Olivier Mira Armstrong questions Edward and Alphonse about their mission, but they can’t tell her about the Fuhrer for fears of the information getting back. Even so, she agrees to help them find Mei Chang.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Episode 34) – Ice Queen
Edward and Alphonse find themselves standing before Olivier Mira Armstrong, the Major General of Fort Briggs and she wants to know why they’re there. They’re unsure how to answer. They can’t tell her about the Fuhrer or the Homunculi and Father. Eventually, they decided to go with the story that they are trying to recover their bodies and to do that they are looking for Mei Chang to teach them alkahestry.
Olivier is less than impressed with their responses but agrees to help find Mei Chang so that she can find a way to use alkahestry as a weapon. She tells them to sit tight in the fort while she makes plans to search for Mei Chang. Also, if they want to eat, they’ve got to work so she gives them jobs.
After completing their first task, which was to knock icicles from above a walkway, they bump into Vato Falman, who used to work under Mustang and he shows them around. On the tour, they end up on the lowest level of the wall. There’s a bit of a commotion and then an explosion as something emerges from beneath the ground.
It appeared to be a homunculus which has Edward and Alphonse worried that he’s come to check on them for the Fuhrer, however, it appears to have no idea who they are. It seems quite unsure of anything. Olivier leads the charge firing empty shells from a tank at it, but it’s no use. They can’t even seem to slow it down.
What did you think?
Welcome to the Olivier Mira Armstrong show. Seriously, there will probably be nothing but Olivier screenshots for a while now as she’s quite photogenic… just don’t tell her that, she’d probably kick my ass. Anyhow, this was a fun episode. I liked that we got to see more of Olivier from the perspective of those around her. Miles’ story of how she was prepared to fight him as a representative of the military was hilarious and so was everyone’s reaction to it. You don’t mess with Olivier.
All that said, this episode did have one massive flaw. It used the power of coincidence. I’m reminded of the movie adaptation of World War Z and how wherever Brad Pitt went things suddenly exploded into terror. The same thing happened here. What were the chances that Edward and Alphonse would be at Fort Briggs the exact moment a homunculus showed up, especially one that wasn’t looking for them? No one there had seen one before. It was just too coincidental and lacked any plausibility.
What have you learnt?
I believe that coincidences are things that are best kept to a minimum in storytelling. If the story can only move forward because of some random event happening then it devalues the story and the character’s journey. Things can happen to the characters to make them change and evolve, but I’d try to keep them free from coincidence, especially if several coincidental things happen together.
That’s not to say that it can’t work. It can certainly have its place, however, in this instance, I would have been more inclined to believe it if someone had been reporting a strange noise coming from one of the machines. Maybe the mechanics had been unable to work out what it was, so Armstrong asked Edward to look at it since he’s the Fullmetal Alchemist. Similarly, with World War Z, it would have been better had Brad Pitt’s appearance at those places had caused something to happen that created a domino effect. I prefer to think in terms of cause and effect and not coincidences.
Other posts in the series
- Series Review
- Episode 1 – Fullmetal Alchemist
- Episode 2 – The First Day
- Episode 3 – City of Heresy
- Episode 4 – An Alchemist’s Anguish
- Episode 5 – Rain of Sorrows
- Episode 6 – Road of Hope
- Episode 7 – Hidden Truths
- Episode 8 – The Fifth Laboratory
- Episode 9 – Created Feelings
- Episode 10 – Separate Destinations
- Episode 11 – Miracle at Rush Valley
- Episode 12 – One is All, All is One
- Episode 13 – Beasts of Dublith
- Episode 14 – Those Who Lurk Underground
- Episode 15 – Envoy From the East
- Episode 16 – Footsteps of a Comrade-in-Arms
- Episode 17 – Cold Flame
- Episode 18 – The Arrogant Palm of a Small Human
- Episode 19 – Death of the Undying
- Episode 20 – Father Before the Grave
- Episode 21 – Advance of the Fool
- Episode 22 – Backs in the Distance
- Episode 23 – Girl on the Battlefield
- Episode 24 – Inside the Belly
- Episode 25 – Doorway of Darkness
- Episode 26 – Reunion
- Episode 27 – Interlude Party
- Episode 28 – Father
- Episode 29 – Struggle of the Fool
- Episode 30 – The Ishvalan War of Extermination
- Episode 31 – The 520 Cens Promise
- Episode 32 – The Fuhrer’s Son
- Episode 33 – The Northern Wall of Briggs
- Episode 34 – Ice Queen
- Episode 35 – The Shape of This Country
- Episode 36 – Family Portrait
- Episode 37 – The First Homunculus
- Episode 38 – Conflict at Baschool
- Episode 39 – Daydream
- Episode 40 – The Dwarf in the Flask
- Episode 41 – The Abyss
- Episode 42 – Signs of a Counter-Offensive
- Episode 43 – Bite of the Ant
- Episode 44 – Revving at Full-throttle
- Episode 45 – The Promised Day
- Episode 46 – Looming Shadows
- Episode 47 – Emissary of Darkness
- Episode 48 – The Oath in the Tunnel
- Episode 49 – Filial Affection
- Episode 50 – Upheaval in Central
- Episode 51 – The Immortal Legion
- Episode 52 – Combined Strength
- Episode 53 – Flame of Vengeance
- Episode 54 – Beyond the Inferno
- Episode 55 – The Adults’ Way of Life
- Episode 56 – The Return of the Fuhrer
- Episode 57 – Eternal Leave
- Episode 58 – Sacrifices
- Episode 59 – Lost Light
- Episode 60 – Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth
- Episode 61 – He Who Would Swallow God
- Episode 62 – A Fierce Counterattack
- Episode 63 – The Other Side of the Gateway
- Episode 64 – Journey’s End