Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 1 Episode 8

The Philosopher's Stone

Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Dec 25, 2004 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Angered over the events at the Tuckers, Edward resigns his position as a State Alchemist. Meanwhile, Winry arrives in the city for a visit and to congratulate Ed on his commission. With a serial killer still on the loose, and Hughes still at a lost for viable leads, will Winry become his next victim?moreless

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  • "The Philosopher's Stone" is a pivotal, fun, adventurous, exciting, outstanding, revealing, wonderful character development, cleverly plotted, nerve-wracking, and a very painful to watch episode.

    "The Philosopher's Stone" is a pivotal, fun, adventurous, exciting, outstanding, revealing, wonderful character development, cleverly plotted, nerve-wracking, and a very painful to watch episode.

    It is pivotal to the story line, because at this point the story introduces the major plot lines for the remainder of the series. Well from this viewer's perspective - who has only seen episodes 3 through 8 Introduced are Scar and the Philosopher's Stone, which I expect will dominate the series for quite awhile. Scar becomes the recurring bad guy, while the stone is the object that may restore Ed and Al.

    The characters go through some hair-raising and nerve-wracking moments but in the end it is exciting and provides us with character development and insight. Winry comes to the city to join Ed and Al, but gets caught up in Ed's current case. Ed because of his heart can't accept his current assignment and like a kid or a person with great integrity resigns. Ed takes on the cause of who is killing people and maybe Nina.

    As always our gifted hero gets to the bottom of at least part of the truth. While he doesn't discover who killed Nina, he does solve the on-going brutal murders of pretty women. The question, though, remains who killed Nina and how?

    Through this adventure we see deeper insight into Ed and Al. Al is hollow. In this world Al has lost most of his emotions, because he doesn't have a body. He longs to be a child again, to feel, to play, to love, to hate, to be joyful, and to be sad. He looks to Ed to suck it up and do what is necessary to get their bodies restored. Ed fights his responsibility to Al, because it means losing part of his will and integrity. In the end, though, Ed capitulates by going back to being a state alchemist, but on the condition (to the Major) he can do what is necessary to restore himself and Al. We also discover Al's condition is a secret because the military would take him away to examine him as an example of human alchemy.

    Those viewers who also have been reading the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay or watching Dexter on Showtime will notice similarities between a character in this episode and the Dexter storyline. Which story came first? It seems Fullmetal Alchemist has a much earlier copyright when you consider the anime ((c) 2003) comes from yet even earlier work. I suspect it turns out to be two great minds thinking very much alike, though.moreless
  • One of season one's most exciting episodes!

    Even though this episode is sad (not quite as sad as the one before it however) it is still an exciting episode to watch that many fans could re-watch over and over again without getting tired of it.

    The beginning of this episode is very sad as Edward tries to deal with loosing Nina and Alexander and learning that these sort of situations will be ones he'll need to gradually get used to as he continues being a state alchemist.

    A friend from back in Risembool, Winry Rockbell, shows up to give Edward and Alphonse a surprise visit. But when she arrives she's taken hostage by a serial killer. Once Edward hears the news that Winry has come to visit them, he goes looking after her, unexpectedly becoming another hostage of the serial killer. Now trapped in the back of the man's van, the two of them must fight against the man to escape what very well could be their death.

    Really exciting episode to watch!moreless
  • Ed resigns and Winry arrvies

    If I'm correct, this is one (or the final) of the flashback episodes. The current adventures of the Elric brothers come after this. In the previous episode, we learn that Shou Tucker used hi dog, wife, and daughter to create talking chimeras. His wife was used in the one created a year or two before, and Nina and Alexander were just created. However, the miserable creature they had become escaped and were killed by Scar. Ed, now mortified, vows revenge on the man who killed Nina. However, Mustang refuses to let Ed go on this wild goose chase. He tells Ed that if he tries to go around and bring every dead person back to life as he has done in the past, he'll end up dead himself. So Mustang tells him that if he really wants to do this, he must give up being a State Alcehmist. And that's what Ed does. Meanwhile, Hughes is investigating another string of murders. However, it's not Scar's work. This guy only goes for women. Soon after Ed resigns, Winry Rockbell, Ed's girlfriend, arrives in Central. If you know Winry, then you know she loves mechanical objects. She spots a freezer truck, and the owner of the truck allows her to have a look inside. The man, disguised as a woman, slams the door on her, and takes her back to his hide out. Ed finds she has gone missing, and tracks her to the butcher shop where he battles her kidnapper, Barry the Chopper. You know, it's funny. Barry is voiced by Jerry Jewel, and Winry by Caitlin Glass. Those two also voice Akito and Natsumi Hayama from Kodocha, who are brother and sister. It's funny because the part where Barry tries to kill Winry and she whimpers, it's fun to close my eyes and pretend they are Akito and Natsumi. :P OK. Blah, blah, blah, Ed almost gets killed, Hughes figures out that Barry is the murderer and comes to save them, and Barry is cleared as Nina's murderer, but is guilty of all the others.moreless
  • Ed is mortified by the death of Nina and almost quits being an alchemist. But he is soon has to do the right thing when Winry is captured by psychotic Barry the Chopper. "Episode 8: The Philosopher's Stone - No Harry Potter"moreless

    The second part of the previous episode, Edward is upset by Nina's death and goes through a number of emotions again. Alphonse meanwhile meets Fuhrer King Bradley and learns of the Philosopher's Stone. Ed must stop being depressed when he discovers Winry has been captured by the crazy Barry the Chopper. Another great episode, we see Edward open up for the first time properly in the series in the presence of the main characters. Barry the Chopper debuts but his role is better when he returns in future episodes. Winry's visit is a little empty as she leaves in the next episode, but at least she returns for a larger role.moreless
  • It was such an exciting episode with a creepy, yet almost predictable twist.

    I had a feeling that "woman" that drove the refrigerated truck was up to something. "Her" voice sounded nothing like a woman's, and she didn't really seem affected at all when the chef informed her of the kidnappings. When I saw "Barry" on the side of the truck as Winry was looking at it, it was a dead giveaway that something bad was going to happen. (I remember reading about him in the FMA manga, but he was a human transmutation.) Winry was so lucky to have someone like Ed who catches on to things quickly looking out for her. But his breakdown while rescueing Winry was so heartbreaking. He's been through so much. It seems like the more Full Metal Alchmest episodes I watch, the more depressing and tragic they become, but also more addicting. :Pmoreless
Jerry Jewell

Jerry Jewell

Barry The Chopper

Guest Star

Jakie Cabe

Jakie Cabe

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Caitlin Glass

Caitlin Glass

Winry Rockbell

Recurring Role

Dameon Clarke

Dameon Clarke


Recurring Role

Mike McFarland

Mike McFarland

Jean Havoc

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof:
      When Edward is looking at a book, it shows a picture of a man. Edward then turns some pages, but the same picture is still there.

    • Name Translation: 'Hagane' (鋼):
      In Japanese, Edward's nickname, Fullmetal, is Hagane. Hagane is a type of metal used to make swords. But it can also be used to call someone stubborn. It is for this reason that Roy says that Ed's second name is ironic.

    • "Darkly Dreaming Dexter", published by Mass Market Paperback and written by Jeff Lindsay, has an ice truck killer (ITK) similar to the one found in this episode. There is a TV series based upon this book, which is Dexter on Showtime. This book has a copyright of 2004. This episode came out in Japan in 2003.

    • Anime vs. Manga:
      Barry the Chopper's origin story is similar in the Manga, but Ed and Al meet Barry under different circumstances.

    • The Closed Caption scripting in this broadcast contains a plot spoiler.

    • Alphonse learns about the Philosopher's Stone when he goes over the research left in Tucker's study and from rumors floating around the quad.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (0)


    • Barry the Chopper/Jack the Ripper:
      Barry the Chopper seems to have been based off of a famous serial killer from the late 19th century known as "Jack the Ripper".
      In the anime, Barry had five female victims. It is generally considered that Jack the Ripper had five victims, all female.
      Jack the Ripper's victims all had their throats slashed and most were further mutilated; leading many to believe that he could have had some degree of medical skill, or was a butcher. Barry the Chopper's victims were sliced up, and it is known that he was a butcher.

    • Episode Title: The Philosopher's Stone:
      European alchemists in the middle ages believed in the existence of a mystical stone called the Philosopher's Stone, which would be able to allow the user to transmute lead into gold and create the ultimate panacea. Nicolas Flamel, credited with keeping alchemic traditions alive in the 14th century, is rumored to have found it.