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Recap / RWBYV 7 E 3 Ace Operatives

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Volume 7, Episode 03:

Ace Operatives
With new threads and weapon upgrades, team RWBY is ready to save the day.
Written by Miles Luna & Kerry Shawcross
Directed by Kerry Shawcross

"Our mission today is to secure the launch site for the Amity Communications Tower. The designated area is an abandoned Dust mine. Since its closure, the Grimm have moved in."
Clover Ebi

Out in the snowy tundra, the Ace Ops show teams RWBY and JNR the ropes.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Anchored Attack Stance: When sliding down an icy slope, yellow energy surrounds Elm's feet and locks her in place, literally rooting her in place so that she doesn't slide any further. During the team's attack on the Petra Gigas, the energy roots her in place once again while she fights it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Before Teams RWBY and JNR leave for their mission, Ruby hands a sombre Oscar the Relic of Knowledge to look after while they're gone in her usual cheerful fashion. However, when Oscar promptly asks "Ruby, hiding things from Ironwood; doesn't that feel like what Ozpin did to us?", Ruby is visibly distraught.
  • Badass Crew: When Team RWBY hesitates to fight a Petra Gigas that has merged with volatile Dust, the Ace Ops immediately demonstrate how capable they are in terms of skill and teamwork. Since they have more experience compared to the heroes, the Ace Ops quickly defeat the Grimm without triggering any dust.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Team RWBY sees the blockage in the mine they're about to enter, Blake suddenly realises where they are and that the mine was abandoned after an accident. That triggers Weiss into remembering that it was a terrible disaster involving an explosion in the mine. Although it's not directly stated, Blake's sombre reaction and the description of what happened fit exactly with Ilia's back story about how her parents were killed in a mining explosion so devastating that it even reached the ears of privileged schoolgirls that live in Atlas.
    • When Marrow mentions how some people actively abuse Faunus, both Blake and Yang stare solemnly at a crate that contains an SDC label — a label that is identical to the brand that was burned into Adam's face.
    • When Jaune was first introduced to the concept of landing strategies back in Volume 1, he asks Ozpin whether parachutes will be provided. After bailing out of the airship delivering them to the abandoned mine, his landing strategy consists of using his new upgrade to extend a hard-light shield into a makeshift parachute that helps him land.
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    • Clover winks at Qrow and tells him "Lucky you"; in the Volume 4 episode "Family", a Higanbana waitress did the same thing. In both cases, it's not because Qrow is lucky.
  • Drop the Hammer: Elm Ederne uses a hammer-based weapon that's strikingly similar to Magnhild.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Qrow slips on the icy ground and starts to fall, but Clover catches him almost before he does so. The scene heavily implies Qrow slipped as a result of his misfortune Semblance, and therefore hints that Clover has a good fortune Semblance. A few minutes later, Clover confirms to Qrow that his Semblance does indeed bring good fortune.
  • Heroism Equals Job Qualification: Although they were arrested for being unlicensed Huntsmen in the first episode, the holographic mission board that Clover uses to inform the protagonists what their mission is going to be, now lists Teams RWBY and JNR as having Active Huntsman licenses. Because they're working for Ironwood, he's licensed them even though they're still students. Ace Ops informs the students that Ironwood has assured them they're very experienced fighters despite their youth.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When Ruby falls back on Ozpin's lies to hide the truth from Ironwood, Oscar and Yang both question her decision; Oscar outright observes that this feels exactly like what Ozpin did to them. While the group shamed Ozpin for his lies, Yang, Blake and Weiss accept the necessity of doing it to Ironwood, leaving Oscar very uneasy about the situation.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Clover's weapon is designed to look and function exactly like a fishing pool. With a hook on the end, he can cast the line out to snag whatever his target is and then he reels the line back in.
  • Jump Scare:
    • When Blake enters the dark mine alone, a Geist suddenly swoops down from the roof, shrieking at her. She jumps backwards in shock, leaving behind a shadow clone that looks as surprised as she is.
    • When Forest is dropped off in Mantle by the Atlas Military, he quickly sees a heavily shadowed Tyrian and all he can do is back up into the side of a dumpster in shock.
  • Killed Offscreen: In Forest's last scene, Tyrian uses his scorpion tail to kill him. The episode ends before revealing the actual murder.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: The episode opens with Teams RWBY and JNR on route to their mission while interspersed with a flashback of them receiving their mission briefing, collecting their upgraded weapons and armour, and receiving their new outfits.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Upon encountering a waiting Tyrian at the end of the episode, a frightened Forest asks who he is. Tyrian says "I'm someone just like you! Someone who wants to mix things up around here!" before he kills Forest off-screen.
  • Power Fist: Harriet Bree's weapons are a pair of gauntlets connected by an exoskeleton around her arms. They're strong enough to shatter a caved-in mining shaft.
  • Rubber Man: Vine Zeki can create an Aura-based projection of his arms and hands, which can elongate like animated vines. He can use these to swing about areas and close the distance between himself and his opponents.
  • Skewed Priorities: Vine warns everyone to be cautious around the Dust deposits because if they go off, it will ruin the launch site of the Amity Communications Tower. Marrow protests that it will also vaporise everyone before demanding why that's always a secondary priority for Vine.
  • So Last Season: Before embarking on their first mission of Volume 7, Teams RWBY and JNR obtain weapon upgrades, new outfits and even new haircuts, completely changing the way they look and what their weapons can do compared to previous volumes.
    • Ruby's weapon, Crescent Rose, now has a blade that can swivel horizontally without her having to change her grip on the handle.
    • Weiss's weapon, Myrtenaster, can now shoot projectiles at distant targets without relying on glyphs.
    • Yang's weapon, Ember Celica, has been restored to two gauntlets. Yang can now make use of small explosive shots that stick to targets and detonate remotely.
    • Jaune's weapon, Crocea Mors, loses the straps in favour of a magnetic lock and receives the ability to transform the shield into a Deflector Shield via Hard Light. Jaune is even able to use the new shield as a glider.
    • Ren's weapon, StormFlower, now has the ability to function as a pair of bladed chain whips, allowing the bladed parts of the gun to detach from the rest of the gun.
  • Speed Blitz: Harriet's speed-based Semblance allows her out-race everyone else. She demonstrates this during the fight with the Petra Gigas, where she uses short bursts of great speed to dodge and distract the Grimm while her colleagues attack from other angles.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: When the Ace Ops finishes off the Geist with co-ordination and team-work, the screen splits into a shot of all five of them.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: When Dust tumbles from the side of a tunnel, Qrow spots it and yells out a warning to Clover. However, the Dust falls and explodes seemingly before Clover can react. When the smoke clears, it's revealed that the Dust miraculously missed Clover, causing a massive sinkhole in the ground in front of him but leaving him completely unharmed. When Qrow sourly tells Clover that his often uncontrollable Semblance causes misfortune, Clover calmly tells him that his Semblance causes good fortune. The implication is that Qrow's Semblance caused the Dust to fall and explode while Clover's Semblance prevented anyone from being hurt.


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