After regaling us with numerous important facets of the Ishbalan back story last time, this thirty-first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is ready and raring to go in terms of advancing the current plot lines themselves, and indeed continues to do so at its own steady yet fascinating pace.
After hearing all about what happened at Ishbal and relating it back to Alphonse, for the Elric Brothers this means setting out to track down May Chang, with the different properties of the alchemy at her disposal holding some potentially interesting clues and hope for the brothers. Meanwhile, Lan Fan refuses the Elric brother's suggestion of taking her to an auto-mail mechanic to look for one herself alongside Fu, as their own mission to return a Philosopher's Stone to their Emporer intensifies.
However, the most interesting movements this time around are reserved for Scar and Roy Mustang. For the latter, it looks as though the game is almost over with the various "pieces" he had assembled scattered across the country and out of his reach, but he still clearly has other ideas and looks to call on help wherever he can to get his plans back on track. Scar on the other hand has taken some far more direct action - While it looked as though he's killed Doctor Marcoh last episode, there is more to that particular action than meets the eye, although the Homunculus already appear to be wise to his plans, releasing a certain "hero" of the Ishbalan war with the name of Kimblee from his jail cell for the explicit purpose of hunting down Scar and Doctor Marcoh.
Once again then, this all builds to make a slow and subtle but utterly compelling episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - It may not be full of action or emotion on this occasion, but the rising tension is palpable as various forces look to improve and play their various hands in this potentially deadly game of poker. It's gripping stuff, and as per usual it certainly has me hooked with consummate ease.