While the Atlas military holds their own against Salem’s forces of Grimm, Yang’s B-Team manages to go inside the mouth of Monstro (The flying Whale Grimm Air-ship that Salem is in). Their mission puts them in a race against time as they need to rescue Oscar and evacuate before the Ace Ops plant the bomb in it, fortunately, the team at the very least has a good start since Ren’s semblance powers have recently evolved to the point that he can sense shards of people’s emotions if he focuses his aura having Ren lead the way while Jaune keeps his powers turned on with his healing semblance. It’s a great character moment for Ren as his personality has also improved compared to the angsty attitude he had in volume 7 and the first half of volume 8.

Meanwhile, at the battlefield, Winter Schnee gives orders to the Atlas troops and Team FNKI (from volume 3) who joined the fight, that their objective is to basically clear a path for the bomb to be planted into the Whale by killing off as many Grimm as possible with Winter. The scenes with the Troops outside of the Whale do have their share of drama in terms of urgency and Winter’s apprehension to wait until the bomb arrives. I feel like Winter has developed Ironwood’s “I will do whatever it takes” attitude, just with one big difference. Ironwood is able to live with himself after his brutal & bloody choices. Winter, on the other hand, is willing to follow Ironwood but tries to mask her true feelings on the matter which seems to be a recurring theme with most of the militant assholes working within Atlas.

Inside Monstro itself has its own drama, as Emerald and even Hazel express their doubts in supporting Salem after actually trusting Oscar’s words to summon the Lamp’s power and plan to escape, while Neo of all people a character who hasn’t uttered a single word approaches the Jinn leaving me curious to wonder what’s Neo’s motivation to take it? Of course, two out of the three plot-threads begin to intertwine when Yang’s B-Team sort-of join forces with Emerald & Hazel to rescue Oscar and get the hell out of there. But unbeknownst to everyone, shit begins to get real when the alarm goes off due to Neo’s meddling with the Lamp Relic and Salem shows up to wipe the floor everyone attempting to leave with Oscar who all have great character moments when confronting this god-like Grimm Diva, especially a sharp-tongued verbal exchange between Yang and Salem which is easily one of the best stand-out moments. However, the episode ends with both Hazel and Oscar making unthinkable decisions to help them bolt out of there…

Our Take

Damn! We’re left with so many cliffhangers at the end of each episode and some have yet to have a pay-off to them. While the plot threads do a great job in selling the drama and urgency of their respective situations, I do kinda feel bad for Winter and some of the other Ace-Op’s who have a shitty track record of repressing their emotions. Sooner or later there has to be a tipping point to where they all have to learn to stand their ground and say to Ironwood “To hell with your orders!” It also revealed a new Grimm creature called a “Sulfur Fish” which looks like a cross between a shrimp and a scorpion, and reportedly it was the Grimm design that won RoosterTeeth’s 2020 RWBY contest last year.

The episode unexpectedly also became more Hazel-focused near the end with his motivations reaching a moment of clarity of what he should truly be fighting for, while Yang also had a great character moment calling out Salem during Oscar’s rescue mission and going as far as acknowledging Summer Rose as more of an actual mother to her. But Salem giving off such a sadistic smile in response to the name alone leaves quite a lasting impression. Given the big reveal last episode of what the Hound truly is, it leaves the audience with all sorts of chilling & disturbing implications behind that smile alone and feels like it was only done to add more fuel to the firey fan-theories about Summer Rose’s fate…

Overall, this was another decent continuation from two episodes ago with Yang’s Rescue mission. While the episode subtly references Monty Oum’s mantra to “keep moving forward”, it would’ve been more impactful, poignant & symbolic if it was properly used for the 100th episode, but it is what it is…

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 Fightersgeneration.com

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