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Recap / RWBY V5 E10 "True Colors"

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Volume 5, Episode 10:

True Colors
"We did this."
Written by Miles Luna & Kerry Shawcross
Directed by Kerry Shawcross, Gray G. Haddock & Miles Luna

Blake: Why do you feel like we have to hurt people to get our way?!
Ilia: Because it works!
Blake: That doesn't make it right!

Ruby talks relics with Ozpin and Qrow while Raven meets with Leo. Meanwhile, the attack on the Belladonna house is still going on. Blake and Ilia fight for their ideals.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Calling back to Ilia's claims about humans either actively hating Faunus or standing back and letting the hate happen, Blake turns it around as part of her Rousing Speech to the locals of Menagerie, pointing out that, just like the humans they condemn, they stand back and let the hate happen and are just fine with ignoring the White Fang's actions as long as they don't directly affect them, which is not going to make things better for the Faunus in the long run unless they stop Adam from razing Haven Academy.
  • Apathetic Citizens: When the locals come running to the Belladonnas' burning home, Blake informs them that this was an attack on Faunus by other Faunus and that if the people of Menagerie really do want to be free of violence they have to stop violent Faunus speaking in their name, as it will only make things worse for the Faunus in the long run. She tells them that she has no idea how to stop the hate but that she's going to go to Haven anyway to protect the humans against the White Fang, and that she'll stand alone if she has to.
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Blake and Ilia fight, Blake demands to know whether Ilia thinks her current violent actions are what her parents would have wanted for her. Ilia bursts into tears, confessing that she doesn't know what to do any more.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: During their fight, Ilia turns off the lighting in the room and uses her camouflage ability to blend in with the shadows so that even Blake's night vision cannot see her. Blake's response is to set her parents' house on fire to counter Ilia's ability. The remainder of the fight between the White Fang, Blake's family and Sun occurs in a room full of flames.
  • Blade Lock: When Ilia and Blake lock blades, they're evenly matched. Ilia sends an electrical current through her whip into Blake's sword, forcing Blake to drop her weapon. Shortly afterwards, Ilia tries the same trick when she and Sun lock weapons. However, her weapon had previously been frozen by Blake, causing the electrical pulse to malfunction. Sun uses the opportunity to disarm her and smash her into a pillar.
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  • Blunt "Yes": After the fight, when Blake speaks to the local Faunus, telling them what's at stake if they ignore what the White Fang will do to Haven Academy, she tells them that she'll stand alone against the White Fang if she has to. Ilia immediately volunteers to stand with her. Saber demands to know if Blake is just going to forgive Ilia for everything she's done and Blake very simply replies that, yes, she is.
  • Call-Back:
    • In Volume 1, both Cardin's team and Velvet are introduced during an incident where Cardin's team are bullying Velvet for having rabbit ears. While Teams RWBY and JNPR comment on Team CRDL's behaviour with disgust and sympathise with the plight of the Faunus, none of them intervene to help Velvet. Ilia is driven by the belief that there are two types of human: those that hate and those that let the hate happen. When Blake lectures the citizens of Menagerie, she focuses on hate. She tells them that they want simple answers to complicated questions and she has no idea how to make the hate go away. What she does know is that if Faunus want to be free of violence, they have to stop allowing the White Fang to commit violence in their name.
    • When locals begin volunteering to go to Haven and protect the humans against the White Fang, Kali and Ghira observe they're going to need provisions and weapons and transport for a lot of people to get them all to Mistral. Blake comments that she knows a ship's captain who owes them a favour, referring to her trip from Sanus to Menagerie, where she and Sun helped save the ship they were travelling on from a Sea Dragon Grimm.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Ilia turns out the lights and uses her color-changing ability to her advantage against Blake. She blends into the shadows so thoroughly that even Blake, with her Innate Night Vision, can't see her.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Blake manages to get through to Ilia about how wrong her support of Adam is by making Ilia focus on what her parents would have thought of the actions she was now taking in their name. A distraught Ilia confesses that she doesn't know what to do anymore. When Blake tells the people of Menagerie that she doesn't have a clue how to make hate go away, and that as a starting point, Faunus have to stop permitting the White Fang to use violence in their name, she emphasizes that she'll stand alone against the White Fang if she has to. Ilia immediately offers to stand with her to protect Haven, triggering other Faunus to step forward and volunteer as well.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: When Raven talks to Leo about selling Ozpin out to Salem and her minions, Leo laments that he's done things that Ozpin will never forgive him for. Raven tries to assure him that he did what was necessary to survive. Leo, on the other hand, asks Raven who's she trying to convince.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Ghira props up a huge wooden balcony that is about to collapse on top of Ilia. Sun uses two of his clones to help manage the weight Ghira's bearing. When Fennec launches himself at Ghira, Blake manages to lasso her father and pull him free just in time for the balcony to collapse on top of Fennec.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Having tried every other argument to convince Ilia that she's wrong to follow Adam, Blake finally asks Ilia if her parents would approve of what she's doing. Ilia instantly breaks down in tears, admitting she doesn't know what else to do.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Leo admits to Raven how distraught he is about how he's supporting Salem, feeling that he's done things Ozpin should never forgive him for. Although she tries to tell Leo that he did what was necessary to survive, he counters it by asking her who she's trying to convince.
  • Neutral No Longer: The Faunus of Menagerie came to live there because they were fed up of fighting and struggling and just wanted to be left alone by the world. After the White Fang attack on the Belladonna family, Blake convinces these Faunus that they have to get involved in the fight, otherwise what the White Fang are doing in their name is going to make things permanently worse for all the Faunus. They begin forming a militia to defend Haven Academy against the White Fang.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Corsac's Villainous Breakdown after Fennec's death has him loudly blame the Belladonnas for ruining everything despite the fact that the Fang were trying to murder them over what was quickly becoming a doomed effort and the Albains' were ordered to kill them by someone that they put in charge to begin with.
    • Raven never acknowledges that it's her own actions that led to her selling Ozpin and his allies out, insisting that she did what was necessary to survive. Leo calls out Raven on this by asking her who's she trying to convince.
  • The Pardon: At the end of the episode, Ilia wants to help Blake protect Haven from the White Fang but Saber wants to arrest her for the attack on the Belladonna home. Blake tells him to let her go and is backed up by Ghira. Saber isn't happy, but does free Ilia.
  • Restrained Revenge: Once it's settled that Ilia will be allowed to help Blake fight against the White Fang at Haven, Sun comes over to her and points out that, among other things, she stabbed him. He then promptly pinches her on the arm and tells them they're now even.
  • Rousing Speech: Blake gives one to the Faunus of Menagerie after the White Fang attacks the Belladonna home, which is what finally encourages them to overcome their Bystander Syndrome and help her.
    Blake: Humans didn't do this. We did this. Faunus. We did this to ourselves. We're just as capable of hate and violence as the humans, but I don't think any of us would jump at the chance to point that out. So why are we letting Adam do it for us? By doing nothing and staying silent, we let others speak and act in our place. And if we're not proud of the choices they make, then we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is the message Adam Taurus will bring to the world if no one stops him. But we can stop him! You have to understand that all of you are looking for simple answers to a very complicated problem, and I can't give that to you. I don't know how to make hate go away, I don't. But I know that this kind of violence is not the solution. I understand that to ask you to leave your homes and protect Haven Academy is asking you to put your lives at risk, but that's what's at stake. So I'm going, and I'll stand by myself if I have to.
  • Save the Villain: During Sun and Ilia's fight, they struggle against a pillar that begins to collapse. An entire section of a balcony collapses on top of Ilia, but is held off by Ghira. He holds off the weight long enough for Ilia to escape, but struggles to do anything further to extricate himself from the position he's now in. Sun sends in two of his clones to try and ease the load but it needs Blake to lasso him with her weapon's ribbons and pull him free before it can collapse on him.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: The Albain brothers manipulated Adam into taking over the White Fang and kill Sienna Khan, and carried out his orders to assassinate Blake's parents. In the end, all they managed to achieve is getting Fennec killed, getting Corsac arrested, and turning Menagerie on the White Fang. When Saber Rodentia asks Corsac this very question as he's being taken away, Corsac simply hangs his head, indicating that it wasn't worth it.

"We're going to need shields, training, whatever we can do to protect as many people as possible."