|The Other Side of the Gateway|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||The Other Side of the Gateway|
|Japan airdate||June 27, 2010|
|U.S.A. airdate||July 1, 2010 (online stream)|
September 18, 2011
|Preceded by||A Fierce Counterattack|
|Followed by||Final Episode: Journey's End|
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|As Edward Elric clobbers him with his fists, Father wonders in disbelief how someone who has acquired the power of God can be beaten by a human alchemist using his bare hands. Another stunning blow from Ed knocks the Homunculus down for the count, but when the god energy makes another attempt to escape, Father sucks it up, rises to his feet and lunges desperately for Greed's Philosopher's Stone. As he plunges his arm inside his son's stomach and begins draining his Stone away, Ling Yao's consciousness grabs hold of Greed inside their shared body, refusing to let him go, but as Greed states, Father's pull is stronger and any continued struggle will only result in Ling's soul being pulled into Father as well. When Ling asserts that he needs Greed's power in order to become Emperor of Xing, Greed claims to accept partnering with the prince for the throne, but knocks him away at the last second, resigning himself to his father's summons. As the avaricious Homunculus declares that this was the only lie he has ever told, he informs Ling that he can still become emperor, as Lan Fan holds the Philosopher's Stone that she took from Wrath's pocket. Drawing out his son's Stone, Father's arm turns slowly gray he absorbs Greed's carbon armor ability, but with his last moments in the prince's body, Greed summons Lan Fan to his side and she slices off Father's arm with a simple swipe of her kunai. Ling collapses to the ground, the sole soul inside his own flesh as the Ouroboros on his hand fades away, while Father howls piteously at his own son's treachery. Though his entire body slowly morphs to carbon via Greed's power, the avaricious Homunculus explains from inside that he has used his armor ability to transform Father's anatomy to one comprised of the weakest, most fragile form of carbon imaginable. Father's entire being begins to crumble under its own weight, but as a last ditch effort, he physically rips Greed's soul from his body and casts it aside, where it turns to dust in the open air. Staring down at the others as he fades away, Greed remembers Ed's camaraderie and Ling's assertion that friends are connected by an unbreakable bond that exists within their souls; he bids a fond farewell to his soul's dearest friends and departs from the mortal coil.
Taking his chance, Edward rushes up and punches a large hole through the fragile Father's crumbling abdomen and, through this hole, all the remaining Xerxesian souls pour out and rise into the sky. With his Philosopher's Stone entirely depleted, Father trembles and the black, shadowy hands of the Gate reach out from the hole in his body to take hold of his head and limbs, pulling them inside. As Father slowly disappears inside himself, he screams that his desire was simply to learn everything about the world without being limited and asks why he was unable to do so. In a flash, he is gone and appears in his stunted shadowy form from the flask four centuries ago, in front of his own Gate. He asks absently why God has rejected him and is answered by the Truth, which hovers behind him, mimicking his spherical form in white. Truth responds that the Homunculus failed because he did not believe in himself; rather than taking his life, born from a human, and growing with it, he merely stole the power of others and chased single-mindedly after the concept of "God" without evolving as a person. Father responds angrily that he wanted to become the perfect being and acquire all of the world's knowledge and, asking what could possibly have been wrong with such a pure desire, demands to know the name of the one who is speaking down to him so. Truth gives its usual response - that it is the world, the universe, God, the truth, the one, the all and also Father himself - but as the blank Gate doors open, it adds that truth is what deals out proper despair so that beings do not become conceited and explains that the Homunculus will be given that despair as well. The black hands emerge from the Gate and pull the Homunculus inside as he screams objections to being returned to that place and remarks that his confinement there before had been unbearable. Begging Truth to tell him what he should have done to avoid this fate, Truth gives him this response: "You must have seen the answer." The Gate slams shut and Father, properly punished for his conceit, is gone.
In the physical world, everyone crowds sorrowfully around Alphonse's lifeless armor. Ling approaches the prostrate Edward and offers him the Philosopher's Stone to use as a toll to get Al back, but Ed replies that he and his brother had promised themselves not to use the Stone to restore their bodies. Ed ponders furiously, wracking his mind for any possible way to get Al back from the Gate, but Van Hohenheim approaches and offers up his soul for Al's, as there is only one soul remaining within his body now. Though he remarks that it is his wish as the boys' father that they be happy and that their current state is his responsibility as well, Edward adamantly refuses to sacrifice one life for another and gratefully rejects his dad's proposal. Reminding himself that, as the youngest State Alchemist in history - one who has seen the Truth and can transmute without circles, he must surely be able to produce an adequate solution, Edward's face brightens as the answer dawns on him. Looking around at all the people who have supported him and asking May Chang to stand a ways back from Al's body, Edward grabs a stick and draws a huge Human Transmutation Circle identical to the one he had designed within Gluttony's stomach. Standing at the center of the array, Edward gleefully informs his friends that he will be right back but that this will be the Fullmetal Alchemist's final transmutation. Clapping his hands together and then upon the circle, Edward initiates the transmutation as Hohenheim smiles at his son's discovery.
Appearing before his own Gate, Edward is asked by Truth what he will exchange for his brother and Edward responds that he will sacrifice his own Gate as toll, since such a huge and important thing should be enough. The Truth laughs and informs Edward that, without his Gate, he will no longer be able to use alchemy and would be reduced to the level of a normal human, but Edward responds that he has always been just a normal person and that his belief since his first trip to this place that all problems could be solved with alchemy was merely conceit; even without alchemy, he still has all the people who care about him. The Truth responds triumphantly that Edward has arrived at the correct answer and beaten the Truth. As Edward deconstructs his own Gate, Truth proclaims that Edward may take anything and everything he wants in exchange. As it disappears along with the disintegrating Gate, the Truth points to the younger Elric's Gate and Alphonse, seating whole before it. He greets Alphonse and helps him up and, as the remaining Gate opens, the brothers walk through it, finally returning home together.
Back in the physical world, Alphonse opens his human eyes to the sunlight for the first time in five years to see his brother, his father and all his friends crowded jubilantly around him. Taking Van Hohenheim's and receiving a tearful hug from May, Alphonse revels in the warm sensation that he has craved for so long.
As dusk settles on Central City and Edward delivers the shrunken body of Pride to a confused and distraught Mrs. Bradley, a message is broadcast from Radio Capital claiming that the simultaneous collapse of everyone in the country was due to an alchemical experiment perpetrated by Central Command but halted and reversed by the efforts of a joint force led by Colonel Mustang and Major General Armstrong. Generals Clemin and Edison are taken into custody and stripped of power, while the broadcast declares that Führer King Bradley and his son Selim lost their lives tragically in the turmoil. Standing at the point where Father had vanished, Van Hohenheim reflects sadly on his mistakes and how they escalated to this point, but is greeted by Alex Armstrong who reminds the sorrowful man that his two sons had succeeded in saving the nation of Amestris and all the citizens therein. Thanking the Major for his kind words, Hohenheim departs, making his way back to Resembool where he kneels before Trisha Elric's grave. Remarking to her that his unbearably long life was made happy and fulfilling after he came across her and their sons as his ancient body cracks and fades, Van laughs at himself and states that even after waiting so long for it, death's approach now brings with it a regretful feeling. As day breaks a few hours later, Pinako visits the graveyard and, surprised to see Van there, rushes up to greet him, but stops with a sad smile as she observes that her old friend has finally passed away with a happy expression on his face.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 108: Journey's End.
- The symbol which appears in the background of this episode's title card is the Sephirothic engraving on Edward Elric's Gate.
- This episode airs without a musical opening sequence, but Rain is played at the end of the episode as the credits roll over scenes of Van Hohenheim's life.
- Due to this episode being created from storyboards and not the actual manga pages (this episode was animated before the chapter was officially released), several scenes and locations are slightly different from the manga versions. An example would be when Al is finally brought back with everyone around him, the entire area is in ruins in the manga, but in the anime, the majority of the building is still intact. This also explains why many characters change their clothes, while in the manga, they stay in them until a new day has passed.
- In the English version, Truth's response of approval to Ed's sacrifice comes out in a fusion-type mix of Ed and Al's voices, somewhat similarly to how Truth takes on the affected voice of whoever it speaks to in the Japanese version.
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