"True Colors" is the tenth episode of Volume 5 and the sixty-second episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on December 16th, 2017 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on December 19th, 2017, and was made public on December 23rd, 2017.
While Qrow Branwen and Ozpin talk, Ruby Rose walks in to inquire about the Relic at Beacon, with Cinder Fall being able to access it as the Fall Maiden. Ozpin assures Ruby that the Relic is more challenging to find than at the other schools. He then quickly answers Ruby's question if The Long Memory is the Relic, and says it is not, but it is still very important to him. Qrow then receives a call from Leonardo Lionheart to meet with him the next night, however, he and Ozpin find it suspicious.
It is then revealed that Lionheart made the call at Raven Branwen's behest. Raven asks him why he would work for Salem, to which Lionheart answers that he's afraid of her, and could tell that Raven is too. Raven, however, denies his claims, despite how she actually feels deep down.
In Menagerie, Blake Belladonna and Ilia Amitola fight, which causes the house to be set on fire. Ilia is then torn between helping Blake or the White Fang. As the battle progresses, Ghira Belladonna, Sun Wukong, and Corsac and Fennec Albain join the fray as well. Ghira and Sun save Ilia from being crushed by a collapsing balcony, only for Fennec to be killed by it in his attempt to kill Ghira. Ilia then electrocutes Corsac into unconsciousness while he tries to avenge his brother. Kali Belladonna arrives at the scene dragging an unconscious Yuma. Ilia tearfully breaks down, remorseful of her actions.
In the aftermath, a large crowd gathers outside to witness the scene. Blake gives a speech to rally them and gains the support of many Faunus, including Ilia. Ghira then notes that Adam Taurus' attack on Haven will happen in approximately two weeks, and advises that they should use the time to prepare. Blake also helps arrange for transportation.
Qrow: Things aren't looking good, Oz.
Ozpin: Ever the optimist. (sips from his cup) While I would not say our current predicament is... ideal, I think we can both agree that the situation could be much worse. Humanity is a resilient force.
Ozpin: That there are indeed a misguided few who have filled their hearts with malice. It doesn't take a great number of people to cause harm, but I still believe there are far more people in this world willing to prevent it.
Ruby: Um, excuse me?
Ozpin: Ah, Miss Rose, join us. We were just about to gather everyone to discuss our next steps.
Ruby: Oh, uh, great.
Qrow: Something on your mind kiddo?
Ruby: Uh... uh, it's... if it's okay to ask.
Qrow: Of course.
Ozpin and Qrow share a brief look with each other.
Ozpin: Very astute, Miss Rose, I was wondering who would be the first to ask. No, thankfully she does not. It's true that the Relic at Haven is very much at risk, and for now, that should remain our primary focus. Let's just say I made finding the Relic at Beacon a... bit more challenging than at the other schools.
Ruby: Oh. (sighs in relief) That's good to hear.
Ozpin: It is, but let's not forget the challenges that still lie before us.
Ozpin: Now is there anything else we can help you with?
Ruby: Oh, uh... well, I did have one more question.
Ozpin: No, my cane is not a Relic.
Ruby: I have no more questions.
They all giggle.
Ozpin: Yes, while this cane is indeed very precious to me, it is also just that - precious to me. While I admit it still has a few more tricks up its sleeve, I can firmly say that being a Relic isn't one of them. Now why don't you run and get the other students?
Qrow: Yeah? ... Okay... yeah, we'll be there. (Qrow hangs up)
Ruby: Who was it?
Qrow: (sighs while taking out his flask) It was Leo, says he had a breakthrough with the council. Thinks he might be able to get together a small raiding party for the bandits. He wants us to meet up at the school tomorrow night to walk us through it.
Ruby: (gasps and smiles) Really? Oh that's great! I'll go get the others.
Ruby runs out of the room while Qrow takes a drink from his flask.
Ozpin: Mmm, that sounds drastically different from your original conversation, does it not?
Qrow: It does.
Qrow: Things aren't looking good, Oz.
Ozpin: I know...
At Leonardo Lionheart's office, the Haven headmaster sits at his desk in front of a blue holographic screen with the text "CALL END" before deactivating. Raven Branwen stands a few feet away from him, arms crossed and smiling.
Raven: I still have questions for you.
Lionheart: You're not alone in that.
Raven: (walking in front of his desk) You know, I never expected you would be the one to have the guts to betray Oz. Which makes me wonder, what does she have on you?
Lionheart: I'm helping her for the same reason you are - I'm afraid. We... we can't stop her... no one can...
Raven: That's why I tried to leave when I did. I'm not afraid, I'm smart.
Lionheart: You can call it whatever you want, it doesn't really matter. We're here... helping her. (burying his face in his hands, sighing) I've crossed a line... I've done things that Ozpin will never forgive, and he shouldn't! I don't know where I go from here.
Raven: (placing her hands on his desk) Man up! You did what you had to do to survive, there is no shame in that.
Lionheart: Who are you trying to convince?
Raven doesn't say anything, she just leaves the room while Lionheart sadly leans back sighing.
In Menagerie, the assault on the Belladonna Family Home continues. In the darkened tea room, Kali Belladonna and a guard fire back at unseen assailants. Kali runs out of ammo in her pistol and throws it to the ground in annoyance. She then picks up a tea tray to block another shot. She looks to a wounded female guard leaning against a pillar, who just stares back.
Kali: Do you have a better idea?
Suddenly, Yuma flies in and knocks down the other guard to the ground. He wraps his hands around the guard's throat to choke him out.
Yuma: Quiet now...
Kali then lifts the tea tray above her head, and does a loud battle cry as she runs toward Yuma.
Female Guard: Ma'am, no!
Yuma lets go of the guard's neck as he looks back in surprise as Kali approaches him. The sound of a thunk is heard as it transitions to the next scene.
Blake: Did you come in here to hide?
Ilia: I told you, I didn't want this.
Blake: But you're still here!
Ilia: I don't have a choice!
Blake: Of course you do!
Ilia doesn't say anything, she just looks away.
Blake: Just... stay out of my way.
Blake puts Gambol Shroud on her back and starts walking away. Suddenly, Ilia leaps and charges at Blake but her form disappears. Blake then reappears a few feet away behind Ilia. Blake holds Gambol Shroud in a defensive stance, while Ilia begins to attack with the whip form of Lightning Lash. Blake dodges and rolls. She runs along the desks and chairs in the room as Ilia tries to use her whip to hit her. Blake manages to dodge and block Ilia's attacks, and uses her ribbon to wrap around Ilia's wrist. Ilia is pulled toward Blake, followed up with the latter kicking the chameleon Faunus to the ground. The two then lock blades with each other.
Blake: Why do you feel like we have to hurt people to get our way?!
Ilia: (grunts) Because it works!
Blake: That doesn't make it right!
Ilia pulls the trigger on her weapon, generating an electrical charge that causes Blake to drop her katana a few feet away from her. Blake pulls out her cleaver, but Ilia jumps from the desk and does a turn kick that knocks Blake over another desk, causing her to drop her weapon. Ilia whips at Blake again, but she uses her Semblance to get out of the way. Blake takes cover behind a desk.
Ilia: Stop lecturing me!!
Blake peeks from behind the desk and notices Ilia's Grimm mask left behind on the ground. Ilia quietly turns the lights off in the room, causing it to go dark. Blake quickly goes to pick up her katana while Ilia sneaks around the room camouflaged. Blake hears a creak on the floor, Ilia quickly knocks her back. Blake uses the pistol form of her weapon to shoot at Ilia, who quickly evades the shots.
Ilia: Why couldn't you just leave?!
Blake: (transforming her pistol to katana form) Because I run away too much.
Blake dodges a couple more whips from Ilia who has moved up to the balcony. As she takes cover behind the desks, Blake takes out two cartridges - one with fire Dust and the other with ice. She loads the fire Dust cartridge in her weapon and aims at the shrubbery at the top corner of the room.
Blake: Sorry, dad.
Blake fires her weapon and the spreading flames start to light up the room, revealing Ilia's location. With camouflage not an option anymore, Ilia engages Blake in combat. The two start off with a mixture of sword clashes and hand-to-hand. Blake dodges out of the way of one of Ilia's attacks and starts shooting at her with the pistol form of her weapon. Ilia deflects the shots with her whip.
Ilia: Quit taking potshots and fight me like you mean it!!
Blake dodges another one of Ilia's whips and lands on the balcony above her. She takes cover behind the railing as Ilia rants at her.
Ilia: You used to see things the way I did! The way Adam did! If no one's going to do anything to stop the humans that attack us, then the only choice we have left... is to attack back!!
Blake loads another cartridge in her pistol and begins to fire at Ilia again. Ilia deflects the shots, but when she goes to use her whip again, her weapon is frozen in place. Suddenly, a ribbon is wrapped around her weapon as Blake pulls it away and she leaps from the balcony to kick Ilia to the ground. Blake holds Ilia down.
Blake: You're wrong, there's always another choice.
Ilia struggles to get up as Blake continues to hold her down.
Blake: Ilia... please. You're a good person but you're making all the wrong decisions!
Ilia: SHUT UP!!
Blake: Is this really what your parents would've wanted?!
Ilia: (voice breaking) I don't know what else to do!!
Suddenly, Ilia ceases her struggling and her eyes start to well up.
Ilia: (sobbing) I don't know what else to do...
As Ilia continues sobbing, Blake hears a rumble. Corsac Albain is thrown through the wall, dropping his half of Cyclone and Inferno. Ghira Belladonna jumps into the room as he growls at Corsac. He then notices his daughter pinning Ilia to the ground.
Suddenly, Fennec Albain stabs Ghira in the back, who cries out in pain and slumps toward the ground.
With Blake distracted, Ilia gets her off her and kicks her into a nearby chair, knocking Blake out momentarily. Ghira then gets Fennec off his back and tosses him away as Corsac runs to him. Ghira pulls the wand out of his back and clashes fists with Corsac. The two then struggle to push each other as their hands interlock. Ilia just stares in disbelief at what's going on around her, before a voice snaps her out of her trance.
Fennec: Ilia! What are you doing?! Fight!!
Fennec pulls out another wand and charges at Ghira. The chieftain manages to push off Corsac and dodges Fennec's swipes as he begins to fight both of them at once. Fennec doges a swing then leaps at Ghira as he drives Corsac back, only be caught and tossed onto the floor. As Ghira defends himself Fennec recovers and begins to charge his weapon while the pair continue exchanging blows. Fennec then charges in again, giving a loud battle cry. Ghira notices him and grabs his wrist, pointing his weapon as it fires at Corsac, who gets blown back several feet away and is knocked unconscious.
Fennec tries to attack Ghira again, but Sun Wukong jumps in and kicks him away. Sun sees Blake struggling to get back up and clenches his fist. He then angrily glares at Ilia who continues to stand watching the fight.
Ghira: Go help Blake!
Sun: On it!
Sun pulls out Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang and engages Ilia in combat. He slams the staff down but misses, then jumps back to dodge her sweeping leg. Ilia back-flips away from his next swing and tries to kick him. Sun turns to dodge then splits his weapon, landing a blow on her back. He delivers a flurry of attacks with his shotgun nunchucks that overwhelms Ilia and leaves her open to a kick in the side. Rejoining the split halves to block Lightning Lash, which finishes thawing as they struggle. Ilia smiles before trying to shock him, only for the trigger to jam. Her eyes widen as she tries again while Sun shoves her back. She is then pushed against a pillar by Sun with a jab to the stomach. Before she can move he pins her against it with his weapon. Nearby, Fennec ducks under Ghira's claws then blocks his left arm, only to be punched back through the hole by his other hand. As Ilia struggles to get out of Sun's hold, the pillar she is getting pushed against starts to crack.
Sun and Ilia stop to look at Blake.
Blake: Please... (tears start streaming down her eyes)
Ilia manages to push Sun off her and falls to the ground as he hits the pillar. Suddenly the pillar starts to crack even more, Sun moves out of the way quickly as the balcony above Ilia starts to give way. Ilia yelps looking up in terror as the balcony is about to fall on her. Suddenly, Ghira is shown lifting the broken part of the balcony with his own strength. Ilia stares in awe.
Ilia quickly gets out of the way as Ghira is forced down on one knee to keep the balcony from falling on him. Sun uses his Semblance to summon two light clones that go and help Ghira lift. Blake grabs her katana and transforms it into kusarigama form. Unbeknownst to them, Fennec gets back up and sees his brother still unconscious. He grabs both of their wands and runs towards Ghira. Blake sees this and quickly tosses her weapon, wrapping it around her father's torso and pulls him out as Fennec lands just below the falling balcony. Fennec is then crushed by the balcony, and the Dust in the wands explode from impact, ensuring the younger Albain's death. Afterwards, Kali enters the room dragging an unconscious Yuma, who has his hands tied behind his back.
Kali drops Yuma as her daughter comes up to hug her. Their embrace is cut short as a voice gets their attention.
Corsac: (darkly) What have you done? (standing back up) You ruined everything... (inhales) EVERYTHIIIIIIING!!!
The Belladonnas and Sun take defensive stances. Corsac angrily runs forward, but suddenly, Lightning Lash wraps around his body, electrocuting him and knocking him unconscious. With the battle over, Ilia starts to cry and falls to her knees as she breaks down, with the Belladonnas and Sun looking on.
Outside of the Belladonna's home, a large crowd of Faunus gathers outside, noticing the smoke coming from the building.
Guard: Back! Everyone, stay back! We've got people inside doing their best.
From the smoky doorway, Ghira walks out carrying the motionless bodies of a White Fang soldier and a Menagerie Guard on each of his shoulders. He hands the bodies to two guards as Saber Rodentia arrives.
Saber: Get in there! Search for any stragglers!
More guards walk out keeping Corsac restrained, followed by Blake, Kali, Sun, Ilia and others.
Saber: (to Ghira) We came as soon as we got the call. (he notices Corsac being forced to his knees) And Fennec?
Ghira sadly shakes his head. Saber walks over to Corsac.
Saber: (snarkily) Was it worth it?
Corsac looks down, defeated. As the commotion continues, Blake shares brief looks with Sun and Ilia. Blake takes a deep sigh as she goes down the steps. Ghira notices his daughter walking away.
Before Ghira could go any further, his wife stops him, and both look on. Blake then stops at one of the steps as she begins to address the crowd.
Blake: Humans didn't do this. (she points at the smoke coming from her house) We did this: Faunus. We did this to ourselves. We are 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 that 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.
Ilia: I'll stand with you!
Blake turns around with a surprised look on her face as Ilia stands up. Her pained expression then looks down.
Ilia: If... if you'd have me.
Male Faunus: Isn't that the White Fang girl?
Female Faunus: I thought she hated the Belladonnas.
Despite some of the crowd's murmuring amongst themselves, Blake smiles at her old friend. As Ilia proceeds forward, Saber suddenly stops her.
Saber: You're not going anywhere!
Blake: Let her come.
Saber: Huh? You're just going to forgive her? After everything she did?!
Blake: I am.
Saber looks to Ghira, who nods to let Ilia go. Ilia continues to walk down the steps to stand next to her friend.
Saber: What does she think she's doing?
Ghira: (smiling) She's learned a lesson that evaded me until I was much older: That there is strength in forgiveness.
Blake puts a hand on Ilia's shoulder, sharing a smile together.
Mata: I'll go!!
Mata the ram Faunus steps forward and raises his hand, followed by many more.
Female Aquatic Faunus: I'll go too!
Various Faunus: I'll stand with you! I'll go!! Yeah!! Me too! Let's go! Yeah, let's go!!
As more Faunus start to give Blake their support, Sun walks down the steps to join her and Ilia. The crowd is heard cheering as a majority agree to volunteer. They all smile at the crowd.
Sun: Looks like we've got work to do.
Blake: Thank you.
Sun: (pointing to Ilia) You stabbed me.
Ilia looks down sorrowfully.
Ilia: I-- (Sun playfully pinches her arm) Ow!
Sun: There. Let's just call it even.
Ghira and Kali then walk down the steps to join their daughter and her friends.
Ghira: We have about two weeks before Adam's attack on Haven. We're going to need shields, training, whatever we can do to protect as many people as possible.
Kali: We'll need transportation too. For everyone.
Blake: (smiling) I think I know a ship captain who owes us a favor.
Sun grins and nods in agreement before the screen cuts to black.
- Blake mentions a ship captain that owes her a favor which is a callback to "Of Runaways and Stowaways", when she and Sun helped the Captain defeat the Sea Feilong.
- Miles Luna clarified that the reason Blake couldn't see Ilia in the dark despite having night vision was because of her camouflage.
- This episode marks the first time Sun has used the shotgun nunchuk form of Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang since Volume 2. The original rig that Monty Oum built in Poser was difficult to animate – the fight in "Black and White" from Volume 1 reused a short animation he had made years before – and he had built a new rig post-Volume 2 for use in future fights which ultimately went unused following his death. In this episode they are animated using a new rig built by Kim Newman.
- Main article: True Colors/Image Gallery
- Volume 5 Directors' Commentary Chapter 10