Summary: The battle against Envy continues with Ed and Ling on the losing side; to make matters worse all the bodies protruding out of Envy are causing Ed to hesitate. The various bodies are all crying out: some are begging for death, others with madness and still more in agony giving Envy a psychological warfare advantage over Ed. Despite Ling’s attempts to convince Ed those are not people, Ed still hesitates even having flashbacks to the Nina indecent allowing Envy land some heavy hits before Envy tries to eat Ed.
Back on the outside, in Central, May is still looking for Shao May and finds out that she was last seen with an armored person (Al) whom May realizes is the person she fought with the other day. When May and Scar finally find Al he is with Gluttony who is leading him underground; when they follow them May senses something beneath the ground, the same unnerving sensation she has been feeling upon entering the country. Gluttony leads Al deeper underground until they are in a large passageway covered with human remains made by the gatekeepers who are not attacking since Gluttony is there. Ed is now inside of Envy inside of Gluttony’s belly where he regains consciousness and notices the philosopher’s stone that serves as Envy’s core. Ed realizes a means to escape from Gluttony’s belly and makes Envy cooperate with him.
Meanwhile May and Scar fight off endless hordes of chimeras and May realizes the thing she keeps sensing beneath them is more like a human. That person, Father, comments to himself over how noisy its being today and Wrath tells Mustang about his past. Back when Wrath was still just a human he was raised from infancy as a “Führer President Candidate.” He had no real name or parents and was raised with several other candidates who were all educated and trained in combat together.
When the time came to decide who really would become Führer he was injected with a philosopher’s stone which twelve before him failed to handle and their bodies were torn apart by it. When it is injected into a living body it fights with the soul of that body for control until the body wins or dies. After his body proved victorious over the stone he was given the name King Bradley and everything he would ever need would be provided to him by Father. Mustang tries to reason with Wrath, but Wrath takes pride in being a homunculus just as humans take pride in being humans.
Within Gluttony again Ed has gotten Envy’s cooperation and has him busy finding pieces of the mural from Xerxes, once he finds all the ones he can Ed deduces it is a circle for human transmutation. Ed’s plan for getting out of Gluttony is to transmute himself as a living human taking himself apart and reconstructing himself outside. In theory, since this is human transmutation, the gate should open and they should all be able to escape by going through it. Before getting under way with this plan Ed asks Envy a few questions, namely about the mural and its meaning which indicates it is for casting god down from the heavens and surpassing him. Ed also correctly surmises that Xerxes was wiped out due to a nationwide transmutation circle that turned all of its citizens into a philosopher’s stone. Ed also realizes that the homunculi plan on repeating this event in Amestris, however Envy only agrees to tell him more if he gets them out of Gluttony and then offers up his philosopher’s stone as toll for the gate. Ed is still hesitating but Envy tells him that their bodies and minds died long ago and they can no longer be returned to what they once were.
As Ed opens the gate Ling and Envy jump in and are decomposed with at least one of the bodies protruding from Envy thanking him. As Ed approaches the Gate of Truth, Truth itself comments on how Ed has come back without trying to reclaim his body before Ed is pushed out in front of the gate. Upon arrival Ed notices something different, there are two gates: the one in front of him and one where Alphonse’s body is sitting in front of.
Ed rushes towards his brother’s body, but Ed’s gate opens up and drags him in before he can reach Al who will not go with Ed since Ed is not his soul. After Ed’s gates close, he punches them back open and promises Al that one day he will return for him as the gate drags him in once more.
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) … Wow… anyway, this episode takes it’s material from the rest of chapter 52, differences (minor and insignificant as they are) include May not climbing up a post to spot Al, Scar going underground following May only to avoid soldiers, Ed and Ling not trying to flee into the darkness, Ed not threatening to destroy all of Envy’s teeth, going into chapter 53 now (it covers up to page 39). Just the smallest bit of Bradley’s back story was embellished and the gold toothed doctor didn’t tell the future Wrath what it was in the anime version that he was injecting into him, Al meeting with Father (just face to face no dialogue) is saved for another episode, some of Envy saying that a philosopher’s stone is souls extracted and compressed into a high energy compound is missing, some more Envy banter about Ed’s fight with Greed, Ed thinking about how his guess with his and Al’s soul being linked was correct when he sees him, and that’s about it when it comes to nit-picking for all those who get antsy over every itty-bitty little difference.
Next episode looks like it will cover some of Hoenheim’s past; if he meets Trisha for the first time when she’s just a little girl and watches her grow up then this just became a lolicon series… of sorts…