Episode 41, "Holy Mother"
Synopsis: Scar shows Edward hundreds of graves of people in Lior killed in the conflict with the military. Alphonse is still recovering from Martel's death, remember that she told him that the Fuhrer is a homunculi just before being killed. Edward asks for Lyra to hear him out about something. A messenger is sent from Lior to Mustang passing along what Ed's discovered. Al reveals to Roy and his group that the Philosopher's Stone is made of people. Alphonse heads for Lior with Edward's pocket watch, which was just returned. In Lior, Kimbley and several chimeras begin kiling people. Scar leaves Edward in charge of leading the people out of the city in the tunnels. Edward hopes that with the letter delivered, the military will not charge in and give Scar the ingredients he needs. Bradley holds up the deployment, which upsets Archer and Lust. Apparently the homunculi's leader had passed along that order. Scar confronts Kimbley back in Lior. Kimbley's Stone and Scar's arm react to each other, with Scars arm taking in the Stone. In the tunnels, Edward encounters Sloth and Wrath. Alphonse interrupts the fight between Scar and Kimbley, but he manages to destroy one of Scar's arms. Scar delivers a fatal blow to Kimbley, but before he dies, he begins transforming Al into a bomb. Underground, Ed is confronted by Sloth and realizes that she was created by him and his brother when they tried to bring back their mom.
I'm a little confused at the beginning of the episode when Roy talks suggests that Alex is stepping in where Hughes left off, trying to help push him up through the ranks. No, that's not the part that confuses me. I like that and it makes sense. The part I'm confused about is why he'd feel the need to direct that comment towards Alex himself. I mean, haven't they been working in concert this whole time? Isn't that what that look was between them in an earlier episode when Roy was able to get himself attached to the deployment to the East? It sounds here like he isn't sure or he's trying to confirm this, but it should be pretty obvious by now. It's not the type of thing that needs to be said aloud.
Edward's pocket watch meets its end here after the red stone Tucker put in it is absorbed by Scar after being thrown by Kimbley. My question is, why didn't Kimbley have an extra in his own watch? Was he not given one? If he didn't receive one, how did he know about it? Are we to believe that Kimbley is just chucking whatever he can find it Al's crotch plate at Scar? Anyway, Ed's momento is destroyed. Later on, in fact, Alphonse feels bad about it. However, at this point, being a State Alchemist is pretty meaningless if they're just going to be thrown to the wolves for something that their own government is behind.
Scar's confrontation with Kimbley is interesting. Yeah, Kimbley's ideals are very simplistic in this series, just being very nihilistic because he figures people are meaningless if they can be so easily turned into bombs, but I enjoyed that little exchange of words between the two enemies. I like when Alphonse interrupts with his alchemy and the words, "I may be empty, but I'm not worthless." This marked the second time Al got one over on Kimbley. Scar also manages to outdo Kimbley by being gutsy enough to tear off his own damn arm. The look on Kimbley's face as he tries to escape is pretty priceless, but he has the last laugh in the episode as he transmutes Al.
Ever since the Dublith episodes, Ed's been waving aside the fact that he and Al must have made a homunculus of their own when they tried to bring back their mother, but in this episode he has to face that homunculus head on. Of course, the viewer probably already guessed at this. I really like the scene towards the end where Wrath comes out of Sloth's water body. Now that Wrath has been travelling via Sloth, they've sort of become a team in the way Lust and Gluttony are. We see the strength of this connection later.
An interesting question crosses my mind. Can Wrath perform alchemy because he has human limbs, because he has Ed's limbs, or because he's from the Gate?
Despite some of my nitpicks, I really loved the suspense in the episode, and the scenes I mentioned. I especially though Rose regaining her voice to scream a warning to Edward was a good element, though maybe a little too convenient. It's not quite as good as the previous episode, but it sets up what comes next, which is even better than that.
4 out of 5