Sorry I didn’t have a post last week; life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. So that just means I have a little bit more ground to cover.
Episode 7 focused opens with a flashback to Maria Calavera’s young-adulthood, when she had functioning silver eyes and the associated abilities at her disposal. Also, she has not one, but two epic scythes. (Imagine the look on Team RWBY’s faces when they see a baby; that was my face when I saw Maria’s weapons.) Maria turns a gigantic Nevermore to stone using her fabulous secret powers … but we soon see that she wasn’t completely alone, so it really wasn’t safe to unleash them. Maria is jumped by a band of evildoers, likely early pawns of Salem, whose ringleader slashes the poor Huntress’s eyes!
In Maria’s prime, she was known as the masked Grimm Reaper, someone Uncle Qrow admits he really looked up to as a young Huntsman himself … until the Reaper disappeared. Now, our heroes know why.
Just as Maria’s storytime ends, Yang’s super-strong motorcycle hauls the weary travelers up a hill, where they overlook their destination: the city of Argus. They meet up with Team JN
PR, who have been staying with one of Jaune’s seven sisters and her family, which includes, by the way, an insanely adorable baby. :hearteyes: We catch up on what Jaune and company have been up to, which has primarily been trying to get into the Atlesian military outpost located in Mistralese Argus as part of some ancient peace treaty. The episode closes abruptly with a shot of Team RWBY getting the gates slammed shut in their faces.
Maria’s unfortunate loss of vision, in my opinion, plays into a much larger narrative of some evil force, most likely Salem, that is, for whatever reason, obsessed with maiming and otherwise disabling Silver Eyed Warriors. Remember in Volume 4, when Tyrian gleefully spoke of wanting to take out poor little Ruby’s silver eyes? Clearly, Maria’s attack was before his time in the faction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s had some part in harming other Silver Eyed Warriors in the past, at Salem’s command. Why she wants Ruby kept alive, however, is beyond me, though I’m not complaining in the least that she does.
Episode 8 continues with Team RWBY, with Qrow, Oscar, and Maria standing awkwardly behind, in front of the gate, engaged in a battle of the wits (or lack thereof) with a very obnoxious pair of Thompson and Thompson analogues. The ridiculousness of this sequence played out the way I might imagine a real anime trying to be funny; thusly, I didn’t find it very funny. 😀 Qrow manages to appeal to the guards by namedropping Weiss Schnee; and the woman in charge of this Atlesian outpost comes marching out.
From the way they described her, my reactions went from this:
Instead of Winter, we get another old woman who has some kind of fractious past with Maria. Imagine if Jacques Schnee’s stepsister Dolores Umbridge had a child with the brother of Edna Mode. You’d get this random character.
Seriously, what a waste of an opportunity to reintroduce Winter to the storyline. It would’ve explained right away why Winter wasn’t where Weiss was trying to meet up with her during the events of Volume 5. Wherever that even was … it’s all a blur to me.
Qrow is evidently disappointed as well; he disappears halfway through the episode to go buy drinks. Qrow’s alcoholism, interestingly, is no longer being played up as a joke; it sounds like the writers are staging what is effectively an intervention through this turn of events.
Jaune gets caught up on Ozpin’s quasi-betrayal of trust, and reacts essentially the same way Qrow did. So I guess we can add him to the list of potenial Branwen progeny, along with Mercury and Ruby, since he looks/acts similarly to Qrow. (Kidding!) That one moment from the opening sequence actually comes to pass exactly as it was shown, who’d-a thunk it?
While everyone goes off to brood about Ozpin, Ruby goes outside, where she talks with Maria about her silver eyes. In the process, Maria reveals a bit more about her history as an early Huntress and Silver-Eyed Warrior. Her father had the power too, and used the little knowledge he had of his own situation to teach his daughter how to wield the power. She speaks of bloodlines, and how for whatever reason, Salem wants them neutralized. This all but confirms my suspicion that Ruby inherited the power from her own mother, which may explain why a) Ozpin was so surprised, and b) Qrow knows as much as he does about Ruby’s powers.
The informative moment is again abruptly cut short when Yang discovers Oscar has disappeared. (Plus, Qrow is still gone.) Honestly, given how he’s been pushed around so much, I totally get why Oscar would run off — I’m surprised it took him this long.