RWBY Thursday is upon us. This week saw the wrap-up of the two-part episode, “Jaundice.” With the previous episode being so short and lacking in the development department, “Jaunedice Part 2” had a lot of ground to make up in the minds of many viewers. Although it still had it shortcomings, episode 12 provided meaningful character development, intriguing character interactions, and some much needed backstory.
As mentioned in my previous article, it was clear in the last episode that Rooster Teeth was setting up for future development. RWBY delivered it this week in the form of Jaune. A question that had been nagging people since episode two is how on Earth a guy so combat-challenged managed to get into Beacon Academy. “Jaundice Part 2” finally gave fans the answer: he forged his way in. Although this isn’t entirely surprising, it does provide an incredibly vulnerable side to the character that had been previously unexplored. Through the use of wit and a great deal of comedic relief, Jaune had skillfully hidden his feelings of inadequacy. These feelings serve to provide a new dimension to the character, as well as give the story yet another level of connection to its viewers. Furthermore, Jaune’s ability to forge his way in suggests a cunning nature in the character that had only been seen in episode 8. While he might not yet see it in himself, it is clear that there is a great deal of tactical potential in the character that I personally look forward to seeing bloom.
Along with this development came some intriguing character interactions. In particular, giving Jaune and Pyrrha more alone time allowed their relationship to develop more (ship it). In particular, the fact that Jaune allows himself to be so open and vulnerable with Pyrrha demonstrates a great deal of trust that exists between them. Although this had been established, Jaune’s confession took the relationship to a new level. Also, and perhaps most significantly, Jaune’s provocation to tell the truth provided an engaging look at how his friends view him. The fact that Pyrrha felt that he needed lessons shows that although they are supportive, even his friends question his leadership and admittance to Beacon.
Despite these strengths, there were also some undeniable weaknesses. In particular, the character of Cardin continues to be riddled with conveniences. Jaune definitely is not the luckiest guy in the world, but this episode took unlucky to a new level. Is the audience really supposed to believe that he gave up his deepest secret in a place where the one person who would blackmail him with it could overhear him? I am all for creating drama, but this feels far too artificial. Further on that point, Jaune getting blackmailed to do Cardin’s bidding, while prime for decent sitcom drama, is beyond derivative. It’s only a matter of time before RWBY breaks into the cliché “doing laundry” montage (or in this case, polishing armor). Viewers certainly weren’t led to expect more, as it was all kicked off with the stereotypical, “do my homework” blackmail.
Overall, episode 12 of RWBY brought in some worthwhile development that gave viewers some needed insight into the characters. “Jaunedice Part 2” filled in the gaps, putting characters where they need to be for the upcoming competition. Although the development is nowhere close to being over, RWBY has fueled up and is ready to move forward.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
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