Back at it again, with the next chapter of RWBY Volume 4! Featuring a stowaway, a runaway, and someone’s who’s not really doing all right (forgive me), I’ve got a decent amount of stuff to talk about regarding this episode, and so, let’s not dilly-dally and jump straight into it!
The Status of the Cat
This episode marks the return of Blake Belladonna, and I gotta say, she is looking good in her new attire. Really though, it’s rather interesting to see her rather large amounts of paranoia, knowing where she’s come from and what she’s doing now. Having been almost certainly alone in the past 8 months, she must have been dealing with Grimm, bandits, and other such dangers, and it shows in her attitude. I would also like to note the removal of her signature bow at the beginning of the episode, and the general significance of that. Practically speaking, it makes sense that she wouldn’t need to deal with it anymore, but I still enjoy the emphasis that the old times are gone- that we’re moving onto a portion of the story where there’s no need for such secrecy.
The next section of the episode, although, compared to lots of what we’ve been getting, was rather simple, had two great, great scenes. After some exposition via news channels, we have Taiyang, who brings Yang debatedly the most interesting revelation of the episode- a prosthetic arm. Ever since the concept art, everyone seems to have disregarded even the idea of a prosthetic arm actually making its way into the actual show, left for fanfiction and other theoretical situations. In fact, if we didn’t see the concept art of Yang, this wouldn’t be so significant- it would have been a standard character growth arc, in which Yang gets the robot arm so many fans wanted her to get.
However, the fact that we know her final look indicates that this prosthetic arm will provide a bit more of a unique avenue for character growth. I’m very curious to see how they handle this part of Yang’s story, considering that her issues are very blatant and obvious to see. It’s been nice already to hear Barbara tackle a more somber look at Yang’s character, and, with the route RT seem to be going down, I’m looking forward to hearing more from her!
A Black Sun Roadtrip
Blake FINALLY notices the “mysterious” guy following her, after what is apparently 8 months? Okay.
Well anyways, the fight scene this episode was pretty nice- not extraordinary, not bad, but we got some killer music, the reveal of oceanic Grimm, and a wonderfully brutal fight ending that felt real, realll satisfying. The highlight, though, was definitely not any of that, as nice as it was. Rather, the highlight of this next section was the interaction between Blake and Sun, and rather, how blissfully ignorant Sun seems to be about Blake’s personal struggles. It really does put into perspective how Blake’s behavior must seem, from the viewpoint of others.
Speaking of: Sun was probably my favorite part of this episode. He provided some genuine lightheartedness to an episode full of moping and seriousness, and that was very, very much appreciated. Through his interactions with Blake, we got an inkling of where Blake’s character development is headed, and, more directly, where we can expect the rest of the season to go. Thanks to the intro, we already knew Blake was going to see her family with Sun, but this just seemed to be carrying it out. Essentially, with Blake, as it was with Yang, and Weiss last episode, this was a good amount of set up for the rest of the season.
Cinder’s “Treatment” and Ozpin
Lastly, we’ve got some very, very, very vague details on the situations of Cinder and Salem. From what we can gather, Salem is doing…something to Cinder, that Cinder’s fear seems to be getting in the way of, and some new form of Grimm, was revealed. I’d hope that whatever this procedure is, it is revealed this Volume, as as well as what exactly this new kind of Grimm is, but as of now, that’s not the thing that perked my interest. Rather, the thing that I am curious about, is the situation surrounding Ozpin.
Cinder seems to be confident enough in the death of Ozpin to personally advocate for his demise, yet Salem, who presumably has far more power and knowledge than Cinder, seems to believe otherwise. She’s even wondering what he’s planning, and although I’m quite sure the RWBY fandom knows Ozpin isn’t dead, it just gets me wondering- how does she know? What’s the relic? And what does Ozpin have to do with it? It sets up a lot of questions, in true RWBY form, that will probably not be fully answered for a long time, and after the first two episodes, I think I’m fine with that.
Basically, this episode did what it needed to do: it gave us our first look at Blake and Yang, and set up their stories for the rest of the season. It also reminded us that, yes, the villains are doing their own things, and gave us some hints as to what the rest of the book may entail. It was essentially a set-up episode, but a pretty decent one!