Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Episode 30) – The Ishvalan War of Extermination

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Title

Edward returns Riza Hawkeye’s gun and asks her about the Ishvalan war and what Mustang is trying to achieve. Meanwhile, Doctor Marcoh confesses all to Scar. This isn’t going to end well!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Episode 30) – The Ishvalan War of Extermination

What happened?

When Edward gave Riza her gun back, he confessed that he never ended up using it. He tried, but couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Even knowing that Scar killed Winry’s parents, he still couldn’t do it. Riza explained that she was happy for him and revealed that she had killed too many to even feel sorry for herself anymore.

He then asked her about the war in Ishval and if she was willing to talk about it. She was. We learnt that Roy Mustang had been an apprentice alchemist to Riza’s father who refused to give him his ultimate secret since he joined the military. Mustang believed it was the best way to help people. Riza’s father died soon after, revealing that Riza had the secret and it was hers to give now.

Riza followed Mustang into the army and was deployed as a sniper during the conflict. She met up with Mustang and Hughes in the middle of the battlefield and discussed whether what they were doing was correct.

Meanwhile, Scar made Doctor Marcoh explain himself. How was he involved in the extermination of the Ishvalan people? Marcoh told him that he was employed to develop a philosopher’s stone and he needed human sacrifices to do it. Those sacrifices were the Ishvalan people.

That philosopher’s stone was given to a state alchemist with the ability to manipulate blood. The battle turned instantly. The holy leader of the Ishvalan people offered to sacrifice himself to save what was left of his country, however, Bradley saw no extra value in his life. He was one person and that was all he was worth to him.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 30 Roy Mustang following orders

What did you think?

The imagery in this episode was horrific. Seeing the military march through the streets of Ishval shooting anyone and everyone was terrible. Major Armstrong pretty much gave up when he saw it, especially as he had been responsible for trapping them inside the city. Mustang was as lethal as ever and Hawkeye showed just how hard it is to be a sniper. Every shot is a kill shot and she saw everyone she killed.

It was amazing discovering that Hawkeye’s father’s life work was tattooed on her back, especially now that it was covered with scars. I can’t wait to find out what that transmutation circle does. On another note, I feel quite conflicted about the idea that they seek to be held accountable for what they did in the conflict. There were literally the grunts carrying out the work they were given. Was it wrong? Absolutely, but I can’t help but feel they would have been punished had they not followed through. The people killed deserve justice, but that should come from the people who gave the orders.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 30 Riza Hawkeyes back tattoo

What have you learnt?

So, it looks like Doctor Marcoh is dead. However, I’m not entirely sure I believe it. Sure, Scar is absolutely capable of doing it, but at the same time, I think he realises that he may need Marcoh. Scar’s brother would certainly have lamented the loss of his life when there’s so much to learn from him. The biggest issue here is the word vengeance written in blood. That doesn’t feel like something Scar would do.

I’m approaching the midway point of the series and things are really starting to heat up. We’re aware of a lot of the players and what their goals are, but we also had a pretty big realisation when Mustang, Edward, and Alphonse learnt about King Bradley. As a result, everything is up in the air and if Marcoh has died, that’s got to really shake things up, especially for Father.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Episode 30 Envy finds Doctor Marcohs body

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What did you think?