Ed and Al uncover a conspiracy involving the Tringham brothers' father, his involvement with the red water and the disease that's stricken Xenotime.

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Though weakened by the red water, Fletcher transmutes a tree to block the door to give the Elrics time to flee, knowing all of them will be in trouble if they catch them there, which Ed agrees with. As Russell is using his Red Stone to heal Fletcher, the guards break in with Mugear right behind them. After taking the stone from Russell, Mugear decides that since they are out of time, they will have to go with their contingency plan, which Russell is hesitant to do. However, Mugear places the red stone in a glass container with red water, allowing him to perform a transmutation despite being a non-alchemist to tie up the Tringham brothers. Mugear reveals that he knows they aren't the real Elrics by stating they have gold colored eyes in addition to their blond hair and exposes them as the sons of Nash Tringham. When the Elrics return to Belsio's place, though he reveals he knew where they went, the Elrics learn that Elisa is with him and her coughing is getting worse. Sitting down to talk, once Belsio learns about the red water and what Russell mentioned earlier about continuing his father's work, Belsio realizes they are actually the sons of Nash Tringham, which Ed realizes was the name of the researcher that discovered the red water.

Belsio reveals that Nash was an old friend of his who also came from Xenotime and came back one day after spending time in Central City researching the red water. Nash revealed to Belsio that he abandoned the project and feels like he failed his family. Although Nash refused Mugear's proposal to use his research for this purpose, Belsio witnessed Mugear continuing to pressure Nash out on his farming field, until Nash eventually gave in and began his research in the mines. Belsio reveals that while the town prospered from this, the disease spread and numerous babies died. Elisa was also born around then and would had died without the aid of an alchemist doctor named Tim Marcoh who used a mysterious stone to save her life. With Marcoh's information about the toxic red water seeping from the ground as the cause of the illness, Belsio confronted Nash. Realizing it was his fault, Nash decided to end this and was never seen again, which Al can now truly understand their situation, something Ed refuses to accept. At the mansion, Mugear reveals his plan of using the red water to use on pregnant women to eventually transmute a perfect stone once the right amount of time has passed. When Russell asks if their father knew about it, Mugear revealed he did which is why he had to murder him after Nash refused to go along with it. When meeting with Lust, Mugear is convinced he can manipulate the Elrics, something that Lust doubts will work.

The next day, Mugear meets with the Elrics and pretends to have been taken in by the Tringham brothers' lies. Mugear attempts to sweet talk Ed so he can make the stones from the red water to help with all their problems. Ed pretends to go along with it and as he destroys the red stone Mugear has, Ed suggests to head to where the Tringhams are, pretending to mention using harsh torture to prevent Mugear from following them. Once at their cell, Ed reveals he knows everything, and criticizes Russell for foolishly continuing the research that his father already knew was too dangerous. Ed destroys their shackles and states the Tringham brothers need to move on with their lives. The Elrics then confront Mugear, with Ed revealing that he already suspected that Mugear murdered Nash Tringham for knowing too much about his operation. Using more incomplete red stones to turn his container into a machine gun, Mugear holds off the Elrics until the Tringhams intervene with their plant alchemy to stop him from using more stones, allowing the Elrics to knock over a pillar to finish off Mugear. Just as Russell admits he is ready to follow his own path, the group realizes Mugear had escaped through a secret passage to the underground stream and follow him once Ed and the Tringham brothers put on protective masks. As Ed unseals the wall that Mugear made with his alchemy, Mugear shows he has a cannon set up as a trap to fire at them, until Ed resealed the wall to defeat Mugear when he fired the cannon.

However, the shock has caused a cave-in and Mugear refuses to give up the red water and is crushed to death by a giant boulder as the Elric and Tringham brothers flee. When Russel realizes the red water is overflowing, Ed transmutes another rocky wall to buy some time and head outside to discover the red water is seeping from the mountain. Ed makes a giant rock wall in a 360 degree angle to prevent the water from reaching the town, while Fletcher transmutes the trees to neutralize the red water, revealing plants absorb and detoxify the water which is why the Tringham brothers had plants in their work area. The group watch as the trees are destroyed taking the red water with it. Later, as the Elrics are on the train bound for East City, Russell acknowledges he'll deal with any issues from their actions and that both he and Fletcher will use their plant-based alchemy to help with Belsio's farm and use it to make Xenotime prosper. As the train is ready to go, Russell offers to tell Ed the process to refine red water to help with his search on the Philosopher's Stone, which Ed declines, wishing to find his own way. During the journey on the train, Ed notices a letter from Russell in the fruit basket Elisa gave them, which he is embarrassed to show Al. While the letter mentions that Russell will follow Ed's example and be a better older brother to Fletcher, the embarrassment is because Russell is a year younger and is taller in height than Ed.

Episode Notes

  • The storyline for this episode is adapted from the first Fullmetal Alchemist Light Novel: "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand ".
  • While the Japanese version has Mugear confirm the Tringham brothers' identifies due to the Elrics having both blond hair and gold colored eyes (in contrast to their blue colored eyes), the Funimation dub has Mugear confirm it due to the real Ed having an Automail arm.

Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Anime episodes
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