Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 1 Episode 8

The Philosopher's Stone

Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Dec 25, 2004 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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"

    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.
  • 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. :P
  • Their is something different about the delivery person, something that no one knows but will soon learn...A review from an Artist.

    Ed is tring to bring back Nina but Mustang is telling Ed that he should be thankful that it wasn't him and move on with his life but Ed won't listen. Then tells him that its up to the investigations department now. Ed has to arrange Shou Tuckers stuff and familiarize himself with it. Ed keeps sulking as he is arranging Shou Tucker's stuff. Al tries to tell him that the Philosopher's stone can give them what they want. Ed has just quit being a state alchemist when Winry arives. Al keeps asking around when Hawkeye tells him to find another hobby. Ed is talking to Hughes when a man comes in and is saying that a visiter is waiting when she sees a refrigerated truck. She wants to take it appart but then she looks inside and gets trapped then Ed comes for her and finds a psycho man who wants to kill them but Ed saves the day. This is my masterpeice.
  • A weird episode. Who would know that Barry the Chopper is a crossdresser? Besides that point, he is sadistic and needs help. I think he has a little of a chopping problem if you know what I mean. First, he killed his wife, and then he went after Winry.

    The tears that fell down Ed's face were real. The fear he felt was real. All these things his brother couldn't. All because he's hallow. When Ed tried to attack Al, it was because the fear was so high. Because he felt as if he was going to die. To die. What a heavy word to use in that heavy situation. The possibility was high. The reasons where endless...but did it have to end? No, because Ed is strong, and Ed can do whatever he can if he puts his mind to it. Ed lived because the will to live was strong.
  • An intriguing follow-up to a superb episode, although it doesn't quite ascend to "Night of the Chimera's Cry" heights.

    It was probably too much to ask for another exceptional episode immediately following the first classic one, but this is still a quality installment.

    The teaser scene is the best by far, because it deals with the immediate aftermath of "Night of the Chimera's Cry." Roy and Riza have penetrating dialogue, in which he insists that dealing with such events is part of the job, but she reminds him that the Elrics are still only kids. Edward is expectedly hostile when Mustang tries to convince him to move on and get past Nina's fate, but he makes a very cogent point: "You can't try to revive everyone who dies on you, it's not possible or healthy!"

    Afterwards Al for some reason gets over the Tuckers' destruction more readily. I like this hint that maybe Al isn't as human as he seems, and later episodes will build upon this. Yes, Ed's been portrayed as the more emotional one up until now anyway, but it's almost eerie how quickly Al moves on. One great illustration of this dichotomy between the brothers is the scene in which Al suggests that by examining Tucker's research they might be able to save others from Nina's fate. Ed just runs away rather than listen to him. This believable fraternal interaction is one of the reasons to admire FullMetal Alchemist.

    Another highlight is the Hughes scene, which again parodies the overdoting father, but he still proves very capable at his job. It's nice to see Winry return, although her part in this episode is a glorified cameo.

    This is one episode that suffers somewhat from being part of the flashback arc. For one thing, Ed's resigning his commision lacks drama, because we know he's a State Alchemist in the pilot. Thankfully the ending scene reinstates him so the series doesn't dwell on this.

    The other weakness is the serial killer plot. Although it's nice to see that the writers are willing to tell stories over several episodes, they really could have handled the climax of this plot better. After all, who didn't know as soon as Barry appeared that he was the killer? And that Winry would be in danger and Ed would have to run after her in order to free her in time?

    The overall problem with this story is that it's too conventional. Not only are the beats pretty much by the book, but Barry the Chopper is rather common. His speeches are standard serial killer spew, along the lines of "I didn't mean to kill my first victim, but once I got a taste of it I wanted more." Yawn. What saves this scene from being completely typical is Ed's reaction. Usually the hero is in control in these scenes, but Ed seems anything but, and apparently only some fortuitous accidental intervention from Winry saved him from the chopping block. One nice touch is Ed's painful scream upon reinserting his arm, it makes sense that reattaching artificial nerve connections would hurt. Another strength is that Hughes' investigation figured out the truth without the aid of luck, and arrived on the scene in time to help. Too often the lone hero is portrayed as much smarter than the investigators. The dialogue between Ed and Al afterwards is probing, and one can't shake the feeling that when Ed says "we couldn't even save a little girl," he's talking about both Winry and Nina. Great writing.

    This episode is definitely an important one, because it begins the Elrics' quest for the Philosopher's Stone, and Ed gets his nickname from the Fuhrer, "Full Metal". All in all, nicely done.
  • wow, one damn-good episode!....

    this nerve-wracking, thrilling episode is my favorite. this IS the reason i watch the show. This was the first episode i saw of fullmetal alchemist and since seeing that the one episode was so alive and exciting, i knew i'd get hooked to the series and i did.

    from the intensity of the characters, to the story of murder and crime, the episode is interesting and exciting to watch.

    i appreciate how the creators of the show weren't afraid to let the young "hero" (ed) get beat up a little, very unlike the tipical-good guy beats bad guy leaving without a scratch- kind of story they've got us too used to.
  • pretty awesome.

    I think this episode was very emotional.It show a lot about how Edward is strong,yet he is still just a helpless human.But he COULD have saved Winry and he DID.Which is good.Aside from all that,Barry the chopper is crazy as hell and it's good he was executed.Go to HELL Barry!!!
  • A very emotional episode...

    Well, what can I say? I just got hooked on Fullmetal Alchemist a few weeks ago and I love it! And this episode is proof of that! In this episode I could really truly relate to the characters, especially Ed. Seeing him in such a defenseless state and seeing tears roll down his eyes and especially having him say "I was so scared...when I thought I was going to die..." and so on, you are reminded that he is only a kid and that he is human and he is not the invincible Fullmetal alchemist. ( Although we come to think of him being older). But with each episode, I see him mature with the decisions he makes and the actions that he performs.