Summary: Kimblee’s four bodyguards arrive at Briggs and Winry is busy fitting Ed with northern type automail. When Ed warns Winry not to trust Kimblee too much she remembers the car ride up to Briggs with him and how he told her that it was his unit that found her parents shortly after they died. Kimblee goes on to elaborate that he has a deep respect for them since they stuck to their principles as doctors till the end and that he’s glad to have meet their daughter. Of course now that Ed’s mind has associated Kimblee with Ishbal he remembers Hawkeye figuring out that he loves Winry, suddenly Ed becomes uncomfortable in his current position.
So he starts reciting the periodic table of elements in order and Winry wonders how she fell for someone like Ed. Now Ed has northern type automail and doesn’t need to worry about getting frostbite from it anymore. Captain Buccaneer makes his presence known by showing off his current automail sending Winry into a fangirl frenzy even knowing the exact model… Buccaneer can’t stand that Ed has such a cute girl as his mechanic.
Winry takes up the offer to look around the stationed mechanic’s work place after Ed warns her to be careful since Briggs is dangerous in many ways. Kimblee notes how enthused Winry is with her work, just like her parents are and says it’s time for Ed to get to work as a State Alchemist. Al is still in jail on Kimblee’s orders, Al figures this is Kimblee’s way of keeping them separate so they can’t work together and that Winry is there as a display of their control over them. Meanwhile, the search parties for the missing men in the tunnel is finishing preparations and are worried about the health and mental condition of any survivors since they will have spent a week in total darkness with only three days worth of rations. Captain Buccaneer also asks General Armstrong to seal off the tunnel if they do not return within twenty-four hours. After they search party leaves General Armstrong tells the rest of her men that the murder of General Raven was her idea and act alone and to place all the blame on her if word gets out.
Back in central, Mustang is getting filled in on the happenings up north by the flower vendor. She tells him that if they want to win they need to start taking the initiative, but the troops at Briggs are only skilled in defense whereas only those skilled in both offense and defense can grab victory by making the first move. Working with the Eastern Army and their strong offensive capabilities is the move General Armstrong thought would be best. However, General Armstrong would rather have the Eastern Army’s strength without Mustang. Mustang responds with a what if scenario of him reporting this to the Führer for his own gain to which General Armstrong had already thought of and knew Mustang wouldn’t because he is not that kind of person. Now Mustang must contemplate his next move while trying to figure out what do do with all the flowers he bought.
Back in the tunnel, Buccaneer and his men have found the place where the previous party was attacked. They find only two survivors as the shadowy entity draws in on them, as they take the survivors back the shadows pull back seemingly distracted by something else. At the Führer’s residence, Haykeye is dropping off some documents that he needs to look at by tomorrow only for him not to be there, so his wife decides to hold onto them until he gets back. Selim appears behind Hawkeye startling her, after Selim goes back to bed, Hawkeye learns from Bradley’s wife that Selim is a distant relative of her husband’s and not related to her prompting Hawkeye to realize what’s going on. As Hawkeye is leaving, Selim appears and asks if she really did notice, Hawkeye tells him that she has experienced a similar feeling when Gluttony snuck up on her, only that Selim’s presence feels much worse. When Hawkeye asks what Selim really is, he tells her that he is the first homunculus: Pride.
Pride knows that Hawkeye is trying to get as much information as possible out of him and even offers her to join them, but she refuses knowing they just need another pawn. When Pride tries intimidation, Hawkeye calls his empty threats as there is no gain in killing a hostage. As Pride leaves he tells her that he will always be watching her from the shadows now. Back at Briggs Kimblee briefs Ed on the tasks the Führer has a assigned him: the first is to find Scar, Kimblee will take it from there, the second is to find Dr. Marcho and only find him, and the third is to carve a bloody crest into Briggs. Ed objects to the last one, but Kimblee still has a hostage; Kimblee questions Ed joining the military without the resolve to kill, but Ed states that he joined with the resolve not to kill. When Ed questions Kimblee if he knows what the homunculi are planning, he merely claims he just wants to see how the world will change; if the homunculi beat the humans it will be a historic moments and he just wants to live to see it.
The reason for working for the homunculi is also simple: they let Kimblee use his alchemy the way he wants to; Ed figures Kimblee to be insane and Kimblee knows he is not normal, but if he survives then he will have won the battle for existence which he feels if worthwhile. Ed can’t understand Kimblee who also is surprised that Ed is not complealty selfish like all other alchemists, so he adds some incentive to the deal by offering a philosopher’s stone if he completes the job.
Ed says he’ll talk it over with Al and Winry too before making a decision as he does not want to lie or betray her. After he tells Winry the situation she’s in, Ed explains that he’s been called upon to do his duty as a human weapon and might have to be a part of mass murder; Winry realizes now why she is a hostage, to make sure Ed does his job. Ed also tells both of them that he’s been promised a philosopher’s stone if he completes the task and stops Al from mentioning what they are made of. Al figures out what is going on and tells Ed to do whatever he wants.
As Ed leaves with Kimblee he tells him he’ll take the job and that he wants to look for Scar first using the cover of avenging Winry’s parents to get Kimblee to agree. Ed also has Al released under the notion that Scar’s destruction techniques won’t work on him. After Kimblee leaves, Al fills Winry in on what is really going on, how a philosopher’s stone is made, that they think eastern alchemy from Xing will help them get their bodies back and about the girl with Scar that knows about it. Ed’s plan is to make it look like he’s going after Scar, but his real objective is to get in touch with the girl traveling with him. And so Winry decides to go along with him using the excuse that it would be bad if Ed’s automail were to stop working suddenly and it would hurt the Rockbell name.
The ensuing banter between Ed and Winry makes Kimblee abandon any attempt of persuading her otherwise. On the way to where Scar was last sited Ed warns Winry there is no telling what will happen, but she is tired of watching from the sidelines anyway.
Manga notes: (spoilers impending) Adapting from chapter 70, pages 2 – 42; changes including not showing Kimblee picking Winry up at the train station while she’s waiting with his four bodyguards, Kimblee being lost for words on what to make of all the automail talk, a lot of stuff shown the Winry in the local mechanics shop is omitted as well as Kimblee stating he loves people that are so enthused with their work and also reassuring Ed that he is not a pedophile when he gives him a crazed look, some of the preparations of the rescue team were skipped, some of Hawkeye’s thoughts on having to be too formal for her position are omitted. Going into chapter 71, pages 1 – first half of 21 & bottom half of 24 – 26; changes including Kimblee telling Ed to keep it down with a hand gesture rather than Winry in the other room wonder what is going on and Ed figuring it out himself, much of Kimblee’s ranting about what will happen is gone, Ed accusing Kimblee of being a homunculus and Kimblee saying he’s not is also gone, Ed questioning how Kimblee passed the psychological evaluation for becoming a state alchemist is gone, the whole conversation between General Armstrong and Kimblee is gone in which Armstrong thinks it’s about time to inform Central of Raven’s “disappearance.”
Other stuff: Hopefully next episode will have Winry using fake tears to trick Donkey Kong (this joke will only make sense later). The animation quality also looks remarkably high for Ed’s final fight with Scar (not to say either one of them is gonna die anytime soon). AND DAMMIT!! The whole part of the Ishbal flashback with Kimblee getting orders to kill the Rockbell couple so the area they were in could get bombed to hell being lost really takes away a lot from this! All the stuff he told Winry about admiring her parents’ convictions was true, but it just falls flat not knowing the reason his unit found them first was because they had orders to kill them… only Scar beat them to it.