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This article is about the 2009 anime series episode. For the similarly named manga chapter, see Chapter 8: The Road of Hope.

Before arriving at the Rockbell home for repairs, the Elrics meet Dr. Marcoh, a State Alchemist running from past sins. The information he gives Ed and Al could put the Philosopher's Stone within reach.


Full Synopsis

The next day, Lt. Colonel Hughes comes to see Edward and Alphonse off as they leave East City by train with Major Armstrong as their escort, explaining that Alex's presence is necessary since neither of the boys could defend themselves if the fugitive Scar happened to attack. As their train makes a stop the following morning, Armstrong suddenly recognizes a passerby, whom he identifies as Dr. Marcoh. Seeing the major, Marcoh panics and flees. Edward is confused until Alex explains that Marcoh had been a State Alchemist researching alchemy's possible medical applications, but disappeared after the Ishval Civil War. Hoping that the doctor's expertise may shed some light on biological transmutation, Edward declares that they will disembark here and take a later train their destination. Armstrong, Edward, and Alphonse wander through the town asking for Dr. Marcoh, but it soon becomes clear that the ex-State Alchemist is living in this town under the assumed name of "Dr. Mauro," mysteriously healing people with alchemy. They manage to track Marcoh down, but are met with hostility as the good doctor fears that Armstrong was sent to either arrest or assassinate him. After Edward and Alex manage to calm Marcoh down, he explains to them that he had run from Ishval because of the guilt of having his research used to massacre innocent people during the war and is attempting to make amends for his sins by using his life and his research to heal others. But it is the revelation of Marcoh's research subject that truly shocks the Elrics, as Marcoh declares that his experiments were to create the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Shocked, Edward demands to see it and is even more surprised when Marcoh complies by pouring a red gel out from a small vial. He explains that what he has is not a complete Philosopher's Stone and may run out of power at any time, but fulfills all of the legendary properties. Deducing that this Stone was a success in the war and also must be what Cornello had, Edward asks to see Marcoh's research notes in hopes of finding a way to forge a "true Stone." When Marcoh demands this boy's identity of the major, he is upset to learn that someone as young as Ed would become a State Alchemist despite the atrocities of being a "human weapon" for the government, but Edward declares that he will keep moving forward to his goal, even if his decision is foolish. After Ed and Al explain their situation, Marcoh expresses his fascination over Ed's abilities and states that he may be talented enough to create a real Philosopher's Stone, but refuses to reveal his research, noting that the Stone is not something to be coveted and asking them all to leave.

At the station, Edward responds to Armstrong's inquiry into why he didn't simply steal Marcoh's stone by replying that his conscience wouldn't allow him to take away the item that had healed so many of the townspeople, while Armstrong lets on that he does not plan to report Marcoh's whereabouts to his superiors. However, before they board their train, Marcoh himself appears and hands a small note to Edward. Having had a change of heart in regards to Ed's situation, he explains that what he has written down on the note is the place where his Philosopher's Stone research notes are hidden and that he believes Edward has the strength of will to look the horrible truth in the face as well as the talent to discover the "truth behind the truth." On the train, Edward tells the others that the note reads National Central Library, First Branch. Marcoh returns to his home to find Lust waiting for him.

In Resembool, the boys arrive at the Rockbell house and introduce Major Armstrong to Pinako and Winry. Winry angrily laments the complete destruction of her masterwork automail arm and wonders what kind of dangerous life the Elrics are living. Ed explains his situation and his hurry to return to Central and the Rockbells promise to have his arm fixed and his leg adjusted for his recent growth within three days. As Ed goes to visit his mother's grave, Pinako asks Major Armstrong to tell her how the boys have been getting on, as they neglect to send a single letter home. He explains that they are quite famous in the capital, but that their reputation tends to get them in a bit of trouble and asks Pinako if they are like family to her. She responds that she has known both boys since their birth and was a friend of their father, who had suddenly disappeared one day long ago. Armstrong asks what became of Winry's parents, to which Pinako responds that the both of them had gone to the front lines of the Ishval Civil War to serve as emergency surgeons and were killed in action. When it becomes apparent that the Elrics are staying at the Rockbell house even though they grew up in this town, Pinako reveals that Edward burned the Elric house to the ground on the day that he received his State Alchemist certification three years ago, so as to remove any path of retreat from his ultimate goal. For three days, Winry and Pinako set themselves to the task of machining and adjusting Ed's limbs and, once they are complete, begin the quick but painful task of connecting them to Edward's nervous system and adjusting them for use all the while listening to Ed gripe and dream about the day he will no longer require automail repairs. Winry tries to explain to Ed that his new arm is less durable than its predecessor, but Edward rushes off to repair Al's armor. Having collected all the broken pieces, Edward carefully transmutes them back into their proper shape, while being careful not to affect the area on which his brother's Blood Rune is drawn, as the rune itself is what keeps Al's soul transfixed to the steel. Ed declares that they will depart for Central at sunrise and as he sleeps, Alphonse thanks the Rockbells for their help on his brother's behalf. At dawn the next morning, the Elrics and Armstrong leave to catch the earliest train. Pinako asks them to come back for a visit if ever they desire a home-cooked meal and Winry, who is groggy from three days and two nights of labor, gives them a cheerful wave goodbye from her bedroom. However, that evening when she wakes from making up her lost sleep, she discovers a bolt that she had neglected to include in Edward's arm.

Episode Notes

  • This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 8: The Road of Hope and Chapter 9: A Home with a Family Waiting.
  • The reason why Armstrong was chosen as the Elric brothers' escort to Resembool is cut from this episode.
  • In the corresponding manga chapter, Marcoh keeps the Philosopher's Stone hidden away in his cupboard, but in this episode, he curiously appears to keep it on his person inside his coat pocket.
  • The fact that Lust had been tailing Fullmetal and her threat to Marcoh about destroying the town are omitted from this episode. Though, the details of what exactly happened between Lust and Marcoh is later revealed in episode 24 by Envy.
  • Armstrong's playful brawl with the Elrics (while they spar with one another) is also cut from this episode.

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