Overview (Spoilers Below)
The episode begins with Ruby and Jaune’s respective teams new status’s as Huntsmen & Huntress’s, and feverishly working around the clock as displayed in a Montage showing the constant missions and vigorous training sessions, We even get a few decent callbacks from Vol.3 in the form of Neon Cat and Flynt Coal of Team FNKI making a small return, but the scene that seemed to grab my attention the most was a brief conversation between Ruby and Penny which is an exposition dump about why can’t they use airships to transport the cargo due to the weight of all of it. Because of Penny’s Status as Mantle’s champion, she’s frequently told that she “doesn’t have time for friends” under Ironwood’s guidance which kinda paints a picture of the overworking militant lifestyle that everyone has to deal with, and within this scene we learn a recent change Qrow made with himself that even surprised me in a conversation with Clover, that is until we finally meet a new character who’s been properly built up at to this point since episode 2, Robyn Hill (Voiced by Cristina Vee of Puella Magi Madoka Magica fame) leader of the “Happy Huntresses”.
Robyn makes the keen observation in pointing out to Clover that diverting all construction materials & resources to Amity Tower means there will be gaps in Mantle’s defenses against Grimm and wonders why such resources would be devoted to a long-abandoned area, but given that Ironwood’s plan to launch a space satellite is intended to be a secret operation, of course, they can’t just share everything but as tensions rise, Penny stops the situation dead in its tracks before any real conflict could happen. As they calmly leave, Robyn is mildly annoyed by Clover’s secrecy but remains undeterred to find out what Ironwood is really up to. We then cut to a sisterly moment between Weiss & Winter training as we see some cracks of humanity underneath Winter’s cold militant exterior and compliments Weiss whom since Vol.4, broke away from previously clinging to her father’s one-percenter lifestyle, but I guess experiencing the chaotic shit that went down in Vol.3 can do that to you.
Winter offers Weiss a chance to join with her in the Atlas army, but Weiss remains apprehensive as she even points out how “fearful & withdrawn” her own kingdom & Mantle have become and how they should start sharing their knowledge & resources to help others, I especially love when Weiss shares her possible suspicions that Ironwood may possibly have ulterior motives behind this project but Winter decides to show Weiss something Weiss herself wasn’t aware of up to this point. Upon taking Weiss to what looks like an underground lab, things seem innocuous at first, with Weiss witnessing her sister Winter becoming the only visitor/caretaker of sorts to an elderly woman named “Fria”, but Weiss quickly puts the pieces together and demands an answers from her sister about Ironwood’s plans and it’s quite shocking when you figure it out… We do get a proper explanation that gives Weiss some level of assurance, but of course this doesn’t last when Winter receives a notification on her scroll-device about a live press speech on the news by Jacques Schnee himself in an effort to get people on his side for election votes, but given how equally despicable Jacques is, compared to the strict laws Ironwood has placed on Mantle, it doesn’t put anyone’s worries to rest and the episode ends when Winter realizes that Jacque’s speech in combination with the unwarranted decisions he’s made may have made things worse for everyone…
A lot was established within this episode, we now understand the strict & militant working mentality of Atlas troops & personnel, in combination with the stress of RWBY & Jaune’s respective teams struggle to keep up with them. Jaune’s duty as a traffic cop for kids seems like harmless, low-level shit, but Nora theorizes that his new hairstyle is attracting all sorts of positive attention he never thought he’d have. Also since everyone knows Penny’s a Robot, there’s no reason to keep her from interacting or connecting with humanity outside of the kingdom or military in some way, True being friends with Ruby was the start of connecting with people, but you’d think with how publically known Penny is and contrary to Ironwood’s words She’s capable of protecting the kingdom and making friends. Ironwood also seems determined to help awaken Ozpin’s consciousness within Oscar as well, but that remains to be seen if he succeeds and what will come out of that.
While Robyn Hill’s introduction left a lasting impression, It would’ve been so much easier if Clover gave Ruby a chance to speak up, or at least Clover to be straight with her. True, Robyn is also running for election, but Clover could’ve approached this scenario in a respectful way without starting a fight. As for Ironwood’s true intentions for Winter Schnee, it felt more like a gray area given the situation they’re in. You could argue how unethical the methods he’s using to put Winter in this position, but at least Winter is more than willing to carry such a burden for the good of her people. And finally Jacques.. Where do I even begin with this one-percenter garbage? How can Jacques be one of the richest motherfuckers on the planet and yet keep consistently making such bad choices? Or is he so detached from reality in his cozy as hell mansion that he doesn’t realize that the oppressed people within Mantle will just hate him more? After previously establishing that Watts & Jacques have a history, it’s more plausible that the choices Jacques made all could’ve been Watts’s suggestions, and has to be a deviously clever bastard to get Jacques to take this route. Clearly the biggest plot-hole is that You’d think that with everyone within the Atlas Kingdom & Mantle knowing that chaotic & negative thoughts & feelings often attract Grimm wouldn’t they at least make an effort to maintain composure and not lose their cool instead of you know… Starting a fucking Riot?! One thing remains certain, If team RWBY and Ironwood don’t stop this shit soon, there’s gonna more than hell to pay once Salem’s forces arrive for the relic.