Review: RwBy “End of the Beginning” (Vol. 3 Season Finale)

For a longer more detailed version of the previous episode “Heroes and Monsters” click here. but here’s a shorter recap: As the battle rages on, the students eventually start to get overwhelmed by the infected Atlas Robo-Troopers. Coco allows Velvet to use her weapon, in which she conjures holographic copies of the other students weapons with a touch of mimicry. Weiss arrives at the scene, and she manages to use her Glyphs to summon the Knight’s arm and sword to help take down one of the mechs, but it exhausts her. Meanwhile, Ruby engages Neo and Torchwick aboard the airship, in which she manages to catch Neo off guard and make her fly off the ship Mary Poppins-style, but Torchwick gets devoured by a Griffon due to his own arrogance and the airship starts to crash towards Vale. Elsewhere, Blake and Adam have their duel, but Blake gets overwhelmed by him. Yang arrives to help Blake, but Adam slices her right arm off, and Blake and Yang are forced to retreat. In the Beacon vault, Ozpin starts the transfer process in order for Pyrrha to gain Amber’s Maiden powers. Suddenly, Cinder arrives and kills Amber before the process could be complete, and she gains the full Fall Maiden’s powers. Ozpin tells Pyrrha and Jaune to leave, while he stays behind to take on Cinder alone. Cinder comments that Ozpin is as stubborn as ‘she’ said, suggesting there’s someone else on Cinder’s team that knows Ozpin. .

And now Spoilers…

The opening starts immediately after the previous episode with Ozpin up against Cinder for the first time with flashing lights that stand out in the darkness.

And in a series of Gifs, the battle intensifies between Ozpin & Cinder and we see a true master go to work.

However, Cinder isn’t having it and unleashes a wave of Energy towards Ozpin.

In a quick-decision, Ozpin creates a magic bubble-shaped barrier.

Cinder proceed’s to fire at it and Ozpin Charges at full-force towards her.

It then cuts to revealing that Professor Port & Oobleck are not only alive but are helping in a “Mandatory Evacuation” and assure them that a “Safe-Zone” has been established in Vale.

Weiss of course looks in shock and the camera pans down to her legs showing Ruby running towards her and Zwei. (Seriously, where the fuck was the Dog in the last episode?)

Ruby is glad to see Weiss.

However this is until Ruby asks for Yang & Blake’s whereabouts.

In which without words Weiss shows her…

Blake if anything is of course more torn up about it, Still in pain and possibly blaming herself for what Adam did while saying the words “I’m so sorry” .

And Ruby is shocked to see what’s become of them.

In a series of collected images that I’ve carefully screen-capped & edited shot-for-shot, Sun approaches them assuring them they’ll be ok and that there’s Evac from Vale that will take them to a “Safe-Zone” and the “White Fang” have already pulled out. Ren & Nora tell them that Pyrrha & Jaune are still missing and Ruby Declares she’ll find them, However Weiss decides to tag along since they’re seemingly the only two people who are able-bodied to do so and they head off to find them.

We cut to Jaune & Pyrrha who have Escaped the tower as ordered by Ozpin and Jaune tries to Contact Glynda with his “Scroll/Phone” and of course Jaune is understandably still left with questions on What exactly just transpired.

But Cinder suddenly rises up from the hollow Elevator shaft with Jaune assuming that Ozpin is Defeated and Pyrrha says says to him “There’s no time”.

Pyrrha tells Jaune to “Get to Vale and call for help and Jaune asks what she’s gonna do and she looks up at the tower.

And in another series of Gifs when Jaune tells her he won’t let her go up against Cinder, This happens…


She then says sorry and programs the locker/rocket thingy and she then walks alone towards the tower in Cinder’s direction.

Damn! I guess if there was any other way for a person to convey their feelings for someone, it’d be a moment where you know your number may possibly be up. (This is why most drama’s never want characters to be in love, because the writers in such a sadistic, masturbatory fashion think it’s more interesting for a character to be in love or miserable than to actually have them in a relationship at all. In Short: The writers see themselves as Gods and the Gods Hate you! 😛 )

In another series of Gifs, Pyrrha Runs inside the Tower and uses her Magnetism Semblance to guide her upwards towards Cinder’s Direction using what’s left of the Elevator.

It then cuts to Jaune whom we’re left to assume he somehow landed to whatever location the Locker Dropped him off at and sends a message to Ruby & Weiss asking them to save Pyrrha who just happens to be atop of the very tower behind them.

He then in Frustration throws his phone to the ground and cries.

The Grimm Dragon then lands close to the tower.

While Ruby & Weiss devise a plan.

As they run towards the Tower it cuts to Cinder calling fourth the Grimm Dragon and she walks toward the window saying to it:”This is your home now”.

Pyrrha finally shows up and in another spectacular Series of Gifs, Pyrrha & Cinder square off with Pyrrha going all out with her attacks in combination with her magnetic semblance powers.

Pyrrha finally puts her in a head-lock with her weapon.

In a small series of images, Cinder then uses her flame powers to melt her weapon and knocks her against a wall sending a glass-shattering shockwave behind in the process.

As a last resort Pyrrha uses the Debris & clockwork gears surrounding the area to her advantage and goes full-on Magneto on her ass!

But of course Cinder isn’t having it and knocks the Debris back into Pyrrha and the impact turns off her Aura Shield.

While this is going on, Weiss creates small glyphs to help her get up towards the tower.

In another Series of Gifs, We cut back to Pyrrha attempting to deflect another one of Cinder’s Arrows, only for it to magically separate around the shield and reforms mid air hitting her heel. (Get it? Achilles heel? that’s a bit on-the-nose Eh, Rooster Teeth?)


In case you missed the memo, Pyrrha’s entire character was based off of the Greek hero Achilles, so there was most likely a hell of a lot of symbolism in that first arrow hit. Also, when Pyrrha gets hit by the giant flying cog, she begins to glow red, with the red quickly fading. Probably indicating that she had spent up all of her aura at once when fighting Cinder. So, she had no energy left to fight with, and her symbolic crack in the armor was just hit. No, she probably never could have dodged it.

After Pyrrha’s Defeat this excange of Dialouge is shared between Cinder & Pyrrha.

Cinder:“It’s unfortunate you were promised a power that was never truly yours. But take comfort in knowing I will use it in ways you never could have imagined.”

Pyrrha “Do you believe in destiny?”

Cinder “Yes.”

Cinder shoots her in the chest with and Arrow and this Happens…

But Ruby Looks in Horror after not making it in time and subsequent to witnessing the horror of her friend being killed, This happens…

The screen turns white when we hear a medical staff checking up on Ruby and briefly mentioning Ozpin being missing but not killed.

Ruby wakes up with most of her body sore to find her father Taiyang keeping watch at her. (This is the first time we’ve actually seen Taiyang in animated form where as the first episode of Season 3 he looked like a cardboard cut-out, he’s voiced by Rooster Teeth regular Burnie Burns. I was disappointed because I was hoping it’d be a more prominent anime voice actor like Crispin Freeman but he still does a decent job.)

He tells Ruby that she “did a number” on the Dragon but didn’t kill it and it was “Frozen” like a statue while it sound like a good thing, Still functions as a Grimm Magnet of sorts. (Though it’s not explained if Cinder is alive at all or not.)

Qrow comes to visit her and asks to talk with her privately.

Taiyang then leaves saying he’ll go make tea and for some reason gives him a sneer which we’re left to assume he knows more that what he’s revealing.

Qrow then Explains to Ruby that this white wave of power she unleashed from her eyes has to do with a legend about warriors born with “Silver Eyes.”

“Back before huntsmen, before kingdoms, it was said those with silver eyes were destined to lead the life of a warrior. See, the creatures of Grimm, the most fearsome monsters that mankind had ever encountered, were afraid of those silver-eyed warriors. They were the best of the best. It was said that even a look from one of these fighters could strike a Grimm down.”

He also points out that Ozpin is now missing and “Something’s been set in motion.” and he will “Pick up where he left off.”

Qrow tells her to get some rest and says that the newest possible lead to their enemy is located in “Haven” and leaves saying “See ya around kid.”

We then Cut to Ruby visiting Yang long after being able to get up and asks the what’s happened to the school and the rest of Team RWBY.

Yang whom in a mean-spirited tone, is Disillusioned, Depressed and Defeated while telling Ruby that everything they seemingly love is gone, Including The School, Penny, Pyrrha and stops before she can say out loud her Arm. She then tells Weiss was forcibly back at home in Atlas with her Father due to the public losing trust in Atlas as a Military Nation.

This is mainly due to the footage that Mercury captured and uploaded of the Virus-Infected Robo-Troopers Torchwick controlled and used to massacre civilians before the Towers Fell and nobody outside of Vale knows what happened. (Which I must remind you, All happened entirely off-camera in “Battle For Beacon“.) And Blake disappeared despite the fact she was unconscious and Blake tried to carry her to safety.

Ruby tries to make sense of why Blake did it but Yang shuts her up and says “Sometimes bad things just happen, Ruby.”

Ruby: “So what do we do now?”

Yang:“You can do whatever you want. I’m going to lay here.”

Yang:“Just leave me alone.”

Ruby: “…I love you.”

WTF Blake?!!! Again? You had better have a reason! Yang….damn, that was just too depressing. I think she will come back from it eventually. She just has to get angry enough. And learn to use that anger in a way that gets her head straight and her back on her feet instead of being reckless.

I think we can expect some great things from Weiss next season as far as her growing up and standing up to her Dad. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

The scenery transitions from fall to winter where we are left to assume some time has passed and Ruby decides to go on her adventure with what’s left of Team JNPR. (Minus the “P”)

So Ruby then Gears up and they now leave on a quest to Haven beyond the snowy horizon.

Of course, Ruby doesn’t just leave without leaving a note behind notifying her Dad. 😛

In the background of this small montage, a monolouge is spoken by the Narrator from the first episode of Season 1. (This is all conveyed during a montage that serves as a visual epilouge.)

“A smaller, more honest soul. It’s true that a simple spark can ignite hope, breathe fire into the hearts of the weary. The ability to derive strength from hope is undoubtedly mankind’s greatest attribute. Which is why I will focus all of my power to snuff it out. How does it feel, knowing that all of your time and effort has been for nothing? That your guardians have failed you, that everything you’ve built will be torn down before your very eyes.”

“Your faith in mankind is not misplaced, when banded together, Unified by a common enemy, They are a noticeable threat.”

“But divide them, place doubt into their minds, and any semblance of power they once had will wash away.”

“Of course they won’t realize it at first. Like you they’ll cling to their fleeting hope, their aspirations, but this is merely the first move.”

“So you send your Guardians, your huntsmen & huntresses. And when they fail and you turn to your smaller soul, Know that you send her same pitiful demise.”

“This is the beginning of the End Ozpin… And I can’t wait to watch you Burn!”

In a series of Gifs, The dark monologue ends with a bizarre colorful hellish-looking wasteland with a woman watching from afar with a familiar voice revealing she was the Narrator of season 1 and the first “World of Remnant” segments in Season 2 the whole time and then it cuts to black.

My First reaction to this scene of course was: “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS PLACE?! And who is SHE?! WHAT is she?!

Is this some kind of RWBY Underworld we’re looking at?!

After cruising back through the credits, I found out her name is Salem. And what freaks me out is SHE NARRATED THE VERY FIRST EPISODE OF RWBY.

So, I guess that character at the end is the “Queen”, the one who was talking to Ozpin at the start of the very first episode of RWBY. Her name is Salem, Jen Taylor is listed next to the name in the credits. I guess her name alludes to witches, witchcraft and dark magic. If we can have a wizard like in the legend of the four maidens, why not some sort of dark witch-queen? It’s pretty on-the-nose with the fan-theories that she’s based on the “Wicked Witch of the West” Given that Ozpin is based on the Titular Wizard of Oz.

Just before we get one more scene as the credits stop. We get a very touching remembrance of Monty Oum at the end  which is a saddening reminder he is no longer with us, but he’ll always be remembered by his loved ones and those who had the opportunity to work such an innovative individual. (Editors Note: and really nice guy according to interviews.) 

In the tradition of RWBY season finales It ends with a singer after the credits with Ruby still accompanied by what’s left of Team JNPR journeying while Qrow secretly watches from a distance and Small Black Crow flies by…

(Fans are left to assume that Qrow could actually have the Semblance ability to turn into an actual crow.)


Can we talk about Jaune and Ruby though?

can we talk about how Ruby lost her mother, watched he father spiral into depression after her mother’s death watched two of her friends be brutally murdered, watched another man get eaten, saw her sister with her arm chopped off and become closed off and distant because of it, as well as lose two of her friends in a single day yet still goes on that mission with Jaune, Nora and Ren?

can we talk about how Jaune genuinely thought that Pyrrha believed in him, and was pretty much betrayed by her when he got thrown into the locker? the last person who believed in him basically ended up treating him like a lovable idiot all over again, but he still loved her so much because her heart was in the right place and in the end, the person he loved most in the world died. but he still goes on that mission with Ruby, Nora and Ren.

Ruby and Jaune are so much stronger than they seem at face value. Ruby and Jaune could rightfully be breaking down, or become ruthless with revenge, but they keep a kindness in their hearts that can’t be broken.

They keep moving forward.

Fan-Theories point out that Pyrrha isn’t dead but instead has been materialized by Cinder. The same glowing disintegrating animation is used whenever Cinder materializes her weapon. I also think Ozpin may be in the same boat as Pyrrha.

This is a theory now, I don’t necessarily think that is actually what happened, but IF Pyrrha is alive I think this is how.

So I’ve made note of some of the parallels between Yang and Jaune before (the two of them get juxtaposed surprisingly often), including some pre-finale theories, but the finale really hammered home how similar their current crises are.

In both cases, their great failures were that they weren’t strong enough to protect their loved ones: Blake and Pyrrha in particular, but the rest of their respective teams as well (Ruby and Weiss made it out fine, but only with two separate strokes of luck, and Yang wasn’t there to fight with them; Ren and Nora got battered and bruised when Jaune and his decidedly durable shield went to try to help Pyrrha). They’re both guardians, protectors, tanks: the people that take the hit to keep others healthy and safe. And as far as they were concerned, they just weren’t able to do their job during this crisis. They failed, and the people they cared about paid the price.

On top of that, they each had one aspect of their failures hammer on their individual issues especially hard. For Yang, it was the aftermath: she wasn’t able to protect Ruby, Weiss, or Blake, and as a result (as far as she believes), they all left her behind as they went their separate ways. Abandonment has always been her sore point, and now, as far as she’s concerned, she brought it upon herself.

As for Jaune, he was taken out of the battle, prevented from even having the chance to try to fight, by the one person who had actually believed in him. When the chips were down, even after all of their training, Pyrrha didn’t think he was strong enough, and she removed him from the fight against his will, making him wait where it was safe as she went to face her death. (The fact that she was totally right that he wouldn’t measure up to Cinder is beside the point: this is as much about Yang and Jaune’s mindsets as it is about the crises themselves.) To paraphrase him from Jaunedice slightly, he was stuck in a locker while his friend fought for her life. As far as he had come, when it really mattered, he was still useless, still that lovable but ineffectual idiot. No bloody wonder he was so angry when he made that call.

And why did Pyrrha just disappear into this glow of light? Did Cinder absorb her? Or were they just deciding they were done stabbing the Arkos shipping a-holes in the heart and we didn’t need her death to be gory? Dammit Pyrrha, just dammit. Why? Why did you have to do it? Team JNPR…no longer complete.(Just like how Marvel Ruined Fantastic Four in the comics by putting each character in different Teams.)

There is definitely a strong possibility that she will return, for several reasons. The death scene in its entirety really resembles the supposed death scene of Agent Carolina, also voiced by Jen Brown, near the end of RvB 10. Or, at the very least, it does to me. (I would like to point out that in both instances the enemy pulled the helmet/head piece off of Jen Brown’s character before “finishing them off”). Also, there are several small details which don’t really make sense to me. Cinder, at point blank range, decides to deal a potentially non-lethal blow to Pyrrha by shooting her in the chest. Why not simply shoot her in the head? Cause you know, Cinder sure as hell doesnt give a shit about people being able to have an open coffin.

I’m really concerned about how they are going to handle the death of Pyrrha. The way they ended the episode made it seem like her death was only going to push everyone onward and make them work harder, which I definately want to see, but I really hope they don’t just sweep everyone’s despair and sadness under the rug.

I want to see how each member of JNPR handled the loss of Pyrrha. I want to see how it changed them. I want to see the impact of seeing Pyrrha’s death first hand on Ruby. I don’t want them to just move on saying they’ll work hard for Pyrrha and that be the end of it.

Something to think about going into this finale and the next season.

This episode, and the whole volume, was pretty damn dark & ambitious but I have to absolutely commend the team for keeping an amazing focus on tone even if it was bad in places. Beacon is basically fucked, the CCT is down, Pyrrha is (presumed) dead, Penny is probably dead, Vale is fucked up, Blake and Weiss are gone, Ozpin is missing. But in the end, it **STILL. FEELS. HOPEFUL.** We get a glimpse at the New Villain right at the end, but we see Ruby going to Haven with the others. Ruby **never lost hope**, not once. The moments of light and dark play off each other. The dark moments hurt because we love these characters, but we still feel hope because they do. This is clearly NOT the kind of show that, when it decided to become much more dark, went dark just for the sake of shock value. A darker show is **never, EVER** automatically a better show, (*cough* Arrow *cough*) if characters die or bad things happen to them just for the sake of an audience reaction. But RWBY did not do this at all. In it’s absolute darkest moment, when Pyrrha dies, we literally have Ruby **bursting with light** to freeze the enemies. Every moment of darkness felt earned, but it still ended on a note of hope. And by extension, the audience loves it for that.

And so the group splits up, each taking a path of their own. Yang remains at home to recuperate. When/how long will it take her to return to action? Weiss is brought home by her father. Will she learn more about the dark secrets behind her family’s fortune? Blake mysteriously disappears. Could she be investigating the White Fang & what exactly her friend/friend has been doing during their time apart? Ruby heads off with Jaune’s group, both to fill in Pyrrha’s slot while they fill in for her team. What awaits them in Haven? I know I’m not the only one excited for the next season!

Looking passed the “Pyrrha being a Maiden” sub-plot that was wasteful in terms of acting and animations, the series even managed to emotionally scar fans in a “Legato Bluesummers” Kinda way too.

Despite much of the Drama and what happened to Yang, Rooster Teeth Seemingly has a sadistic sense of humor. (Official Valentines Day Card from them.)

I would’ve given this a higher rating if not for that sobering soul-crushing realization that some of the loose plot-threads that were previously established or touched upon once aren’t ever brought up again! For instance, Phyrra was built up to possibly have Maiden powers only to die? Pointless! Weiss’s Journey to break free from her father? Pointless! Blake disappearing without explanation and Yang wanting to know more about her long lost mother? Tossed aside so she can get her arm cut off and be a PTSD-addled EmoTard and Force unwarranted Drama for Internet shippers to bitch about!

Compared to the last two episodes this felt underwhelming at the end. It’s probably just me, because I hate time skips like that. (Naruto and Dragonball were often guilty of this.) I would have preferred to actually SEE Weiss get forced back home and Blake run away and the aftermath of how Yang felt about it rather than being told it. Show, don’t tell. That always makes me want to rip my hair out. Of course, it could be retconned flashback fodder for next season. Dammit, how will I make it all year?

The whole of Team RWBY needs to reunite. And they will. Because the show isn’t called Remnant, it’s not called Ruby. It’s Motherfucking RWBY! I estimate that part of Volume 4 will be the struggles of getting them back together, and I think that’ll involve a lot of character growth and development for all of them. I’m excited for it. But one of the things I absolutely need is for Yang and Blake to discuss this, for Blake to realize that she’s safe with Yang and her team but not in a romantic sense like how every Unproductive, SJW, Shipper-Douche on Tumblr, FB, Twitter and Reddit wants them to be. (This isn’t “Korrasami” you Obnoxious Dolts!)

That’s all for now. I’m sure we’ll have more to speculate on over the hiatus. Like I said up top, this is dark but RWBY is still a show that has a lot of hope in it. Bad things happened in this episode but since the Grimm Dragon is frozen and Cinder is missing, we end this volume with the heroes being able to at least push back.

Finally, we all love you too RT. We can’t wait to see what Monty posthumously has in store for us. <3


David King

A Self-Styled Punk/Goth/Gamer Otaku with a demented style of humor, who's also an avid fan of specific video games such as Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Fighting Games and almost anything from SNK. Along with unusual tastes in specific Asian foreign films, Action/Horror comedies, slacker comedies, martial arts films, And also a frequent contributor to the Fighting Game website

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