Following their shocking discoveries last time around, the Elric brothers embark upon their investigation of Research Laboratory 5 in the hope of finding more evidence and information regarding the creation of a Philosopher's Stone... Of course, an investigation like that is never liable to go entirely to plan.
It isn't long at all before both Edward and Alphonse come up against impressive adversaries, all of which are former death row inmates who have been given "the Al treatment" - That is, their souls have been affixed to suits of armour. While this gives Ed a lot of problems in physical terms when it comes to fighting (not helped by issues with his Automail), Al's issues are more psychological, as his opponent hits upon the younger brother's deep seated paranoia about his existence. So, while both of them survive the ordeal, both are left damaged in their own different ways, while Ed also finds himself face to face with a couple of characters he'll soon become far more familiar with, before being saved from a collapsing laboratory by an unlikely source.
Overall, there isn't too much to say about this episode, serving as it does as a more action and fighting-centric offering than anything else, while sewing the seeds for an uncomfortable time between the Elric brothers as the fallout from this particular little adventure takes hold. That said, as action focused instalments go this worked pretty well, offering up some stylish action and keeping things simple without every letting anything drag on too long. Of course, much of this particular aspect of the series was extremely familiar to the original anime, so we're still very much following in the footsteps of that series in many ways, leaving us counting down the episodes until we can leave that road and turn off to our desintation marked "new stuff".