|Signs of a Counteroffensive|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||Signs of a Counteroffensive|
|Japan airdate||January 31, 2010|
|U.S.A. airdate||February 4, 2010 (online stream)|
April 24, 2011
|Preceded by||The Abyss|
|Followed by||Bite of the Ant|
May and Marcoh's efforts to decode the research of Scar's brother yield progress, but it might be too late to prevent catastrophe. Violence is spreading across the land, and it will soon reach the northern border.
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|In an abandoned house up north, as Yoki, Jerso and Zampano huddle for warmth around a fire while May, Dr. Marcoh and Scar attempt to decipher his brother's cryptic alchemy notes, Alphonse finally awakes to find his armored body in disassembled pieces. The others explain that he was too large for them to carry in without coming apart and Winry asks if Al has ever lost consciousness like this before. As everyone works together to put Al back together, taking care not to mix up his right and left parts, May is hit with a flash of inspiration and takes out the notebook's binding so as to group together all the pages that refer to "gold" and "immortality". May recognizes some of the patterns and draws lines between certain symbols, revealing that the secret behind the notes appears to be that Scar's brother had discovered the existence of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle being constructed around Amestris. However, already having known about the circle, Marcoh and the others fall into despair, but Alphonse urges them not to give up, asserting that the research notes may indeed hold even more secrets. When an ill-places sneeze from Yoki flips several of the pages upside down, Al is hit with his own flash of inspiration and asks everyone to turn the pages over. To May's surprise, the new configuration produces an array which contains many of the same properties as the nationwide circle, but is built around alkahestric concepts instead.
In the mines beneath Baschool, Kimblee has lost Scar's trail, but inadvertently stumbles across the tunnel being dug by the Homunculus Sloth. Upon entering, he is immediately beset upon by the Homunculus Pride, who orders him to abandon the search for Scar and head to Fort Briggs so as to carve a "Crest of Blood" there and informs him that Sloth's tunnel is nearly complete. At the fort itself, Major Miles informs Captain Buccaneer and 2nd Lt. Falman that the Fullmetal Alchemist, Kimblee, Darius and Heinkel have all gone missing. Falman immediately calls 2nd Lt. Breda in West City to inform him and exchange information. Breda tells his old friend that the border war in Pendleton is escalating unnaturally, that Master Sergeant Fuery is busy dodging shellfire in the war in Fotset and asks him to be careful with bloody struggles looming over Briggs as well. Falman offers that war may be the least of their troubles with a Homunculus digging a transmutation circle under their very feet, unaware that at that same moment, Sloth has connected the tunnel's end with its beginning, finally completing the Five-Point array around the country.
In Reole, the townspeople work diligently to repair the damage to their village while Rosé distributes food to all the hungry and tired. She is greeted by a starved Van Hohenheim who asks for some food and explains that he has come to town to visit the Church of Leto. Rosé and the food stand vendor take him to the abandoned church's basement where it appears that a certain section is blocked off by a toxic spring. Realizing that the toxic water was placed there to prevent normal people from venturing beyond a certain point, Van asks his two escorts to remind behind while he steps across the water, an earthen bridge forming alchemically beneath his feet as he walks. Before long, he reaches the tunnel and is assaulted by Pride. Hohenheim attempts to flee from the Homunculus, erecting stone barriers behind him which fail to keep Pride's destructive force in check, but when he stumbled across the tunnel's border, he discovers that the shadowy creature is only able to move freely within Central City - where his human-shaped container is - and the confines of the tunnel itself; were he to venture outside of it, he would die. Hohenheim asks if Pride is angry, to which the Homunculus replies that anger and all the other necessary emotions do not reside within his being - that he had left them all with his Father when he was created. Van remarks that Pride's form, which resembles that of his Father back when he was still a being inside a flask, is the very image of his arrogance. Pride asks if Hohenheim would like to be escorted to where Father is, but Van replies that he will be coming to visit eventually, whether escorted or not. He asks Pride to relay to his Father that "Slave 23" will be visiting soon. Returning to the base of the church where Rosé and the the old vendor are waiting, Van Hohenheim demolishes the bridge and explains that he had gone to make a declaration of war.
Up at Fort Briggs, the soldiers notice that forces from Drachma have begun an offensive just beyond their wall and move to counterattack. On the Drachman side, Kimblee plays the role of consultant to the enemy commander, explaining that Briggs' "Ice Queen" is away from her castle and that several men inside the massive citadel are already poised to turn traitor once the fighting starts. Armed with this information, Drachma begins firing its cannons on Briggs. Meanwhile, in the northern town of Asbeck, Zampano contacts Envy and Wrath by phone to let them know the location of Dr. Marcoh.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 77: The Tables Are Turned; A New Transmutation Circle and Chapter 78: The Seven Deadly Sins.
- The Array that appears in the background of this episode's title card is the Alkahestric Reverse of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle.
- The time span of Miles returning back to Briggs is a tad less clear in the anime when compared to the manga. In the episode, Miles just says "We did a thorough search of the rubble and could not find Edward Elric" implying that some kind of time had passed, but it's never directly stated. In the manga, however, he clearly states it has been 10 days since Edward's disappearance. This is vital as it also gives Kimblee 10 days to go and fetch the Drachman army, and makes it a bit more clear as to how he was able to bring them so quickly.
- The Adult Swim airing of this episode cut out the post-episode bit of Zampano phoning Bradley about Marcoh's whereabouts, with the payoff happening next episode.
|Fullmetal Alchemist 2009 Anime episodes|
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