After learning of Hughes’s fate, Ed and Al are ravaged by sadness and guilt. Envy still hides in plain sight among the State Alchemists, and another Homunculus is on the verge of infiltrating their ranks as well.
The Elrics and Winry arrive at Central City, with Ed tired from his journey by train due to Fu and Lan Fan spying on him the entire time. From the top of the train, Fu asks if he has seen Ling, which Ed replies he hasn't. While Fu starts his search, Lan Fan becomes very worried on what happened with him. Elsewhere, as he observes the city, Ling believes there is something odd about it. Meanwhile, Havoc heads to meet up with Falman at the safehouse he and Barry the Chopper are holed up in to deliver food for him. Making conversation with Barry, Havoc refuses to let Barry roam around the city at night to carve someone up, though he'll check on when Hawkeye will visit him. Falman asks how long he has to babysit Barry, to which Havoc mentions that his time off is being treated as sick leave, though Mustang will make him pay if anyone besides themselves learn about this secret arrangement. Havoc then announces he has finally found a girlfriend, something that Falman is annoyed to hear since there is no good news for him. A few officers from the police discover Ling, who has collapsed from hunger on the side of the road. After he mentions to them that he is from Xing, Ling is hauled off due to being an illegal immigrant. Splitting up from Winry who is on her way to visit the Hughes family, the Elrics decide to give Lt. Colonel Hughes the new information they found at central command, unaware of what had transpired since they left.
At Central Command, Sheska has to pretend that storeroom 3 is a mess to another military officer due to Mustang being asleep in that room. After Mustang leaves, Captain Fokker appears behind Sheska, asking what Mustang was doing. Promising that Sheska won't be punished for anything else, she tells him Mustang was looking for files on Laboratory 5 and the Hughes' murder case. Unknown to Sheska, this person is actually Envy in disguise who transforms into someone else as he passes the real Fokker on the way out. While washing up in the restroom, Mustang encounters Major Armstrong who talked about meeting the Elrics at their teacher's home in Dublith when he traveled with the Führer to the south. After confirming that Armstrong did not tell the Elrics about Hughes' death, Mustang surmises that Armstrong wanted to avoid having the Elrics blame themselves since Hughes discovered something he shouldn't have learned from the investigation the Elrics got him involved with. Before leaving, Armstrong warns Mustang to be careful since someone may be listening on them. The Elrics then encounter both Mustang and Hawkeye in the hallway, and when Ed states part of their trip is to visit Hughes, Mustang lies stating that Hughes retired and moved his family out to the country. Before leaving, Mustang gives Ed the same message that Maj. Armstrong gave to him back in Dublith about not being too reckless. As they are walking, Hawkeye questions about treating Ed like a child, but Mustang points out that it is better not to inform him now so it can create fewer obstacles for Ed to deal with.
The Elrics decide to head out to inform Winry about this, but before they can leave, Ed bumps into 2nd Lt. Ross. As they talk about Hughes, once it becomes clear that their information doesn't match, Ross realizes the Elrics truly don't know what happened to Hughes and her shock causes Ed to realize somethings up. As Winry buys produce at the market as a gift, Ed runs out of Central Command, bitter when Ross revealed that Hughes was murdered shortly after he left Central and Ed is blaming himself since he got Hughes involved in that investigation. Winry arrives as Elicia answers the door, and sadly hugs her as Gracia comes up to say hello. Outside, Ed decides to confront Gracia by not holding back on this matter and asks that Al remain behind since this is his problem. Al decides to go too since they are both at fault and he admits he wouldn't want his body back if people die for the sake of their dream. Heading up to talk with Gracia and Winry, Gracia mentions that her husband's death was a warning from the criminals to not stick their noses into the business of the Philosopher's Stone anymore. Ed admits he dragged Maes into it and apologizes for his mistake. Gracia knows that it was part of Maes' nature to help his friends out, and encourages Ed to not give up so Maes' death will not be meaningless. Returning to their hotel rooms, the Elrics and Winry bitterly reflect on what they have learned and Ed has to convince Winry to go eat something before the dining room closes. While talking it out with Winry, who is breaking down in tears, she reveals to Ed that she has been practicing on the apple pie recipe she received from Gracia, and while she is not as good as Gracia at the moment, Winry admits she wanted Mr. Hughes to try her cooking one day.
At their hideout, Envy meets with Lust and Gluttony to reveal that Mustang had been snooping around in the Hughes murder case. Annoyed by the fact that Mustang is not behaving himself the way he is supposed to, and that they cannot kill him, since Mustang is an important sacrifice. With Lust receiving the lack of information from her new boyfriend, Envy comes up with a new plan to bring Mustang back into line. At the mess hall, Ross is approached by Henry Douglas who demands she turn in her gun and come with them due to her name popping up as a material witness (suspect) in the Hughes murder case. Finding this out, Mustang discreetly dispatches Hawkeye to learn more about the case against Ross. Meanwhile, Havoc picks up flowers for his girlfriend Solaris and meets her at a cafe, unaware she is actually Lust.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 34: The Footsteps of a War Comrade, Chapter 35: The Sacrificial Lamb and Chapter 36: Alchemist in Distress.
- The Transmutation Circles that appear in the background of this episode's title card are the circle on Alex Louis Armstrong's gauntlets and a simple circle.
- Lan Fan's mask is shown completely restored in this episode after being destroyed in the previous one. In the manga, it's Alphonse who rebuilds her a mask, but in the anime it's implied that she possibly carries spares and replaced it herself.
- Also missing is a scene on the train involving Ed, Al, and Winry learning that Ling is only 15 years old, a fact that greatly upsets Ed (both because Ling appears more mature and is taller than him). When Edward calls Ling a freak for his appearance, Lan Fan and Fu attack him from their hiding spot, the roof of the train.
- There are some difference's from the manga about how Ed, Al and Winry get to know about Hughes' death.
- Winry follows Ed and Al to see Hughes instead of splitting up, as in the anime.
- In the manga, all three of them read about Hughes' death, and Ross being suspected. In the anime, they all get to know by various people; Ed and Al by Ross, and Winry by Mrs. Hughes.
- In the manga, 2nd Lt. Ross is already suspected for murder and doesn't even talk to the Elrics.
|Fullmetal Alchemist 2009 Anime episodes|
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