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Recap / RWBY V5 E13 "Downfall"

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Volume 5, Episode 13:

"Had enough yet?"
Written by Miles Luna & Kerry Shawcross
Directed by Kerry Shawcross, Gray G. Haddock & Miles Luna

Raven: You turned yourself into a monster just for power.
Cinder: Look who's talking...

The fight for Haven continues, but now it's time for our heroes to turn the tides, especially now that a long lost ally has returned with an army at her back.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Attack Backfire: Hazel tries to fry Nora's brain out with Lightning Dust. Unfortunately for him, Nora can absorb electricity and transfer it into physical strength.
  • Bad Boss: Adam is perfectly willing to throw the lives of his men away with a Taking You with Me just to spite Blake.
  • BFS: During their fight, Cinder and Raven both create massive swords about twice as long as they are tall. The clash of these swords creates a shockwave that causes parts of the ceiling to start collapsing.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: With his men cornered by Blake, the entirety of Menagerie, and the Mistral police, Adam attempts to set off bombs to kill everyone there, including himself and his followers, rather than let Blake win. Unfortunately for him, Ilia disarmed the explosives ahead of time. One of his men even calls him out when he realizes what Adam just tried to do.
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  • Big "NO!": Emerald shouts "NO!" as she attempts to stop Yang from going down to the vault.
  • Bullfight Boss: True to his Animal Motif, Blake takes down Adam this way: waiting for him to charge, Shadow stepping at the last moment, and then hammering him in the back.
  • Call-Back: Adam justified his killing Sienna Khan and not giving Hazel a heads-up by saying, "This was my business." When Blake's army and the Mistral Police show up and Adam demands Hazel's help, the older man just says, "This is your business."
  • Cliffhanger: Raven has defeated Cinder and opened the vault door. Just as she is about to step forward there is a noise behind her. Upon turning, it's revealed Yang has caught up to her. The two women glare at each other as the episode ends.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Hazel easily takes out Ren and Qrow and also floors Ozpin with little effort, but it's clear that's strictly from being powered up on Dust. Ozpin gets in a lot of hits that are less effective than normal through a combination of Hazel overdosing on Lightning Dust crystals and him now being in the body of a fourteen year old boy. The tables only turn once Hazel accidentally powers up Nora's Semblance when he tries to electrocute her, allowing her to convert his electricity into physical strength that outmatches his.
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  • Dies Wide Open: Vernal's final act is to fire her weapon long enough to distract Cinder and allow Raven to defeat her. She dies staring in that direction with her eyes wide open. Raven thanks her then gently closes her eyes.
  • Due to the Dead: Raven takes a moment to close Vernal's eyes and thank her for using her dying act to distract Cinder long enough for Raven to defeat her.
  • Elemental Powers: During their fight Raven and Cinder both favor certain elements when using their Maiden powers. Raven used ice, wind, and electricity while Cinder used fire and earth.
  • Entitled Bastard: When Adam ruins Hazel's plan to work with Sienna Khan by killing Sienna, Hazel protests that no one needed to die and Adam should have told him about this plan. Adam retorts that Hazel had no reason to be told because White Fang matters are his problem, not Hazel's. When the Mistral Police and Menagerie Faunus surround Adam during the battle of Haven, Adam demands Hazel help the White Fang fight off the Faunus and the police they brought with them. Hazel refuses by throwing Adam's previous words back in his face, stating it's Adam's business, not his.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Raven is no saint by any means, being a Social Darwinist bandit who cares little about who is hurt by her actions, but it doesn't stop her from being disgusted by Cinder and how far she's willing to go for power, up to and including replacing her arm with that of a Grimm; she even flat-out calls Cinder a monster.
  • Facepalm Of Doom: Raven defeats Cinder by hitting her straight on the face with an electricity-infused palm. This also destroys the faceplate covering Cinder's left eye.
  • Feel No Pain: Hazel's Semblance makes him immune to pain. This is what allows him to directly inject Dust crystals into his arms without ill effect.
  • Healing Factor: Jaune's Semblance uses his own Aura to recharge the Aura of another, allowing them to use their Aura to heal their own injury. Weiss also seems to take advantage of the Aura boost to summon her Queen Lancer construct.
  • Hypocrite: Hazel's sister was accepted into Beacon Academy over his objection that she was a child who wasn't ready for the academy. When she died on a training mission, Hazel blamed Ozpin for her death. While he rages that Ozpin is an evil monster for placing the children in life-threatening situations, he refuses to take responsibility for his willingness to kill the innocent Oscar solely for being Ozpin's new host, and he has no problem attacking any child who is fighting him or trying to kill Nora by electrocuting her for as long as he can.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Hazel gets stabbed through the abdomen by the tail of Weiss's summoned Queen Lancer, and proceeds to get pulled back into the building he was thrown out of.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: Cinder and Raven throw everything they possess at each other when they fight in Haven Academy's underground vault. They spend part of the fight battling on the floor of the vault until the scale of their battle forces them to move locations. As they are both Maidens, much of their battle involves the use of enormous magical power which includes the ability to fly. It shakes the very ground above their heads, loosening massive stalactites that hang from the roof of the cave they're in. As the stalactites begin to fall, they jump from rock to rock. Cinder slices through stone in her attempt to reach Raven, who kicks her through several large boulders. The fight ends as the stalactite they're on slams into the vault floor, depleting both of their Auras in the process.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Dread in the Air", Adam justified not telling Hazel about his plan to murder Sienna Khan and take over the White Fang on the grounds that White Fang matters are his business, not Hazel's. When Adam demands that Hazel help him fight off the Menagerie Faunus and Mistral police force, Hazel refuses, throwing Adam's words back in his face.
    Hazel: This is your business, not mine. Fix it.
  • Last Breath Bullet: Just before she dies of her impalement, Vernal shoots at Cinder's back. It's not enough to actually kill her, but with some distraction by Raven, it's enough to allow the final blow.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Grimm have long been established to not have Aura, so it makes sense that Cinder's Grimm arm can't be protected by hers.
    • Hazel's Feel No Pain Semblance allows him to tap into Dust directly without being distracted by the pain of having giant crystals shoved into his arms. However, he still takes damage just like anyone else, the lack of pain simply means he can keep going as if his body hasn't been hurt. When he does receive an injury, it tends to catch him off-guard: Nora suddenly powering up and throwing him off her when he accidentally super-charges her lightning-absorbing Semblance and Weiss striking him from behind with a summoned Queen Lancer's tail stinger both leave him visibly befuddled even though he isn't feeling pain from the injuries.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: The fight between Raven and Cinder is so intense that it eventually shatters both of their Auras, removing their ability to supernaturally absorb damage. When Raven defeats Cinder, she throws Cinder off a ledge into a deep, dark chasm, and freezes her body to solid ice for good measure.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Hazel's comment about how the resistance Adam and the White Fang is facing is their business seems to be an echo of Adam's line to Hazel after Sienna's assassination.
    • Near the end of their duel, Raven throws back Cinder's earlier comment on how Raven's reputation for being strong and clever were wrong by saying that if Cinder was "Stronger or more clever, then maybe you'd remember to watch your back!"
  • Midfight Weapon Exchange: When their battle first takes to the air, Raven and Cinder end up letting go of their swords. They each grab the other's weapon without missing a beat to continue fighting.
  • Mundane Solution: Blake takes a Menagerie force of Faunus to Haven to stand against the White Fang assault on Haven, led by Adam. Although being confronted by a small army of Faunus angry with the violent tactics he claims to use on their behalf, that isn't what kills his plans: it's Blake's mother arriving with the Mistral Police Force to arrest Adam that makes him and his followers realise there's no sensible way out of the situation they're in.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Hazel makes it clear that his faction and the White Fang's goals are separate from one another. He tells Adam not to worry over the battle inside and leaves him to fend for himself when the Faunus of Menagerie show up.
  • Not So Different: Cinder attempts to claim she and Raven aren't so different when they fight over the Relic of Knowledge. When Raven calls Cinder a monster (for her Grimm arm), Cinder retorts "Look who's talking!" She doesn't, however, attempt to explain why she thinks Raven has become as monstrous as she is or why she thinks Raven pursues power as obsessively as she does.
  • Oh, Crap!: As she's falling to her apparent doom, and being frozen solid by Raven, the look on Cinder's face is one of pure shock and terror.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: When their duel takes into the air, Raven and Cinder's clashing causes excess power to surround in the form of particles. Cinder's are red from fire while Raven's are blue from ice. They go out after their swords clash and break.
  • Out-Gambitted: When the Faunus of Menagerie show up to Haven Adam decides to pull a Taking You with Me by blowing up the school. Blake thwarts him by having Ilia disarm the bombs beforehand.
  • Pun-Based Title: Cinder Fall ends up falling down into a pit.
  • Punched Across the Room: A supercharged Nora hits Hazel with her hammer so hard, he's sent flying out of Haven Academy's entrance, right in front of Adam and the White Fang.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • Jaune's Semblance allows him to use his Aura to amplify the Auras of other people. This worries Nora who thinks he'll run out of Aura by doing this. When Pyrrha first unlocked his Aura, she commented that he had a lot of it and Jaune speculates that this must be because of the nature of his Semblance; with so much Aura, he won't run out when empowering others.
    • Ozpin says the only reason Hazel is able to inject so much Dust into his body without ill-effect is because his Semblance allows him to feel no pain.
  • Stealth Pun: The title, "Downfall", refers to Cinder's defeat. More subtly, it also refers to the fact that she, a character with the surname Fall, literally falls down into a pit.
  • Taking You with Me: Adam spitefully tries to detonate the explosives covering the CCT so that the bomb damage will take out Blake, the Menagerie Faunus and the Mistral police for surrounding him. It would also take out himself and his men in the process, just to make sure "everyone loses".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: During the scene where all four members of Team RWBY are finally reunited, the remaining combatants of Cinder's group, Emerald and Mercury, are seen just watching the event unfold without interrupting, despite both Ruby and Yang having their backs turned at them. Emerald and Mercury seem to be at a loss with the extra commotion outside from the arrival of forces to defend Haven and only shake themselves out of their stupor when Yang races past them to go after Raven and Cinder.
  • Uncertain Doom: At the end of the fight between Cinder and Raven, Raven manages to force Cinder over a cliff edge. As she watches Cinder plummet into the abyss below, Raven lifts her hand and freezes Cinder's falling body solid. Previous episodes have shown that it's possible for a Maiden to break free of another Maiden's ice, and that Cinder can fly; the episode does not confirm her death, only that she's last seen in a dire situation.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: When Adam tries to detonate the bombs on the CCT prematurely, he clicks the trigger a few more times in confusion when the explosion doesn't come.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When the Lightning Dust-powered Hazel has his grip on Nora, her skeleton becomes briefly visible. This can be seen other times throughout the last few episodes of Volume 5, as well, most notably when Hazel takes Qrow out of the fight as Qrow takes a hit meant for Oscar/Ozpin and when Hazel sends Ren flying into the wall.
  • You Monster!: Raven outright calls Cinder this for being willing to graft a Grimm arm onto her body.


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