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|Struggle of the Fool|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||Struggle of the Fool|
|Japan airdate||October 25, 2009|
|U.S.A. airdate||October 29, 2009 (online stream)|
January 22, 2011
|Followed by||The Ishvalan War of Extermination|
The Elrics are at Bradley's mercy; if the brothers make one wrong move, those dearest to them will pay. As Mustang quietly gathers allies at his side, Ed discovers there may be no need to find a Philosopher's Stone.
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|After their encounter with Father, Envy takes the Elric brothers back above ground by elevator to where Wrath (King Bradley) is. Much to the Elric's surprise, they find out that Central Command is above Father's lair. Having taken the form or a soldier, Envy decides to let Ed take a shower first. While he’s got a moment alone with Al, Ed reveals he saw Al's body at the Gate, and noticing Xiao-Mei, Al reveals to him that he’s still got May Chang with him, hiding inside the armor. The two are then escorted to a meeting room with Wrath and Colonel Mustang, which they then realize that Wrath is actually King Bradley. Mustang explains how his subordinates have essentially been taken hostage by being transferred to different areas. Even though Wrath refuses to reveal anything new about the Homunculi's plan, given what he already knows, Ed wants to quit being a State Alchemist seeing it as a program to monitor and select sacrifice candidates. Wrath, however, threatens to have Winry killed to not only force Ed to remain in the military, but also as not to expose their secret to anyone else. Wrath does however allow the brothers to continue their journey to try to return to their old bodies. Mustang is going to stay put as well, though he does ask Wrath if it was he who killed Hughes. Wrath reveals that it wasn’t him, but he doesn’t reveal who really did it. Although Mustang and the brothers are now free to leave, Wrath stops Al first because of an earlier noise and stabs his armor. Fortunately, the blade comes out clean, as May and Xiao-Mei survived since they are small enough to hide themselves in Al’s legs. After asking money from Mustang, the two depart.
Mustang runs outside hoping to find Lt. Hawkeye, only to find Major Armstrong there instead as Hawkeye was taking a break and after coming back, she converses with Mustang. The brothers call Winry and check on her. She’s fine and is happy that Ed called despite it being strange. Ed doesn’t tell her about Wrath’s threat. While the brothers are at the phone booth, Greed finds them and passes along a piece of cloth with some Xing writing on it to give to Lan Fan from Ling. As an injured Scar is still trying to find his way out of the while thinking of Father and his involvement in starting the Ishval Civil War, he happens to come across Dr. Marcoh’s prison. When Marcoh realizes who Scar is, he explains that he’s being forced to help the Homunculus and reveals his role in the Ishval conflict. Ed and Al then split up, with Al going to Dr. Knox’s place to get May Chang treated and to pass along the message. As Knox is complaining where he can sleep due to them bringing so many patients to his house, Lan Fan appears. It turns out that the Xing writing reveals to Lan Fan that Ling got the Philosopher’s Stone, but Al has to break the news to her of how it all happened.
Back at military headquarters, Greed meets Wrath and discusses how Ling accepted him for power. When Wrath comments on how Ling ended up being greedy and losing everything despite what he said to him during their last encounter, Greed surprises Wrath by letting through Ling’s voice and telling him not to underestimate humans. Greed, however, is well aware of how Ling is watching vigilantly for an opportunity to take over. Meanwhile, Mustang explains the situation to Hawkeye and Armstrong in his car. In spite of this, Armstrong refuses to quit because he can still remembers how he fled from the Ishval conflict, and he knows now that he has to fight against what’s wrong. Mustang also states to them his suspicion of being tested, since even if he had removed Bradley from power, there is still someone behind him, and Mustang can only truly feel human when fighting monsters like Lust. After Al is finished with his story about Ling's situation, Lan Fan decides that she needs to get an automail arm replacement as soon as possible since there is still hope for her young lord. As Al asks that she recovers first, when he notices May at the door to the room and Lan Fan recognizes her name, she and May immediately engage in hostilities because of their respective backgrounds in their rival clans. Before they can engage in a full fight, Dr. Knox stops them from fighting in his house by banging them both on the head with food he brought. He threatens them by stating there could be a pathogen he may have accidentally left in his house that could expose everyone if they continue their fight.
While he and Xiao-Mei help Dr. Knox clean up his kitchen, Al learns of his estranged wife and son from an old photograph, but is dismayed when the doctor throws it away. As for Ed, he goes to help clean up some of the destruction caused in their fight yesterday, and he notices that he can use alchemy again. What’s interesting is that some MPs tell him that some other alchemists had failed to use alchemy earlier in the day. Ed realizes the time corresponds to when Father shut their alchemy down. Shortly afterwards, Ed remembers that May Chang and Scar had still been able to use their alchemy, and he realizes that finding the secrets behind other forms of alchemy might be the key to opposing Father and getting Al’s body back without using a Philosopher’s Stone. He also realizes that he’s still got the gun Hawkeye gave him, and he decides to return it.
Back underground, as Father is shown sitting on his throne recreating Gluttony by allowing him to grow out of his body, Marcoh explains to Scar how they forced him to make a Philosopher's Stone from the lives of the Ishvalans, and he begs for Scar to kill him before they use him in their latest scheme. But Scar angrily responds by wanting to know first of all the details about what really happened during the Ishval conflict.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 56: The Lion of the Round Table, Chapter 57: Scars of Ishval and Chapter 60: In the Absence of God.
- The Transmutation Circles that appear in the background of this episode's title card are the Human Transmutation Circle used by the Elric brothers and the Flame Alchemy Circle used by Roy Mustang.
- It's ironic to note that up until this point in the series, Scar has considered himself an agent of God and those around him have found the idea offensive (as they deem him no more than a crazed murderer); but when Marcoh tells Scar that he sees the Ishvalan's arrival as an act of God, it's Scar who finds the idea offensive, and can barely prevent himself from murdering Marcoh outright.
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