Summary: Roy Mustang has just joined the military much to his alchemist master’s disappointment. His master is tired of hearing the same reasoning for joining the military from everyone. When Roy asks him to become a state alchemist and continue his research he bluntly refuses claiming to have perfected his research long ago and became satisfied. He goes on to explain that, as an alchemist, he is already dead as he no longer strives to continue thinking and then collapses. Before he dies he tells Roy that he left the completion of his research with his daughter: Riza Hawkeye. When Mustang meets her, it is in front of her father’s grave where he asks her to call him if she needs anything and shares his ambition of protection others with her.
Back in the present, Riza is taking a shower remembering these events until Ed stops by. Ed comes in and tells her about Scar being the one who killed Winry’s parents and how he couldn’t use the gun she gave him. Riza tells Ed that he has to survive for the sake of those he cares about, even going to far as to directly state that Ed loves Winry leading to some humorous reactions from Ed…
Riza apologizes for giving Ed the gun since it was nothing but a burden on his mind, Ed then asks if Hawkeye ever thought of it as a burden. She claims that she does not have the right to complain about it and the conversation shifts to Ishbal. Meanwhile Scar makes Marcoh tell him about what he and the military did in Ishabl. When Ishabal was made part of Amestris none of the people living there were happy about it, then a child was killed (as seen in a previous episode by Envy disguised as an Amestris solider) sparking a rebellion that turned into a civil war that lasted for seven years until…
Führer King Bradley executed order 3066 marking the beginning of the Ishabl extermination. As Lt. Hawkeye explains, the war was living hell; as a sniper, when you pull the trigger someone will die whereas an infantry solider could fire a bullet and just hope to hit the target. In terms of sure-kills, only the snipers and State Alchemists were close to that concept.
At a military base on the front lines, Hughes and Mustang meet for the first time since the academy and start to reminisce about their dreams for the future and how everyone now has the eyes of murders. Just then Hughes gets a letter from his “beautiful future,” Gracia and goes into hijinks typical of Hughes…
… before becoming enraged over the idea of other men trying to hit on her even though he knows she won’t cheat on him. Mustang warns Huges that the guy who talks about his lover on the battle field often dies soon. Hughes tells Mustang that Gracia’s letters are what keeps him going though the war and they speculate on the true nature of the operation since it is far too big for just oppression, Riza then approaches them. She asks Mustang why they are killing the citizens of the country and why alchemy is being used for murder. Kimblee answers her by saying that is a State Alchemist’s job and that they are killing people because they were ordered to.
Kimblee goes on to illustrate his point by asking Riza if there was ever a time she sniped someone and was glad she hit him, this irritates Roy. Kimblee can’t understand their attitudes since a battlefield is a place for murder, he goes on to tell them that they should look at those they are killing face-to-face as they kill them so neither of them will ever forget. As it is time for them to get back to work, Mustang asks Hugues why he fights, Hugues simply replies “I don’t want to die” and that reasons are always simple. Marcoh explains to Scar the reason behind the war: to create philosopher’s stones.
Scar is enraged over his people being used to create such a thing and even more so when Marcoh tells him that it was used to kill even more of his people. The stone went to Zolf J. Kimblee, the Crimson Alchemist, the same man who killed Scar’s family and caused him to lose and arm. The war ended soon after with the surrender of the highest Ishbal priest.
Roug Roa, the priest, intended to sacrifice his life to save the remaining people of Ishbal, however, Bradley did not take the deal stating the one life is worth just as much as any other life. Bradley continued the extermination and asked the high priest before him how many more of his people he needed to kill before their god would smite him before telling them if they want to bring him down they should do it themselves without relying on a god.
As the war ends, Mustang’s conversation with Hughes about one protecting their subordinates (shown as a flashback in an earlier episode too) and those subordinates protecting theirs and so on occurs. After the war is finally over, Mustang appoints Hawkeye as his assistant so she can protect his back and shoot him if he ever strays from his path. Back in the present Ed claims that even if Mustang becomes the Führer it won’t change the country’s military elements as the congress exists merely as a military puppet. Hawkeye explains that he would need to change it into a democracy even though that might mean all those who participated in Ishabal being charged for their crimes.
Ed realizes what this means and Hawkeye explains that a hero in war times is nothing but a mass murder in times of peace. Ed tries to reason saying that it was the humunculi that were the cause of the war, but Hawkeye tells him that the humans still committed the crimes. Hawkeye then reminds Ed that he should focus on his own goals before worrying about others i.e. getting Al’s body and his own body back. Al is just leaving Dr. Nox’s house and tells May about how much taller, stronger, better attitude, and better looking his body is than Ed’s prompting May to have different fantasies now.
After the credits roll, Envy is shown bringing Marcoh food only to see blood splattered all over the wall.
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) Too many changes to give accurate pages numbers, let’s just go by events this time. Fist off Ed somehow knows where Riza lives without needing to ask anyone about it (well he IS a super pimp so he must know where all the ladies are, at all times), Ed arriving at Riza’s place and the shower scenes are from pages 29 – 31 of chapter 57. The events between Roy and alchemist Master Hawkeye take place at the beginning of chapter 58 pages 1 – 6, differences including the master dying in bed instead of at his desk and Riza not coming in to see the whole mess shortly thereafter. Let’s see… minor things… Hawkeye inviting Ed in and Ed noticing all the boxes is skipped, Hawkeye being amused over Ed’s reactions to her “direct hit” is skipped, Scar’s flashback was already shown so no worries, a lot of the Rockbells saving people is skipped, Ishbal being supplied with weapons from a neighboring country is skipped, killing off all the Ishabl soldiers in the military is skipped (but will be brought up later with Miles anyway). Going into chapter 59; Armstrong trying to save some Ishbal people with Kimblee killing them is skipped, instead of Hawkeye approaching Hughes and Mustang she snips a hiding Ishbal that was about to kill them in the manga, the scene of Kimblee getting the stone is skipped, Marcoh and Nox discussing how they are doctors yet they are killing people is skipped. Going into chapter 60; more Scar flash back stuff the was shown in an earlier ep so no worries there, this is the chapter where the scene in front of Riza’s dad’s grave takes place, Riza telling Roy of her father’s research is omitted, a lot of Kimblee’s logic in how to kill people is skipped, this is where Major Armstrong is shown grieving over a dead child and the officer sending for a new alchemist, most of Grand’s epicness is skipped when he kills that superior for sucking at his job and not accepting the high priest’s surrender.
No, this needs to be made a point of out of all the things skipped in the Ishabal annihilation flashback. The officer Hughes was serving under was an incompetent fool looking for prestige. When Roa surrendered, he (officer person) orders him killed like any other Ishbalan, but Grand tells General Fessler (the prick’s name) “They say among the casualties on the battlefield, 20% of the officers are being killed by their subordinates” and then promptly shoots the bastard through the chest at point blank (everyone agrees it was a stray bullet), takes charge, and allows Roa to meet with Bradley. Now back to the standard for this blog.
Aerugo refusing to let Ishbalans cross onto their country (despite supplying them with weapons) is omitted, Kimblee getting orders to take out the Rockbell couple is skipped (this might get put into a latter episode though). Going into chapter 61; more of Kimblee being a killing machine is missing, Kimblee arriving to find the Rockbell’s dead bodies after Scar killed them and taking a picture of Winry out of their pocket is missing, Mustang killing the last Ishbal in the country at the time is omitted, Mustang being thanked by his men for keeping them alive is gone, Kimblee keeping the stone and killing everyone who knows he has it (with the exception of Envy who was disguised at the time) so he can keep it is missing from its correct place (but will most likely be shown later anyway), Riza asking Roy to burn her back so another flame alchemist cannot come about is missing (another scene the will probably be shown later), Mustang selecting his subordinates (other than Hawkeye) is missing. Going into chapter 62 to about page 14 skipping Nox telling May, Lan Fan and Al about Ishbal making them get along while in his house, skipping Hawkeye joking with Ed that as Bradley’s assistant she can find an opening and kill him, going to page 20 and page 25.
So many differences… at least 2 of those scenes that did not appear in their original order should appear later on in the anime…