To me, the problem with Cinder then Salem is that they spent two volumes painting Cinder as this endgame final boss threat, and then they shifted to her being the Darth Vader to the Palpatine. They needed to establish Cinder working for somebody, like she reports to someone with a phone call or establish she’s a middleman. Alternatively, get rid of Mercury and Emerald or have it be she didn’t recruit them because 1 and 2 painted those three as “the main villain and her henchmen.All you need to do is cut all mentions or hints of Salem and have Jaune hurl himself with Cinder out the tower while Adam just runs away making a "this isn't over Blakeuuu!!!" if the goal is to just end the series at Volume 3 (with Blake and Adam's history relegated to a spin-off). Cinder already was enough of a "big evil" for the series at that point, even accepting that supposedly Salem was a Monty character (and even then it's embarrassingly obvious that what Salem turned out to be doesn't fit with what we're told in the earliest talk on Remnant/Ozpin's history).
Actually, build on that spin-off pitch. Instead of making the universe forced to revolve around RWBY just accept that their story, as a team anyway, really ended in Volume 3. Have say, Volume 7 happen with Team FNKI stepping in against Jacques' schemes that snowballs into driving off Salem's minions. And so on.
Speaking of Ozpin, I'm telling you, the headcanon where he was "Evil" or at least a chessmaster treating everyone around him as pawns in a huge game of chess wouldn't have taken off like it did if he was a milf lady ala Glynda (or even if Glynda was there in Ozpin's place).
As for Ozpin, the problem isn’t that he’s a dude. The problem relies on Volume 5 revealing what little agency Ruby and company have, and continuing to have a bunch of shady shit done while hand waving it with some bullshit about “choice”.