The episode picks up where "The Stray" left off, with Sun Wukong and Blake Belladonna sitting at a table at a small café. Sun celebrates that Blake has finally decided to actually talk to him for the first time during the two days they spent together. After asking Sun if he knows about the White Fang, who he describes as holier-than-thou creeps, Blake admits that she was once one of them, much to his surprise.
She then explains her past with the White Fang and its origins, starting by noting that one could say she was born into it. She continues by stating that after the Faunus Rights Revolution, the White Fang was created as a symbol of peace and unity between the Humans and Faunus. However, despite being promised equality, the Faunus were still treated as inferior, so the White Fang became the voice of their people.
Ever since childhood, Blake stood with them at every protest, boycott and rally, thinking that they were making a difference. However, five years ago, their leader was replaced by someone with violent and radical ideals. Their new leader replaced the group's peaceful protests with organized attacks and hijackings against businesses that refused to serve them or used Faunus labor. Hating what the White Fang had become, she left and decided to use her combat skills to instead become a Huntress. Sun stares, stunned, before asking if she told her friends any of this.
Meanwhile, the rest of Team RWBY have begun searching for Blake. Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long defend Blake and want to hear her side of the story, but Weiss Schnee still sees her as a criminal and suggests getting the police to help locate her, an idea which is instantly and firmly rejected. As they talk, Penny Polendina appears behind the group, complimenting Weiss' hair. She then asks what the team is doing.
They mention looking for Blake and how she has been missing since Friday, leading Penny to vow to help find her. Ruby tries to brush her off, but when she turns to Weiss and Yang for help, she finds that they have left her with Penny.
Meanwhile, Sun and Blake formulate a stakeout plan to see if the White Fang really is behind the Dust robberies, while elsewhere, Yang and Weiss continue looking for Blake. Weiss states that she is afraid of what Blake will say when they find her, noting that innocent people don't run away. After hearing this, Yang looks down in thought.
Ruby, still alone with Penny, tries to explain the situation happening with Weiss and Blake, but Penny has problems figuring out if they are friends or not, as she does not have a lot of friends. When Ruby says that Blake did not talk to them before running away, Penny states that if she did have a friend, she would want them to talk to her.
That night, Blake and Sun meet on a rooftop at the port for their stakeout, watching over a huge shipment of Schnee Dust Company Dust from Atlas. After a bit of banter, with Blake criticizing Sun for stealing food, a Bullhead lands and several White Fang members come out. Blake admits to Sun that she did believe that White Fang was behind the crimes, but did not want to be right. Roman Torchwick then leaves the jet and orders the White Fang members around, referring to them as animals. Knowing that the White Fang would never work with a human, Blake is shocked and confused.
She then proceeds to confront them by sneaking up behind Roman and placing the sharp part of the back of Gambol Shroud to his neck while aiming its pistol toward the White Fang members. When she asks them why they are working for him, Roman says it is part of a business venture. Soon, more Bullheads appear, distracting Blake and allowing Roman to escape her grasp by firing a shot from Melodic Cudgel near her feet. He then proceeds to fire more shots at her, and she gymnastically dodges every blast before retreating. As Roman goes after her, Sun comes out to distract him and takes out several White Fang members in the process.
Roman attempts to start a fight with Sun, but after Sun blocks the first attack, Blake leaps between them claiming the fight as hers. She repeatedly uses her Semblance in quick succession to confuse him, leaping around him while dual wielding Gambol Shroud. However, Roman is still able to keep up with her, barely managing to block all of her attacks and laughing as he lands two hits on her before he finally manages to knock her down with a third hit.
Without missing a beat, Sun jumps in and attacks Roman with the nunchucks form of Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang, but again, Roman is able to block all incoming attacks, laughing once more. However, Blake comes in for a surprise attack, knocking him away from Sun. Roman then shoots down a hanging shipping container, which lands between Sun and Blake as they dive out of the way. He takes this chance to corner Sun, aiming his cane at him.
Before he can shoot, Ruby arrives on a nearby rooftop, having been alerted by the explosion from Roman knocking Blake away, and Roman recognizes her. However, when Penny distracts Ruby, Roman exploits the distraction to attack Ruby and hits her, knocking Ruby to the ground, instantly disarming her in the process. This angers Penny, and she joins the fight, unleashing Floating Array from her back. She easily takes out a large squad of White Fang members and uses her weapon's lasers to slice through two Bullheads that were providing air support. Using the wires on her swords, she manages to drag a third one out of the sky and pull it to the ground, destroying it. Amid this, Roman escapes on a fourth Bullhead, which flies away.
After the fight, Weiss and Yang rejoin the group, and Ruby tries to resolve the differences between Weiss and Blake. However, Weiss states that in the twelve hours that she has been looking for Blake, she has had time to think and has come to the decision that she does not care about Blake's past, saying instead that the next time something big happens, she should talk to her teammates about it, instead of relying on someone else. Blake agrees and slightly sheds a tear. Weiss then tells Sun that she still does not know how she feels about him. Ruby is happy that the team is back together, but then notices that Penny is missing.
Penny is seen to be watching the scene from a car, while a man tells her that she should not be running around the city by herself. He then tells her that her "time will come" as he drives away. Meanwhile, Ozpin watches Ruby from a Scroll and gets a message from Qrow Branwen, telling him that the "Queen has pawns."
After the credits, Cinder Fall, Emerald Sustrai, and Mercury Black appear in the warehouse where Roman is hiding. Roman blames the failure on the Faunus, but she says he will continue to work with the White Fang, as "we" have big plans for Roman.
Sun: "Finally, she speaks! Nearly two days and you gave me nothing but small talk and weird looks!" (Blake gives Sun a firm look) "Yeah, like that."
Blake: (rolls her eyes before closing them and looking at him sadly) "Sun... Are you familiar with the White Fang?"
Sun: "Of course! I don't think there's a Faunus on the planet who hasn't heard of them. Stupid, holier-than-thou creeps that use force to get whatever they want. Bunch of freaks, if you ask me!"
Blake: (sips her drink while listening until she speaks up for the big reveal) "I was once a member of the White Fang."
Sun: (promptly goes cross-eyed and chokes on his drink, making him put it down and wipe his mouth as he holds up a hand to process this information) "Wait a minute, you were a member of the White Fang?!"
Blake: "That's right. I was a member for most of my life, actually. You could almost say I was born into it..."
The scene shifts to a simple silhouetted flashback of fallen weapons plunged into the ground - swords, guns, any number of combinations.
Blake: (off-screen) "Back then, things were different. In the ashes of war, the White Fang was meant to be a symbol of peace and unity between Humans and the Faunus."
The audience is shown the dark outlines of two trios - animal-eared and tailed Faunus on one side, regular Humans on the other - shaking hands and making peace after their struggle. This does not last long, as seen by a white Faunus cowering in fear of the gray-and-black aggressors harassing the hybrid. Later, more Faunus are pushing the crowd away from their bullied brethren.
Blake: (off-screen) "Of course, despite being promised equality, the Faunus were subjected to discrimination and hate. Humanity still thought of us as lesser beings. And so, the White Fang rose up as a voice of our people. And I was there."
Silhouettes of Faunus protestors are revealed, and emerging from the shadows is a young girl with dark hair and cat ears.
Blake: (off-screen) "I was at the front of every rally. I took part in every boycott. I actually thought we were making a difference. But I was just a youthful optimist."
Cutting from the child version of Blake, the blue flag of a white wolf with sad eyes and a circle behind its head is lowered, and raised in its stead is a red monster with three bloody scratches and teeth bared at the world.
Blake: (off-screen) "Then, five years ago, our leader stepped down, and a new one took his place. A new leader, with a new way of thinking."
A quick series of images are shown - Faunus replacing their picket signs with axes and blades, windows being broken, thieves leaping on trains to steal their cargo.
Blake: (off-screen) "Suddenly, our peaceful protests were being replaced with organized attacks. We were setting fire to shops that refused to serve us, hijacking cargo from companies that used Faunus labor. And the worst part was, it was working. We were being treated like equals. But not out of respect... out of fear."
The flashback shows one more image of three Faunus individuals standing in a dominating manner with malicious grins until Blake puts down her teacup in front of a stunned Sun.
Blake: "So, I left. I decided I no longer wanted to use my skills to aid in their violence, and instead, I would dedicate my life to becoming a Huntress. So here I am: a criminal hiding in plain view, all with the help of a little black bow." (she wiggles her cat ears beneath the fashionable disguise to demonstrate)
Sun: (coming to terms with this) "So... have you told your friends any of this?"
Blake merely looks down in shame and says nothing.
Ruby: (shouting) "Blaaaake!"
Yang: (also calling out) "Blaaaake!"
The scene transitions to Ruby, Yang, and Weiss walking through town and calling in vain for their missing teammate.
Ruby: (continuing to scream) "Blaaaaaaaake! Where aaaare yoooouuuu!?"
Ruby: (turning on Weiss) "Weiiiiss, you're not helping!"
Weiss: "Oh! You know what might be able to help? The police!"
Ruby: (crossing her arms in irritation) "Ugh, Weiss..."
Weiss: "It was just an idea!"
Ruby: (walking down the sidewalk) "Yeah, a bad one."
Yang: (following behind Ruby) "Weiss, I think we should hear her side of the story before we jump to any conclusions."
Weiss: (following behind Yang) "I think that when we hear it, you'll all realize I was right!"
Penny: (following behind Weiss) "And I think Weiss' hair looks wonderful today!"
Ruby: (turning around suddenly with her team in surprise) "Aaaah! Penny! Where did you come from!?"
Penny: (cheerfully ignoring the question) "Hey guys! What are you up to?"
Yang: "We're looking for our friend Blake."
Penny: "Ooooh, you mean the Faunus girl!"
Ruby, Weiss, and Yang stare at Penny.
Ruby: "Wait, how did you know that?"
Penny: "Uhh, the cat ears?" (points to her head)
Yang: (laughing a little) "What cat ears? She wears a... boooohhh..."
The realization leaves them in silence as a tumbleweed blows through in the wind.
Ruby: (whispering) "She does like tuna a lot..."
Penny: "So, where is she?"
Ruby: "We don't know. She's been missing since Friday."
Penny: (gasping) "That's terrible!" (approaching an uncomfortable Ruby) "Well, don't you worry Ruby, my friend! I won't rest until we find your teammate!"
Ruby: (doing her best to continue smiling) "Uh, that's really nice of you, Penny, but we're okay! Really! Right, guys?"
She looks over Penny to direct her question at Yang and Weiss, who's blinking outlines are all that's left of their sudden departure from the company of the strange girl. A tumbleweed blows past them again in the quiet.
Penny: "It sure is windy today!"
Sun and Blake are then seen walking down an alley.
Sun: (hands behind his head) "So, what's the plan now?"
Blake: (contemplating) "I still don't believe the White Fang is behind these robberies. They've never needed that much Dust before."
Sun: (widening his eyes) "What if they did?" (lowering his arms and pacing in front of Blake as he continues his theory) "I mean... the only way to prove that they didn't do it, is to go to the place where they would most likely go to if they were to do it, and not find them there! Right?"
Blake: "The only thing is, I've no idea where that would be."
Sun: "Well, while I was on the ship, I heard some guys talking about offloading a huge shipment of Dust coming in from Atlas."
Blake: "How huge?"
Sun: "Huge. Big Schnee Company freighter."
Blake: "You're sure?"
Yang: (coming out of a shop with Weiss, waving to the person inside) "Thanks anyways!" (sighs) "This is hopeless." (at Weiss when she looks around nonchalantly) "You really don't care if we find her, do you?""
Weiss: "Don't be stupid; of course I do. I'm just afraid of what she'll say when we find her." (walks forward, calling over her shoulder:) "The innocent never run, Yang!"
Yang looks down in thought.
Penny: So, Blake is your friend?"
Ruby: (sighing as they make their way down the sidewalk) "Yes, Penny."
Penny: "But you're mad at her?"
Ruby: "Yes. Well, I'm not. Weiss is."
Penny: "Is she friends with Blake?"
Ruby: "Well, that's kind of up in the air right now..."
Penny: (trying to contemplate this) "But why?"
Ruby: (sighs again) "Well, you see, Blake might not be who we thought she was..."
Penny: (gasps) "Is she a man?"
Ruby: "No! No, Penny. She's..." (stops and sighs, looking at Penny as she talks now) "I don't know what she is. She didn't exactly talk to us before she decided to run off."
Penny: "I don't have a lot of friends, but if I did, I would want them to talk to me about things."
Ruby: (turns her gaze downward sadly) "Me too..." (they continue walking)
Amidst the chirping of crickets and darkness of night, Blake lays flat on her stomach on the rooftop overlooking the shipment of Schnee Dust containers.
Sun: (off-screen) "Did I miss anything?"
Blake: (looking up as Sun drops down to her right) "Not really. They've offloaded the crates from the boat. Now they're just sitting there."
Sun: "Cool." (holds out one of the green apples in his arms) "I stole you some food!"
Blake: (giving Sun a questioning look) "Do you always break the law without giving a second thought?"
Sun: (defensively countering:) "Hey, weren't you in a cult or something?" (Blake delivers an angry glare at him) "Okay, too soon!"
Just as he says this, the winds blows all around them, and they look up to see a Bullhead's searchlights flashing around for a landing spot, descending in the middle of the cargo containers and extending a ramp for a black hooded individual with a metallic fanged mask to come out of.
Blake: "Oh no..."
Sun: "Is that them?"
Blake: (staring at the bloody wolf on the back of the man's outfit) "Yes... It's them."
White Fang Soldier: (to the other White Fang members coming from the aircraft, motioning with his rifle) "All right, grab the tow cables!"
Sun: "You really didn't think they were behind it, did you?"
Blake: (staring sadly at the scene) "No. I think deep down I knew. I just didn't want to be right." (she closes her eyes in despair, only to open them suddenly when she hears a new voice)
Roman: "Hey! What's the holdup!?" (the soldiers look up at Roman gesturing widely and coming down the ramp) "We're not exactly the most inconspicuous bunch of thieves at the moment, so why don't you animals try to pick up the pace?"
Blake: "This isn't right. The White Fang would never work with a Human. Especially not one like that." (she stands up and unsheathes the katana of Gambol Shroud before walking off the edge of the roof)
Sun: (alarmed) "Hey, what are you doing?!"
Blake falls to the ground in a crouch, then continues on to hide behind one of the containers, peeking around the corner to see Roman berate a White Fang member holding a coil of rope.
Roman: "No, you idiot! This isn't a leash!" (as he's looking around, Blake suddenly appears behind him with her blade at his throat) "What the- Oh, for f-" (rolls his eyes when he's cut off by Blake mid-swear)
Blake: "Nobody move!"
The White Fang soldiers ready their guns and equip their swords in response.
Roman: "Whoa! Take it easy there, little lady."
As the White Fang closes in on her, Blake uses her free hand to go for her bow and remove it, causing the ribbon to fall away as her Faunus ears are shown to the world.
Blake: "Brothers of the White Fang! Why are you aiding this scum?"
The White Fang members lower their weapons a little at this development, unsure of what to do, when Roman laughs.
Roman: "Oh, kid, didn't you get the memo?"
Blake: "What are you talking about?"
Roman: "The White Fang and I are going in on a joint business venture together!"
Blake: "Tell me what it is or I'll put an end to your little operation."
Suddenly, the air is filled with more turbines blowing the wind wildly around the holdup.
Roman: (looking up) "I wouldn't exactly call it a little operation..."
Two more Bullheads are hovering above the heist, and as Blake watches in horror, Roman smiles and manages to fire his cane at Blake's feet, resulting in a large explosion.
Penny and Ruby turn around upon hearing the noise, seeing the smoke rise from the docking bay just a few buildings away.
Ruby: "Oh, no..."
Blake, dazed but relatively unhurt on the ground, quickly rolls and runs out of the way of Roman's continued attacks, flaming missiles destroying cargo behind her as she retreats behind more containers.
Roman: (approaching slowly) "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..." (his taunt is interrupted when a banana peel lands on his head, causing him to look up and growl at the assailant)
Sun leaps from the container above Roman and drops down on the criminal's face feet-first, rolling up and readying himself to fight.
Sun: "Leave her alone!"
The Bullheads open to let more White Fang members descend on the scene, standing by Roman as he gets up and surrounding Sun.
Roman: "You're not the brightest banana in the bunch, are you, kid?"
With that said, the White Fang charge at the monkey Faunus, but he manages to dodge slashes and get some of the soldiers with his fists and kicks until he rolls out of the way, pulling out a collapsible red staff. He quickly uses this to beat down on each opponent that nears him, falling each one in a single flaming blow when he twirls, even creating a scorching shockwave to beat the last of them.
Blake peers around the corner of the container to watch Sun jump around and beat more White Fang soldiers, causing one to fly over Roman's head. The crime boss growls in annoyance and aims his cane at Sun, firing a shot that he defends himself from just when Blake leaps into the action.
Blake: "He's mine!"
Blake goes in close and becomes a blur of afterimages as she slashes both blades at Roman, who backs away and deflects each would-be blow with his cane at unbelievable speeds. Blake continues to dash, hop over, and slide around Roman to try and find a weak spot, but her enemy, while barely deflecting the attacks, lands a few hits on Blake until one final beating with his cane causes her to go down.
Just as Roman deals with one opponent, Sun appears right behind her and disconnects his staff in two spinning circles of flame-firing shotgun nunchucks that only slow down once to show the audience what they are before becoming twin arcs of offense again. Sun swings each gun at Roman while firing everything he as at him, but even with the rapid series of shots and flying bullets, Roman manages to defend himself against every bullet and hit until a millisecond-long pause allows Blake to get a slash in and knock him back.
On his back, Roman notices a container hanging by a crane right above the two warriors, and gets up to fire his cane at its supports. Blake leaps behind it, but Sun barely misses when he jumps forward, ending up right below the nozzle of Roman's cane. Just as he's about to fire, his and Sun's attention are drawn to a familiar voice.
Ruby: (off-screen) "Hey!"
Ruby appears on the rooftop overlooking them, Crescent Rose extended and ready for action.
Roman: (losing interest in Sun, waving) "Well, hello, Red! Isn't it past your bedtime?"
Penny: (approaching Ruby) "Ruby, are these people your friends?"
Ruby: (looking behind her) "Penny, get back!" (while her attention is diverted, Roman snarls and fires his cane at her, launching the young Huntress-in-training back from the explosion's force and sending her scythe flying away) "AAAAAH!"
Roman gives off a professional-level evil laugh at his attack on the young girl. Penny turns her head toward the criminal and gives her first glare, walking forward while Ruby tries to get back up.
Ruby: "Penny, wait! Stop!" (she raises her hand in a futile attempt to stop her)
Penny: "Don't worry, Ruby. I'm combat ready!"
Her backpack mechanically opens up, and from its dark depths comes a single sword that extends and multiples into several blades hovering over Penny's back. Leaping from the rooftop with the weapons acting as wings, she sends three of her swords to knock two White Fang soldiers down before even landing on the ground, where she proceeds to fling the swords at one enemy, impale another to a wall, create a barrier of spinning steel against a running attack, leaping over a goon with her swords in tow, and finally making a wheel that she throws to knock multiple Faunus off their feet.
Sun: (observing the spectacle in amazement) "Whoa!" (he runs off to safety)
Three Bullheads come from the skies and open fire on the battle, but Penny merely forms a shield and launches two of her swords into the wall behind her, which in turn pull their wielder back with their strings. When her swords swirl around her again, she commands them to open their points and build up a large glowing ball of green light. With a punching action, several bright lasers crack the pavement when they fire at the transports and slice each one in half, causing several of the White Fang members inside to fall and letting Ruby watch as Bullheads fall in pieces behind her.
Stunned, she turns back to Penny as she aims her swords at the remaining Bullheads holding the crate of Dust and pulls back on their wires, tugging the aircraft with them.
Ruby: (watching in awe) "Whoa... How is she doing that?"
Seeing the Bullhead's flight fall under Penny's control, Roman grimaces and turns to run towards the last transport.
Penny, after her large green pupils dilate for a second, pulls with all her might on the strings, and the aircraft crashes into a stack of crates, causing an explosion as a result.
Roman: (watching from the safety of his escape) "These kids just keep getting weirder..." (with his observation made, he uses his cane to close the doors, and the jet lifts off, flying away from the lost battle)
Later, a handful of police cars are at the docks, where Ruby, Blake, Sun, and Penny are sitting on boxes in silence. That is, until Weiss and Yang appear on the scene.
Ruby: (speaking quickly to explain the situation) "Look Weiss, it's not what you think, she explained the whole thing. See, she doesn't actually have a bow, she has kitty ears and they're actually kind of cute..." (Weiss ignores her and squares off with Blake)
Blake: (calmly looking her down) "Weiss, I want you to know that I'm no longer associated with the White Fang. Back when I was with the-"
Weiss: "Stop! Do you have any idea of how long we've been searching for you?" (she pauses) "Twelve hours. That means I've had twelve hours to think about this. And in that twelve hours, I've decided..."
Yang, Sun, and Ruby look on, worried.
Weiss: "I don't care."
Blake: (surprised) "You don't care?"
Weiss: "You said you're not one of them anymore, right?"
Blake: "No, I-I haven't been since I was younger-"
Weiss: (silencing her) "Ah-bah-bah-bah-bah! I don't want to hear it. All I want to know is that the next time something this big comes up... you'll come to your teammates. And not some..." (looking at Sun behind her as she catches herself) "Someone else."
Blake: (looking at Ruby and Yang grinning at her, she wipes a tear from her eye, nodding) "Of course."
Weiss smiles and nods. The moment is serious for a second more until Ruby screams:
Ruby: (waving her arms wildly) "Yeah! Team RWBY is back together!"
Weiss: (as the five gather with each other, she points accusingly at Sun) "I'm still not quite sure about how I feel about you!" (Sun laughs nervously)
Ruby: (looking around) "Hey, wait a minute... Where's Penny?"
From the darkened back seat of a limo, Penny watches the group of friends reuniting with each other.
Penny's Driver: (off-screen) "You should know better than to go running around in a strange city."
Penny: (lowering her head, sadly) "I know, sir."
Penny's Driver: (off-screen, as the car drives off from the scene) "Penny, your time will come..."
Meanwhile, Ozpin is seen holding a Scroll showing a "LIVE FEED" of Ruby at the docks. He closes the video and opens up a communication with Qrow, whose team name and other information is left blank and his only message is: "QUEEN HAS PAWNS."
After the credits of Volume 1's cast, Roman walks into a large warehouse with a shadowy interior. He goes over to a table and places down a case of mysterious contents, sighing in tiredness.
Cinder: (off-screen) "How very disappointing, Roman."
Roman: (turning around suddenly when he hears the voice and their noisy entrance) "Whoa! Hehe... I wasn't expecting to see you guys so soon..."
Cinder: (of the three figures before Roman, only her head, containing yellow eyes and flowing dark hair, is seen) "We were expecting... more from you."
Roman: (laughing a little before getting serious) "Hey! You were the ones who suggested working with those stupid mutts from the White Fang."
Cinder: (chuckling darkly) "And you will continue to do so." (she summons a fireball in her hand and steps out of the darkness with her two companions, a purple-haired man and mint-haired, tanned woman, eyes glowing gold) "We have big plans for you, Roman. All we ask is... a little cooperation."
The camera holds on Cinder Fall's evil little smile before cutting to black.
- Minor Characters
- The episode title may either refer to Blake and her history with the White Fang or to the reconciliation at the end of the episode between Blake and Weiss.
- It may also refer to Blake's views regarding the fact that the White Fang were working with "scum" like Torchwick, "black and white" being an age-old adage meant to imply a clear distinction, such as between right and wrong, good and evil, or, as in this case, likely the difference between Humans and Faunus.
- It may also refer to the fact that not everything is "black and white".
- Ruby's line: "She does like tuna a lot..." was ad-libbed by her voice actress Lindsay Jones.
- When Penny knocks down a group of White Fang members a bowling pin sound is heard. This sound effect is later used again in the episode "Best Day Ever".
- When the two Bullheads were destroyed by Penny's attack, the RWBY Rex can be seen falling along with the White Fang members.
- In the directors' commentary on the DVD/Blu-ray, Miles sees this episode for the first time and, at first, expresses anger and exasperation that Monty had Penny cut two Bullheads in half. This is because he and Kerry had been resisting the urge to have characters cut things in half, due to feeling that they weren't strong enough to do so yet. However, he calms down and says Penny is allowed to because she is powerful.
- The events of "Black and White" are re-told in Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 of RWBY: The Official Manga.
- Battle Pages
- Main article: Black and White/Image Gallery