Alright, it really worries me that Coco and Yatsuhashi were beaten so easily. And I know that fight was supposed to worry me. When those seniors first appeared in the finale of Volume 2 everyone was blown away by their skill. It was apparent how far the Team RWBY still had to go to reach their level. And in this episode we saw these two get absolutely destroyed by Emerald and Mercury. Before this episode we had barely seen these two fight, though we could assume that they were skilled since they were hand picked by Cinder. But wow. Mercury is a powerhouse that can create whirlwinds by break dancing, and Emerald can somehow disguise herself as others. Together they are one hell of a lethal duo, and once you add in Cinder and Neo that group is sure to cause some damage.
But, again, what is Cinder’s Faction actually after? They obviously intended for Roman to get captured by Ironwood, but to what aim? Qrow points out that violence has completely stopped since Roman’s capture, meaning that Cinder or Adam is calling the shots with the White Fang now. And we know that the Vytal Festival is just too big of a target to let slide by. Are they waiting for the final round, once Mercury or Emerald has been pushed through? And what good would it do for one of those two to be in the final round at all if all they are going to do is wreck it?
Meanwhile, Winter and Weiss get some sisterly one-on-one training time. Apparently the Schnee family is one where the semblance is hereditary, meaning that we can expect Weiss to be as good as, if not better, than Winter one day. But first Weiss has to get a handle on summoning. Last episode we saw Winter summon a flock of birds from one of her glyphs to attack Qrow, but apparently she can do much more. Whatever enemy she has slain in battle can be called forth to fight for her, even the most horrifying of Grimm. Though Weiss claims that she cannot summon, it seems to be from a lack of trying. So the more she practices, and believes in her own abilities, the better she is going to get at using her semblance.
A major step for her, though, is cutting herself off from her father. In the first episode of Volume 3 we were able to see how strict Weiss’ father can be. When Weiss did not answer a call from him, he immediately went and shut down her bank account. And apparently he was none too happy when Weiss decided to study at Beacon over Atlus, where Winter attended school. But Weiss has decided that she does not want her father’s charity anymore. She is not going to behave exactly as he wishes and hold herself back just for the benefits of being a Schnee. Instead she decides that she will continue to forge her own path as a huntress and learn more about herself in the process.
As weird as it may sound, I am very proud of Weiss. When I first met her in Volume 1 I immediately disliked her. The bitchy, heiress character was never a trope I had been fond of. Yet she has managed to come really far, and developed so much. I feel that Weiss is one of the characters we have seen the most development with, because she had to remove herself from the way she was raised and rebuild herself. She is quite similar to Blake, actually. Both characters used attending Beacon as a new start for themselves. Where Weiss removed herself from the upper crust of society, Blake removed herself from the criminal underbelly. Yet they both face the same problems of breaking with the influences of the past as they learn to trust others and gain the strength to move forward.
As a side note, I need Rooster Teeth to come out with the Volume 3 soundtrack as soon as possible, because I need to listen to the new version of “Mirror Mirror” on repeat. I absolutely adored the original song from the White Trailer, and adore the new lyrics that capture Weiss’ character development. It makes me wonder if the other songs from the trailers are going to have new versions. “Red Like Roses” from the Red Trailer already had “Red Like Roses Pt. 2” in Volume 1, but we have not seen anything else of “I Burn” and “From Shadows.” Here is to hoping they pop up again soon! And, honestly, I would not mind seeing a third part to “Red Like Roses.” The two released versions are fantastic!