As a result of the incident after the match in “Fall“, Yang and Team RWBY are disqualified from the tournament. Yang’s teammates and Team JNPR declare their support for Yang, although Blake remains conflicted; she reveals that a man she once knew changed from a kind person to a cold-hearted one in a situation similar to Yang, before similarly deciding to trust her. After they leave, Qrow arrives, having come to the conclusion that Yang suffered from a stress-induced hallucination. He confirms that Yang’s mother was the one to save her during her fight with Neopolitan and that she has no intention of doing so again. Qrow then offers to help her track her down.
Meanwhile, Jaune finds Pyrrha in distress over Ozpin’s personal request, and she asks him if he believes in destiny. She explains that she considers destiny to be an overarching goal one works towards their whole life, and that she has been offered a chance to fulfill her destiny to be a Huntress and save the world immediately at the cost of who she is. Jaune advises Pyrrha not to let anything get between her and her destiny but blindly doesn’t realize what’s actually going on and his words consequently drive her to tears; Out of reflex she accidentally assaults Jaune by slamming him into a wall, apologizes, and flees. Ruby encounters Velvet practicing her photography, and Velvet expresses her sympathy for Yang; she reveals that Coco also had a hallucination of Yatsuhashi during their fight with Emerald and Mercury. Suspicious, Ruby attends the next match between Pyrrha and Penny, where she sees Emerald in attendance. Ruby sneaks under the arena and encounters a fully mobile Mercury; Ruby prepares to battle him, despite having left her weapon behind.
And now Spoilers…
The episode begins with Ozpin watching the match from his computer and calmly sipping his coffee with a quiet concern before it cuts to Phyrra fighting Penny.
Penny approaches Phyrra with a friendly disposition while Phyrra is is quietly filled with emotional weight after everything that happened in the previous episodes. (See my reviews for “Fall” and “Destiny“) and quietly looks at her hands while it cuts to Ruby Confronting Mercury who is supposed to be Injured and out of the coliseum but is shockingly in the maintenance room and proceed’s to intercept Ruby from telling anymore and to make things even suspenseful, She’s completely unarmed.
(Note: Since the two separate battles between Penny & Phyrra and Ruby & Mercury concurrently happen juxtaposed to each other, I’m going to do my best to convey the way this is structured.)
Ruby tries to escape but Mercury isn’t having it as conveyed in this series of Gifs.
It cuts back to the fight finally happening between the two and they both react differently to the countdown.
The crowd cheers on Phyrra and Ironwood looks with quiet observation while Emerald begins to put her powers into action and then the fight begins.
In another series of Gifs the fight starts out spectacular as expected from Rooster Teeth.
We quickly cut back to Ruby evading him with her speed semblance and failing hard with well-timed kick to the abdomen by Mercury that even made me wince.
Ruby reveals she actually has a phone which she never bothered to use earlier when she saw Emerald only for the screen of it to be shot through by Mercury’s gun-heels and tells her to “keep it between us friends.”
It cuts back once more to the Phyrra & Penny’s battle with Phyrra having the upper-hand in dodging and even jumping on her projectile sword attacks and then striking over top of her head for head only for Penny to block it.
While the rest of Team JNPR cheer her on along with the audience, Jaune of course looks on with quiet concern as this is going on…
Phyrra briefly see’s her weapons visually contort & distort before her leaving us to assume Emerald is putting her powers in action.
The Fight cuts back again with Ruby making some effort to try and escape and frequently gets kicked some more by Mercury and then bolts the fuck out.
The Fight cuts back to Penny & Phyrra and it’s every bit as intense as you’d expect with Penny now firing green lasers out of her flying blades and Phyrra dodging them in combination with dodging the flying blades toward her direction.
She knocks Penny away only for Penny to jet towards her with a Kick.
Then Penny leaves her completely unarmed in which seconds after this, Emerald quietly proceed’s to strike fear into Phyrra by making it look like Penny’s flying blades have multiplied to a frightening & overpowering number.
Penny gleefully launches her blades which in reality is actually a smaller number of blades than what Emerald is making Phyrra see with her powers.
Phyrra uses her magnetic power to repel the blades which in the process reveals that the blades are attached to her body using strong cables and due to the misdirection of her magnetism, they wrap around Penny and this happens…
The fight ends with Phyrra looking in horror.
The Crowd also looks in shock and disgust and Ozpin continues to watch and we cut back to what’s left of Penny Deactivating after having her left arm and upper-torso are ripped in two.
Strangely the camera cuts to an old man also watching this who for some reason somewhat resembles Dr. Light from the Mega Man games. (We’re left to assume he’s Penny’s True creator.)
I can’t be the only one who had this on my mind after what just happened…
We begin to see the Grimm moving toward the Coliseum and then we cut to Ruby who is deeply saddened that she couldn’t stop it in time. (Seriously all she had to do was make a motherfucking phone call when she was in the audience seeing Emerald, Did her phone even take pictures before it got busted up?)
As she looks crushed from this revelation, Mercury briefly looks at her with malicious glee before leaving.
It’s easy to assume that Mercury tampered with the cameras so that Cinder could broadcast her terrorist type viral message. Distracting Ruby long enough so that she couldn’t interfere with the Pyrrha vs Penny fight, smart but such a villainous dick move. He had the perfect chance to kill Ruby but he just smirks and leaves? Okay…
It cuts to the Announcers asking them to kill the feed and they’re being to told their camera’s were hacked and a public message is shown across the Titan-Tron with none other than Cinder!
She spreads a manipulative viral message only represented by the queen chess piece symbol from her previous hacking from Season 2 with a public message that’s broadcasted across the Kingdoms. (This is all conveyed during a montage with random people listening.)
“This is not a tragedy. This was not an accident. This is what happens when you hand over your trust, your safety, your children, to men who claim to be our guardians, but are, in reality, nothing more than men.”
(Jaune Reacts realizing he may know who it is.)
“Our academies’ headmasters wield more power than most armies – and one was audacious enough to control both. They cling to this power in the name of peace, and yet, what do we have here? One nation’s attempt at a synthetic army, mercilessly torn apart by another’s star pupil. What need would Atlas have for a soldier disguised as an innocent little girl? I don’t think the Grimm can tell the difference.”
“And what, I ask you, is Ozpin teaching his students? First a dismemberment, now this? Huntsman and huntresses should carry themselves with honor and mercy, yet I have witnessed neither.”
“Perhaps Ozpin felt as though defeating Atlas in the tournament would help people forget his colossal failure to protect Vale when the Grimm invaded its streets. Or perhaps this was his message to the tyrannical dictator that has occupied an unsuspecting kingdom with armed forces.”
“Honestly? I haven’t the slightest clue as to who is right and who is wrong, but I know the existence of peace is fragile and the leaders of our kingdoms conduct their business with iron gloves.”
(Emerald quietly leaves as her speech is still going on.)
“As someone who hails from Mistral, I can assure you the situation there is…equally undesirable. Our kingdoms are at the brink of war, yet we, the citizens, are left in the dark. So I ask you, when the first shots are fired, who do you think you can trust?”
(The Speech ends with Cinder revealed to be in a separate location away from the Coliseum.)
After her Transmission, The Coliseum is now on security lock-down and are unable to get a message out to anyone outside of it.
After watching Cinder’s Speech, In some ways it totally mirror’s Bane’s Speech from “The Dark Knight Rises”. I wonder if her plan involves holding the city of Vale hostage with the Grimm. (Then again, her motivations are every bit as vague as the rest of her fucking plan!)
From a strategist standpoint, I find Cinder’s plan to pit Pyrrha against Penny devastatingly clever.
If Pyrrha won the fight and ‘killed’ Penny it would reinforce the sudden bad reputation for Beacon’s students, and one way or another the fight would reveal Penny to be a robot and expose Altas for the shady secretive people they seem to be.
This fight, no matter the outcome, will cause the people across all the kingdoms to question those in authority and doubt their safety under these people’s rule.
After the speech is over, the Alarms go off and the audience runs out scared shitless while the computer voice comedically tries to tell them to stay calm and “leave in an orderly manner”.
I love how they used the unintentionally funny cliche of people running & leaving in widespread panic after they’re told the words “Please seek shelter in a calm & orderly manner.” Realistically, They nailed the fact that nobody ever does after that shit. 😛
Then Ironwood tries to talk in the announcers Mic trying to tell the people “there’s no need for panic”.
Only for a Nevermore (A Giant Crow Grimm) to Shriek and Fly down & land on the force-field and attempt to penetrate it.
Sun & Coco take notice of this and Ren comes to the conclusion that it wasn’t alone which is how it went passed the kingdom’s defenses.
Ozpin watches afar.
As Glynda & Qrow come to check up on him, He orders them both to get to the city since they’re on high-alert and they both leave without question.
It cuts to showing more Grimm approaching the area in feverish droves feeding on the negativity and fear of the populace it’s running towards.
Ironwood receives a phone call from Ozpin whom in tone sounds understandably both pissed and upset but tells him to put his Army to use.
My inner thoughts screamed that “Ironwood done fucked up”, but it was nice to see Ozpin putting that aside in favor of taking down the oncoming Grimm.
Ironwood was more than likely trying to explain to Ozpin about how Penny was intended to experiment with manufacturing an aura…probably as a means of absorbing Autumn’s aura into an artificial body (which, since Penny is “alive”, is still awful.)
The Nevermore’s begin attacking the air-fleets surrounding the Coliseum and it cuts to Neo Infiltrating an Atlas ship in a White Atlas Uniform opening the door with two familiar Items in her right hand. (A Cain and a Bowler-Hat.)
The person she’s visiting and helping break-out is none other than… Roman Torchwick!
The Clockwork-Orange Reject villain from the first two seasons of RWBY shoots down a ship using the very ship he and Neo have taken over and laughs with glee about how it’s “good to be back”.
So now Neo can infiltrate a military ship as well? I’m on the verge of calling BS on her. I’m thrilled that Torchwick is back but it sure is starting to feel as if Neo is the more dangerous person than Cinder.
And we finally cut to seeing several ships landing on the Coliseum with White Fang Members lead by Adam Ordering his Troops to “Bring them to their Knees!”
In another surprising twist, The other two jets that accompanied Adam’s Troops reveal to be containing Grimm. (How the fuck did they pull that off?)
We see an Ursa Jump out and it cuts to black after it Roars.
Shit didn’t just hit the proverbial fan, It splattered across the room, ricocheted back at the fan, and penetrated the walls with such force that the adjacent rooms will never remove the fucking stench!
It seems just about every theory from last week by Tumblr & Reddit proved correct with the White Fang finally making their move and the fact that things weren’t going to end well for one of the fighters in that particular match up. Even a fan last week predicted it after seeing Episode 8 with his/her “Fan Art” which can be found here.
I can’t be the only one who noticed this but while Cinder was giving her speech, Jaune seemed to recognize Cinder’s voice? His reaction was as if he knew her.
For Pyrrha’s side let’s all put this in her perspective: She was asked to become a Guardian of the World, which at first seemed a fairy tale in her mind. Then not only was she asked to sacrifice her entire life forward as a sole guardian, she then is told that this would require the sacrifice of a life. Either the old guardian, who she would steal her life/powers from, or her own self. One path, living as someone who knew they took the life of their predecessor, and the other with a possibility of ending your own life. These last few episodes portray beautifully, the pressure and stress that this situation has placed on her. You slowly see her defenses falling, and her composure getting heavier.
I personally have more respect for Pyrrha, for taking these events with a heavy heart and mind. Knowing they are extremely heavy options to take.
Many fans already predict that Pyrrha is going to go for the maiden power, she has to, she’ll feel forced to and I’m scared of what will happen to her. It’s the curse of Jen Brown and the characters she tends to portray, they’re all incredibly gifted and are implanted with more artificial power. The thing is, what goes in, isn’t what comes out. I expect this will turn Pyrrha’s world upside down and she’ll be a different person. (Which is why I previously made a comparison to her and Jean’s Phoenix Force powers from X-Men a while back.)
I estimate that Ironwood after all this will have a lot to answer for. Why is it that Penny was able to be cut in half by her own wires so easily. Has she not got aura? I thought she did. Why is it that her aura didn’t act as a protective barrier for her as it does humans? Her aura wasn’t low, she didn’t seem to even take any hits?
This episode is essentially, “Checkov’s Gun” because the next few episodes, need to top themselves after this.
Cinders verbal jab at Ozpin about how he is training huntresses and hunters to be ruthless killers had me thinking. Ozpin is clearly based on the wizard of Oz who was known for not being what he seemed. What if Ozpin turns out to be evil in his own way? I don’t know how yet, and it could also be complete shit but I had to throw it out there.
Ruby knows what happened to Penny. She knows that Pyrrha was the one to actually kill her. Even if they all know that it was not really Pyrrha’s fault, do you think Ruby will still be friendly towards her? Will Ruby even like Pyrrha anymore? Or will she always have this part of her that’s reminding her who it was that had been forceful enough to rip penny apart?
Despite how much of an intense cliffhanger that was, There were five noticeable plot-holes:
1. Aside from asking how did the White Fang hoard all those Grimm on their aircrafts, Is Why did Atlas have a Prison Ship close-by for the Coliseum and not put Torchwick in a Prison far away from the fucking place?
2. Why would Mercury just let Ruby go? I mean emotionally hurting her and confusing her is kinda expected of a cruel villain but we all estimate she now has valuable information. Why not capture or kill her? I mean I’m glad Ruby isn’t physically harmed but he isn’t very smart just leaving her like that knowing that he can walk just fine and has sinister intent.
3. How the fuck do her own School Teachers (Including Ironwood) not know of Phyrra’s Magnetism Semblance? She revealed it in season 1 to her own peers but nobody else? She’s a star-student with brilliant fighting skill but not even her own teachers knew? Do they not keep records of all their semblance powers within their schools?
4.We know Emerald has powers that can work at a very particular distance but how far can they reach? It’s never properly explained the extent of how far or close she was to the Arena when she was working her Powers and fucking with Phyrra’s head.
And finally 5. I’d like to point out that Ironwood was completely emotionless to Penny’s Death but was only upset about being exposed for the war-mongering douche-nozzle that he is. I never got the impression that Ironwood cared about Penny as anything but a weapon because as far as I can tell, We never seen any moments of them interacting.
It took me a bit to realize why this episode bothered me so much. When Yang punched Mercury, it took about 10 seconds for 8 armed guards to surround her and another few more seconds before the paramedics came for Mercury. You’d think that both of these groups would have a heightened sense of alertness after watching what Yang did to Mercury, 100% ready to come to the aid just in case someone goes to far again.
Penny is literally in pieces and neither the paramedics, nor the guards come. The guards might have a reason- they’re a bit preoccupied with the few hundred Grimm pouring into the kingdom, but the paramedics? The people who literally have nothing to do but help people who are hurt? They never come for Penny. I understand that she’s an android so there’s no reason for them to come in the first place, but we know people have really good prosthesis thanks to Mercury… the fact that they never even came to check up on her…
And everyone else’s reaction… everyone seemed to be in horror at what Pyrrha had done, but no one was angry like how they were at Yang. No one was genuinely disgusted that a student could’ve potentially been murdered- dismembered- right in front of them. They were just “oh, Pyrrha did something bad” “oh? A robot?” Penny suddenly lost every ounce of humanity we know she had and just became this thing. This pile of things on the floor. Ironwood wasn’t particularly upset about it and seemed more concerned about covering his own ass. The Dr. Light-looking motherfucker didn’t seem to be too upset either, just a small twitch of his finger as he watches his supposed “daughter” get physically maimed.
Many fans already predict the possibility of Penny being rebuilt- if Ironwood chooses to rebuild her. But the one thing that I’m taking away from this is that Remnant literally doesn’t give a fuck. So many people saw Penny at the dance, so many people potentially interacted with her while she was at Beacon. And so many people just seemed disinterested in the fact that this girl just got ripped to fucking pieces.
I don’t think Penny is really gone, this was more about sending a message (and emotionally damaging Pyrrha as much as possible). But Penny’s a robot so I’m sure her personality could be reloaded into something else. (Rooster Teeth is still selling merchandise of her at their website.)
At least the people in the tournament stadium don’t need to worry about an ambush. Their only worry is the grim birds. I can’t wait to see the military in action. In a way it feels like real life, where the people are kept in the dark about everything the leaders are doing, which is what Monty probably wanted to portray but with more exaggeration. I mean the soundtrack music can tell you that. I want to know why they had to end it so soon.
There’s also a Tumblr Rant that picks apart Cinder’s Speech which you can click Here. and points out how many ways she’s wrong in her words and the holes in her vapid logic.
Shit got far too real far too damn quick. Knowing Rooster Teeth we’ll have to expect another “World of Remnant” after this one before they can move on to the last episodes of the season but Holy Crap! You know I’ll be watching. 😉