Blake: “So, it might be smart to watch the episode before reading this.”
Hmm, it seems Rooster Teeth is tapping back into their first and second volume roots with their latest episodes of RWBY having a runtime of under 15 minutes, ten minutes shorter than Volumes three through five. This episode is short and sweet as it takes a break from the action to mete out the feelings of certain key characters. Ruby and her friends find themselves in an abandoned town to escape the incoming snowstorm. While there they quickly discover that the town isn’t so abandoned. Searching for supplies, Yang catches a glimpse of Adam Taurus just outside the house they are in wielding his sword, the sword he used to severe her right arm during the fall of Beacon. The sight puts Yang in immediate unease, suggesting that she could be dealing with PTSD. Blake, who still feels guilty because she couldn’t stop her former White Fang partner, tries tom comfort by promising to protect her. This triggers something in Yang and she walks away. Yang probably doesn’t want to be disappointed again and still afraid Blake would pull back against Adam as she did when the White Fang attacked Beacon Academy. But the bigger picture is that Yang has a real hard time conveying her feelings. She knows what she wants to say to Blake but doesn’t know how to say it. Also, she doesn’t want to say anything that could break up the team after working so hard to be reunited. Usually, promising to protect someone would make that person feel better and bestow confidence in one another. Unfortunately for Blake, this is not the case at the moment. Blake’s promise to protect Yang felt half-hearted, as if it was some desperate attempt to mend a bond that was severed deeper than the wound Adam dealt to Yang. Credit to Blake for the effort but if she wants to help Yang, she has to show true commitment.
The layers of Weiss Schnee have been slowly peeling away since Volume 3 and we get to see more sides of her personality as her ice wall is slowly broken down. We’ve seen her be brave. We’ve seen her fear. We’ve seen her joy, her regret, her sorrow. Now we see a side that was soon ready to manifest – her timidity. After happening upon a frightful sight in the abandoned town, Weiss is struck down to “frightened kitten” status. It was a cute moment when Weiss timidly walks up to Ruby both in search of comfort and in fear of being alone. I like when characters who act tough are broken down and have their vulnerability exposed, making them more believable. Weiss is no different. First introduced as a stuck-up rich daddy’s girl, she has come down to Earth in a big way and one could say she has been humbled by Ruby’s zealousness. She has even learned to cope with it, like when Ruby finds canned food in the basement. Weiss shows dismay at first, but she relents and accepts what Ruby excitedly presents to her.
Okay, now we can talk about the awesomeness of the first half of the episode. Cinder is busy trying to track down Ruby Rose through a broker named Lil’ Miss Malachite when she is found by Neo. Neo holds Cinder responsible for her boss’, Roman Torchwick, demise. The fight between them is the smoothest I have seen so far in the series. True, the train battle in the first episode was awesome, but a close quarters battle is more intense when it is contained within a small space. Cinder is able to convince Neo into working together to get their revenge on Ruby Rose.
As mentioned before, the town that Ruby and everyone fins themselves in is not as abandoned as they thought. They discover that the people had all mysteriously died from an unknown illness. This is a dark moment that shows that RWBY is evolving in its storyline as it begins gearing toward an older demographic. Hopefully, this evolution continues as the season progresses.