Should've stopped with 25 rather than going onto 26. Oh well.
(I should say that I'm getting over a cold, I'm tired and my head hurts, and I was foolish and got spoiled for episode 25, so if I sound rather flat and befuddled, that's probably why. Also I need to go to bed so I haven't proofread.)
Spoilers for these episodes, as usual (and don't be like me and get spoiled for this set if you haven't seen them yet); spoil me for future episodes and I will kill you with my brain.
Episode 24, "Bonding Memories": In which Kate rolls her eyes at the cliched use of a treasured possession to stop a projectile weapon.
I was not terribly impressed with this episode. Oh look! Two brothers with a dead mother and a thing about protection! *rolls eyes* I had been briefly excited at the idea that we were going to see a non-perfect mother figure, but alas. I mean, yes, it's all very thematic with good memories and all—except not really because the Ishbalan kid's memories were false, and Al's aren't. If the theme is "good memories are true" then that's stupid.
In other news, another nasty alchemist; the demise of Barry the Chopper, tying off that loose end; and "Juliette Douglas" can make her hand turn into something smoke-like that goes across the room and chokes a man.
Oh yeah, and Ed wanted to ask Al if he hated him, not tell him something, what a weird change for the dub to make. What were they thinking?
Episode 25, "Words of Farewell": In which Hughes is murdered by Envy, with assists from Lust and Sloth. Woe.
Scar's in a hidden camp and going to be heading south; Ed, Al, and Winry are on a train eating apple pie (woe!); and everything else important happens in flashback or at Central.
Opening flashback: woe. (My scribbles to myself for this episode are mostly "woe" and "eek.") The companion to episode 15, "The Ishbal Massacre," the aftermath and Roy trying to find a way to live with himself. He doesn't actually attempt human transmutation, but he understands the impulse; he's just going to make amends a different way.
The Ishbalan connection to the Philosopher's Stone is not something that had really been brought out well prior to this. The Furher says he's determined that Grand was working with Ishbalan rebels to try and make the stone; in the prior episode Ed had asked Scar about the rumors of a Stone in Ishbal, which is the first I'd heard of them, at least. Maybe I wasn't paying attention. Anyway—Ishbal wanted a Stone to defend themselves, but the civil war was deliberately provoked by the Homunculi in the person of Sloth a.k.a. Juliette Douglas [*], so why did they start the war? Marcoh had done some research regarding Ishbal and recognized the marks on Scar's arm, so there must have been a record of prior involvement, I guess, of Ishbal with the Stone; perhaps it was a really, really pre-emptive strike?
I think I am too sleep-deprived to be trying to figure this out. I didn't quite follow what Hughes was thinking, either (I thought it was that the faction was trying to discourage other people from making the Stone, and then he tells Ross that their goal isn't to make the Stone before he realizes that it's an imposter, except that whole thing with Laboratory Five and, uh, trying to make the Stone, doesn't make sense then.). I need to re-watch or something. (Or if someone can explain without spoiling future episodes, please do.)
[*] Their mother was alive during the Ishbal Massacre, so is Sloth not using her body after all? Argh, my head hurts.
Anyway. Dr. Marcoh is Sir Not Appearing In This Episode, and probably ever; the Furher claims that Ms. Douglas is the only person who knows where Dr. Marcoh is, which could be true or could be plausible deniability. (My notes: "'Extract the bad part.' Eek." I'm kinda leaning towards "plausible deniability.")
And, yeah. Woe. Even if it was muted woe because I knew it was coming. (And also because I was a little bemused at his going off and confronting Douglas alone and on ground of her choosing. Umm, what?)
Episode 26, "Her Reason": In which Winry is annoying and Rush Valley is jarring.
Should've stopped after episode 25, even if this is purportedly the end of season 1. Hugely jarring after all the woe, even with the little bits of Mustang, and more closely connected to the subsequent teacher-arc than I realized.
Winry struck me as petty and self-centered. I was not pleased.
I was interested to hear Hawkeye say that Mustang gets irrational when the Elrics are in danger. In my current state, I can't really think of any examples of that.
And I really need to go to bed and can't think of anything else to say about this.
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I don't think I get to add anyone to the "knowing about the human transmutation" list, so I'm not going to reproduce it here.
Also, I made & mentally titled this icon a while ago and forgot to upload it; I wasn't planning to use it myself having more than enough FMA icons already, but, well.
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I've got a "why watch" post half-done, because Adult Swim is starting to air episodes from the beginning next week. I have to drive to Massachusetts tomorrow, so I don't know if I'll manage to finish it before I leave—I want to, because otherwise it probably won't be done until late Sunday if not Monday morning, and that's not so much use when episode 1 is airing Monday night. We'll see.
[Edit: the "why watch" post is up.]