RWBY V5C7: ‘Rest and Resolutions’
In this episode of RWBY, 3/4 of team RWBY and 3/4 of team JNPR have fun around the dinner table. And then they discuss some of Ozpin’s secrets and lies which he’s let everyone believe.
Weiss regales team RNJR of that time she almost manslaughtered a guest at her father’s benefit. Nora is disbelieving of Weiss’ new summoning powers. Weiss removes all doubt.
Talk inevitably turns to Yang’s new prosthetic arm. The last time Nora, Ren, and Jaune saw Yang, she looked like this:
But that was months ago. Yang’s feeling a little better now.
Still scary, just with 300% more arm humor. Yang and Nora, in true Volume 2 style, had an arm wrestling match because Nora wanted to see how strong the new arm was. I’d call the match a draw since Yang detached her arm and trolled Nora even harder than Weiss did with her summoning.
As Jaune cleans up, he remarks about going to be sick ’cause he ate so much. Yang took this as an oppoutunity to call him ‘vomit boy’. Jaune rolls his eyes, not super-eager to bring back his old nickname. Noticing that Weiss is laughing at the call back to funny times, Nora jumps on the nick-name throwback bandwagon and calls Weiss the ‘ice queen’. Nora’s surprised that Weiss seems to actually like this nickname.
She asks Weiss, “What went and warmed your heart when you were gone?” Weiss doesn’t take too kindly to the implication she was “terrible” before. Yang chips in that says she was wasn’t too terrible, “just a lot to deal with”.
The Wizard, Oz, is the Man Who Lies
Unfortunately, the fluff in this episode gives way to some dodgy exposition on the part of Ozpin. Though credit where it’s due, Aaron Dismuke did an especially chilling job voicing this character.
I’d like to say upfront that Ozpin felt extremely predatory in this episode. It may just be my personal bias, but everything about the way he conducted himself, while taking over a young boy’s body to do it no less, was unsettling to me.
We are dropped into the middle of the conversation; Ozpin and Qrow have already finished explaining what team RNJR already knows. Weiss is uneasy, and Yang is simmering with anger.
“You didn’t tell them what you did to Qrow and my mother.”
The room became quiet. Ruby probably had the most visceral reaction, she doesn’t look fearful often.
Qrow shrugs and Ozpin says that he didn’t think Raven would share that secret with Yang. It comes off more like ‘Oh, shit, they’ve caught me in a lie,’ albeit much smoother. Ozpin waxes poetic about how useful this ability he “gifted” is to Qrow and Raven. Ironically he speaks of being “freed” from their normal bodies.
Professor Ozpin literally laughs off the assorted looks of horror and fear upon the faces of the former students of the room. Even Ozpin’s host body, Oscar Pine, reacts badly to this news. It may seem like a small moment, but we already know that Ozpin can see/hear Oscar Pine’s thoughts. The fact that it’s a one-way connection does not bode well for the young teen now he has a god (Ozpin’s an immortal with inhuman power, I’m calling him a god.) living in his body. HE TURNED RAVEN AND QROW INTO BIRDS. This isn’t a normal thing to do. But notably, it’s not for their own benefit, but almost entirely for his. So they could spy for him.
He subtly puts everyone in their place (below him) by mentioning his immortality casually, but reassures everyone “it’s a curse,” and he talks about how he “sacrificed,” power to weaponize Qrow and Raven to his ends. His ego isn’t even subtle here.
Qrow is quick to speak up saying that “it was a choice,” and maybe it was, but according to Raven’s dialogue last we saw her, there was probably too much Ozpin kept from them in order for the twins to make an informed decision.
Ozpin was sure to put emphasis on the word “gifted,” when talking about the Branwen twins’ abilities to turn into birds. Raven used the phrase “did to,” as if it were inflicted. I mentioned this before in a previous recap because it felt like charged language. This episode has only made that original sentiment more dominant.
Raven once trusted Ozpin, and now she’s horrified by him. Ozpin’s cavalier attitude is unsettling, but forgivable. His frank lack of empathy for Raven’s perspective however, makes him villainous in my eyes. He calls Raven selfish for not being his servant. His clear anger with her, though subdued through a cultured public poker face, only highlights the comments Raven made about him earlier. Specifically, “that he has followers in every academy in Remnant loyal to him and no one else,” comes to mind.
I initially dismissed Raven in terms of what she said about Qrow. About how he was lost. But when Qrow cut Yang off in her righteous anger at Ozpin, he proved Raven right. And now I’m conflicted about how much I like/should like Qrow. He’s tainted in a way by his association and single-minded loyalty to Ozpin.
It may seem like I’m jumping to conclusions. I’m really trying not to. I’m trying to follow Raven’s advice, to question everything.
Ozpin reveals that he created the four Maidens a few centuries ago. It’s not as big a reveal as I think the show wanted it to be. Ozpin narrated the RWBY: World of Remnant short telling the story of the Maidens, and ever since then as the mythos unfolded, Ozpin being the “old Wizard who lived by the river” was nearly a certainty. His reference character is the freakin’ Wizard of Oz, so there was never much mystery to the ‘who’s the wizard’ question.
However, now that he is the canon wizard who “gifted” the original Maidens with their godlike powers, his last host’s death at the Fall of Beacon is put into new light. Cinder the Fall Maiden killed him. Poetic in a way, destroyed by his own powers, albeit in a roundabout manner. Since his color is green, and he died in the ruins of his school, that kind of end harkens to Voldemort a little bit.
Ozpin offers the chance to step off the the ride, if it’s all too much. He says there’s “no shame in abstaining, only in retreat.” He gives them less than three seconds to make a choice, and Yang stands. She says that she’ll only stay on two conditions: 1) Ruby stays, because “she hasn’t led us wrong yet.” And 2) Ozpin stops keeping secrets. Stops lying to them.
To quote Rogue One‘s K-2SO, Ozpin’s response to Yang’s ultimatum was “vague and unconvincing.” What’s more, every time he addresses Yang, he calls her Ms. Xiao Long, clearly trying to distance her from her mother, a Branwen.
This scene made Ozpin a potentially terrifying character for me, and I can’t wait where the narrative takes this. I like how they’re muddying the moral waters in this episode in a way they haven’t really done before.
“Back to the Wall”
Back at Raven Branwen’s camp, we meet old enemies. But they are also fan-favorites, so it’s a welcome return for Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai. The pair appear at the edge of the forest, and Shay D. Mann (I shit you not), the bandit who tried sexually assault Yang in the gas station, is out of luck.
He points his gun at the new-comers and seems to realize on some level how outclassed he is by appearance alone.
Cinder Fall orders Emerald to clear a path, and this is where the episode ends.
That’s it for this episode, I may be hard on Ozpin, but I’m also curious to see all these doubts about him seeded throughout the show come to the fore.
If you want to talk about it, leave a comment below.