Volume 5, Episode 9:
A Perfect Storm
Salem's forces proposition Raven Branwen, but Raven decides to change the agreement in favor of all parties. Back in Menagerie, Sun and Ghira face off against the Albain brothers while Blake runs off to find her mother.
Tropes in this episode include:
- All for Nothing: Watts points out that leaving the school a bloody mess would result in the authorities and the other kingdoms realizing the situation, increasing security at Haven, and ruining their plan to sack the school. This could fatally damage Salem's plans.
- Cain and Abel: When Cinder's team demands that Raven give them access to Vernal so that Salem can obtain the Relic of Knowledge, Raven agrees to help only if Cinder's team first kills Qrow, on the grounds that Qrow knows Raven has the Spring Maiden and will therefore know the Relic of Knowledge is vulnerable. Watts doesn't like the plan because it blows their chance of obtaining the Relic by stealth and because he can see that Cinder is only agreeing so that she can go after Ruby. Raven later creates ambiguity over whether or not she genuinely wants Qrow dead by admitting to Vernal that her plan is to set Cinder and Qrow's teams against each other, allowing her to steal the Relic to give the tribe protection from Salem.
- Blake still has the Dust cartridge Weiss gave her back in Volume 2, and makes an ice clone to temporarily halt Corsac and Fennec's movements.
- When Raven sarcastically mentions that she can't imagine anyone would consider Mercury to be a threat, he is about to retort that he framed Yang during the Volume 3 tournament; Cinder cuts him off before he can.
- Combination Attack: The Albain brothers' high tech daggers have a fire and a wind blast of energy that they use against Ghira, but Sun is able to deflect it with his staff.
- Lampshade Hanging: Raven points out that Cinder Fall is a strangely fitting name for somebody who became the Fall Maiden. She sarcastically suggests that Cinder chose her last name on purpose just to make it fit. Watts strongly implies that Raven is right.
- Neutral No Longer: Raven doesn't plan on helping Team Ozpin or Team Salem but Cinder's threat to her tribe forces her to get involved anyway. Raven's had a plan for just such an eventuality, and tells Cinder that she'll only help them obtain the Relic of Knowledge if they first agree to kill Qrow for her. Her plan is to steal the Relic and disappear with Vernal during the ensuing chaos.
- Playing Both Sides: Raven's plan is to set Salem and Ozpin's forces against each other while she swipes the artifact out from everyone's noses.
- Plot Coupon: As Watts claims, the Maidens are the only ones with the ability to retrieve the Relics. Rather than kidnapping Vernal, she and Raven could help them break in Haven Academy and steal the Relic of Knowledge. Watts admits that Salem has no further interest in the Maidens beyond their ability to obtain the Relics for her.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Watts opposes Cinder making a deal with Raven to kill Qrow in exchange for Vernal's help in getting the Relic in Haven. He notes that at the moment they can literally walk into Haven and get what they want with absolutely no trouble but killing Qrow clues in the authorities which makes their goals harder to reach. He does get talked into agreeing by Cinder pointing out that they can achieve both goals by scapegoating the White Fang for Haven's destruction and any casualties that result but he still warns her against using the opportunity to settle her grudge with Ruby.
- Reality Ensues: Raven is acutely aware of the fact that her tribe will be in serious trouble the second Salem's group gets what they want, a viewpoint not helped by Raven having acted against her in the past and Cinder casually mentioning they would have destroyed the camp if the Spring Maiden wasn't there. Helping an Omnicidal Maniac, especially one you've gotten on the bad side of previously, won't get you off of their list. Ever.
- Take a Third Option: Cinder's message to Raven from Salem is very simple: peacefully give them Vernal so that they can obtain the Relic of Knowledge or Raven and her entire tribe will be slaughtered. Raven agrees to peacefully loan them Vernal solely if they kill Qrow for her first. Cinder agrees because it'll give her a chance to go after Ruby. Once Cinder's team has gone, Raven tells Vernal the real plan will be to create as much chaos as possible between Salem's group and Qrow's group so that she and Vernal can quietly steal the Relic and disappear into the wilds with the tribe; her hope is that the Relic can be used to protect the tribe from any further retaliation by Salem.
- Weather Manipulation: Vernal proves her status as the Spring Maiden by conjuring strong winds and dark storm-clouds.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Raven negotiates to loan Cinder's team Vernal so that Salem can obtain the Relic of Knowledge so that she, Vernal and her tribe can be left to go their own undisturbed afterwards. When Vernal later asks if Raven thinks Salem will keep that promise, Raven tells her that won't happen. Raven knows that Salem only ever keeps people alive for as long as they're useful to her. Once that usefulness has ended, she kills them. As a result, Raven's real plan is to give the appearance of helping Cinder's team just long enough to set them up against Qrow, allowing her to steal the Relic in the ensuing chaos. She hopes the power of the Relic will be able to protect her tribe against Salem.