To give you an insight into how my thought process works, this morning, I spent a while in bed coming up with how to write an article on the futility and pointlessness of the snooze alarm function and how I am partially a slave to getting a bit more of meaningless sleep before I’m late for my commitments. That has basically no relevance to this unless I do actually put that together in the future, but it is an aspect of life I’m lacking in control over.
And I relate that because despite billing itself as a volume where all four of the main cast have a separate character-finding journey, RWBY volume 4 has been a tad listless lately and this episode quite rightly, in a meta sense, refers to the characters taking back control of their arcs and steering events towards eventually meeting each other again.
The cliffhanger does this by Ren doing what he should have done in the first place and rushing to Ruby and Jaune’s defense with Nora. Presumably we’ll have their climactic battle for the finale. There wasn’t a whole lot to take off of this aside from the reminder that the events in Kuroyuri are still continuing and Ren is going to face a huge trial by battle. He’s even showing up a few death flags from it, I know I’m a week behind, waiting for episodes to come out so I’m going to be very careful about seeing whether that is the case.
The other theme of the episode through the rest of the plots is selling the idea that everyone is going to meet in Haven, Mistral. As Ruby was going there it was always going to be the natural choice for a reunion but an episode where each of the other three independently decided reasons for going there is good. Yang is off after having had her time sulking in her tent so that she’s ready for more… hand-to-hand combat. Ruby is the only one of the other four she knows how to get to and her sister so of course she’s going to go that way. It was cool seeing Tai see her off, continuing his reputation as the good father dad. And a reminder that Raven will have something to do with this before all this is out. At probably a very inopportune time.
I loved Weiss’ little sprint through the castle, careful and canny, avoiding getting caught by using her glyph magic, making good use of Klein, emphasising she’ll always have his support even if the rest of her family bar Winter are irredeemable. What’s also interesting is Ironwood’s plans for closing Atlas’ borders, a clever diplomatic move considering what’s about to come but will leave him looking heartless in the eyes of the other nations. And she’s off to Mistral because that’s where Winter is, which makes total sense.
It has felt like too long since we saw Blake’s story and I had been worrying about Sun’s safety. So had she, as we get a long speech about how she will not put her friends in danger before Sun talks some sense into her, that her friends are fighting for her because they want to and my god woman, will you just go back and find them already. Blake’s parents are adorable listening in on this by the way, and their reason for heading to Mistral makes the most sense of all, they’ve received word that Adam is going to attack the city and repeat what he did at Beacon. So they’re going to stop him. And turn the White Fang into a force of good. It won’t be that simple but best of luck.
Also Cinder’s still struggling and Tyrian is uncomfortable to watch as he murderises a Grimm to death because he failed Salem. Still, at least he’s getting back into the swing of things, unlike you Cinder, you just laze about and wallow in self-pity. You’re never getting a chance to take over the family business, even without a scorpion tail Tyrian is better than you.
Taking Control felt like the first step towards the volume’s climax in a long while, it had been meandering before that, which, given there is only one more episode left – (that has really come around quick), it’s going to have to do a lot in a very short time, but one assumes that all of the plans of meeting up can’t happen in just that time. It’s a good thing volume 5 is already confirmed because there are still so many loose ends to clear up. This really does feel like Game Of Thrones when it was on similarly numbered seasons.