Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 2 Episode 11

Bonding Memories

1
Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Apr 23, 2005 on Cartoon Network
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
110 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Still troubled by the uncertainty of his own existence, Alphonse runs away from Ed and Winry. Searching for the truth, he meets two boys who lead him to the hidden Ishbalen Encampment, where survivors of the Ishbal Massacre have been living. There, he finds a recovering Scar. Unfortunately, mercenaries arrive and slaughter many of the Ishbalens. Al finds himself helping Scar as they defend the Encampment and the rest of the survivors.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Elric brothers' conflict gets resolved, but the Ishbalans steal the show.

    7.6
    "Bonding Memories" begins where "Heart of Steel" left off, with the Elrics separated. Alphonse wanders around Central, convinced something is wrong because Ed didn't answer him. Later he asks Scar what he sees when he looks at him. Al's worries are well-played and sensible, thankfully not overdone to the point where they become annoying. But the Elrics' reunion surprisingly takes a backseat to a story involving the Ishbalan refugees introduced in "Marcoh's Notes." Thankfully said story is interesting enough to carry the episode.



    The two young refugees, Rick and Leo, again help resuscitate Scar, and there's a nice line about how he never learns. This recalls Edward's behavior and Ross' rebuke in "Heart of Steel." It's nice that parallels get drawn between Ed and Scar like this, and thankfully it continues. One of my favorite Scar lines occurs here. When the elder wonders if Ishbala is testing them via the mercenary attack, Scar responds, "No, this is not the work of God!" Not exactly atheistic, but it clearly differs from previous statements that he was on a divine crusade. He might now realize that humans work completely independently of divine will. This makes sense based on what he saw in Lab 5. I enjoy sensible character development like this, especially when it's subtle and unforced. Scar has become a complex character over the past few episodes, and this is much-welcome.



    The plot gets going and Leo's story about Rick's locket is moving. There's real pathos here, and his mother's abandonment reflects the Elrics' father's abandonment.



    Ed returns at the climactic battle, and here's where the episode is a bit of a letdown. It turns out that Ed has been worried that Al hates him. Al's fear that he is a complete fabrication is entirely unrelated. This is realistic, but after the buildup over the past few episodes, that this is all that Ed was worried about is anticlimactic. Indeed this is the one major knock on this episode, that the leads' story is not nearly as interesting as the guest characters'.



    That and Barry. But at least Scar finally destroys 66, so we won't have to deal with his generic psychotic ramblings and exaggerated mannerisms again. His death is actually rather harrowing, since his screams are unsettling. On the other hand, it's twistedly gratifying that an annoyance gets a torturous demise. Let's just say my feelings on Barry's inclusion in this episode are conflicted.



    Completely unnecessary was the locket saving Rick's life. This is clichéd, melodramatic, and manipulative. Yet there is a point to it in that the spearhead breaks open the locket and the boys realize that their mother was suffering from ocular degeneration. Leo's reaction is very believable and moving, his tears are repentant for his years of resentment.



    The denouement is highly intriguing as well, with the Fuhrer's secretary evidently able to turn her hands into a liquid and drown the mercenary leader when he goes too far. If she is a Homunculus, she clearly is quite different than Lust, Gluttony, and Envy. I like how the series has slowly developed the question of just what she is. Scar and the Ishbalans' departure is also nicely done.



    Ed, Al, and Winry end the episode with some nice interaction that seemingly restores their relationship, possibly even stronger now that Al has renewed confidence in his brother. This ends the conflict in "Heart of Steel," indeed this episode only suffers in comparison to its predecessor, but it would be hard not to, considering that "Heart of Steel" is one of the best episodes of the entire series.moreless
  • This is a great episode as it gives a little more backgroung information, and it makes a great episode out of Al, Ed, and Scar.

    8.8
    After Al runs away, Ed and Winry set out to find him. Meanwhile, Al accidentally meets two Isbalan boys Rick, and Leo. They take him to a refugee camp under the streets of Central. There, Al meets back up with Scar. This is just an enjoyable episode to watch, its balanced between action and drama, and it also delievers a great ending as Ed and Al reunite, and Scar leaves the picture for the time being. It also gives a little more background on Ishbal via Rick, and Leo.moreless
  • Al tries to figure out if he really exsists.

    10
    This is one of the best episodes of FMA. Al fighting with Ed is kind of dramatic. Also Al and Scar make a relationship together. Also we see a sad story about these two Ishbalan boys Rick and Leo who were attackd by the military. Their mother at first seemed like to just run away from fear and leave her kids behind. But actualy she was almost blind and though Rick and Leo where in their room and went there only to die from a explosion. Scar was also attacked by the military but managed to get his vengence. This episode is a must see!moreless
Jamie Marchi

Jamie Marchi

Rick

Guest Star

Michael Sinterniklaas

Michael Sinterniklaas

Leo

Guest Star

Laurie Walton

Laurie Walton

Leo and Rick's Mother

Guest Star

Jerry Jewell

Jerry Jewell

Number 66

Recurring Role

Lydia Mackay

Lydia Mackay

Juliet Douglas

Recurring Role

Meredith Mauldin

Meredith Mauldin

Lt. Maria Ross

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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