Monday, 31 August 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 21

What with a week's break for the series and a twentieth episode that dwelled on Edward Elric an his father, the scrap involving Roy Mustang and company feels like it happened quite some time ago. However, episode twenty-one returns us to the aftermath of that skirmish with the Homunculus, ready and raring to get us well and truly back into the swing of things.

Before that however, there's a mixture of both bad and disturbing news to come to terms with, from the revelation that Lieutenant Havoc looks unlikely to ever walk again thank to a spinal injury, while a little research performed by Hawkyeye amongst others seems to implicate the highest possible levels of the military in the whole Homunculus conspiracy - Not the kind of news Roy Mustang will have wanted to hear on either count.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Scar is back and up to his old tricks again, killing some more State Alchemists and injuring countless other people as his thirst for vengeance continues. It's this news which prompts the Elric brothers to engross themselves in a dangerous plot, seeking to make themselves known to Scar so that he attacks them, which they hope will in turn lure out the Homunculus who they already know can't afford to let either brother die. To help with this task, the brothers also manage to rope in Ling Yao and Lan Fan, while even Roy Mustang ends up lending a hand. Is even that concentration of power and ability enough to pull off this stunt? I'm afraid we're going to have to wait until the next episode to find out, although the early signs certainly aren't good.

After a relatively sedate (but no less important) start to this episode, come the end of the instalment we find ourselves delving right back into Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood at its action-packed best, as the series continues its recent run of absolute terrific episodes. Once again, this offering manages to get just about everything right, with moments of humour that actually work in the context of those given situations, compelling plot development and absolutely top-notch action, giving us pretty much everything we've come to expect... nay, demand... from this franchise. With a big, fat cliffhanger for us to chew on until next week, episode twenty-two promises to be even more exciting to boot as this series goes from strength to strength.

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