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kate_nepveu


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations


FMA:B (manpain), FMA:B (Winry), manpain
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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rewatch, Episodes 37-38
Reminder: spoilers for everything.

Episode 37, "The First Homunculus"

In which Pride is revealed. (Mark's post.)

I wish I knew why I can't remember my reaction to this reveal the first time around! Because it is SO GREAT. The creepy—and good grief, but Pride and Hawkeye is stunningly creepy—and the changed understanding of everything and the leveling up of opponents and everything, wow, I love it.

(The tendril sneaking up on Hawkeye is maybe a lttle conveniently careless? Pride has been awfully careful up until now. And the way the Bradleys talk about adoption is nonsensically awkward, but at least plot-necessary.)

Go, Hawkeye, by the way, you are the definition of keeping your cool.

Re: leveling up, I believe I'm supposed to infer that Pride can't be two places at once, and goes to check on Hawkeye, leaving the guys in the tunnel alone. Which helps. (Apparently there is a bit in the manga where Pride is supposed to show up for a fight and doesn't, and Selim is shown trying to wheedle his tutor into letting him go outside, which I entirely failed to register at the time.)

The other extremely tense bit is Kimblee, being extremely creepy with selective uses of the truth to ingratiate himself with Winry, and thinking that he's successfully browbeaten Ed into going along with the Homunculi's orders. I think what's most shocking is that it's so blatant, just, "Carve a crest of blood here at Briggs, kill them all, don't ask questions." Not just Kimblee's attitude but their certainty that Ed is so firmly under their thumb.

Yay, Ed telling Winry, yay, Winry taking action, yay, deceiving Kimblee for now. Exciting times!

Manga notes:

Corresponds to vol. 18 (the cover art for which has a weirdly-proportioned Ed), ch. 70, "The First Homunculus," and part of ch. 71, "In the Grip of the Red Lotus."

Only two things of note: yeah, there's no Pride shadow-hand tendril before Hawkeye senses him; and there's a short scene not in the anime: Armstrong tells Miles to give a message to the Elrics: give Scar to Kimblee, but bring Mei to Briggs secretly. That's not happening.

Episode 38, "Conflict at Baschool"

In which lots of people meet up, with varying amounts of conflict, in an abandoned mining town. (Mark's post.)

Yoki backstory, finally! It is way, way too late, but (1) it is hilarious to see him attempting to rob the Armstrongs (I don't think we'd seen the youngest daughter in the anime before) and (2) it is equally hilarious the way no-one around him cares.

Hi, Hulk-meras! (Zampano -- spines; Jerso -- spit.) I remember you becoming unexpectedly awesome, and you're starting out smart, at least, so that's cool.

(It's interesting the way the story keeps coming back to chimeras: Nina and Alexander, then the first Greed's posse, and now these guys. Every step they survive longer and have more agency.)

I suspect the Winry hostage fakeout was obvious as a fakeout the first time through to me, because it really doesn't make sense for Ed to blame Kimblee for her coming, though I may not have realized that in the speed of things. But between Maria Ross and pretending to go along with Kimblee, I think I was primed for that, which is maybe too bad but not a thing I'd want to be in suspense about, either.

Back at Briggs, we have Armstrong's broken watch and the great conversation with Buccanneer on the wall about black and white (and blue). Someone said in Mark's comments that they ship the two of them, and suddenly I see why. (I wonder if the broken watch is a subtle comment on state alchemists?) And then Central arrives.

(Oh, right, Hawkeye is scared after Pride and Mustang calls her about flowers. I wouldn't own a vase if it weren't for wedding presents, Hawkeye, I hear you.)

Anyway. This is mostly setup but it's good setup, agency for Winry (and the rest, who refuse to stay behind just because Ed and Al say so), clever Ed in the fight, Scar moving forward on his character arc in the confrontation with Winry, and a whole lot of information-sharing and getting together.

Manga notes:

Corresponds to the rest of ch. 71, "In the Grip of the Red Lotus," part of ch. 72, "A Chain of Negativity, a Pebble of Goodness," and a small part of ch. 73, "A Daydream" (the Briggs bit).

Oh, right, the Elrics don't know that Raven's "missing"! (Miles tells them when he arrives to find Scar trapped.)

There's a whole conversation between Winry asking Scar why he killed her parents and him saying that anything he could say would sound like an excuse, and the explosion and Scar on the roof with Winry, which makes it way more obvious in the manga that the reader isn't meant to be among the faked-out.

I post only two episodes because I haven't turned my notes from the next into actual words yet.

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