Although the blizzard which left Edward Elric and Major Miles stranded has passed come the beginning of this forty-first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the real storm is only just beginning as some of the pieces of this ever-more dangerous chess board find themselves free to move again.
While Kimblee sets out to search for the missing Scar and his "hostage", so Miles makes the decision that now is the time to act with force, planning to kill Kimblee and his men while he has the chance. Unsurprisingly, Ed disagrees with this approach, preferring to avoid such unsavoury tactics wherever possible, and indeed it's Ed's intervention that arguably plays a part in allowing Kimblee to escape the attentions of Miles' snipers.
The resulting confusion leaves Ed himself to deal with another couple of Central's chimeras, which he eventually manages to do despite being put at an immediate disadvantage to them, although even this victory appears to be short-lived as it puts him face to face with Kimblee himself. - Hardly the simplest of opponents considering that he has a Philosopher's Stone at his disposal.
Thus, this episode soon becomes something of a perilous crossroads for both of the Elric brothers, as Edward risks his life against Kimblee while Alphonse finds himself struggling with the whims of his soul. Is this the end of the road for our faithful duo? With the news that Fort Briggs is no longer a safe haven for Scar, Winry et al also coming into play, there's certainly little in the way of good news come the end of this particular instalment.
Even after such a dark episode, I can't help but find myself continuing to enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood more and more - Just as this series is happy to throw light-hearted moments around as and when it pleases, so it isn't at all afraid to go down the blood and guts route when it needs to, fully illustrating the pain, suffering and bravery on show this time around in an uneasy yet compelling manner. Add in some further quiet but important revelations about the Elric brothers' father, and you have yourself another top-notch episode - But have we come to expect anything less from excellence from this series by now?