Team RWBY, Qrow, Oscar and the rest are arrested despite holding their own against a cadre of Grimm but during the course of their trip, they’re greeted by an arrested activist who’s also against Atlas authority. This activist even gives an exposition dump on several other characters that I have the feeling will be central key players such as the elite guard of General Ironwood called the “Ace-Ops” and a group of Rebels who are fighting for Mantle’s freedom’s named “Robyn Hill and her Happy Huntresses” (Subtle…) While it’s blatantly obvious who the characters are inspired by, I do have a feeling we’ll get to see them play a larger role later within this Volume.
Upon arrival to the Atlas Academy, Ironwood apologizes for their mistreatment due to a series of miscommunications and not knowing an “unauthorized ship” was them the whole time, It was also refreshing to see both Ironwood, Weiss’ sister “Winter” very much alive, but nowhere the same impact as the last episode with the unexpected return of Penny. Of course, when asked about the wish-relic they recently attained, Ruby to a point makes the complex decision to lie about all 3 questions being used up but who could blame her? Ironwood seems like a dude who’s trying to do the right thing, yet keeps fucking up in ways that make the public perceive him as an enemy to his own people for the overuse of his authority.
Within the duration of this episode we get mostly a setup for what’s to come such as them being told that the Relic within Atlas is “locked in a vault”, and the Winter Maiden who’s mentioned to be an old woman but still no nothing about, and Ironwood’s plan to launch a space satellite to restore world-wide communications across their world using what’s left of the long abandoned Amity Arena within Beacon as a launching point which does sound benevolent along with raising awareness to the public about who Salem is, where he hopes after spreading the word of Salem’s existence, his military will “keep everyone in line” since publically outing God-like, misanthropic Grimm monstrosity could potentially cause widespread panic but doesn’t feel like lying to everyone is the best way to fight her, It’s here when the complexities of honesty rear their ugly head especially after the truth that was revealed in The lost fable everything that we know about Salem & Ozpin’s endless struggle against one another has now been re-contextualized and doesn’t let people who have seen Vol.6 forget that. The episode ends when Ironwood gives their relic back the Team RWBY who says yes to assisting Ironwood along with an offer to give Ruby and everyone within her circle a substantial upgrade to all their stuff, while two of Salem’s henchmen from her Evil Council Dr. Watts and Tyrian (now upgraded with a cybernetic Tail) make a return and let’s just say they have some tricks up their sleeve upon entering Mantle…
The entire episode was simply an exposition/Info-dump but well worth it as we now establish what’s at stake. You can make the argument that in Season 6 the big reveal aside from Ozpin’s history with Salem is that he lied to people he had virtually no reason to lie to, yet he demanded their absolute trust even though he completely, and still didn’t tell the truth. and somehow Ruby is doing the same by not telling the whole truth because she doesn’t believe Ironwood is doing so either. She didn’t explicitly agree to his plan as she simply asked for more details. She’s witnessed the dystopian nightmare that is Mantle and knows Atlas clearly isn’t prepared to help their closest neighbor let alone the rest of the world if/when he tells everyone about Salem. She’s earned the trust of her extended team and that’s shown when no one even interjects as she doesn’t tell the full story and is still most likely gonna be honest with all of them, but that trust doesn’t extend to Ironwood.
Ironwood’s intentions seem reasonable, but at this point he reminds me of Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill La Kill as he puts himself in a difficult position to make a complex plan that will help everyone yet doesn’t care about how the public views him and his way of doing things since his methods come across like a fascist dictator, It’s also hard to know if he has ulterior motives at this point since Ruby lied to him on purpose, but then again I’m pretty sure Ruby wouldn’t want to divulge such maddening information such as the fact that Salem can’t be killed. Of course, I feel like nobody is quite specific in asking the magic lamp how she can be stopped if anything at all.
Aside from the fun introductions of Ironwood’s elite Ace-Op team and a comical scene where Penny takes everyone on a tour within Atlas Academy, We do learn somewhat a great deal about Dr. Watts’s computer hacking skills as he could’ve been the one responsible for making the Atlas computer’s susceptible to being hacked during the events of Vol.3 which explains how Cinder was able to reprogram their robots to help in the chaos rather than helping everyone else, but it’s even more worrying now that he’s here along with the strong possibility of them figuring out Ironwood’s plan and with the knowledge of the Relic being hidden and the Winter Maiden playing a larger role, I can’t wait to see what happens next.