Monday, 8 June 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 10

With Al's psychological issues resolved, the Elric brothers thoughts can turn back to the issues at hand, namely what was going on at the now destroyed laboratory where there injuries were caused in the first place, and where to go next in their hunt for the Philosopher's Stone.

However, Ed's discussion with Major Armstrong and Lieutenant Hughes is interrupted by a visit from a most unexpected quarter, in the form of no less than Bradley himself. It seems that the man at the top of the State Alchemist tree is already well aware of the invesigations being undertaken by this group, including Ed's search for the Philosopher's Stone, which leads to him warning them all to desist from their current investigation and say nothing to anybody about it.

Despite these orders, and as Ed and Al set off for Dublith and a meeting with their former alchemy tutor, Hughes soon comes across evidence of a plot even larger than first imagined - A discovery which ultimately costs him his life, bringing him as it does to the attention of the Homunculus who stop him from talking the only way they know how. Despite cutting off this information at its source, Roy Mustang (the man Hughes tried to contact just before his death) realises that something big is afoot and swears to uncover it for himself in his fallen colleague's memory.

As episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist go, the death of Maes Hughes was always going to be a big one in terms of both content and significance, and it has to be said that it was handled excellently here - There were no spectacular or needless flourishes on show, this instalment simply let the story and scenario do the talking, and it worked wonders right the way through to the tear-jerking funeral scenes which (from my memory) actually seemed better presented than in the original series. All in all then, another excellent episode of Brotherhood, although we're still waiting to really branch off from the path the original series took us down at this juncture.

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