See, this is what I’ve enjoyed so much about anime. I’m not totally familiar with the territory, so I honestly can’t predict everything that’s coming. In this episode, there are a lot of possibilities floating in the air. Will Mustang kill Envy? If not him, then who? If he does it, will it actually taint his leadership of Amestris? Will he even become leader, or will it be Olivier instead? The resulting tension’s balancing on a razor’s edge, because the actions taken, from moment to moment, hinge on a whole series of intertwined possibilitie.
It also speaks to good drama that I was actually feeling such frustration over what was happening. Indeed, I was almost pulling my hair out over the whole gang stopping Mustang from finishing Envy off. Whether it was vengeance-fueled or not, the deed needed to be done by somebody and Ed, Scar and Hawkeye have all established themselves as incapable of properly handling the homunculi. It honestly looked like they were even about to put the little worm in a jar again and leave him in another foolish little kid’s care - - since that worked so well last time.
This isn’t to take from the power of the discussion that centers this episode. I'm glad this show's long enough to accommodate a whole half an episode devoted to a moral dialog. My attitude, incidentally, is that the justifications of lethal force depend on the show and the world. People bring up Batman all the time, but the difference with him is that there’s at least a system for the Joker to be incarcerated into. There’s no jail for Envy to be sealed up in Amestris because these characters are at war, and Mustang seem like the only one who understands that. Revenge served on a hot dish might not make good chicken soup for the soul of a leader, but that day of promotion may never actually come unless he works himself into the kind of frenzy needed to vanquish these tremendously-dangerous monsters.All that said, you can argue that Ed’s the one who effectively kills Envy, only his weapons were his words. Am I right?
Watch this episode, “Beyond the Inferno,” below, decide for yourself and read my comments on the previous episode here.