Okay, "Players and Pieces" is one of my personal favourite episodes.
Weiss and Ruby are on the gigantic bird-like Nevermore, and they're arguing about what to do. Ruby thinks they should jump, and Weiss asks if she's insane, only to realize that Ruby has indeed let go and abandoned ship (so to speak). As Ruby is falling, she's intercepted by Jaune who was sent flying by the Deathstalker, and they both land in a tree.
Blake asks Yang if Ruby just fell from the sky, and before Yang can even formulate an answer, a roar from an ursa is heard as Nora emerges from the trees, having just defeated one. Once it seems to be dead, Nora laments, "Aww. It's broken."
And that is why Nora is one of my faves.
Lie Ren appears behind the ursa, tired and gasping, and pleads for Nora to never do that again. Next thing he knows, Nora is already gone and in the dilapidated circle, eyeing a golden rook piece. She cheers, signing, "I'm queen of the castle, I'm queen of the castle!" before Ren yells her name, and she immediately giggles and returns to his side.
Blake, trying to make sense of the weird things happening, asks Yang, "Did that girl just ride in on an ursa? " And again, before Yang can so much as say "I...", something else happens: a demonic screech, immediately preceding Pyrrha running away from the forest with the Death Stalker still on her tail, its own looming menacingly above her.
Ruby jumps down from the tree, Yang and Ruby are about to reunite and hug saying, "Ruby!", "Yang!" only for Nora to pop up inbetween them and say "Nora!"
Blake asks if that girl (Pyrrha) just ran all the way over here with a Deathstalker on her tail, and Yang, having finally had enough, blows up, she bursts into flames and screams, "I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something crazy happens again?"
Weiss is still on the Nevermore and finally lets go, and Jaune jumps from the tree to catch her all chivalrous, only to realize they're still really high in the air and fall to the ground, with Weiss landing comfy-like on Jaune's back.
Pyrrha gets knocked to the ground at the feet of the others by the Deathstalker, and Yang sarcastically goes, "Great. The gang's all here. Now we can die together!"
One of my favourite lines in this show, haha.
Ruby says, "Not if I can help it!" and goes to fight the Deathstalker, only to be knocked away. Realizing she's out of her league, she attempts to run away, only to be caught in place by her cape when the Nevermore soaring above shoots down its feathers, pinning her in place and blocking Yang from helping. As the Deathstalker goes to kill Ruby with its stinger, a blur speeds past Yang and the scene cuts to black, only to hear Weiss saying (as though from very far away), "You are so childish."
Ruby opens her eyes to see the Deathstalker's tail encased in ice mere inches from her face.
"And dim-witted, and hyperactive, and don't even get me started on your fighting style," Weiss continues, ripping into Ruby. Then, we finally see what can be absolutely and deliciously described as the first scrap of character development for Weiss:
"And I suppose I can be a bit...difficult, but if we're going to do this, then we're going to have to do this together. So if you quit trying to show off, I'll be...nicer."
Ruby says she doesn't want to show off, she's trying to prove to Weiss she can do this, only for Weiss to reply, "You're fine." Ruby sighs in relief, whispering "Normal knees" to herself in a reference to her quote in episode one where she told Yang she didn't want to be the "bee's knees," but a normal girl with normal knees. She didn't want to stand out or be special, and now Weiss is beginning to treat her like an equal.
Oh, be still my shipper heart. And my character development senses are tingling.
Jaune points out the Nevermore is circling back and asks what they should do. Weiss says there's no point in dilly-dallying and that their objective is right in front of them. Ruby agrees, earning a smile from Weiss, and says that they were to get the artifact and then return to the cliff. Jaune is pleased with this plan, as it involves running and living to fight another day.
Ruby picks up a golden bishop piece and Jaune picks up a golden rook. Ren says it's "Time we left" and everyone agrees, with Ruby leading the charge. Yang takes a moment to appreciate the sight of her little sister making friends and taking charge and being comfortable in the field, and when Blake asks her what's up, Yang smiles to herself and says nothing before they both head off with the others.
As they run away and are chased by the Nevermore and the Deathstalker, what happens next is hands down one of the best, most epic, and awesome fight scenes you'll ever see in your life. Ever. I won't even bother describing or recapping that. You have to see it to truly appreciate it.
The teamwork, the synergy, the cohesive unity, the colours, the music, the fight moves, the tactics...literally everything. I'm in love with this episode because it's so great. And the series only gets better.
Once all is said and done and then Nevermore and Deathstalker has been dispatched, the scene cuts to Beacon Academy, where they're put into teams based on who collected which matching pieces and made eye contact with first, with Professor Ozpin declaring each group's leader.
(To clarify: whoever you first made eye contact with in the forest is your partner, making you a group of two. The pieces collected is what determines which two groups get put into one team; since Blake and Yang made first eye contact, they are partners for the rest of their four years at Beacon Academy. Because they selected the Golden Bishops, as did Ruby and Weiss, the four of them are now one team.)
Cardin Winchester, Russel Thrush, Dove Bronzewing, and Sky Lark are now Team CRDL (pronounced "Cardinal"). They are led by Cardin.
Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos, and Lie Ren are Team JNPR (pronounced "Juniper"). They are led by Jaune, much to his surprise.
Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long are now Team RWBY, pronounced "Ruby," and led by Ruby. Weiss seems surprised by this and not too happy.
Ozpin muses on how he thinks it'll be an interesting year at Beacon.
The scene changes after fixating on the shattered moon in the sky, and goes to Roman Torchwick ,who is overlooking a marked-up map on the wall detailing the districts (commercial, residential, industrial, where cops are, where Beacon is, etc.), and gets off his phone (scroll? probably not) with someone.
A masked man appears to him, carrying cargo, and Roman gives him some sort of cards as payment (maybe they're lien, the currency of Remnant?). He tells the man to open it, and inside are dust crystals. Roman says he'll need more men.
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Rooster Teeth is truly amazing, perhaps my favourite company in the world (barring PopWrapped, of course), and I think they deserve all the support and fans in the world. Make sure to buy the first two Volumes of RWBY at the Rooster Teeth store.
Anyways, now that I’m done gushing over RT (at least for this article), what did you think of "Players and Pieces?" And more importantly, this deliciously idiosyncratic RECP?
Tune in next time for another episode of RWBY RECP!