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Truths are exposed when Al finds a man called Father, and Mustang hears the tale of Bradley’s creation—but the most amazing revelation is reserved for Ed after he once again breaks alchemy's greatest taboo.

Full Synopsis

Envy continues his onslaught against the struggling Ling and Edward, who is distracted by the piteous cries of the souls bulging from the Homunculus' true form, particularly one that innocently chants 'Wanna play?', reminding him of Nina. During the battle, however, Edward notices that some of the wreckage inside Gluttony's stomach are the missing parts of the ruins of Xerxes and realizes that with the Philosopher's Stone that exists at Envy's core, there may be a way for them all to escape this dimension if they work together. Above ground, May and Scar's inquiries into Xiao-Mei's whereabouts lead them to discover Alphonse Elric (With Xiao-Mei on his shoulder) following Gluttony into an underground facility. Scar and May tail them carefully, but May notes that the underground passage gives off an ominous aura like that of countless people crawling around beneath their feet. Descending in after their quarry, May and Scar are met by a seemingly endless horde of chimeras charged with guarding the Homunculi's stronghold, and fight them off desperately with the help of their powers, but May confirms that the presence she feels is even further down. As Gluttony and Al approach, the mysterious Father of the Homunculi senses the nearing presences.

In his office, Führer Bradley explains to Mustang that he had been instituted as a experimental subject in a secret project since his very infancy, having been spartanically trained in philosophy, politics and martial arts with several other children for the express purpose of becoming Führer of Amestris. When the time came to choose which one would become Führer, he was injected with a Philosopher's Stone that Father called his "Wrath," in a process which - due to the Philosopher's Stone's violent attempts to take over, deconstruct and reconstruct any human body it inhabited - had already claimed the lives of eleven test subjects. He, the twelfth, survived the ordeal intact (save for the loss of his human left eye as well as the surety that the single soul he now possessed was his own) and was given the name "King Bradley" by the research team.

Inside Gluttony's stomach, Envy, Ed and Ling cooperate to collect all the pieces of the Xerxes mural in one place so as to analyze them. Edward notes that, though he had originally thought the mural was similar to the Five-Point Circle he had encountered in Lab 5, seeing the missing pieces here convinces him that it is something very different - a Human Transmutation Circle. Taking Envy's assertion that this space is a false Gate of Truth, Edward posits that performing a Human Transmutation - albeit a theoretically safe one in which he breaks down his own body and soul and reconstructs them back into an unaltered form - he can open the path to the true Gate, from which returning to the proper dimension should be possible. Trusting his skills, Ling and Envy comply, but Edward makes a point to ask Envy more about the mural at Xerxes believing the missing pieces they found in Gluttony's stomach were placed there to hide important evidence. Given the symbols that appear on the finished structure, he deduces that whoever designed it intended to use it to turn the entire population of Xerxes into a Philosopher's Stone for the purpose of surpassing God, accounting for the advanced civilization's sudden disappearance. Ed demands to know if the one the Homunculi call Father designed the array and intends to recreate that disaster in Amestris, but Envy shrugs off the question and tells Fullmetal to get on with the transmutation. When Edward hesitates, knowing that the Stone is powered by the lives of Xerxesians, Envy informs him that these souls can never become human again and have even forgotten who they were.

Creating a new circle of his own design based on the mural at Xerxes, Edward initiates the transmutation with part of Envy's Stone as the toll. He asks Ling to tell the people of Amestris about this conspiracy if anything happens to him, but Ling merely mirrors Edward's earlier words, stating that there are people on the outside waiting for Fullmetal's return and that he should resolve to tell them himself. As they pass from the sea of blood, one of the souls consumed in the transmutation thanks Edward for freeing him. His plan succeeding, Edward arrives before the stone doors of his Gate, but remarks with bewilderment that there are two Gates now. To his astonishment, he sees Alphonse's human body - hair long from years without grooming and skeletally thin from lack of nutrients - sitting alive before the second Gate, but before he can complete his mad dash to his brother's body, Edward is arrested and dragged into his own Gate by the shadowy black hands therein. He begs Al to come back with him, but the soulless body responds that he cannot leave with anyone who is not his own soul, prompting the reluctant Edward to promise that he will return someday soon to retrieve him.

Episode Cards

Episode Notes

  • This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 52: Lord of the Demon's Lair and Chapter 53: Signpost of the Soul.
  • The Transmutation Circle appearing in the background of the episode's title card is Edward's variant of the Five-Point circle found in the ruins of Xerxes.
  • One of the Xerxesian souls trapped within Envy's body calls out to Edward in a manner reminiscent of Nina Tucker.
  • Ling mentions to himself that the pose Edward takes when transmuting without a circle resembles the pose one takes when praying to God.
  • In the manga, Edward makes his promise to Al's body before vanishing into the Gate, but in this episode, he punches the Gate back open after it closes in order to relay his message.
  • The is the last episode of season 2.
  • This is the last episode that received a TV-MA rating when it aired on Adult Swim in the United States.
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