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Mustang leads a ragtag assault force of hardy northern troops – and welcome faces from the past – against Central's defenses. Victory seems certain until the military’s most horrifying secret is revealed.

Full Synopsis

The commando team of Central soldiers relay their orders to Roy's cornered squad - to shoot everyone except Colonel Mustang - and several shots ring out. However, the victims of the bulletstorm are the Central soldiers themselves, as Charlie, Richard, Damiano and Alexandre emerge from their hiding places with sidearms drawn to provide backup for the Flame Alchemist and his men. Understanding that she was among those to have been shot, Mrs. Bradley wonders if her husband has been betrayed by the State Military...or if she has been betrayed by him. Roy assures her that he will keep her safe and promises that, when all is made clear, she will know that he and his men were not in the wrong. With further soldiers approaching from the outside, Mustang's group beats a hasty retreat from the area, but not before Charlie informs the Central platoon leader that he and his men should count themselves fortunate; if they had encountered the infamously hardened soldiers from Fort Briggs, they wouldn't have escaped with such minor wounds. Roy's full platoon makes its way toward the building's exit while the Colonel clears their path of enemy soldiers with the use of his Flame Alchemy. Inside Central Command, Brigadier General Klemin commands Central's forces and expresses his fury over the fact that Mustang continues to elude capture. But when Klemin receives word that Mustang's team has managed to injure close to sixty enemy soldiers without taking a single life, despite having the Hero of Ishval and the "Hawk's Eye" on their side, his indignation at being toyed with reaches a fevered pitch.

In the conference room, Major General Armstrong declares to the other two Generals present that Mustang is being too soft on Central's forces, but that Central's soldiers are even worse for not being able to take him down. She asserts that Central's defense is appalling, due to the fact that the capital has never had to ward off a large-scale enemy attack, and suggests that she be placed in commanding the troops against Mustang, but she is met with strong opposition from the others, who inform her that she is nothing more than a hostage to keep the soldiers of Briggs in check. However, Olivier laughs the notion off as ridiculous and informs them that the stalwart warriors of Fort Briggs are capable of taking action even without her. At that moment, deep within the heart of Central City, Captain Buccaneer addresses the score of Briggs soldiers under his command, explaining that the time has finally come for them to bid their underground storage goodbye and sink their teeth into the throats of Central's lambs. An alarum goes up at Central Command and Olivier asks Lt. General Gardner whether he thinks her men, each strong enough to go up against a Mt. Briggs grizzly bear, will be a match for his Mannequin Soldiers. The soldiers in town are overwhelmed by the ruthless force of the Briggs Mountain Guard which has suddenly sprung up out of nowhere right in the middle of town.

Meanwhile, as Colonel Mustang explains to his men that the Briggs soldiers had been hiding inside the Armstrong family mansion, smuggled down under the cover of the house's extensive repairs and renovations, Richard and Charlie remark that they are running extremely low on ammunition and their resupply team is inexplicably absent. Roy instructs them all to abandon him and flee if the situation becomes any more dangerous, but uses his flames to ensure that they won't need to for some time yet. But as Central soldiers - well aware that their enemy cannot hold out for much longer - prepare to move in for a final push, they are run down by a large ice cream van, which speeds to the location of Roy's unit and opens, revealing the jovial 2nd Lt. Rebecca Catalina and a plethora of new weapons and ammunition - including Xingese tear gas grenades filled with capsicum. As Roy makes his way to the truck's cabin, he is greeted by the other half of their two-man resupply team: 2nd Lt. Maria Ross. Freshly armed and with a transport to boot, Roy's platoon breaks away from their pursuers and flee toward the center of town. Roy expresses his surprise at seeing Ross here and asks who sent for her, but she responds simply that she can put the Colonel in touch with the party responsible. They drive the truck to a secluded area where Master Sgt. Fuery can tap their radio into a telephone wire and Roy makes phone contact with their anonymous benefactor, who gleefully reveals himself to be none other than Jean Havoc. Explaining to his shocked and ecstatic comrades that he is running a covert weapons trade from his family's general store, Havoc assures them that he can offer them any kind of support they will need.

In the forest outside of Kanama, Lan Fan tells Edward's party that smoke and the faint sound of sirens have begun rising from the distant capital. Realizing that the action has begun and looking up at the sky, Edward remarks that the time has come for them to make their move. Van Hohenheim explains that his counter to the Nationwide Transmutation Circle is in place, but remarks that it would be better for them to prevent the circle's activation altogether. If they smash Father's new vessel, they can destroy him and free all the Xerxesian souls trapped within his body. Scar suggests that they head underground using the tunnel that he and May had taken a few months prior and, though he mentions that the way is fraught with vicious chimeras, their present strength should get them through all right. As Yoki and the injured Heinkel make plans to stay behind with Dr. Marcoh, Ed heads over to the giant mound to inform Alphonse that they are starting their attack. Al wishes him luck, but the trapped Pride says nothing and merely passes the time tapping on Al's helmet with a stick.

Inside the city, May rushes past all the chaos with Envy in her jar and, hearing the Homunculus declare that the bustle of soldiers is due to the fact that his Father is about to unleash the secrets of immortality, heads straight down the familiar tunnel into the underground catacombs just before a platoon of Central soldiers arrives to cordon the area off.

In Central Command, the other generals demand that Olivier call off Briggs' soldiers, but she remarks coolly that she had her authority over Briggs stripped by the Führer. She asks them if they even know that they're doing by sacrificing their countrymen with this plot of theirs, but the generals respond that their actions will change the world and humanity and that drastic change is always accompanied by unavoidable sacrifices. Drawing her sword and stabbing the speaking general, taking his firearm in the process, Olivier scoffs at them for exploiting words like "sacrifice" while they watch the battle from the sidelines and avoid all risk or struggle. Remarking that when this is all over, she will be a hero, Olivier shoots and kills Gardner, taking the other general hostage. In town, as Major Alex Armstrong, who has been tasked with securing areas of recent fighting, explains the base superficialities of the situation to the freshly-arrived Sgt. Denny Brosh, Fu - from his hiding place among the civilian spectators - overhears another soldier informing the Major that his sister has just assassinated a member of Central Command. Wandering off, Fu remarks that the mission is escalating much more quickly than anticipated and stresses the importance of finding Ling as soon as possible but is having trouble locating Greed's presence, as the huge flow of energy underground is getting in the way. However, as he stops for a moment, he asserts that the underground flow appears to have grown stronger since the day before.

In the Homunculi's lair, Father spreads out his influence over a greater area, thanks to the tubes snaking out from his chair and locks on to the sound of Pride tapping on Alphonse's helmet.

Finding their entrance to the underground blocked by soldiers, Ed and his group head instead to the alternate entrance at Laboratory 3. After breaking past the guards, they make their way to the tunnel and split up into two groups, with Ed heading off with Scar, Darius, Jerso and Zampano while Van and Lan Fan go in the opposite direction to split the group's alchemical ability evenly. However, once the others are gone, Van tells Lan Fan that she may go and find her prince, as he knows she has been anxious to do. Expressing her gratitude, she takes her leave of the old man and slips away as Van continues on his own.

Beneath Central Command, one of the Generals, furious that the rebellion hasn't yet been quelled, heads into the chamber of the Mannequin Soldiers and, despite the protestations of a scientist working therein, activates them en masse to deal with Mustang and Armstrong's forces. Each opening an eye on the center of their foreheads, all of the lesser homunculi unleash bloodcurdling screams which reverberate all through the compound and the underground tunnels.

Episode Notes

  • This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 89: Soldiers' Return and Chapter 90: Army of Immortals.
  • The symbol that appears in the background of this episode's title card is the male dragon on the Amestrian flag.
  • In the corresponding manga chapter, Olivier Armstrong asserts that Central's weak defenses stem from never having had to ward off an attack in the entire history of the nation. However, in this episode, she also remarks that the near-victory of anime-only character Isaac McDougal in Episode 1 is further indication of the capital's weak defenses, while clarifying that Central has never been attacked by a large scale enemy force.
  • This is the last episode of season 4.
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