Tipping Point advanced the story of Weiss and Ruby rather concisely although at times the dialogue was back to Volume 1 levels, although that could be explained away with Weiss’ inflamed attitude. However the danger levels have really ramped up for the first time this season and it felt possible that someone could die. Overall, a good episode with a solid return to the breathtaking action scenes the show is known for.
The episode opens with RNJR moving on with their day, Ruby has vastly underestimated the distance between kingdoms, at least I think it was underestimated, I’d like to know if it takes a month or two months to travel between kingdoms, Jaune was shocked at two weeks but never gave a proper answer as to how big the distance was, anything more than two months seems like any visit would be completely unviable for most purposes and yet students do come from all over Remnant to Beacon. Or at least they did *triggers all Beacon students left alive in the world*. The ‘Mountain Glenn’ of Mistral is interesting too, it seems a bit small to be a proper city, perhaps it was just abandoned at a really early stage of development. But the aesthetic it has makes for a rather entertaining and creepy place for Tyrion to entrap the four in for a battle where he is clearly much better than they are. I had figured, due to its creepy aura that the city was a trap from the moment that they walked in, I guess the end of the last episode telegraphed an obvious sign that Tyrion would be engaging the party this episode, it was just how he’d engage them. The reveal that he is a scorpion faunas was very well-placed and as scorpions are normally fearsome and dangerous animals, places him well on the bad guy’s side. And he’s obviously so much better at fighting than the four young inexperienced Huntsmen/Huntresses. I’ll look forward to seeing how he fares against Qrow.
Weiss’ story felt a little shaky but has some very strong themes running through it. There were some really good bits – her singing was lovely, and we know that her father’s unwavering and stiff attitude, not even showing appreciation for her singing, is really making her miserable. He’s also really controlling, having to restrain Weiss from wandering off while he continues his boring big-talk conversation with an acquaintance. That is my second-least favourite form of conversation, after small talk, the sort of big talk where everyone just offers really generic opinions and platitudes on current events which clearly betray their lack of knowledge and they’re only talking because they need to and they’re above small talk. I think I just dislike conversing with other humans but that is so very boring. And don’t confuse that as me disliking big talk, in conversation terms my favourite overall is big, current events talk, but it needs to have the participants bringing an insightful opinion to the table and if they’re talking about something horrific, don’t sound bored while you’re doing it.
This can even be applied to Henry who tried to chat Weiss up, initially seeming charming if going through a few of the standard beats of awkward charming guy asking how he’s doing, saying he doesn’t often do this, his mask is betrayed by not even caring what the painting is raising money for, and just seeming uncaring and blase about life itself. Faced with this den of rich nobles blithely talking about the world without the will to change it – and unlike many people who talk about current events in real life, these people have the power to effect some change yet clearly are not going to – is it any wonder that Weiss snapped? Granted, it took someone being callously cold about the dead in Vale to do that but I would have snapped long before.
It’s kind of unfortunate that Weiss doesn’t express herself well in how she outbursts. I expected some fantastic take down of the spoiled rich girl involving people dying in Vale but all she did was, rightly, insult the pointlessness of what they were engaging in. And set off the summoned boar, but that’s by the by. And then I expected Ironwood to do that when Weiss didn’t but all he did was express his disdain and walk out. It’s a start and like I’ve said, it was certainly well designed, but I do feel that that wasn’t quite the best ‘take that’ to the elegant and elite of Atlas’ court that the writers wanted it to be. The rest of the episode though, very enjoyable. I’m still okay with how this season is going although it’s not going to be ranking higher than volume 3 yet, certainly.