Reviews of Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, Part 1.
The end of the series, Part 5 consists of the 12 episodes 53 ("Flame of Vengeance") through 64 ("Journey's End").
Always assume if you're watching Anime or reading manga that someone is going to make a play for the power of God. Someone does here. It doesn't work out terribly well for him, but it causes a lot of other people grief. It's also more than a little grandiose and absurd.
Many of the characters are good, but the last 20 episodes took pretty much all of them over-the-top. I guess they had to go there to battle the power of a god, but I'd argue that's one of the many reasons you shouldn't write stories about grabbing the power of god. As I mentioned in the previous review, the fight for Central takes far too long and "there are a lot of standoffs, with people making declarations, static images of attacks, and close-ups of twitching eyes." It was at least a pleasure to see a peaceful outcome for all our characters after all the horror.
In the end, was "Brotherhood" better than the original "Fullmetal Alchemist?" Marginally. The plot structure is a bit better and a bit more cohesive, but makes the other one seem almost restrained, not a word I would ever have associated with it before seeing this version. This one is too long, particularly the 15-20 episodes spent on the fight in Central. Without a doubt this one has a better ending, and for that alone I thank it.
And, as his last act of the TV series, Ed walks out the door on the woman he wants to spend his life with - proving he's become everything he hated about his own father (who left him, his brother, and his mother). Sure, he had a fairly compelling reason to travel - but it's funny the author made him into his father, and I'd love to know if that was intentional. It didn't feel like it was, or something would have been said? Certainly makes an ironic closing note.