Come the end of the last episode, it seemed that it was all over for the heroes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, with Father's plot having seemingly succeeded and brought about Third Impact... well that's what it looked like, right?
In fact, what we were actually seeing is Father using the combination of Moon and Sun created by the solar eclipse which fell on the so-called Promised Day to effectively create and/or capture "God", absorbing this immense power into himself and holding it in his "container" using the power of the vast Philosopher's Stone created using all of the people of Amestris. Surely then, this is game over, with only one winner?
Well, not quite, for this is where we learn of exactly why Hoenheim left his sons and wife to wander the land - In fact, his entire endeavour from that point forth was a direct attempt to stop Father, using the souls implanted within and their respect for their carrier and his goal to create his own vast transmutation circle capable of reversing the effects of the circle created by the Homonculus.
Beyond even this, Scar too has his role to play as the big finale of his battle with King Bradley pans out, leaving him to put his desire for revenge and hatred of alchemy to one side to use his brother's research to unlock the full power present in the world of alchemy - Power that is very much needed given the still not inconsiderable abilities present within Father and his "God", even if that power threatens to burn out at any moment.
Given the huge and seemingly catastrophic end to the previous episode, it was actually rather surprising to see everything turned around so quickly come the beginning of this one - but then again, this was an episode full of surprises and twists that never failed to leave me in a state of wide-eyed awe and fascination. Yes, the whole thing is unbelievable to the extent that it goes off the scale, but you know what? It doesn't matter - this is a series about alchemy after all. For all of my smug Evangelion comparisons over the past couple of instalments, in truth Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood as a whole couldn't be more different from Hideaki Anno's oft-revisited masterpiece, eschewing deep psycho-analysis and provocative imagery to offer up a tale that is far simpler in terms of its goals and morals, while proving to be no less wonderful to watch because of it. Indeed, this series is almost beautiful in its simplicity sometimes, albeit brutally so - It knows how to reel you in and keep you in rapt attention, and I have to hold my hands up and say it has me hook, line and sinker no matter what these final episodes bring us.