, if you want.
Is Izumi just now living in Dante's mansion? I guess once you get the blood mopped up where Dante's previous body was torn in half (who did that, by the way? Did Dante take an axe to herself?), you pretty much have a nice house to squat in. I notice how Dante didn't try to return there or anything, claiming to be Lyra and setting up shop there, but I guess even Dante isn't that shortsighted. Was Izumi just rifling through her things when she found the letter, looking for valuables? Izumi is a serial tresspasser.
I like the scene with Date, Bradley, and Envy. You can see that Bradley is more valued by Dante and despite Envy's rage doesn't even care that much about his fellow homunculus. In fact, the only homunculi who seem to give a damn about each other is Lust and Gluttony and Sloth and Wrath. As we'll find out later, Envy has a reason to be enraged at Hohenheim, and it's very similar to the reason Edward is. You also get a good idea of how strong Envy is here, with him creating a huge ass crater in the floor. More and more damage to Dante's hideout.
Not entirely unexpected, Lust betrays the other homunculi in the hopes Edward will help her become a human. I really like the scene where she admits that, and calls Ed cruel for questioning why she'd want to be. This betrayal was a long time coming and it's good to finally see it in action.
Quick thinking with the locket in the drawer, by the way. I wonder if Edward actually thought of that ahead of time.
I also like Wrath's comment about becoming human under his own power. After all, he escaped the Gate all on his own.
3.5 out of 5