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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rewatch, Episodes 55-56
More catchup, turning old notes into posts, so this is going to be short. Reminder: spoilers for everything.

Episode 55, "The Adults' Way of Life"

In which there are Curtises (yay!) and Bradley (boo!). (Mark's post.)

A quick check-in with Ed, Scar, Mustang, and Hawkeye, discussing the aftermath, and some philosophical discussion/fighting between Hohenheim and Father, which ends with Father sticking his hand into Hohenheim looking for his Stone and not finding what he expects.

But more importantly: CURTISES! Izumi and Sig come rescue the Armstrongs and help finally kill Sloth, and it is so incredibly wonderful that I was literally flapping my hands with glee at the screen the entire time. Totally makes up for missing the hilarious Alex-Sig muscle-and-sparkle-off in Dublith in the manga. (Sadly I can't make a sedoretu work, but a non-incest OT4, absolutely.)

And then BRADLEY. I did notice the guy with a sword walking by as in the background Al's group attempts to unstick the car, though I'm not sure now whether I knew it was him; I did know he was coming sometime. It is kind of stunning how quickly (and justifiably) his mere presence turns the entire situation at Central around.

Manga notes:

Corresponds to vol. 24, ch. 96, "Two Strong Women," and part of ch. 97, "The Two Philosophers."

Izumi doesn't make a big deal out of naming herself an alchemist (actually, I guess that was last episode/chapter, but whatever).

The post-Xerxes flashback and Father shedding his skin starts ch. 97 but is in the next episode, so the only bit of ch. 97 here is the arrival of Bradley.

Episode 56, "The Return of the Fuhrer"

In which Hohenheim is a master conversationalist and, oh yeah, what it says on the tin. (Mark's post.)

Fucking Bradley, takes out a tank and breaches a held gate all on his own, no big deal.

Hi Greed! Hi Buccaneer being badass (I genuinely cannot remember if you survive, you ought not to but I seem to recall a bunch of improbable survivals). Hi Falman standing your ground even though you're scared! Hi Foo being badass (I'm sorry you're toast, I remember that much)! That was a lot of fighting, and there's still more to come.

As for the Hohenheim-Father confrontation, all I can really say is what's in my notes:

TALKED WITH ALL THE SOULS INSIDE HIM

I remain unconvinced that Hohenheim's characterization is consistent. On one hand, 500K+ voices in your head is super-good reason to be distracted and socially maladept? On the other, you'd think all that knowledge—and the compassion and will to do that in the first place—would give you more empathy for things like how your sons would feel about you apparently abandoning them, and how people might react to your sticking your hand into a woman's abdomen?

(Having watched ahead, this is such important foreshadowing for everyone not actually dying, and also consistent with Al's entire metaphysical situation, so even though the everyone-dying was never very suspenseful for me, it at least seems to be decent worldbuilding.)

No Ed or Al, and I didn't even notice until someone mentioned it in Mark's comments.

Oh yeah, there's the little bit at the radio station where they get word of Bradley's return and stick to their prior story of claiming legitimacy by being on his side by throwing Major General Armstrong to the wolves (of public opinion). I can't remember how this plays out later.

Manga notes:

Corresponds to vol. 24, the rest of ch. 97, "The Two Philosophers," and part of ch. 98, "Greed Without Limits."

I don't see anything to comment on, though I'm looking at this from some distance from the episode, unfortunately.

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