Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 2 Episode 8

The Red Glow

2
Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Apr 02, 2005 on Cartoon Network
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
109 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The battle between Al and Number 66 is interrupted by the appearance of Scar. As the three square off, Number 66 triggers an explosion that causes yet more trouble for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Ed and Number 48 have reached the deepest parts of the Fifth Laboratory. Now, Ed faces a bigger threat as his morality is challenged by someone from his past; will he give in to the temptation of the power he has been seeking, or will he hold true to his beliefs?moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • As Ed and Al discover more about Lab 5, they learn much of Scar, the Homogulus, and more.

    8.8
    This episode really starts to reveal some of the shows secrets. We learn about Scar's brother, more about lab, and about the Homongulus. In the end of the episode, Ed is faced with what he has been searching for all along, the opportunity to create the philosophers stone. A great episode that moves the plot along.
  • The return of a presumed dead character, the proper introduction of an important new character and some much-needed backstory for another character make for a highly compelling dramatic episode.

    9.5
    The Laboratory Five arc begins to reach its apex with “The Red Glow.” If it weren’t for the occasional inclusion of some anime silliness this episode would be high among FullMetal Alchemist’s best, but it’s still an undeniably compelling half hour of television.



    Al continues to wither under 66’s assault on his identity. When he tries to turn the tables on his attacker, it’s ineffective. 66’s assertion of “I kill, therefore I am!” is a nice reference to classical philosophy, but unfortunately the effect is undercut by a freeze-frame with on-screen kanji. This is one of the most ridiculous anime clichés in the book, so I wonder what it’s doing in a supposedly serious show. The whole scene with Al, Scar, and 66 is frustrating in this way. 66 reveals that he’s seen Scar’s arm tattoo before, which piques Scar’s interest, almost making him forget about his hunt for Ed. But then he and Al boneheadedly allow 66 to face the wall of the compound and arm a bomb. Why would they let a psycho do this? Then 66’s dancing and slapping his butt is just strange. It’s impossible to take the character seriously, and Barry the Chopper was never one of my favorites anyway. I was just glad to see him leave after this scene was over.



    Thankfully, Alphonse and Scar have substantive scenes afterwards. It’s great to see Al engage Scar and try to understand his motivations. Scar relates a fascinating story about his brother’s attempts at alchemy. Despite its forbidden status he tried to find the Philosopher’s Stone after he unsuccessfully tries to resurrect “her,” whom we can only assume is the lover from Scar’s flashback in “Marcoh’s Notes.” His later question to Lust helps confirm this. I love how FMA doesn’t insult its audience’s intelligence by explicitly connecting the dots in the dialogue. A superb detail is that his brother apparently sacrificed his genitals in his attempted human transmutation. Scar’s flashback is also a fantastic idea because it starts to humanize a villain. It’s impossible to consider Scar a remorseless killing machine after this episode; his motivation starts to become more understandable. This flashback also contains one of the freakiest, creepiest scenes in the series: Scar’s brother, naked, marked like Scar’s arm, stating Ishbal is doomed; it must perish to restore his lost love. The full heft of this statement will become clear later.



    Another way in which FMA respects viewers’ intelligence is through Greed’s storyline. He’s finally given a name, but there’s no explanation as to why the skull’s dislodging would allow him to regain his strength. Kimblee returns (notwithstanding it’s his first appearance in “present” time) as well, although one issue regarding this sequence is how the guards of the prison didn’t know Gran had been killed. Are they shut in with the prisoners? It’s a minor detail, but couldn’t Envy have morphed into say General Haruko instead?



    Another great scene involves Ed and the Slicer brothers. The elder agrees to honor his bargain, but the younger wants to die. Ed refuses to destroy him, so he uses his own thumb to commit suicide. It’s an emotional scene with remarkable power. Ed then reunites with Tucker, who’s now a chimera. This sequence is also intensely dramatic; Ed’s initial anger toward Tucker, then horror at Nina’s condition is well-played. I’m not at all a fan of Tucker’s raspy whispering as a chimera, it’s rather annoying. Still Tucker’s tragic tale is one of the better character arcs of the series.



    The episode culminates with a remarkable scene in which Tucker shows Ed the scads of red water kept in the laboratory. Tucker manipulates Ed impressively, telling him that he’s near his goal, but no ordinary alchemist could transmute the stone. Ed seems to be convinced, but one can’t shake the foreboding generated here. The clever edit revealing that the tattoo on Scar’s arm and the transmutation circle in the room are the same contributes to this feeling.



    The episode ends here, and it’s a sensible ending. There’s no payoff yet, but the resolution of the guard plotline, Scar’s flashback, and Tucker’s scenes are wonderfully done.moreless
  • Ed and Al are fighting big metal men thaat are just a suit and a soul like Al. Though Ed has beaten one that has two souls does that mean Al's will be easier...A review from an Artist.moreless

    10
    Al and number 66 are in the middle of an intense fight while number 66 keeps saying his reactions are slow and clumbsy also saying he isn't real. Al keeps saying "No I'm Alphonse Elric!" Number 66 says "I kill therefore I am." Scar just appeared and said "You'er right their is no need to prove you exist because very soon you won't." Ed is walking and a bunch of Chimeras attack. Shou Tucker is their and he created all of the Chimeras. Al has joined Scar and he is tring to kill Ed so Al is tring to convince him not to. This is my masterpeice.moreless
Caitlin Glass

Caitlin Glass

Winry Rockbell [not shown]

Guest Star

Bill Jenkins

Bill Jenkins

Number 48 / Slicer - Elder Brother

Guest Star

Jim Foronda

Jim Foronda

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Christopher R. Sabat

Christopher R. Sabat

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Ed Blaylock

Ed Blaylock

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Wendy Powell

Wendy Powell

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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