Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Episode 16) – Footsteps of a Comrade-in-Arms

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Title

Edward and Alphonse arrive back at Central where Ling Yao manages to get himself arrested. Before long, they find out about Maes Hughes’ death and are grief-stricken. Edward blames himself while the real culprits are planning more!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Episode 16) – Footsteps of a Comrade-in-Arms

What happened?

They arrived in Central excited to see their friends and in particular to catch up with Maes Hughes. He’d welcomed them into his home. Winry decided to head straight there and see Gracia, Maes wife, while Edward and Alphonse headed to his office. However, when they got there Roy Mustang intercepted them before they could find Maes. He told them that Maes had retired and moved to the countryside in an attempt to protect them.

Only moments earlier, he’d looked down on Alex Armstrong for failing to tell them when he saw them last and now he was going a step further and actually lying to them. Riza was not impressed and even called it cruel. It was just a matter of time before they found out and how would that make Roy look?

Of course, it didn’t take long at all. Edward and Alphonse saw Maria who accidentally spilt the beans. She had no idea that Roy had just lied to them about Maes, however. Thanks, Roy! Edward was devastated and raced out of the building. He charged through the streets until he couldn’t run anymore. Alphonse caught up with him, but Edward was determined to take the blame.

They went into Maes’ house and found Winry hugging Maes’ daughter. Edward apologized to Gracia, but she refused to accept it. It was just like Maes to help someone and get himself into trouble. She begged them to continue and not make his death a waste. They thanked Gracia and left for a hotel where they could be alone with their sorrow!

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 18 Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye

What did you think?

So, apparently, Roy Mustang is considered a potential sacrifice. Does that mean he’s also committed the taboo or is it just because of his status and power levels as a State Alchemist? Who knows, but it would appear that everyone has to be on their toes with Envy wandering around impersonating everyone. Trust no one!

And here I was thinking we’d all gotten over Maes’ death back in episode ten, but having Edward and Alphonse find out later made it that much harder. The amount of time that passed and the mission they’ve been on amplified everything, not to mention that they believe he was killed for discovering more information about the philosopher’s stone. I enjoyed the re-introduction of Barry the Butcher as he’s hilarious.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 18 Alphonse alone and sad

What have you learnt?

Having an emotional death in a series is great. It shows that you’ve been able to connect with the audience. You’ve made the character affect them in some way and that made their death that much harder. It’s not always easy to do, but this was done very well. So, why not hold a little of that misery back so that we can all relive it once more?

I think that was an inspired decision by the writer as it gave us the time to grieve and move on. In fact, the adventure with Edward and Alphonse, the discovery of Izumi’s past, and the revelation of King Bradley’s true identity made it possible for the memories to slip away. Then, when they started to make their way back it teased us. We knew how they would react, we knew it wouldn’t be easy watching, but it’s also impossible to look away.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 18 Edward apologising

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