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Recap / RWBY V5 E8 "Alone Together"

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Volume 5, Episode 08:

Alone Together
Thinking of you.
Written by Miles Luna & Kerry Shawcross
Directed by Kerry Shawcross, Gray G. Haddock & Miles Luna

"I don't know loneliness like you do. I have my own version. And, I'll bet Blake has her own version too."
Weiss Schnee

Despite development and growth, things are made tense for Team RWBY in Mistral when Ruby brings up Blake. Meanwhile, in Menagerie, Blake agrees to a nighttime meeting with Ilia.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Ilia invokes this to explain to Blake why she views the White Fang's violent actions as justified. As far as she's concerned, no humans are good or innocent - they either actively hate the Faunus or just stand back and let the hate happen.
  • The Alcoholic: Weiss outright confirms her mother turned to alcohol as a way of coping with her loveless marriage.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: When Yang assumes that Weiss doesn't understand loneliness because she comes from a large family with a lot of closeness, Weiss tells her what the Schnee family is really like to live with by using her tenth birthday as an example. Her mother shouted at her father for missing Weiss's birthday dinner, causing Jacques' temper to snap and admit that he only married her for the family name. His wife is so devastated that she turns to drink, eventually becoming a full-blown alcoholic who can never be relied on to show up or support any of Weiss' recitals or social events.
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  • Blatant Lies: Yang angrily dismisses the idea of the team missing Blake because Blake walked out on them, and storms off, leaving a perplexed Ruby and Weiss behind. Weiss later offers her a shoulder to lean on; although Yang claims she doesn't miss Blake, she holds her face in her hands and sobs that Blake wasn't there when she needed her after she lost her arm.
  • Call-Back:
    • When serving coffee, Weiss mentions that she put "Blasphemous amounts of sugar and cream" in Ruby's cup. Clearly, she's remembered how Ruby took her coffee at the end of "The Badge and the Burden Part 2", which involved five sugars.
    • Yang's angry outburst when Weiss and Ruby comment on wishing Blake was with them emphasises what Sun told Blake after he was injured by Ilia: abandoning one's friends does more harm than good.
    • Ilia's statement that humans either hate Faunus or stand back and let the hate happen calls back to "Jaunedice", where Teams RWBY and JNPR witness Velvet, a rabbit Faunus, being harassed by Cardin Winchester. While they strongly disapproved of what Cardin was doing, not even Blake intervened to stop him.
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  • Despair Event Horizon. When Weiss's parents argue about Jacques not turning up for a ten-year-old Weiss's birthday dinner, Jacques angrily tells her that he only got married to obtain the Schnee family name. Devastated by this admission, Weiss's mother takes to alochol. These days, she doesn't even try to be a parent and spends all day drinking.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The White Fang agents trying to capture Blake didn't anticipate that she would bring backup. Once a few of them leave, making the odds more even, Blake signals Sun and between the two of them they are able to subdue everyone left.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Ilia argues that the White Fang needs to use violence to achieve Faunus rights because peaceful protest doesn't work. The fact that the violent path has led to Faunus turning on other Faunus instead of achieving equality with humanity is lost on Ilia, until Blake, who is captured and on her knees in front of her, says "Yeah. Look where it gets you." Momentarily taken aback, Ilia ends her conversation with Blake and orders the Faunus to enact the next phase of the plan.
  • Gold Digger: Weiss's father actually admitted that he only married his wife for her family name when she got mad at him for missing Weiss's tenth birthday dinner. The news devastated her so much, she's been drinking ever since.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Ilia insists that killing the Belladonnas is the only way to allow the Faunus to move forward. Even ignoring the fact that Adam gave the order for no reason than murderous spite, the Albain brothers want to use this to control the Faunus, not move them forward.
  • Not So Different: Yang tells Weiss that she has no idea how lonely it is to grow up in a broken home where the surviving parent doesn't act like a parent because of his grief, forcing her to grow up by herself and be a mother to Ruby. Weiss responds by telling Yang the story of her tenth birthday: when her mother confronts her father about his habit of missing birthday dinners, Jacques revealed he didn't marry her for love, only for her family name. Her devastated mother's response was to curl up inside a bottle, leaving Weiss without a functional mother and in the hands of a loveless father. Weiss tells Yang that everyone has their own individual experience of loneliness and she suspects that Blake is lonely, too.
  • Oblivious to Love: Blake is convinced that Ilia's willingness to kill Blake's parents to prevent the Faunus and Humans becoming allies isn't the kind of person Ilia really is. Ilia retorts that Blake has no idea who the real Ilia is because she was so busy falling in love with Adam that she didn't even notice what Ilia was trying to tell her, including that Ilia was falling in love with her.
  • Parental Neglect: When discussing Yang's anger over the way Blake ran away from the team without talking to any of them first, Weiss and Yang compare notes on what it's like to grow up too soon because they're not being parented properly. Yang had to hold the family together and raise Ruby from a very young age because her mother abandoned her as a baby, Ruby's mother was killed when they were young, and her devastated father spent all his time at work. Weiss has a father that only married her mother to obtain the family name and has no interest in being a father to his children; meanwhile, her mother was so horrified at discovering she was in a loveless marriage that she crawled inside a bottle and has been far too drunk to have done any parenting for years.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Blake and Ilia meet alone, Blake desperately tries to reason with her, stating that the choices Ilia's making aren't the person she really is. Ilia retorts that Blake doesn't know her as well as she thinks she does, and her actions are exactly the kind of person she really is. She gives Blake an example of what she means by saying that Blake was so busy falling for Adam that she never noticed Ilia was falling for her. Blake is shocked into silence by this confession.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: When Blake derides Ilia and the White Fang for attacking innocents, Ilia bitterly rants that no one is innocent; she categorizes humans in two ways: those who hate Faunus and those who stand by and let the hate happen.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ilia is completely convinced that following Adam's violent orders, having Blake's parents killed and sending Blake to him, is the best way to get results for the White Fang. She doesn't know that Adam has a personal motive for killing Blake's parents, to keep his promise to Blake that he will destroy everyone she loves.
  • What Is Evil?: When Blake demands to know how Ilia can possibly think that attacking innocent people is the right thing to do, Ilia retorts that there's no such thing as innocents or "the right thing to do". She dismisses humans as either being those who hate Faunus or those who let the hate happen, and all that matters is what's best for the Faunus.
  • With Us or Against Us: Used twice by the White Fang: Any Faunus who doesn't stand with the White Fang is considered a traitor, and any human who is not racist against the Faunus is considered an enabler by inaction.

Corsac: I believe it's time our dear chieftain stepped down, brother.
Fennec: Yes brother, I'm afraid I'm inclined to agree.

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