Since this is a more direct continuation to “Fall” The link can be found here since there’s a lot to write about, But for the previous episode “Beginning of the End” which was a flashback episode devoted to Cinder’s back story, it reveals that In the past, Cinder recruited Emerald and Mercury after being impressed with their abilities. Later, the three of them offer to make a deal with White Fang leader, Adam Taurus, but he refuses. Some time afterwards, Cinder and her newly formed Teen Brigade ambush and attack Amber, the Fall Maiden. Initially, Amber overwhelms them with her powers and fighting prowess that’s equal to Storm from X-Men, but Cinder manages to get the better of her.
After defeating Amber, Cinder begins extracting her powers, but Qrow arrives, forcing the three to retreat. Afterwards, Cinder returns to Adam with Dust and Lien, shows off her new powers to him, and offers him a new deal. In the present day, Immediately after the events of “Fall” medics rush Mercury out of the Colosseum after getting his leg broken. Cinder disguised as a paramedic with Neo then takes her henchmen back to their hideout, where it was revealed that they intended to frame Yang using Emerald’s illusion semblance powers and Mercury’s advanced prosthetic legs to their advantage. Cinder and Emerald then tell Mercury to lay low as they go off to watch the next match.
And now Spoilers…
The episode begins with Yang sort-of under house-arrest in her dorm with Team RWBY and interrogated by Ironwood in regards to her supposed “crime” immediately after the events of “Fall”. Ironwood believes and says that Yang’s act of self-defense was simply adrenaline dictating her actions and making her hallucinate.
Ironwood: “When you’re out on the battlefield, your judgment can become clouded in an instant. Sometimes you see things that simply aren’t there…even after the fight has passed.”
Yang: “But I wasn’t–”
James: “That’s enough!”
Talk about social & ethical blindness. This is a a world where people can literally have the semblance powers to make clones of themselves, skate around on magic circles, and control metal with magnetism. Is the possibility of a person having illusionary powers really outside the fucking realm of improbability? Hell, Blake’s semblance creates a shadow illusion of herself that she hides behind!
On the plus-side, This is possibly one of the few moments so far that made me like Ironwood. I know it may not seem like much, but let’s be real here: He did team RWBY a HUGE favor. He set it up to make it look like Yang had a brief, stress & adrenaline induced mental break. You know what that means? She gets disqualified from the tournament and that’s it. The alternative could have been “arrested for assault.”
He’s harsh and demanding in this scene, but he knows what’s up and he’s helping Yang out in the best way that he can and it could’ve been much worse.
After Ironwood leaves with news of their disqualification, Yang asks if any of her teammates believe her that she didn’t mean to shoot Mercury in the leg unprovoked and surprisingly Weiss & Ruby believe her but Blake is a bit apprehensive…
Blake explains her excuse for why she’s unsure to believe her is due to her past experience with Adam in the “Black Trailer” saying that Adam’s change was a gradual process that lead him into becoming as ruthless as he is now.
For Blake’s attitude, of course she’d be confused and scared over the shit that went down with Yang and as much as it hurts for the audience (and the Tumblr-Shippers.) It’s consistent with her character because Blake has already seen one of her partners become a monster (Adam) So it makes sense for her to be shocked & horrified over the possibility of it happening again.
Blake: “First, I need you to look me in the eyes and tell me that he attacked you. I need you to promise you regret having to do what you did.”
Yang: “I saw him attack me, so I attacked back.”
Yang: “Okay. Thank you.”
I like Blake’s part playing out the way it did. It made her feel rounded, to me. She had a bad experience in the past, ended up in a situation that reminded her of it, and put up her guard. However, she didn’t let her past make her block herself from trusting a friend and giving them a chance.
She just wanted to make absolutely sure.
Yang decides to rest up and they all leave the dorm and as they talk.
But of course, Team RWBY is not the ultimate focus of Chapter 8. Ruby, Weiss, and Blake leave Yang to let her get some rest in the dorm room, and they run into a concerned Team JNPR in the hall who also believe Yang’s case. Ruby urges Pyrrha to win it for Beacon, and briefly mentions that Mercury and his team “rushed back to Haven be with his family, so until they land nobody can question him about what happened.” (a plausible alibi) Since Yang’s disqualification leaves Pyrrha as Beacon’s only representative in the tournament. Pyrrha’s just like, “Oh? Oh, yeah, I’ll do my best! while secretly moping to herself about her secretly pending, life-changing decision. Ruby also promises to watch. Blake and Weiss, meanwhile, are no longer in the mood for spectating the tournament and decide to head out together. “Coffee?” Weiss pleasantly says to Blake. “Tea,” Blake replies with a smile and they both leave..
Weiss has come a long way from Season 1 if you notice, she’s less bitchy & racist towards Blake and would actually have Tea with her. that’s legit character development yo! 😛
Afterwards it cuts to a comedic scene with Nora & Ren trying their best to cheer her up to help mentally prepare for her fight, Not knowing the emotional weight she’s going through after the events of “Fall”.
In a fun series of gifs I managed to find, it sums up the fast paced comedic nature of Nora doing her best to motivate Phyrra.
And then Ren shows up in a bizarrely dressed pink apron with the words “Please do nothing to the cook.” (I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.)
In another series of gifs we see a more domestic side of Ren offering more encouragement along with a green organic diet drink followed by the words “This blend of herbs & vegetables is filled with nutrients vital to your bodies well being” which Phyrra politely turns down and Nora is disgusted by the sound of what his drink has and says to her “Algae contains numerous spectacular properties.” and lets Nora have a swig which only ends in hilarity and vomit. 😛
I simply collapsed in laughter to that scene because all it could make me think of was this. 😛
Afterwards, Ren & Nora argue about the contents of his Juice and Jaune walks in and tells them to leave so they can get some fresh air and so he can have a private talk with her.
As Team JNPR leaves, Yang watches from afar and Qrow shows up.
Qrow chimes in on his two-cents asking her directly if she actually did it on purpose or not which is kinda blunt of him but that’s Qrow in a nutshell.
Yang gets under Qrow’s Skin revealing that she saw her “Presumed Missing” Mother which gets his attention..
Yang briefly explains the events of the Season 2 finale saying that she was knocked out and woke up seeing her scare away Neo. She even recognizes the sword in the old picture he showed a few episodes ago.
Qrow reveals that from time to time, Raven likes to keep in touch with Qrow when it suits her and Yang is all “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” but Qrow wanted to tell her at the right time but says to himself “Fuck-it, she might as well know now.”
In a recent mission Raven wanted Qrow to relay a message to Yang which is a bit creepy & Forboding: “She wanted me to tell you that she saved you once but you shouldn’t expect that kindness again.”
Qrow warns Yang how Dangerous she is and has a viewpoint he doesn’t particularly agree with but recognizes how tough Yang is and is at least more forgiving than most of the public is towards her right now and offers to give Yang Info on her whereabouts.
I think this scene was done so that we’d get to Yang’s mom – which was presented, well, halfheartedly, really. I mean, this is the woman who pretty much abandoned her family when Yang was born, but Qrow’s being all laid back about it? The fuck?
Oh, and the whole “waiting for the right time” thing? Bullshit. I hope a better explanation is presented in the next fucking episode and less vague than Cinder’s “Plan”.
We cut to Phyrra moping to herself and is shaken up just from a fall leaf falling to the ground. The autumn leaf symbolism was strong. (but most likely there to reinforce the inner turmoil of her pending decision) Jaune shows up with cotton candy doing his best to help her out of her funk blindly thinking the pressure is due to the tournament but not knowing about her meeting with Ozpin or the important decision him and his Inner-Circle have asked her to do.
Nora notices and drags Ren back to the fairgrounds to give them their “Alone Moment.” which gave me a small chuckle.
Jaune sits next to her saying she was the first person to believe in him when even his family had little faith in his aspirations to be in a high-class school. Jaune wants to be there for Phyrra and be the best person in her life and asks if there’s anything he could do for her but Phyrra says to him “your already doing it.” and lays next to him and strangely enough two leaves fall at their feet. (Is this more foreshadowing I smell?)
Pyrrha talks about destiny, how she sees it not as something which is predetermined, but something you create for yourself. She then tries to explain her situation as obliquely as possible, and Jaune is trying to understand but doesn’t quite get it.
Then Jaune being the dolt that he is, says possibly the most unintentionally darkest words of encouragement you can give to her right now. (conveyed in a series of gifs.)
But Subsequent to Jaune trying to comfort Phyrra, This happens…
Poor Phyrra though! You can tell she’s struggling, and I feel for her. At least Jaune was there for her in the best way he could be.
What Jaune said to Pyrrha might be the most unintentionally darkest moment so far, accidentally pushing her to make a horrible decision while he was trying to help her…
Afterwards she says sorry and leaves crying while Jaune doesn’t know what he said that offended her to begin with.
You can argue that Jaune fucked up in his well-intentioned words of encouragement but I also don’t think Jaune said anything wrong. He doesn’t have the context that Pyrrha or the audience have, and since Pyrrha believes in him, he wants to be able to reciprocate that belief, and encouragement is the best to go in those situations. “I don’t know if I can relate but I’ll support your decision”. It’s just that those weren’t the words Pyrrha wanted to hear. I think she wants to be stopped.
I don’t think she wants the Maiden’s power. And I don’t blame her.
We cut back to Ruby noticing Velvet (A fan-Favorite character who’s a Bunny Faunus.) taking pictures with her camera of “Sun” and speaking with an Aussie accent.
13 mins and 47 seconds in and I’m thinking “Okay, can someone tell me where accents come from in this world? We’ve seen people from all 4 kingdoms and none of them have a particular dialect. So where are characters like Velvet and Scarlet getting their Australian/British accents from?”
Back to the plot, Velvet shares what’s in her Box which was much teased and talked about by the end of Season 2 and it’s a Fucking Camera? I doubt that’s even practical in combat unless they show it’s abilities in later episodes. (At least it isn’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s head. 😛 )
Velvet shares her support for Yang knowing and also believes that she isn’t a monster like the public perceives her to be and says Coco had a similar incident. (A Call-back to “Lessons Learned“.) which surprises Ruby a bit.
We cut to Ruby going to the Tournament and much to the suprise of Ruby, Perceptively notices Emerald is in the audience across from her from a distance and without any kind of effort to hide herself what-so-ever! (Which as previously mentioned, Mercury and the rest of his team isn’t supposed to be there.)
Ruby runs in the back finding Mercury walking just fine and hears in the background a foreboding announcement echoing through the area… Phyrra is going to fight Penny.
Much to Ruby’s Horror, Mercury points out the fact that Polarity vs Metal “could be bad” and Ruby realizes she’s completely unarmed and Mercury goes into a fighting stance.
Oh wow! Ruby of all people to figured it out… If I had to make a guess Penny will be hacked during the fight and start going absolutely nuts probably forcing Pyrrha to go Full-On Magneto on her ass!
Do they not get decent reception in the stadium? I definitely would have tried calling (or at least texting/emailing) the other members of the team to tell them that Emerald’s still there and especially that the same thing that happened to Yang happened to Coco while fighting the same team. It might not be solid evidence, but at least let them know before you start snooping around in case you get caught, which is exactly what happened last Volume.
It cuts back to the coliseum where Phyrra looking stressed and as emotionally wrecked as ever going up against Penny before cutting to black.
As a better continuation to “Fall” (while “Beginning of the end” was just a flashback episode.) Shit gets real and surprisingly emotional as people have divided attitudes towards Yang who is fighting to establish her innocence and at first not even her Uncle Qrow was taking her side and she even gives him a verbal beat-down in regards to her Mother’s whereabouts.
Jaune did pretty much everything right. For once his awkwardness didn’t destroy everything, and said great things for Pyrrha. But he couldn’t have known what she knew, and from the eyes of a friend trying to help you get to the goal they know of, especially when you say it to them like she did, he said nothing wrong. And now their relationship is potentially put in a ringer.
I hope Pyrrha at some point tells Jaune the truth instead of expressing her predicament as a metaphor. Imagine how Jaune would react to the idea of Pyrrha making a great sacrifice for the greater good. I know Jaune’s a good guy but he made clear in the Bully arc that the people he cares about are his top priority. Last time it was Pyrrha or a bully. Now it’s Pyrrha or the entire world. What will Jaune chose?
I was also mildly annoyed when the so-called “Shippers” on Tumblr lost their shit over this but that shouldn’t be an issue and you’d think the South Park episode “Tweek X Craig” should make them realize how idiotic their behavior is.
It’s beyond blatant at this point that the fans both want Pyrrha and Jaune to both acknowledge their feelings for one another but this “Will they?/won’t they?” bullshit is the same fucking problem I have with shows like “Arrow” when they troll fans in this fashion. (Anime is also guilty of this Trope to a higher degree of douchebaggery as displayed in shows like Inuyasha, Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto, Full Metal Alchemist and even Kill La Kill.)
The biggest complaint about episode 7 according to the RWBY Fan Community was how it didn’t really move the plot forward since it was a flashback episode devoted to Cinder’s rise to power so if anything, Episode 8 should’ve been 7.
You know, it’s not that the episodes are darker than I expected. They’re just darker in a different way than I expected. I figured it would be all Yang, but it was more Pyrrah focused.
While I normally complain about pointless drama in shows like “Arrow”, “Once Upon a Time”, Tokyo Ghoul and anything Joss Whedon would pull out of his ass for how shoe-horned & contrived it feels, most of it was at least earned because it not only helped advanced the story but also there’s valid reasons for everyone to have such an attitude.
While a lot of fans within Tumblr and Reddit called the possible battle between Phyrra and Penny, Many of them wasn’t expecting an emotionally distraught Pyrrha as part of it, I bet this will go about as well as Dumping Pigs Blood on Carrie at prom!
It’s nice too see Mercury takes Laying low so seriously, Hang out at a warehouse and relax? Nahhh I’m gonna go back to the tournament where I can be easily spotted despite faking a fucking injury!
I can understand why Emerald, Cinder, or Neo would be at the tournament in public but Mercury was told to lay low for awhile. Why was he there? Isn’t that risking the plan? Does anyone have an idea on this??
Not to leave too fine a point on the ending of the episode, but I believe the Mercury has no qualms about murdering Ruby while Ruby wouldn’t even think about killing Mercury. So next episode we’ll have a fight between and trained killer and weaponless huntress-in-training with Zero hand-to-hand experience!
Pyrrah could likely do quite well in most any fight without using her semblance at all though. I think the bigger issue is forcing her to use it. I’m pretty much 99% sure that Cinder is going to be able to control Penny to some degree and could put her on a rampage in one way or another. Possibly activating her weapons without her meaning to use them. Could definitely see Pyrrah forced to use her semblance and it causing a lot of trouble if Penny started attacking the audience for example. Though that said Pyrrah needs to touch the object first I believe to be able to manipulate it which would likely make a lot of weapons able to be controlled by it.
I feel so strongly for every character in this and I’m desperate to see next week’s already. I am in awe of how artfully this series is crafted, from the storytelling to the characterization to the movement and the visuals. I commend them for making something as artful.
Seriously, this was incredible and they know how to keep us consistently hooked.