Summary: Ed wakes up from a dream on the train to Dublith shortly before they arrive. As the Elrics stand outside the residence of their teacher, a tall man holding a butcher’s knife emerges from the door and greets them commenting on their growth. After he tells his bedridden wife, Izumi, the Elrics are visiting she gets up to “greet” her students as well by giving them both a beating and berating Ed for becoming a dog of the military before vomiting blood. Afterwords the Elrics inquire if their master knows anything about the philosopher’s stone which she does not, but met an alchemist in Central named Hohenheim who does. Turns out this Hohenheim is Ed and Al’s father who left years ago and whom Ed blames for the death of their mother. Later, during dinner, the Elrics tell their teacher about the childbirth they witnessed in Rush Valley and are told in turn that they should be proud to be alive.
That night the Elric brothers remember how they first met their teacher during a flood in their home town when she used alchemy to keep a river from overflowing into town. After being rebuffed a few times she finally decides to train them after hearing they have no parents. The first test she gives them is to survive on their own for a month on a deserted island without using alchemy; after leaving them with the words “One is all, all is one” and to decipher them before the month is over, she leaves them there with only a knife. The reason behind leaving them on the island is so they can have real life experience whereas Izumi had to spend a month on Mt. Briggs in the middle of winter for her training. On the island the Elrics have little trouble catching food, but no resolve to kill what they catch and end up losing it to the local predators. After some days of no food Ed finally snaps and starts hallucinating trying to eat anything, Al included; after eating ants, Ed realizes that he doesn’t want to die here and so the Elrics finally gain the resolve to kill what they catch so they can eat. Ed finally figures out the meaning of Izumi’s words on the last night they have to spend on the island: everything is connected and uses the food chain as an analogy to explain it. When Izumi arrives they give her the answer they found: “The all is the world and the one is me” and so the real training begins.
Izumi’s training is as much physical as it is mental with combat training and alchemic knowledge being taught simultaneously and implied to both be the circulation of power. When the Elrics ask why she is able to use alchemy without a circle she claims that she acts as the circle and the only way to do this is to reach the truth. Back in the present Izumi spares with Ed and Al and immediately knows that Ed has automail for his right arm and left leg and that Al is an empty suit of armor, she also correctly deduces that Ed and Al had seen “the truth” themselves. Izumi explains that she had a hard time conceiving a child and became ill after she finally got pregnant causing her to lose the baby, when she tried using alchemy to bring it back to life many of her internal organs were taken as the toll and she lost the ability to ever have children again. After expressing her regret for not telling them about human transmutation sooner, Ed and Al try to cheer her up by saying it was their own decision and Izumi embraces the both of them telling them not to force themselves causing the Elrics the break down and repeatedly apologize.
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) Once again too many differences to point out; overall it tried to cover from page 30 of chapter 19 to page 7 of chapter 25 (remember that most of the flashbacks that these chapters cover was shown in episode 2). Major changes include a loss of humor, the masked man was left out entirely, and the phone call Winry makes to her granny. Anime additional scenes are Izumi encountering that one eyed tentacle rape monster a.k.a. “the truth” when trying to revive her child and having her insides taken. Next ep hopefully won’t be too rushed and hopefully they won’t skip over all the stuff that has already been animated in the first adaptation like they’ve been trying to do with most eps cause that would just cause all kinds of plot holes (wants to see Bradly being nonchalant about exams and more melons from him as well as men bonding with muscles).