RWBY’s seasons are either very strong or very weak, but this season has been one of the strongest. While there have been episodes dedicated to worldbuilding or have been less urgent in tone, each episode felt entirely meaningful and moved the plot forward.
Salem has been a giant enigma this entire time, the obvious big bad that looms in the shadows, but we don’t know anything about her until this season. Now we know all about Salem, her centuries-long fight with Ozpin, and how she, at the end of the day, cannot die. We’ve gotten several sneak peeks into worldbuilding before, but now we finally get a glimpse of the conflict, and also why Ozpin is so frustratingly secretive all the time. Salem cannot die, and this makes the group fall apart, because they have solved their problems with fighting and killing monsters, and now the biggest monster of all cannot be killed. That, along with Ozpin’s constant lying, sends the group into despair, because they have no easy answer. The season doesn’t end with one either, just the important notion that continuing on is necessary, against all odds.
Ruby’s silver eyes have been a total mystery until now; we know she has them and that they’re powerful, but not what they can do. We are given reasons for how they work and what they are, and it all ties in. The eyes are the sight of the God of Light, and they have the power to freeze the dark, the Grimm. Ruby has them because her mother owned them, and now she is given the chance to test them out. She falters at first but ultimately succeeds. In later seasons, we’re likely to see her flourish some more.
While the White Fang made last season a little slow, this was a direct follow-up to everything that happened last season, in more ways than one. Even though Blake managed to overcome Adam last time, the same hasn’t been true for Yang. The last time Yang saw Adam was at Beacon, when he sliced her arm off and Yang is still actively working through that trauma. As she told Blake, she doesn’t want to be a victim anymore but wants to do things of her own merit. Yang doesn’t need saving, Yang doesn’t need coddling, Yang doesn’t need to be protected. What she needs, which Blake managed to understand, was someone to stand with her as a partner. She needs someone to fight with her, someone who believes that she’s truly capable on her own, organic arm or not- and Blake is that person. Together, they managed to defeat Adam, and even though the experience shakes them both, they managed to get through it. They come out on top, and it’s wonderful to see.
Instead of building things up, this season most strongly capitalized on answering questions that we’ve had for so long. Who is Salem, will Blake and Yang ever conquer their trauma, what is Ozpin’s deal, what is the Relic, how did this conflict come to be, what are the Silver Eyes- all of it. That’s what makes it so satisfying because it’s no longer building up questions, but answering them as the journey continues onward, and we really needed that by now. It’s been six seasons of mystery and wonder, and we deserve answers. And we finally, at long last, got some.