Directed by Connor Pickens
Between missions, training, and rising political unrest, these fledgling huntsmen and huntresses have quite a lot on their hands.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Batman Gambit: After discussing with Watts, Jacques furthers his plans by shutting down all non-essential SDC facilities in Mantle as a result of Ironwood's "illegal" embargo, putting many people in Mantle out of work. While he notes that Robyn is incapable of restoring their jobs, Jacques promises to restore their jobs and stop the embargo should they elect him into the Council. Through these efforts, Watts successfully destroys Ironwood's credibility and triggers riots and chaos in Mantle.
- Flaw Exploitation: Maiden powers pass on the basis of the person who is last in the thoughts of a dying Maiden. If it's an eligible young woman, the powers pass to her; if it's someone who is ineligible, including a woman who is too old, the powers will pass to a random young woman somewhere in Remnant. Fria is a very old woman who is bedridden and dying; Ironwood exploits the situation by confining her to a military-protected environment where her only permitted visitor is Winter Schnee. Ironwood is hoping that Winter will be the person in Fria's thoughts as she dies, thereby passing the Maiden powers to a woman he can completely trust.
- Funny Background Event: Or rather foreground event◊. When one of the mothers is hitting on Jaune, the kid crossing (likely hers due to sharing the same skin, hair, and color scheme), looks back, sees it, and seems completely disgusted.
- Gunboat Diplomacy: Robyn and her Huntresses block the road, forcing a confrontation with Clover's unit over the construction supplies that are being diverted from Mantle's perimeter defences. As Ruby and Qrow prepare to fight them, however, Penny stands on top of the vehicle with six of her swords drawn to Robyn. Although she mocks Penny for being the Protector of Mantle, Robyn orders her people to stand down, allowing the truck to continue its journey.
- Heroic Fatigue: With Teams RWBY and JNR now being fully-licensed Huntresses and Huntsmen, they undertake more and more missions and are implied to be required to get up earlier than usual. All the kids start to experience notable fatigue until even the normally enthusiastic Ruby eventually begins to struggle with drowsiness during a simple (but protracted) supply run.
- Irony: When Jaune first joined Beacon Academy, he was a Casanova Wannabe who attempted to flirt with every girl he met. They all rejected or ignored his advances; Pyrrha was the one girl who was interested in him, but Jaune didn't realise until just before her death. In this episode, his first job as an official Huntsman involves him guarding young children as they travel to school; this earns him a great deal of attention from local girls, who giggle and swoon in his presence, and mothers who keep giving him home-cooked casseroles in gratitude for his help. Now that he has the attention, he finds it awkward and embarrassing rather than flattering.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While Jacques exploits Ironwood's embargo to shift blame from himself for shutting down non-essential facilities to protect his profits, the reason his words are effective is that Mantle was already suffering from Ironwood's decisions. Ironwood is aware of the growing hatred towards him in Mantle but feels it's an acceptable price to pay in pursuit of his goal to defeat Salem.
- Luminescent Blush: When Team JNR and Oscar train against Team FNKI, Neon is full of compliments after the session is over. When she winks at Oscar and mentions how the cute little farmboy had a few surprises for them, Oscar's cheeks turn bright red and he responds with a nervous laugh.
- Mood Whiplash: Most of the episode revolves around the heroes settling into Atlas Academy and working as official Huntsmen, along with getting trained by the Ace Ops. Asides from a defused fight against Robyn, the mood of the episode is light, with plenty of time given to depicting the bonds between various characters... until Winter takes Weiss to see the Winter Maiden. After Winter reveals that the Winter Maiden's due to die any day - and that Ironwood has groomed Winter herself to inherit the powers - a news broadcast shows Jacques announcing that he's closed all "non-essential" SDC facilities as a result of the embargo, and promised the citizens to restore them should he be elected. By the end of the episode, Winter fears that their father has successfully lit the spark of revolution as Mantle citizens begin to riot.
- Mrs. Robinson: Jaune takes up a job escorting very young children to school, with their mothers fawning over him as he does. One mother shoves a casserole into his hands while shyly looking away and blushing, and from what Jaune says as he awkwardly tries to refuse it, it's far from the first time.
- The Reveal: Weiss is introduced to the plight of the Winter Maiden, an elderly woman called Fria who is on her deathbed and could die at any moment. What Weiss and the viewers quickly discover is that Fria is being kept in isolation with Winter Schnee as her only permitted visitor. Ironwood is attempting to control who inherits the Maiden powers by trying to force Winter to be the person Fria last thinks of when she dies.
- Sadistic Choice: At the end of the episode, Jacques furthers Watts's plans by shutting down all non-essential jobs in the SDC. He subsequently gives the citizens of Mantle an option to either stay unemployed or elect him into the council if they want their jobs restored.
- Take a Third Option: In the previous episode, Jacques was faced with a decision to either sacrifice his chance for voter support by laying off his Mantle workforce to recoup his lost profits or keep his workforce employed to ensure votes but continue suffering financially. Then Watts turns up to discuss their common problem: Ironwood. At the end of this episode, Jacques shuts down all "non-essential" SDC facilities as a result of the embargo and frames Ironwood as a problem both he and Mantle workers share. Jacques promises the citizens of Mantle to restore their jobs if they elect him into the council.
- Training Montage: The first third of the episode shows a montage of the heroes receiving mission briefings from Clover, engaging in their first official missions, and training to improve their skills with the Ace Ops and Team FNKI.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Qrow tries to thank Clover for all the help he's been giving the kids, Clover tries to compliment him in return but Qrow tries to dismiss it. Clover tells him that he needs to stop deflecting compliments about himself and that he needs to know he's had a bigger positive effect on the kids than he realises.