HELL YES! They have done it! They have finally created a conclusion that works! By all means does this ending surpass the half-assed original, as it has better writing, no plot holes, and characters who don't act like freakin' plot devices! This episode continues where the last episode left off: Edward beating the shit out of Father. After punching him a few dozen times, Father finally falls down, and appears to actually die. Unfortunately, he is still alive.
In a final act of desperation, Father goes after Greed and successfully implants his fist into Greed's stomach, successfully steeling Greed's philosopher stone. However, Greed decides uses his ability to turn Father's body to charcoal, only to die right after Father rejects him from his body. Thankfully, this doesn't stop the affects of Greed's abilities from working, allowing Edward to punch a hole in Father's chest, releasing all the souls of everyone Father made into philosopher stones.
Greed's end was much more meaningful than his death in the first anime series, as he died satisfied with the friend's he had during his life. In the original anime series, he died after Edward accidentally killed him, making it a rather pointless death.
The death of Father was also interesting, as he was brought to the gate immediately after losing all the souls. We then see him having a conversation with god, the viewer then discovering that god seems to look different for every person who goes to the gate (I'm guessing this is an example of human beings being in god's image?). A conversation takes place between god and Father, Father desperately trying to rationalize his actions while god tells him the reality and how he will be punished. At this point, I actually had to feel a bit of sympathy for the homunculus (Small though, as I still haven't forgotten what happened to Maes Hughes!), as he was simply in the pursuit of perfection and knowledge, even if he did go WAY too far in trying to achieve godhood. (Sounds a bit like Light Yagami?)
After that scene, Edward desperately tries to find a way to save Alphonse, realizing that something or someone will have to be sacrificed. I was expecting Edward to sacrifice himself, his father or maybe just a philosopher stone, making me worry that the conclusion was going to be full of plot holes and problems. However, Edward comes up with a plan that not only defied my expectations, but it leads to an ending that is absolutely perfect!
Edward sacrifices his Truth (the gate that represents his alchemic ability), therefore sacrificing his ability to use alchemy. Never have I ever thought of such a genius idea! By doing so, Edward saves Alphonse, and doesn't sacrifice any lives in order to save his brother, a solution that would definitely seem cheap, lazy and completely out of character for Edward.
After returning Alphonse to the real world, the duo have a reunion with all of the remaining characters, making it a very triumphant conclusion to an exceptional series. While we still have an epilogue to go through, I must say that my expectations have been surpassed. While I do admit that my expectations were surpassed long ago (around episode 30), never did I imagine a remake could be so much better than its predecessor. By all means should this show be watched by everyone who saw and enjoyed the original anime series, as this one will surpass their expectations.
I also thought that Hohenheim's death at the end of the episode was really well done, as we see him die with satisfaction, not to the point of welcoming death, but with no regrets about his life. His death was again (like Greed), much more satisfying and meaningful than the way he died in Fullmetal Alchemist: Conquerors of Shamballa, where he committed suicide.
Overall, this episode was fantastic! This was probably the best episode of the series so far, as it was able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of providing a sacrifice for Alphonse's revival without making it seem cheap. Plus, the death of some protagonists were much more meaningful than their deaths in the original anime series, which seemed to be thought up at the last minute and rushed. Hopefully the epilogue will wrap up any loose plot threads we have.