Summary: Scar vs. the Silver alchemist, outcome: one more dead state alchemist. Cue the new spoilerific opening sequence and then back to the show where Yoki has saved May Chang, a girl from the eastern country of Xing, while Scar was out. After displaying her skills by healing a wound the Silver alchemist inflicted on Scar (and Scar finding May’s companion, Shao May, a miniature panda, adorable) they get ready to make their way towards Central. May came from her country searching for a way to obtain immortality and is trying to locate Edward Elric in the process believing him to be a tall handsome gentleman… Anyway, in Central 1st Lt. Riza Hawkeye is walking home at night and is attack by none other than Barry the chopper! Unfortunately for him Riza was carrying more than just one firearm and not frighted at all by Barry being an empty suit of armor and all; oddly enough Barry falls in love with her or her strength at least.
So begins Roy’s interrogation of Barry learning about lab 5’s involvement with the philosopher’s stone, all the scientists involved with the creation of the stones were used as ingredients to get rid of any possible information leaks. As a final question Roy asks if Barry was the one who murdered Hughes, Barry doesn’t know what he’s talking about and Roy takes his word for it. In Rush Valley Ed and Al pay Winry a visit since Ed’s right arm is falling apart after his fight with Greed, horrible horrible pain is then inflicted. While working on Ed’s arm Winry tells them that Paninya started working legitimately doing roof repair and other high up repair work; lacking the necessary parts for a full repair Winry tells them to go kill time in town. Al finds a man passed out on the side of the road, after he eats what looks like several dozen portions of food he reveals himself to be from a foreign land: Xing, having crossed the desert the hard way so he could have a look a the Xerxes ruins. The reason he came to Amestris was to research it’s alchemy as the alchemy in Xing is mostly used for medical purposes. In Amestris alchemy is mostly used for combat as boarder disputes with the countries of Aerugo to the south and Creta to the west are ongoing, furthermore the country to the north, Drachma, has a non aggression treaty, but it’s mostly thanks to Mt. Briggs that they don’t attack Amestris. Apparently the country became a military state when Bradley came to power, the conversation digresses back to alchemy and introductions finally take place, the foreigner’s name is Ling Yao and he’s not an alchemist. Ling came all this way looking for the philosopher’s stone to gain immortality sicking his servants on Ed and Al when they refuse to talk. The fight begins, the Elrics are caught off guard by their assailant’s martial arts, but agree they are nothing compared to their master.
After getting thrown around a bit Ed finds out that his attacker becomes predictable and easy to counter the more he insults Ling, meanwhile Paninya lends Al some assistance while the old attacker wonders about Al sensing something strange about him. Ed manages to destroy his attacker’s mask and to his shock it’s a woman, now both fights get explosive with the female attacker using grenades and Paninya using her cannon while Al uses alchemy without a circle to immobilize him. Ed tears off his automail arm and uses it to lure his attacker into a trap, after it is all said and done Ling comes out and asks them to work for him so they can rule a country then runs faking that he can’t understand the language when the angry townsfolk come about their destroyed property, his servants disappear too. After Al agrees to repair it all Ed finds out he does not need a circle now either and loses his dignity as a brother. Back at the shop where Winry works they run into Ling again (Ed promptly hits him upside the head with his busted arm); the girl’s name is Ran Fan, the old man is Fu and both of them are from a family that has served Ling’s family for generations also Ling is a prince (laughter ensues at his expense of the absurdity of it all). Now some of Xing’s culture is revealed: it’s made up of more than 50 clans, each of which send a daughter to bear a child with the emperor (currently 24 sons and 19 daughters), Ling is 12th in line for the throne and the emperor is gravely ill, so now is the best time to try and win his favor. Winry gets back, seeing that Ed’s arm is not attached to his body anymore means more horrible horrible pain must be inflicted; while fixing his arm they decide to go to Central and Winry wants to come too to say hello to Hughes, Ling also decides to come along. Elsewhere, May is tagging along with Scar and Yoki, also headed to central. CUE THE NEW ENDING!
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) Well… this is kind of hard to place… the bit with the Silver alchemist was taken from later, originally May was supposed to be introduced at the mining town where Yoki was introduced, looks like they sped up her meeting with Scar (supposed to meet in central) to before. The parts after that were from the end of chapter 30 and the beginning of chapter 31 for Barry’s part, things that were left out include the call to Mustang and him wanting to flame roast Barry (do not mess with another man’s woman, it makes them mad), a thorough background check on all of Barry’s murders as well as some deals he makes with Mustang (also the way Barry describes people by how they would be good chopped up) and Barry getting stuck with Sgt. Falman (as well as his nick-name “mister though meat”). Enough of that, everything with Ling, let’s just say it’s as close to perfect as it’s going to get (although they left out some bits like Winry wanting to put a machine gun in Ed’s arm, Trigun reference anyone?) and Al trying to get away from Ed when Ling got clingy. The fight scenes where close enough, Al was supposed to fall though a roof Paninya was working on and we could not hear what the characters were thinking like in the manga… the part that was agitating was skipping the shoujo-ish drawn scenario with Winry chasing Ed with a chainsaw on a beach with Al as a doggy when she sees the arm torn off… it ends with the end of chapter 33, looks like the titles of the eps will be taken from chapter titles now.
Extra notes: That spoilerific opening; it shows Gluttony’s true form, Envy’s true form, and Lust being consumed by flames as well as a number of other plot relevant events that will happen later.