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Playing With / Welcome Back, Traitor

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Basic Trope: Party member changes sides, then changes their mind and is welcomed back with open arms.

  • Straight: Markus reveals that he's actually an assassin from The Empire, backstabs Hiro, and takes off. Hiro and the rest track him down, beat him up, and welcome him back into their ranks.
  • Exaggerated: Markus killed Jack and Aniline, torched Hiro's Doomed Hometown, and dropkicks Buck the Flaming Hare. Hiro still takes him back.
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  • Downplayed: Markus, Hiro, and their friends are all goths and hate preps. Because they're teenagers, they consider it to be very Serious Business. One day Markus comes to school in a pink polo with a popped collar and starts hanging with the preps, participates in their teasing of goths, and tells them some of his friends' secrets. When he realizes that's just not him, his goth friends give him the silent treatment for a couple days, then forgive him and invite him back into their clique.
  • Justified:
    • Markus has skills they need to take down The Empire.
    • Markus only tried to betray Hiro because The Emperor threatened to kill his family if he didn't. Hiro and the rest of the party agree they'd have done the same in his place.
    • Markus was brain-washed.
    • It was a big misunderstanding: Markus overheard Hiro planning to firebomb a civilian center to kill Imperial Soldiers stationed there ... but missed the part where Hiro explained that the town was excavated.
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  • Inverted: Reformed, but Rejected.
  • Subverted: Hiro and the rest of the party take Markus back... then turn him over to the authorities at their earliest convenience or if that's not possible, beat the tar out of him and leave him by the side of the road.
  • Double Subverted: Hiro leaves Markus on his own after refusing entrance to the team... but returns later, usually in a Big Damn Heroes moment, to accept him anyway.
  • Parodied: Markus backstabs Hiro, then apologizes. The team takes him back. Markus backstabs him again, then apologizes. The team takes him back. Wash, rinse, repeat. Bonus points if Markus looks like Grí­ma Wormtongue.
  • Zig Zagged: Hiro and Sarah forgive Markus immediately, but Nathan, Candy and Buck don't, while Blaze and Wendy aren't sure what to think.
  • Averted: Markus doesn't want to come back, nor does Hiro ask him.
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  • Enforced: Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn, tell us the lesson that we must learn: Forgiveness!
  • Lampshaded: Hiro: "Markus, I welcome you back because that's what heroes do. We forgive people. Now let's see if you can keep that forgiveness."
  • Invoked: Hiro's first impulse isn't to welcome Markus back, but he's trying to be a better hero so he does it anyway.
  • Exploited: Markus felt safe betraying Hiro because he knew he'd be accepted back into the fold if his Face–Heel Turn went pear-shaped.
  • Defied: Hiro: "Markus, I should let you rejoin us. I should forgive you, as it is the way of a hero... But I will never forgive you, you backstabbing weasel!"
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Markus's actions — and the way the heroes accepted him back so easily — reflect poorly on the party as a whole. Civilians who heard of his misdeeds distrust the team and are much less willing to help them out. Emperor Evulz takes advantage of this by claiming Markus was still working for him during a key battle, distracting the team with new waves of suspicion and distrust.
    • While Markus is accepted back, the team members no longer trust him. They treat him like dirt, ignore his existence, and any suspicion in the future will be pointed directly toward him.
  • Reconstructed: After being Easily Forgiven, Markus works to prove himself worthy of that trust and becomes a faithful, loyal companion.

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