The latest episode of RWBY seems to fall somewhat into the same vein as how parts of Season 4. Since the characters are still spread out, we spend a lot of time bouncing between a couple plots while other characters are nowhere to be seen this episode. This time, we learn more about Salem, Weiss’s trip, and the situation with the White Fang.
As with parts of Season 4, this episode really feels like the type of episode that will benefit from watching the season all in one go after it finishes. We’re getting a lot of things moving in the far background with some interesting revelations about certain characters, but not necessarily as much to latch onto this episode as we’ll probably get later in the season. This is really characterized by the fact that Weiss is the only member of Team RWBY to even show up this episode at all.
The first major segment we get is Salem learning the information Qrow gave last episode, as well as more clearly defining Lionheart’s place in her organization. It was interesting to see her complete dismissiveness towards even an academy headmaster. We’ve seen two of them in action before and they are by no means pushovers. However, Salem is able to push around Lionheart like it is nothing, even when not even in the same room/country/continent/planet(?). It really helps to build her mystique and character as the controlling god-figure for our group of villains. Watts continues to be a petty dick, even to his own side. It’s going to be fun when we see him suffer the same fate he is mocking others for suffering. I’m excited by the prospect of Cinder and her team making a more full return to the action, even if the intro did spoil it a bit. I’m curious to see what Emerald and Mercury think of the new situation or how informed they were of the greater scope of Salem’s plan.
Weiss had a fight scene and is now in prime position to connect with the rest of the series. However, for whatever reason, her fight scene this episode just didn’t do it for me. Part of that is because it really isn’t as dynamic as I have come to expect from the series. I am curious how much is just me projecting my expectations on the series and how much is an actual change since Monty passed away, but the flow of the recent fight scenes has felt quite different from early RWBY. This single fight scene isn’t enough to draw a broader conclusion, but I can’t think of a fight scene that has captivated me as much in the more recent seasons as things like even the more preliminary rounds of the tournament did from Volume 3. There were aspects I liked, particularly when the summon stepped in, but the flying plane and essentially just launching bolts out the back of it just didn’t work for me for whatever reason. I’m glad, though, that Weiss is now thoroughly involved in Ruby and Yang’s plots.
Finally, Adam launched his coup and assumed leadership over the entire White Fang. Not terribly surprising, and we learn a little more about just how crazy he is and how broad his goals are. I’m a little disappointed Sienna Khan died, and I’m having some trouble pinning down exactly why. This is the first time we’ve seen her, but something about her made me want to learn more. It’s not that her death was unexpected or anything. I guess I just feel like she might have been an interesting character to keep around to see the three different styles of leadership between her (violence is appropriate, but don’t give them cause for their hate), Adam (kill or enslave all humans), and Papa Belladonna (non-violent). I also liked her character design a lot. What was most interesting to me was that Hazel seemed genuinely upset that the meeting ended the way it did, even if it does further his mistress’s plan. Out of all of Salem’s followers, he’s the one I want to learn more about.
Anyways, not the strongest stand-alone episode, but it’s still moving things into place for the larger events to come.