RWBY Season 4 Ends
Well, we're two weeks late in our appraisal, but then, out of 12 full episodes, we managed no more than four other reviews this season as life's interventions caused a substantial delay in watching the show this time around.
Thankfully, it was worth the wait.
"See guys, it says here that we ROCK!"
At mid-season, RWBY's five disparate plotlines began to converge, but not as expected. Instead of having the groups all come together, the various plotlines converged in their tone, with 5 different flavors of existential dread being presented. These, counterintuitively, coincide with the show largely regaining its optimism.
Ruby herself does shine in this season, her pluck and optimism nicely complementing her asskickery. While there is a lot of stuff going on with other characters, at no point in this season do we ask "Hey...isn't there supposed to be a girl in red who is the protagonist?"
Weiss was the least directly traumatized by the horrors of season three's finale, but they dropped her right into the terrible situation that she had fled from three years ago. Weiss's arc this season is almost completely free from violence, but a half second slap manages to be the stuff of nightmares. What she must face is at least as disturbing as anything the others do. Fortunately she has vast reserves of awesome.
Aside from Weiss, Jaune probably wins the charachter development award, though it's a near run thing. He's still a bit out of his depth on the combat front, but he's shallowing rapidly.
We also learn that his upgraded sword now has at least one hidden trick, albeit of short duration and with drawbacks, but that pales in comparison to his growth as a leader and a person.
Blake's skittishness and paranoia are shown to be fully justified, and the show does a good job of portraying the depth of her character and the moral courage she has.
Blake and Sun are a cute couple, even when they argue.
If anyone got shortchanged, it was Yang, but her recovery was both believable and uplifting.
Then there is the farmboy, Oscar, whose predicament puts Ozpin in a whole new and deeply problematic light.
Athough it manages to be heartwarming in a bittersweet way, Ren and Nora's backstory turns out to be as dark as they come. Ren in particular has to cope with....oh wait...
Note that a screen-cap can't actually do justice to just how disturbing this monster is, so I'll just put this here.
Monty would be proud.
The next season looks to be the last and this finale tees it up perfectly. My only complaint at this point is that we've got 8 more months to wait for it.
UPDATE: Rereading the post, I should have mentioned that the ending of this season is not so much a finale, or a cliffhanger as a pause point in the story.
Stopping in the middle of the story, which is almost as bad as a cliffhanger.
I mean, the story itself was good, what we got of it.
Posted by: Rick C at Sun Feb 19 22:42:06 2017 (ITnFO)
Oddly, my reaction was that there wasn't a whole lot happening, at least plot-wise, this season. It wasn't quite filler, but there was a lot of backstory and character bits. But in the end the plot boiled down to getting three of the four principals to the same town.
I'm also a little bugged that the grimm basically have a Borg Queen.
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Feb 19 23:42:57 2017 (5Ktpu)
I don't think that's what Salem is, unless you meant someone else.
Nonetheless, if we can get people to stop using that stupid "kill the queen and the army dies" trope, that'd be great. I just saw a movie that used that so-called plot this weekend.
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Feb 20 09:48:42 2017 (ECH2/)
Oh yeah, I am totally sick of the "Invading army comes with an Insta-win button" plot.
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Feb 20 23:10:38 2017 (5Ktpu)
I mean, I get that without that crutch, you can't just build suspense for an hour and 45 minutes and then set up a nice, clean ending in the last 5, but still. How about a little originality?
Posted by: Rick C at Tue Feb 21 00:00:58 2017 (ITnFO)
I don't think that's even in play here.
Salem is not the "leader" of the Grimm,
though she may have partially tamed the uprated grim she's making in the pit behind her castle.
If she is killed, the Grim remain as a threat. They are endemic to the planet.
Additionally, one of her top minions might very well take up her mantle for whatever goal she has in mind, or their own.
The White Fang continues with, or without Salem, and is arguably far less constrained if she vanishes.
The raiders, led by Yang's Mom are still a problem, though they might be a lesser one if communications are re-established. They are not allied with Salem in any event (it seems).
The political issues, and the Schnee Dust Company continue even in the absence of Salem.
Salem is a big bad and brings together a lot of disparate evils factions, but she does not appear to be a gordian knot for the worlds problem. Taking her out merely makes the various obnoxious factions independant entities.