RWBY Unbiased: Players and Pieces Episode Review

by: @arkd3v

Welcome to this week’s unbiased RWBY episode review, Players and Pieces. I liked it; it had great action and defining moments for the main eight characters, some more than others. 

Without further ado, let’s dive right into the finale of the Emerald Forest mission.

The Synopsis of RWBY Volume 1: Players and Pieces

Weiss is having a bad day. Attacked by Grimm, she got the person for a partner she wanted the least and is hitching a ride on a giant crow monster. So this episode starts with Ruby and Weiss hitching a ride on a giant Crow Grimm to get to the temple with all the relics. Fairly creative and highly dangerous. Nice Jaune.

From there, everyone meets up at the center while confronted by the Scorpion Grimm, now called a Deathstalker, and the Crow Grimm, clearly unhappy Ruby, and Weiss didn’t pay for their flight. While they the first attempt to flee with their relics, the Grimm corners them, and they’re forced to fight. However, thanks to some quick thinking by Ruby and Jaune, the eight students are able to defeat the monsters and complete the mission.

All the characters then head to a ceremony where they are assigned to teams. The four guys we saw at the beginning of the arc make team CRDL (Cardinal), Jaune, Nora, Pyrrah, and Ren make team JNPR (Juniper), and Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang make team RWBY (Ruby).

The final scene brings us to Torchwick plotting his next scheme. Based on the map of Vale, the city Beacon is in, he is planning something big.


As I said at the start, the new members of Teams RWBY and JNPR each have their moments in this episode. 

Ruby takes a good amount of the spotlight here, as she should. She is quirky and fun, hitching a ride on a giant monster and crying into her sister while a giant monster is in the area. We also see her battle prowess. Ruby can act and think freely on the battlefield despite the massive threat, quickly forming new strategies combining everyone’s abilities. It makes me wonder how much training and experience she had. Maybe her Uncle Qrow mentioned in the first episode has something to do with it.

Weiss gets some character development. She saves Ruby from the Deathstalker’s stinger and apologizes for her behavior. While I am unsure what brought this on since she was previously angry with Ruby for leaving her hanging on the Crow Grimm, it shows she is more than a snobby princess. Based on her reaction to Ruby’s new status as her team leader, she has more growth ahead.

Jaune makes up for his bumbling earlier by overcoming his fear and safely directing Ren, Nora, and Pyrrah to defeat the Deathstalker. I like this because it shows that you don’t need to be a famous warrior, have magic Dust powers, or a transforming scythe to be useful on the battlefield. I am glad to see him have a leadership role and hope to see him grow. 

Then we have the best character in the episode, Nora Valkyrie. I am convinced this character is on sugar, spice, and everything nice because she is insane. She rides into the area on an Ursa Grimm, smiles while smashing and blowing people up with her grenade launcher/hammer weapon, and generally has no emotion other than energy. 

It’s good that Ren is there to keep her in check, or this could be a different story. As for him, he has some moments but is mostly supportive in this episode. The same goes for Pyrrah, who shows excellent battle prowess and is happy Jaune is elected leader over her, which tells me she does not think much of her fame.

Yang and Blake don’t do much here. Blake finally gets some lines to say, and it feels like she’s commenting on how ridiculous this whole show is at times while sounding like she just woke up from a nap. Fun.

Meanwhile, Yang has some fun moments, like shouting at people to calm down, blasting the Crow Grimm in the face with her gauntlets, and hopping into its mouth to shoot fireballs down its throat. Also fun.

The others don’t do much. We don’t get anything on CRDL as everything with them is offscreen, which may be best since it lets us focus on the other characters. Ozpin and Glinda are mostly absent as well, and Torchwick is fine with his screen time, setting up the next story beat with whoever he sold Dust to.

Action and Music

This shot is one of the many great setpieces in the episode. As usual, we get combat full of fast-paced editing and creative choreography. 

Some examples include Nora smashing a Grimm in the face and then blasting it with a grenade, Blake swinging around the broken cliff, Weiss’s glyphs providing platforms and enhancing the other’s moves, and of course, the final kill where Ruby drags the Crow Grimm up the cliffside with her scythe and decapitates it.

Everyone works together, which allows for more variety in the fight scene. There are also several moments characterizing Ruby and Jaune as leaders, showing them adapting and greetings strategies while others focus on combat,

The music exemplifies this. The OST provides an epic feel, and we get a new rock song towards the end of the fight scene, Red like Roses. It was in Ruby’s Trailer, but this is the first time we get to see it in the show, and it’s awesome.


This episode is a great ending to the Emerald Forest part of the show. The action was fun, and it set up the important characters we’ll follow for the rest of the story.

I hope RWBY continues to be this fun in the next episode.

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