Episode 43 brings back the spark of life and reason that the Fullmetal Alchemist series is known for, for many reasons as expressed in this installment. After the last few disappointing episodes, Brotherhood is, once again, down to business.

We begin picking up where the assault on Briggs left off. Drachma’s reliance on the coup that Kimblee promised is nowhere to be seen and neither is Kimblee; that is, until there is no one left alive to welcome his return. One of the reasons I spoke of earlier about why this episode acts as a redemption effort is because of how much action and character building takes place. After an interesting moment between King Bradley and Hawkeye, a bit of ‘here-we-are-kicking-dirt-in-your-eyes’ from the Homunculi until the story shifts back to the mountains where Dr. Marcoh has set up a trap for Envy, hoping to defeat him once and for all.

I feel the intense need to mention how awesome the animation is during this scene. The way that Envy moves in his true form is so fun to watch; a real treat. There’s always something for him to kick up; whether it be the shallow lake of blood in Gluttony’s stomach or the snow on the ground…but don’t mind my ramblings! Getting back to the next reason why this episode was much needed is the character development that takes place. Now that Ed is temporarily out of the picture, this gives Al a chance to take the reigns and show us those just how well he can lead. Not just Al, but Dr. Marcoh as well. Up until now, he’s been portrayed as a weak and defeated man.  We knew what he was capable of from hearing stories of his work, but we’ve not had much of a chance to see it until this episode. The group is finally able to take Envy down a peg or two (or more), with teamwork and, well, let’s face it, some serious guts.

Although the comedy immediately after this scene is hilarious as always, after rubbing Envy’s defeat right back in his face (I mean, can’t you imagine Yoki drizzling a bit of salt in the jar?) there is a sad moment when Mei-chan must depart back to her homeland now that she has found what she was looking for.

In all, it is a very good episode that promises greatness. Oh and, don’t forget to watch it the entire way through. For those of you who have not caught onto the trend just yet, there is a bit more to the episode after the ending credits.

Happy watching!

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