Ed and Al revisit childhood memories, recalling the constant and unconditional love of their mother -- and the horrors that began when she died.

Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow
Ed and Al are in a library trying to find more leads, now that they discovered Cornello’s stone was a fake. Al then chances upon an ‘Introduction to Alchemy’ and the flashback occurs.

It shows the boys as kids trying to make a present for their friend and neighbor Winry Rockbell, using alchemy. The process scares her and she cries. Their mother Trisha, along with Winry’s parents and grandmother try to calm her down. On the way home, Trisha asks her sons about alchemy and gets surprised by how easily they understand it. She credits it to their father, hinting at him being a great alchemist and then says she is proud of their alchemy. The brothers then start competing with each other for her attention. Later, Ed is revealed to be angry at their father for leaving them, though he barely remembers him. At Winry’s house, they learn both her parents (surgeons) have been killed in the Ishval Civil War due to a surprise attack.

A while later where the boys are shown to be a little more grown up, they arrive home to find their mother unconscious and gravely ill. Believing that their father's presence will make her feel better, Ed and Al write letters to all acquaintances hoping for a response. Their mother soon dies, and her last words make them realize that alchemy made her smile only because it reminded her of their father. Unable to think of living without her, Ed and Al decide to bring her back to life using human transmutation even though it is forbidden. They find themselves a teacher and learn alchemy seriously from page one.

Months pass, then the brothers are shown attempting to bring their mother back to life. The process goes horribly wrong, the thing they brought back to life was not human; Ed loses his left leg and Al disappears. In a tearful panic, Ed sacrifices his right arm to bind his brother’s soul to a nearby suit of armor.

Al then takes his injured brother to the Rockbell’s house. Over there, Lieutenant Colonel Roy Mustang arrives in response to one of their letters and expresses a keen interest in Edward owing to the fact that he can perform human alchemy and survive. A seemingly unconscious Ed hears this and later decides to become a State Alchemist due to the amount of resources available, even though he would become a ‘dog of the military’ forced to do what the state commands. He considers it his responsibility to fix his brother and asks the Rockbells to fix him with automail.

A year passes with the surgery and rehabilitation. They decide to leave to meet Roy Mustang and for Edward to try being a state alchemist. The brothers burn down the family home on the day they leave, deciding to leave no traces and this act forces them to move forward, unable to turn back.


  • When the Elric brothers are sparring at the end of the episode, Al falls in water and gets back out without any damage to his Blood Seal. This is inconsistent as through most of the part of the series he doesn't go in water due to the fear of his Seal being damaged. However, since this was his very first time sparring in that body, it could be that at that point, he was simply unaware of the peril water actually now posed to him.
  • The text which appears in the book at the start of the episode is actually taken from a review of a Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Alchemy & Herbalists, published by Bastion Press. The review was originally written by Jeff Ibach for a website called DM's Haven.
  • The name signed to Roy Mustang's letter is James Herbert, the name of an English horror writer.

See Also

Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Anime episodes
01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51