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|Backs in the Distance|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||Backs in the Distance|
|Japan airdate||September 6, 2009|
|U.S.A. airdate||September 10, 2009 (online stream)|
July 11, 2010
|Preceded by||Advance of the Fool|
|Followed by||Girl On the Battlefield|
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|Continuing off from the previous episode when Wrath (King Bradley) had struck Lan Fan with his swords, it knocked her into the rooftop of a lower building, though she is able to use her kunai knife to partly parry the blow and reduce the injury to her body which Wrath notices due to the tip of one his swords breaking. However, Lan Fan is unconscious with her left arm injured and bleeding. Before Gluttony can eat her, Ling cuts off part of his head and hands with his sword and rushes to Lan Fan's side to carry her on his shoulder. Wrath attacks to prevent him from fleeing, and notices Ling's skill at swordplay when he parries his blows with his own sword and also dodges a few. Realizing that Ling's blows are towards his blindspot, with Gluttony regenerated, Wrath orders him to attack which he does and knocks Ling into a building which Wrath is happy as no one will bother him. Wrath orders Ling to tell him where he came from and how he was able to sense what was inside Gluttony, pointing out he can only escape them now by abandoning the useless girl. Noticing the number of stars on Wrath's military uniform, Ling recognizes that he is Führer King Bradley, the highest ranked person in Amestris. When explaining his philosophy that there is no true king without their people, which Wrath counters there is no true king, Lan Fan uses this moment to set off a flash grenade, and Ling attempts to escape by following the air currents to the door in this moment, only for Wrath to throw his sword to stop him. He then reveals his eye still works by exposing his Ultimate Eye.
Meanwhile, after dreaming of her parents, Winry Rockbell visits Maes Hughes' grave with Gracia and Elicia, with Gracia encouraging her to visit it more often. On her way back, Winry overhears in the marketplace that Ed and Al are fighting Scar, and noticing their departure from the hotel was similar to the last time she saw her parents, Winry becomes worried. As the Elrics continue fighting against Scar with their alchemy, including Ed almost getting killed when the pipe he was climbing was destroyed by Scar had Al not intervened, Al notices that Ed is getting tired. Hoping to buy time for Ling's signal, Al asks Scar why he is killing State Alchemists. As Scar states how Alchemists are a sin against god, Al states that he uses his god's name to justify his killing, like what he did to Shou Tucker and Nina. Surprised that they knew that Chimera, Scar states it was the byproduct of the same kind of alchemy they use and he only killed Nina because there was no other way to return her to normal since she would only become a lab experiment. As Ed and Al bitterly reflect they did nothing to help Nina when it happened, unknown to them, Winry has arrived at their location.
Ed mentions that despite the mistakes alchemists make, he cannot condone on what Scar is doing. As Al notices Winry and orders Ed to stop talking, Ed unknowingly brings up the subject of the Ishval Civil War in front of her, and her parents who aided the Ishvalans even when the order of genocide against them was declared, as well as despite their first aid that saved his life, he killed them. Ed then quickly realizes Winry heard them. Winry collapses in grief now knowing her parents were murdered by a man they helped and that they did nothing to deserve it either. Noticing that Winry is going for an MP's gun after the nearby MPs were knocked out earlier during their fight, Ed orders her to stop. But Winry picks it up and bitterly aims it towards Scar. Recognizing who she is, Scar states she has a right to shoot him, as he recalls the day he visited his brother during the war. In the past, during that day, he noticed the tattoo's on his brother's arms. Scar's brother explained that he studied the mystery behind alchemy and that using the information on what he learned from alkahestry, he was able to create tattoos on both arms for both decomposition and reconstruction. While Scar was determined for everyone to flee, several Ishvalans however remained unconvinced, and pointed out to Scar that his brother's research will save Ishval by defeating the State Alchemists. Scar can only see that this research is going to be used for revenge and slaughter, and fought against the soldiers before reuniting with his family. Scar's brother gives him his research notes in case something were to happen to him, knowing that Scar has a better chance of surviving due to his training as a warrior monk. That was when the alchemist Solf J. Kimblee attacked and killed almost everyone, leaving Scar as the only survivor due to his brother giving him his right arm through alchemy to replace his original severed arm so he could live.
Scar woke up later in the hospital managed by Mr. and Mrs. Rockbell. However recognizing them as Amestrians and that all he had left was his brother's research notes and right arm, in a fit of rage, Scar killed the Rockbells in front of the other recovering Ishvalan who were in shock and then walked outside and saw how ravaged Ishval had become from the war. Back in the present, Scar asks for Winry to shoot him before he considers her as an enemy as the Elrics beg her to stop. Scar also dares them to kill him or else the chain of hatred will be repeated since it was the Amestrians that started the war. As Scar resumes his attack asking a hesitant Winry if she'll shoot, Ed moves in to protect her, and Scar stops when he recognizes the protective stance Ed is using is the same one his brother used to protect him from Kimblee's attack. Al uses this lapse in concentration to attack, forcing Scar to dodge his attacks. Al orders Ed to take Winry someplace safe before heading after Scar. Confronting a depressed Winry, Ed is able to convince her that it was a good thing she didn't shoot Scar, since she was able to do the kind things of helping Satella LeCoulte give birth in Rush Valley and helped provide him with his automail arm and leg. Once she drops the gun, Ed states that Winry's hands are not meant to take life, but rather to give it. Ed then holds Winry as she begins to cry.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 46: The Distant Image of Their Backs, Chapter 47: A Girl in the Grip of Battles Past and Present, Chapter 60: In the Absence of God and Chapter 61: The Hero of Ishval.
- The transmutation array which appears in the background of this episode's title card is the deconstruction half of the Dragon's Pulse tattoo on Scar's right arm.
- This is the first time Scar has shown regret for a murder he's commited.
- In an ironic twist, Scar ended up being in the exact same position as Kimblee; he was trying to use alchemy to kill someone who was shielding someone important to them.
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