Summary: Edward and Major Armstrong arrive in Resembool and neither of them have any idea why they came to do specifically, just another order Col. Mustang gave them. They are greeted by 2nd Lt. Breda and the scene shifts back to Al and Winry in Central getting a surprise visit from Ling who explains what Ed is doing triggering the scene to shift again to Ed, Armstrong and others traversing the desert. After arriving at the Xerxes ruins (and cooling off before his automail burned him) Ed relates the legend of the “Sage of the East”, a story about the sole survivor of Xerxes that introduced alchemy to Amestris and Fu relates a similar legend that exists in Xing about the “Sage of the West” who introduced Xing to alchemy. As they head deeper into the ruins Ed takes note of some of the symbols before they reunite with Maria Ross (who has to run for her life to avoid the death grip Armstrong calls a hug). Breda explains the situation via flashback: Barry had informed Mustang about Maria Ross and how she could not have been the killer, from there Mustang devised a plan to fake a burnt up corpse right down to the teeth to allow Maria to escape the country. Mustang hid the dummy corpse in the ally way he knew Ross would flee down and torched it when they met up entrusting her to Havoc afterwards, the only part that did not go as planned was Ed showing up.
Out of the flashback and back in the present; Fu explains that Ling and Barry made a deal which is why Maria will be able to safely hide out in Xing. A further message from Mustang relayed through Breda reveals that he sent Ed way out in the middle of nowhere so he’d be out of the way while Mustang goes fishing for the organizers of Maria’s set-up. Back in Central Ling is also explaining the situation to Al and Winry having come to them when Barry didn’t know how a soul could be transmuted wanting to find out from them. Ross is in despair over how she got dragged into things that have nothing to do with her while the others go over the intelligence they’ve gathered on the unknown enemy; Ed decides to move forward in a way that will not cause the people he cares about to be killed. As Ross is about to start the journey to Xing she asks Armstrong to deliver her thanks to Mustang and not to hesitate calling her back to the country if an emergency arises.
And once more back to Central where Mustang is busy seemingly chatting up a women on the phone from his office when in actuality it is Lt. Hawkeye reporting they have a “customer” going with their coded conversation. The messed up body Lust called Barry the Chopper last episode has found where Barry has been hiding, as the two Barrys grapple with one another Havoc busts in wearing a ski mask (Falman sees through this disguise easily thinks to the stink of cigarettes on Havoc) and guns blazing, but the flesh Barry is too quick and after “disarming” armor Barry of his right arm the group decides to move outside where they get sniper cover from Hawkeye; at this point armor Barry figures out that it is his body trying to get its soul back.
And now back to the Xerxes ruins where Ed is busy looking at a transmutation circle that resembles one he saw in lab 5, while being frustrated over the missing pieces an individual tries to assault him, but Ed deals with him effortlessly then realizing his assailant is an Ishbalan. Shortly thereafter a whole group of them gather wanting to take him hostage in an attempt to get their home back from the army, a plan Ed knows won’t work, but they are hopeful since it was a single child’s death that sparked the civil war in the first place. Before things get out of hand an elderly woman tells them all to desist in their actions, as the conversation continues Ed learns that a great deal of the people there were saved in the war by the Rockbells, Winry’s parents. They apparently stayed in the battle field for an extended time saving anyone they could until they were killed by an Ishbalan they saved with tattoos on his right arm (obviously Scar). Back to Central where it left off; Barry is totally ecstatic presented with an opportunity to butcher his own flesh despite Havoc’s protests. As Hawkeye observes the situation she has to hang up on Roy to deal with her own attacker: Gluttony, who takes a sniper shot at point blank range getting up like it was nothing.
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) Where to start… the pacing is very different than the manga this time. All of the events that took place in the desert come from parts of chapters 40 and 41, really disappointed that Barry having to act like a floozy on the phone was changed… a few other things in the information gathering conversation were also changed like lots of RAGE directed at Edward for spilling the beans to Miss. Hughes. The parts in Central are mostly from chapter 37, a lot of the chit-chat was skipped like Barry saying he feels “tingly” right before his body drops in along with Falman commenting on the awful smell and Ran Fans involvement and lines in the parts of the fight this episode were omitted entirely. Most of Barry’s ranting about wanting to cut up his body and how he is feeling the same way now as he did when he butchered his wife is left out. And just to be picky Riza shot Gluttony though the shoulder when she was supposed to shoot him through his head at point blank range with a sniper rifle!
Note: changed image hosting, still trying to figure out what the proper re-size should be.