At long last, we’re given one parting glimpse into the machinations of Neo and Cinder. In the process, some insight is also gained into Neo’s semblance: her changeling abilities aren’t limited to herself. Right before Cinder’s eyes, she transforms a Mistralese airship into an Atlesian military-grade one — at least, on the outside. But that’s not the only thing she’s changed. Wherever they’re headed, this nefarious pair seems to think less is more in terms of fabric. Neo’s new costume design, while disappointingly objectifying in my opinion, incorporates elements of Roman Torchwick’s, right down to the feathered bowler hat. I’ll give them points for intention, even if the application is terrible.
Meanwhile, in Argus, the Grimm consequences Caroline Cordovan brought upon her community need addressing. There’s a gigantic Leviathan Grimm creeping towards the city, drawn to Cordovan’s negative emotions and Ruby’s lantern (which is suddenly important again). Too bad the only resource Argus had that was strong enough to defend its borders from gigantic Grimm attacks was just wasted, in nearly every sense of the word.
Yup, that’s what the mech was for.
Enter Ruby’s Silver Eyes power. If she can figure out how to summon it, she might be able to solve this latest ridiculously huge problem “her way.” After all, when there’s a gigantic Grimm terrorizing your city, when Ruby does things “her way,” nothing bad ever happens ever … in Chibi-Land. Yeah.
When you’re tasked with thinking happy thoughts to take out a Grimm, flying is easy. (Well, technically, it’s easy because Weiss is holding Ruby up with a Summoned flying wasp Grimm.) Getting her Silver Eyes to do their thing? That’s something else.
In her desperation, Ruby summons Jinn for the third time, though the clever genie catches on and lets our heroine off with a slap on the wrist. It’s unlikely this counts as a third and final question, but it gives Ruby just enough time to recover, calm herself down, and renew her efforts at enabling her power.
In the process, we’re treated to a beautiful montage of past scenes, some familiar and some not. Seeing them reinterpreted in Autodesk Maya is lovely in of itself, despite some of the depressing content. The very, very best part of this part is that we’re finally shown moving footage of Summer Rose, Ruby’s mother, as a grown woman. Seeing the stylistic similarities and differences between mother and daughter in a span of mere seconds is heartwarming, jaw-dropping, and … surely frustrating to all the amazing Summer Rose cosplayers I know who now have a lot of redesigning to do. Ultimately, one Allison Rose gets smashed right in the feelings, and Ruby finds her way to taking out the Grimm.
I still get goosebumps rewatching this moment, to be honest. Pardon me while I go watch it again, and revel in the aesthetic wonder that is the combination of dramatic timing and Casey Lee Williams’ singing.
Well, mostly. Cordovan cleans up the rest of the way in a very uncharacteristic bout of calmness. So while Cordovan steals some thunder, Ruby and company are free to resume their quest.
As Cordovan plots a course to Atlas, Qrow and Ruby share a tender moment, which in my mind, reinforces their blood tie. (And Blake and Yang share a totally tender moment in the back of the ship, which in my mind, reinforces their friendship. Yeah, I can hypocritically grasp at straws too, like the best of them.) And you can practically hear Qrow’s little Huntsman heart singing as Maria, his childhood heroine, offers him praise too. I will say, it’s nice to see how Ruby’s methods are rooted in Qrow’s, whose are, in turn, rooted in the Grimm Reaper’s.
Also, Oscar Pine is only fourteen. That means he’s too young for Ruby. Thank goodness.
Final thoughts: As an end to a story arc, this finale episode would be most dissatisfying. It’s clear to me now that the post-Beacon story doesn’t end in three parts like the last one, in part because of how it’s been written. (Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross deserve massive kudos for holding down the RWBY fort after Monty Oum’s passing, and despite my criticism of how they’ve handled things, I sympathize when they stagger under the huge responsibility that was suddenly placed on their shoulders four years ago. It’s been messy, but beautifully so.) We have a ways to go before this story ends, and I’m okay with that.
Volume 6 started out very fast-paced. Honestly, I was afraid that it would only get faster, to the point that RWBY would have its series finale by the end. But in classic Shawcross and Luna fashion, the plot grew stagnant. And I’m actually somewhat relieved about that. While our heroes spent the majority of this volume in Mistral proper, and way too many short episodes were devoted to the dumbest fight in the history of dumb fights, this volume ends on a note of Wait, there’s more! When we see Atlas, its militant center bordered by literal inferno, it’s in the episode’s final moments, but I’m glad we’re finally there.
I can’t wait for Volume 7, where we see our heroes undertake a lengthy journey on foot from an Atlesian docking bay to General Ironwood’s office!
P.S. Fly, my pretties! FLY!!!!
P.P.S. Do you think Caroline Cordovan would pass the Weller Test? Why, or why not?