THE LAST EPISODE!!! I HAVE TOO MANY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.
So we have Roy cured with the Philosopher’s stone to help Ishval. This scene plays a bit differently in the manga, where Roy was a bit more despondent and at a loss for what to do after becoming blind. Still, the message is the same- Dr. Marcoh knows he has no right to speak for the Ishvalans and this won’t absolve him, but he wants to help anyway, Roy and Riza know they can’t be forgiven for their sins or atone through this, but they also want to help anyway, especially since Amestris now owes the Ishvalans a lot. And Roy only gets his sight back if he promises to use it to help Ishval. It makes sense he’d get it back, since he didn’t do human transmutation and therefore shouldn’t be punished. Maybe Truth foresaw this? Ooooooh..(it certainly would have been interesting to see him try to become Fuhrer while living with blindness though)
In the manga, Jean did not get cured with the philosopher’s stone. He was shown starting to be able to walk a little (with great effort) through strenuous physical therapy, but no magic cure. While Roy not giving Jean the stone is a plot hole, I think Jean living with his disability and making small steps through his own effort with the themes of the story- no matter what the challenge, people can live full lives and keep going through their own effort. Natural processes don’t have magic cures, but Jean is still goin’ at it anyway. That’s thematically consistent and inspiring and it’s nice to see a disabled character who doesn’t get it magicked away. So I’m a bit disappointed by that change.
The conclusion of Scar’s arc is him reconnecting to his culture and his religion to rebuild his community.
I really like that line- “the death of a culture is the death of a people”- it’s especially interesting knowing Arakawa’s background, that she is so connected to the cultural suppression and erasure of the Ainu. I also like the acknowledgement that religion is often a huge part of different cultures, and valuable because of that. Scar’s faith is reaffirmed once more.
Not abandoning his past and his people, but moving forward, working with them, rebuilding, working for his culture and religion to live on- that was where Scar ended up.
FUCK YEAH. WHY IS HE BEATING YOU UP WITH HIS BARE HANDS? BECAUSE YOU MESSED WITH HIS BABY BROTHER, ASSHOLE.
Father you can’t just vomit explosions as an answer to all your problems.
I love that Greed yells at that one guy for getting blown away from an explosion as he catches him “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING!!!” Oh god, Greed. I’m going to…sob…miss you…
Ling clinging onto Greed, though. He says it’s for becoming Emporer, but it’s pretty clear it’s because he cares about Greed. HE’S BECOME BFFs WITH THE MONSTER INHABITING HIS BODY. GOD LING YOU’RE RIDIC. This is the boy who won’t sacrifice anything no matter what, even if it means being dragged along, so Greed has no choice but to sucker punch him. It’s the only way he’d let go. The first and last lie Greed ever told is a completely selfless one, to protect the one thing he couldn’t let go- his friend. And of course he has to insult Ling and act tough even on the way out.
“Lan Fan has a philosophers stone” Yeah good thing Lan Fan is the only one of y’all who has her shit together, otherwise Xing would be screwed.
Sure says a lot that even after a short time knowing Lan Fan, Greed knows she can be trusted to swoop in like a badass and save Ling just automatically. Granted, okay, anyone would know that after being around Lan Fan two seconds.
“Why do you rebel against your father””
“Just going through a late puberty, pops!”
Even your last words are amazing, Greed omg. When you think about it, if Greed is Father’s desire for human connection/friends separated from him, basically the part of him that has the capacity to love is rebelling against the hateful part of him and sabotaging him to keep him from hurting anyone else. Kinda neat.
“Yeah, I don’t need anything else” GREED. In the end it was GIVING his all, for the people he loved and believed in, rather than taking anything by force, that satisfied the longing inside him. Living a full life to satisfy your longing requires living for others as well as yourself. Wow.
Greed’s last-last words “Goodbye, friends of my soul” as a callback to what he directly flashes back to in the anime- Ling told him way back when he killed Bido (the lizard dude)- “Friends are connected by the soul! They’ll always be a part of you!” He’s completely taken those words to heart. You know, he literally was part of Ling’s soul for a while.
And then Ed punches Father so hard he ACTUALLY IMPLODES. Good, I’m glad. I think it’s very significant the final blow that took down Father wasn’t anything to do with alchemy, just the strength of a human will- and fist. No godlike powers. He was taken down by the humanity he loathed.
Hohenheim’s little smile when all the Xerxians are finally freed….:’)
The most obvious literary figure you can parallel Father to is Faust- he sold his soul in pursuit of knowledge and superiority. But the thing that tripped Father up is the same thing that tripped Faust up- Like Faust, he didn’t seek knowledge out of a real desire to learn, but a desire to be superior to others and he pursued these things without even understanding what he was messing with.. He swallowed a Godlike-force without even trying to understand what it was or how it worked (he doesn’t even recognize Truth)- he just wanted to possess it. He took human souls into himself without even respecting or understanding humans. He opened the planet’s gate without respecting the planet. And worst of all, he didn’t even understand or respect himself.
He hid behind his false veil of superiority to humans, while in reality, stealing every power he had from humans and imitating them (without understanding the compassion and love that is supposed to go into stuff like families and creation). He thinks what he needed was to become a perfect being- but what he really wanted, what he was desperately insecure about, was to understand humans and just feel like he was equal to humans- become human. But he could never ever admit that to himself, because it would require looking at his own faults and insecurities rather than just extracting them so he wouldn’t have to deal with them. It would require admitting that he’s afraid- afraid of being trapped, of not being good enough. That was something he could not bring himself to do.
And even as he’s dragged back into creation, he still can’t get that. As Truth basically says, he knows the answer himself, he just doesn’t want to accept it.
But can we also appreciate that Ling was willing to give up his chance to become Emporer so Ed could get Al back? That is some INTENSE friendship. Way to go Ling.