(SPOILER ALERT: This is a full breakdown review for “Lost”)
In spite of a contrived conclusion to why one of the heroes went missing in the previous episode, “Lost” is a superb episode that explores the nuances and drives of our villains and honors the dear memory of a great Huntress.
The ninth episode of Rooster Teeth’s RWBY: Volume 6, “Lost”, lasting eighteen and a half minutes, begins with a tense scene between Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black and their conflicting perspectives on Cinder Fall, the woman who picked them up from their wandering lives and turned them into her minions. We’ve seen hints of Emerald viewing Cinder as a mother figure, but this is really the first time she says out loud how she’s faithful to her and considers her to be the only family she ever had. This doesn’t fly with Mercury, who reminds her of how his father ruthlessly trained him to become an assassin, which led to him killing his father moments before Cinder and Emerald found him. In response to Emerald asking why he joined them, he goes on about making use of his abilities and gaining power once their master, Salem, conquers Remnant. Emerald is so infuriated by his disregard of Cinder that she engages him in a brief fight. During this he tells her that his father stole his Semblance because it would be a crutch, and he could get it back when he was strong. He’s strong now, though, and he still hasn’t gotten it back.
Before the confrontation can progress further, a chuckling Tyrian Callows emerges from the shadows, armed with a metallic scorpion tail to replace the original tail he lost in battle in Volume 4. In his singularly creepy style he pokes at the two youngsters, provoking Mercury into attacking him, but Tyrian pins him to the floor and dangles his stinger over his face. He says they’re asking the wrong question, that if they aren’t loving what they’re doing, then they are in the wrong field. Emerald asks if they should leave, but Tyrian brushes this off and informs them that he and Arthur Watts will be traveling to Atlas; they need to be there to stop General James Ironwood in case he calls for aid from the kingdom of Vacuo. Watts calls for him from afar, and Tyrian’s last ominous words to Mercury and Emerald are, “Do what makes you happy, children. Please, I’m begging you.”
The episode shifts to Team JNR (Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, and Lie Ren) and Jaune’s sister Saphron Cotta-Arc as they search for the missing Oscar Pine all over the enormous city of Argus. Saphron asks what happened to make Oscar leave, and Jaune is obviously regretful about his unfounded suspicions towards him. Saphron heads off to pick up her son Adrian from daycare. Nora and Ren go to a nearby cafe, reluctantly leaving behind a dejected Jaune. He ends up finding a park where a statue has been erected of Pyrrha Nikos, a Huntress with whom he had been very close before Cinder killed her. Standing in front of the statue, he encounters a red-haired woman holding a bouquet of roses. She tells him Pyrrha was trained in Argus, at Sanctum Academy, and it broke everyone’s hearts when she chose to graduate to Beacon over Haven.
With the uncanny comments she makes that probe the core of Jaune and Pyrrha’s friendship, I’m seriously considering whether this woman is a reincarnation of Pyrrha or another ethereal entity. She does look a bit like a short-haired Pyrrha — similar complexion, similar red hair, similar green eyes, even the similar voice (although that last part is due to Jen Brown playing both characters). Then Nora and Ren, coming back from the cafe with coffee, call out for Jaune from the edge of the park. By the time he looks back at where the woman stood, she has already vanished, her roses left at the foot of the statue. Jaune expresses his guilt over not protecting Pyrrha and his team, although he looks better after the encouragement of his teammates.
Team RWBY (Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long) and Maria Calavera are on their own search for Ruby and Yang’s uncle Qrow Branwen. It succeeds, but unfortunately they find him tanked up and lying at the Arc residence’s entrance. They manage to get him up on his feet before Team JNR, Saphron, her wife Terra Cotta, and Adrian make it there as well. They stand outside the house just as the door opens and Oscar steps out — dressed up like a 18th-century soldier in a green coat, might I add. Nora actually leaps into the air, and Teams RWBY and JNR bound into the house. In classic Nora fashion, she asks why he’s wearing this attire. Oscar wasn’t even aware they were looking for him, which seems peculiar to me. He had suddenly left the house right after Jaune lashed out at him, yet he didn’t think this would worry his friends? The contrived resolution of his reappearance is the only part of this episode with which I take issue.
Qrow is about to head upstairs, grouchy over the fact that they aren’t one step closer to Atlas. However, Jaune says that airships from the Atlesian Military travel from Argus (one of Mistral’s settlements on the continent of Anima) up to the continent of Solitas (the home of Atlas) with clearance from commanding officer Caroline Cordovan. All they need to do is steal one of the airships. Qrow vehemently objects to the risky plan, reminding them that this is the Atlesian Military they’re dealing with. Ruby stands up for Jaune just as strongly, though. After Maria cheekily points out that Qrow “underestimated her too,” Qrow looks a little more willing to hear out Jaune.
First, “Lost” delves into Emerald and Mercury’s characters, of which we hadn’t seen a great deal. I wonder what Mercury’s Semblance was, and how this discord will affect their partnership. Maybe they’ll split up, and Emerald will rejoin Cinder and Mercury will stay faithful to Salem in hopes of feeding off her power. Then we’re reminded of the love and sorrow that Jaune feels for Pyrrha to this very day, which feels absolutely sincere. I wish she didn’t have to die, but it does give Jaune depth and the writers are doing a wonderful job of making the memory of her play an important role in his development. The scene is even accompanied by Casey Lee Williams’s “Forever Fall,” which was originally used for Volume 1. I’m still curious about the identity of the woman with the roses. And the determination that Ruby shows in support of Jaune cements what their team is about — sticking together and taking the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas. Yes, I wish Oscar could have been brought back more realistically, but “Lost” is still a good episode, filled with subtle characterization for both the heroes and the villains and showing a way for the former group to continue their journey.
Windup score: 90/100