Having effectively taken a break last week on account of the recap episode we were regaled with, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood seems determined to make up for lost time with its twenty-eighth instalment, bringing us more important goings-on in a scant few minutes than most anime would manage in a single episode.
It's pedal to the metal right from the off this time around, with Alphonse coming face to face with what seems to be his father, right before Ed, Envy and Ling Yao make their reappearance from the bowels of Gluttony in spectacular fashion.
So, is the father of the Homunculi really Hoenheim? It appears not, but that still begs the (as yet unanswered) question as to who (or perhaps what) this man is. Whoever he may be, he clearly has the power to use alchemy without equivalent exchange, and also seems to have the ability to stop others from using alchemy in certain circumstances at will. A formidable opponent indeed.
While Ed and Al's place as "human sacrifices" rotects them somewhat, Ling Yao has no such luck, and although he is saved from death it appears that he suffers a face far worse than that when confronted with a chance to snatch the prize he came to the country for in the first place. Add the appearance of Scar and May Chang to the mix, and you have yourself an episode of utter chaos within the lair of the Homunculus.
But what beautiful, breath-taking and action-packed chaos it is too... In fact, breath-taking probably isn't the word for it as I have a distinct feeling that I probably forgot to breathe while watching this instalment. There was simply so much of it to take in, all of it important and all of it absolutely compelling viewing - This is how anime should be, a not particularly subtle but perfectly balanced blend of gore, violence, intrigue, mystery, comedy, suspense, excitement, action... the list goes on and on, and right now Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. If I had to sum up this particular episode in a single word, that word would be - Wow.