The Mother’s Day Special – RWBY Volume 5 Episode 4 Review

Hello, I’m back!  I’m so glad Harold took over the blog last week while I recovered from being a live-in nanny for some, er, highly energetic children.  Without further ado, let’s try to get back into a normal posting routine. 😀

As always, spoilers alart.  (Sorry Harold, that’s a keeper.)

In a mere allotment of fifteen minutes, we still get a solid episode that focuses primarily on Yang’s storyline.  With help from the creepy bandit guy she beat up in the season premiere, she finds her way to what she hopes is Raven Branwen’s bandit campsite.  The creepy dude and his friends try to jump her in the woods, but she uses both brawn and brain (in honor of Yang’s voice actress, a pun may or may not have been intended) to outwit them.

One thing I like is how Yang uses her new, cybernetic arm like Wonder Woman’s bracelets.  (This post, by the way, is not sponsored by Atlas Enterprises.)  Also of note is how Yang’s biological hand keeps twitching after every physical altercation.  Despite that small issue (which might fester into something a bit more complicated as the story progresses), I feel like Yang’s fighting style has evolved from large-scale messy brawling to something a bit more sophisticated.  It seems her dad’s rehabilitory training has made its mark, but it’s more than that.  She’s not an invalid anymore, mentally or physically.  How she recovered is a mystery to me (Volume 4 was rather weak in covering that), but it’s good to see her up and about once more.

Screenshot-2017-11-8 RWBY Volume 5, Chapter 4 Lighting the Fire(1).png

We’re also shown a peek into Ruby’s neck of the woods, where Oscar is training with Team RNJR.  It’s both cool and creepy how Ozpin just takes his host body over.  Semblances (or lack thereof) are brought up, as both Oscar and Jaune have yet to unlock theirs.  I feel like this is foreshadowing for the ultimate reveal of Jaune’s semblance … or at least Oscar’s.

Screenshot-2017-11-8 RWBY Volume 5, Chapter 4 Lighting the Fire(2).png

Then, Yang is brought by the visibly injured bandits who jumped her in the woods to Raven’s camp.  Yang uses her relationship to their leader as a bargaining chip, and finally, we’re given the mother-daughter reunion we hoped for.

Screenshot-2017-11-8 RWBY Volume 5, Chapter 4 Lighting the Fire(3).png

And, as Winter might say, it’s … underwhelming.  Raven is clearly unprepared to see her daughter here and is trying to manipulate the situation in Raven’s favor, to try and get another member of her tribe.

It also seems Yang is no longer as obsessed with finding her mother as she seemed during the Beacon arc.  On the contrary, she claims it’s solely to find Ruby.  There’s no reference in their conversation to what we can only assume was a dream sequence at the end of Volume 2.

Although Raven is for sure one of the worst moms ever, I feel like Yang lost some of her credibility when she declared, “I don’t care what you think” at Raven’s cryptically cautionary words about Ozpin.  It makes her sound immature, which at heart, she probably still is to some extent.  Once she escalated with, “Send me to Qrow, d*mn it,” I felt she was really going into childish tantrum territory.

On the other hand, perhaps the writers are deliberately showing Yang in her most vulnerable state, finally meeting the mother who was absent during her childhood, and automatically reverting to a childlike state when things don’t go her way in front of Mommy.

On account of Yang’s tantrum, however, she finds Weiss, who summons “Alphonse Elric” and breaks out of jail.  I don’t know why she didn’t do this hours ago, even if she wanted to subtly sneak away; if she were caught, Weiss could’ve sicced “Al” on them.

The episode ends on a very sweet note, with Weiss and Yang hugging uncharacteristically while “Al” looks on.  Dawwwww!Screenshot-2017-11-8 RWBY Volume 5, Chapter 4 Lighting the Fire.png

Next time we return to Yang and Weiss’s now intertwined storylines, Raven will tell them all about “the truth.”  I don’t trust Raven one iota (okay, maybe one or two iotae) but I’m very curious about her perspective on this all.  I’d like to think she means well, but her priorities don’t fall in favor of those who need her most.

Oh, and to my great dismay, Vernal’s eyes are not silver after all.  They’re blue. 😦  But now, I wonder, will there ever be a contest for the clan’s leadership between the blue-eyed Spring Maiden and the red-eyed Branwen…. 😉

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