This part begins with the past. Finally the origin of the homunculi is revealed along with much that has happened since. These DVD set divisions are well done. The series as a whole has 3 major climaxes before the final one. The death of a major character (who shall remain unnamed) is the first one, the attack on the homunculi at the end of set 2 is the second, and the third comes at the end of the Briggs battle. After these climaxes there are several slower episodes while the show changes direction and sets up the next hurdle. So each set starts off slow and works up to a crescendo. This set doesn't end on a climax because it cuts off near the beginning of the massive final battle. That doesn't make this set any less gripping, but it does mean that if you start this one you'd better have the next one ready to finish it.
All of the characters find themselves preparing for the final battle, a fight that they know is unlikely to succeed. The buildup to it is played quite well and by the time the fighting commences it feels like a well-planned and (loosely) coordinated assault as opposed to a more typical set piece battle. There is quite a large space of time covered here and Ed's character design is aged by several months. Given that leap in time it seems unexpected that the rest of the series takes place on a single day. The last five episodes are all part of the final battle. The action scenes are well done and feel unique. None of the fights drag on long enough to wear out their welcome and each one builds up the threat. Al particularly is in serious trouble here while Ed's direction is highly unexpected.