As the volume draws toward to its conclusion, the previous issues of heavy dialogue seem to finally be resolved, as the latest episode, The Lady in the Shoe, treats the audience to more action intense sequences and even some heart-warming feels.
Spoilers ahead for RWBY.
The Lady In The Show opens up where the previous episode left off, with the team fighting against Cordovin’s mecha. After dodging a few precarious attacks, they eventually strike back, thinking that since the machine was probably designed for Grimm that come in from the ocean, it’ll be harder to hit smaller targets. The audience is treated to a battle sequence where the team go up against Cordovin, half of the team providing support from the beach while the other half get up close and personal, and this has settled one of the problems throughout the volume, being Qrow. Throughout the volume he has been a whiny man child, acting like a hinderance to the team more than the badass that he is known to be. However, finally, he returns to being the scythe wielding warrior fans know and love, saving Ren at one point during the battle and dealing serious damage to Cordovin’s mecha. It’s a welcome change. As the group finally disable the mecha’s power generator, Cordovin strikes back and leaves the battle sequence at a literal cliff-hanger, with Ruby hanging off the edge of the sea cliff, clinging to her scythe for dear life while the airship seems to have been hit and going down.
The episode goes back to return to Blake and Adam’s sword fight. Throughout the battle, it is clear that Adam has the upper hand, with Blake constantly running and on the defensive, part of her outfit being torn in the process. After a short fight, it seems that Adam finally has the upper hand, with Blake’s blade being split in half and Adam towering over her. As this happens, Adam removes his blindfold, causing Blake to recoil as he tells her ‘People hurt me long before we met, all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. But no one hurt me quite like you. You didn’t leave scars, you just left me alone.’ It is then that the audience sees what Adam has been hiding behind his mask up until now – one of his eyes is branded with the letters SDC, presumably standing for Schnee Dust Company. This is an interesting development, as the Faunus being treated as second-rate citizens has been a consistent theme throughout the show, but other than hearsay from other characters and the bullies in volume one, the extent of the brutality the Faunus faced has never actually been shown. Also, it isn’t as obvious a theme in this volume until this point. Showing Adam’s brand is an excellent case of ‘show, don’t tell’ going right and is a startling – albeit interesting – reveal.
Adam strikes and it turns that Blake used her semblance to protect herself, with Adam stabbing a copy of her. Just as he turns in surprise, Yang comes in, running him over with her motorbike. Though this has been correctly predicted by what would happen by fans, it is still satisfying to watch, even if Yang loses her beloved bike in the process. The fight starts up again, this time with Yang fighting Adam, and again this is such a satisfying sequence. In volume three, Yang lost her arm to Adam, and she fights more defensively instead of rushing like she did then. Fans also get confirmation about Adam’s semblance: like Yang’s, he gets to dish out any damage he receives back to his opponent, though unlike Yang, his semblance is attached to his blade. With Yang fighting defensively and avoiding his sword, it pays off as when Adam tries to lash out in anger with his semblance, it only scratches Yang’s metal arm. Yang offers him a chance to escape again, with Adam denying her, noticing her hand shaking. It’s interesting to see that despite everything Yang has been through and being probably the strongest member of RWBY, she is still affected by her PTSD from their last encounter. The episode concludes with Blake holding Yang’s hand, with them both physically supporting each other, ready to lash out again. Though the writing is a bit cheesy in this scene, it’s nice for fans of the bumblebee ship to see this display of affection as it has been more heavily hinted at throughout this volume.
While The Lady In The Shoe is seriously entertaining to watch, it feels like it’s padded out to keep the volume going. The first battle sequence lasted only about nine minutes, with the final sword fight taking up the rest of the episode, both of which are left off at cliff-hangers. It’s a little bit frustrating as the volume is approaching its conclusion and the running time is being stretched out. A potential solution to this would have just been having one big episode that lasts twice as long compared to the rest of the episodes for the volume’s finale. However, this is the only issue with the episode – it’s a welcome return to see Qrow’s character finally, FINALLY returning to normality, and seeing Yang and Blake, one of the more popular ships of RWBY, showing clear physical affection for each other. The strengths of the episode far outweigh its weaknesses and it’ll leave the audience eagerly anticipating the volume’s finale.
Though it feels like it’s been implemented to stretch out the volume’s episode count, The Lady in the Shoe is an action filled episode that leaves room for fans to witness touching displays of emotion from beloved characters.