As the Beacon Dance continues, Ruby Rose and Jaune Arc talk about being unable to enjoy the party due to their own awkwardness; as they continue, Ruby ends up addressing Jaune's failure to invite Weiss Schnee. Jaune is shocked when Ruby reveals that Weiss went alone, despite Jaune witnessing her invite Neptune Vasilias.
Jaune moves to confront Neptune, but sees Pyrrha Nikos leaving and decides to follow her instead. After Jaune finds her on the balcony, Pyrrha reveals that she came alone because no one asked her to the dance. She explains that because of her reputation and talents, others perceive her as "too good" for them. However, she notes that Jaune is the opposite, as he is someone who sees her as she is and she appreciates him helping her to build meaningful relationships with others. She then implies that she would have liked to be at the dance with him.
As Pyrrha leaves the scene, Neptune arrives and states his dislike of the ball, while also referring to the "cute girls" present. Jaune accuses him of toying with girls' feelings, particularly Weiss, to which Neptune shamefully discloses his secret: he cannot dance, and as he wants to look cool, he denied Weiss. As Neptune offers Jaune the chance to resume his pursuit of Weiss, Jaune instead imparts Pyrrha's advice about being honest with his feelings to Neptune, who agrees to go and talk to Weiss.
As Ruby and Yang Xiao Long watch over the dance and muse over future events, Jaune delivers on his earlier promise, donning a dress and sneakers before asking Pyrrha for a dance in the middle of the event. After laughing, Pyrrha accepts, leading to Team JNPR performing a synchronized dance number. As Neptune returns to sit down beside Weiss, she asks him what changed his mind. Neptune explains that Jaune convinced him to do so, noting that Weiss is lucky to have such good friends looking out for her.
Meanwhile, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai continue their infiltration work at the dance, slow dancing with each other while keeping an eye on the guests for Cinder Fall, as she, dressed in a catsuit, infiltrates the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower. She makes short work of the guards with her unarmed combat techniques and Midnight. As she hacks into the library, Mercury and Emerald inform her that James Ironwood has left the dance.
Ruby, meanwhile, having left the dance earlier, begins pursuing Cinder. As she maintains the tail, she summons her weapon locker containing Crescent Rose. As she approaches the library terminals, she encounters and battles Cinder. However, their battle is cut short when Ironwood arrives, prompting Cinder to make a quick escape before he can see her, changing into her ballroom attire as soon as she is out of sight, leaving little evidence behind. When Cinder arrives, she dances with Mercury, saying that once they have completed their mission at Beacon, the authorities will still be figuring out the situation and tells him to enjoy the rest of the night. The episode ends with a view of the students enjoying themselves at the dance, juxtaposed with Ruby and Ironwood in the Cross Continental Transmit System, as well as a glimpse at the hacked computer screen, which now displays a large black queen chess piece.
After the opening, the first scene is of random students schmoozing at the dance. Bartholomew Oobleck is shown to be listening intently as Peter Port laughs over some unheard anecdote. Ozpin is standing off to the side with Glynda Goodwitch until General James Ironwood offers his hand for her to dance with him. Jaune Arc approaches Ruby Rose, who is standing pensively near the refreshments tables.
Jaune: I see you're hiding at the punch bowl too.
Ruby: Yep. (An audible *pop* can be heard as Ruby emphasizes the "p".)
Jaune: To the socially awkward.
Ruby giggles and they clink glasses.
Ruby: Sorry things didn't work out with Weiss.
Jaune: Meh, it's fine. Neptune's pretty "cool". I get why she went with him.
Ruby: What do you mean?
Jaune: Well, come on, not many people can pull off blue hair.
Jaune begins to drink his punch.
Ruby: No, I mean, Weiss came to the dance alone.
Jaune chokes in surprise.
Jaune: (turning to Ruby) Uh, what?
Weiss Schnee is shown trying desperately to coax life out of a wilting white rose. When she fails, she looks visibly upset.
Ruby: Yeah, she said that she had too much to focus on to worry about boys.
Laughter draws Weiss' attention to Sun Wukong, Blake Belladonna, and Neptune Vasilias as the latter entertains the others with some impressions and other silly faces. Jaune, shown to be observing as well, becomes visibly perturbed.
Jaune: (speaking in a low growl) Hold my punch.
Jaune hands Ruby his glass and no sooner than he vanishes from sight does she choose to drink from his cup. As Jaune makes his way across the room, shoving other students aside (some of which were not even in his path), he stops short and watches as Pyrrha Nikos passes by. He watches her walk glumly up the stairs and seems to have a change of heart.
The scene shifts to Pyrrha on a balcony as Jaune approaches behind her.
Jaune: (stopping) Hey, Pyrrha.
Pyrrha turns around to face him.
Pyrrha: Hello, Jaune.
Jaune: (approaching) You okay? I haven't seen you tonight.
Pyrrha: (turning back to the balcony) Arrived late, I'm afraid.
Jaune: Well, you look really nice.
Pyrrha: (raising her hand near her mouth) Thank you. (her hand falls away)
Jaune: (nervously tipping on his toes) Your, uh, date isn't going to beat me up for saying that, is he?
Pyrrha: I think you're safe for tonight.
Jaune: (rubbing his hands) So, where is the guy?
Pyrrha turns back toward Jaune.
Pyrrha: (Pyrrha's head sinks in melancholy.) There is no guy.
Jaune: (Jaune chuffs nervously.) What?
Pyrrha: (shaking her head glumly) Nobody asked me.
Jaune: But that's... (gesturing toward her) You're Pyrrha Nikos! (shrugging, dumbfounded) H-How could nobody ask you?
Pyrrha: (turning toward the balcony) I've been blessed with incredible talents and opportunities. I'm constantly surrounded by love and praise, but when you're placed on a pedestal like that for so long, you become separated from the people that put you there in the first place. (turning back to Jaune) Everyone assumes I'm too good for them. That I'm on a level they simply can't attain. It's become impossible to form any sort of meaningful relationship with people. That's what I like about you. When we met, you didn't even know my name. You treated me just like anyone else. And thanks to you, I've made friendships that will last a lifetime. I guess, you're the kind of guy I wish I was here with. Someone who just saw me for me.
Pyrrha looks at Jaune and then walks away while Jaune simply stares in astonishment.
Jaune watches as Pyrrha turns a corner. Neptune has appeared on the balcony, gesturing toward Jaune.
Neptune: Hey, uh, Jaune, right?
Jaune: (sighs) Yeah.
Neptune: This party's pretty lame, huh? I mean, ballroom dancing. Pfft.
Jaune looks back out over the balcony.
Neptune: (gesturing back to the dance) Cute girls, though, huh?
Jaune: (growls as he turns back to Neptune, gesturing) Is that all you think about?
Neptune: (raising his palms to waist level) Huh?
Jaune: Do you even care about the girls you're hitting on? How they feel about you?
Neptune: Whoa! (throwing his palms up) Where's this coming from?
Jaune: (opening his arms wide) How could you just turn her down like that?
Neptune: Wait, h-who?
Neptune: I, uh... it, uh... it just didn't work out, you know?
Jaune: What? You think that you're too cool, too many other options? Weiss Schnee asked you to the dance. What in the world could possibly keep you from go-
Neptune: (looking shamefully at the ground) I can't dance!
Jaune: (calmly) Beg your pardon?
Neptune: I can't dance, man!
Jaune: But... you're so cool!
Neptune: Thank you. I try really, really hard.
Jaune: You would rather break a girl's heart and go to a dance alone than just admit to everyone that you can't move in rhythm to music?
Neptune: That about sums it up, yeah.
Jaune: (turning back to the balcony) Well, I certainly feel a lot better about myself.
Neptune: (raising his palms) Please don't tell anybody. Look, if you want Weiss, she's all yours. I don't wanna get in your way.
Jaune turns back towards Neptune.
Jaune: (placing his palms on the stone banister) Do you like her?
Neptune: Yeah, I mean I don't know her too well yet, but she seems pretty cool.
Jaune: Then just go talk to her. No pickup lines, no suave moves, just be yourself. I've heard that's the way to go. (he crosses his arms)
Neptune: Yeah, but then-
Jaune: Hey! You don't have to look cool all the time. In all honesty, if you could be a little less cool, I'd really appreciate it.
Neptune considers Jaune's advice.
Neptune: Yeah, okay.
Jaune: Go talk to her. I guarantee it'll make her night.
Neptune: Thanks. You're a really cool guy, Jaune.
Neptune approaches Jaune, holding his fist out for a bump.
Jaune: (approaching Neptune) Alright, don't lie to my face.
The two of them bump fists and Neptune walks away.
Jaune: (sighs) All right, only one thing left to do.
The scene shifts to show Yang Xiao Long leaning on a handrail and overlooking the festivities from a second tier as Ruby approaches and leans on the rail.
Yang: You know? I think we really needed this.
Ruby: Yeah, and you did a great job planning it too!
Yang: (reaching over to Ruby) Aw, thanks! (crushing Ruby in a one-arm hug as she flails frantically) It wasn't all me, though. Weiss did a lot too.
Ruby stops struggling and looks down at Weiss. Neptune approaches and rubs his neck nervously. Weiss invites him to sit with her.
Yang: (chuffs) Tomorrow it's back to work.
Ruby: I'm sure we can handle whatever gets thrown at us. (sudden fits of laughter and giggles draw their attention below.) Ex-cept for that.
The camera pushes past some students to Pyrrha who turns around to see...
Jaune is shown to now be wearing a white dress with a blue ribbon.
Jaune: Eh, a promise is a promise.
Pyrrha: (smiling... then giggling... then laughing aloud) Jaune! You didn't have to!
Jaune: Hey, an Arc never goes back on his word. (extending his hand to Pyrrha) Now do you wanna stand there and laugh at me, or do you wanna dance?
Pyrrha: (offering her own hand) I would love to dance. (Jaune pulls her to him and sweeps her away.) Oh!
Nora: (flailing excitedly) Ren. This... is... happening!
Ren: (looking at the audience) Wait, what "is happening"?
Nora grabs Ren and drags him out onto the dance floor with Pyrrha and Jaune. JNPR performs a short but elaborately choreographed dance, culminating in Jaune spinning Pyrrha.
Pyrrha: I had no idea you were a dancer.
Jaune: Yeah, well, these things tend to happen when you grow up with seven sisters.
Jaune dips Pyrrha and then spins her away.
Neptune and Weiss are shown to be watching the dancers.
Weiss: So, what made you change your mind?
Weiss: You said you were embarrassed at first. What made you come talk to me?
Neptune: You're looking at him. (they watch Jaune dancing with Pyrrha) You got some good friends looking out for ya.
Jaune and Pyrrha continue to dance. Ren and Nora do a kind of disco dance, Sun and Blake join the mix and Penny and an Atlas guard are showing doing the "robot".
Emerald: It appears all the dancers have partners.
Cinder: (heard via ear-bud) How long do I have?
Mercury: You should probably be home by midnight, to be safe.
Cinder Fall is shown to be somewhere outside, holding her fingers to her ear.
Cinder: I'll keep my eye on the clock.
Ruby, having made her way to the exit, walks out of the dance and into the night air. She watches a figure running along the rooftops and then moves to pursue.
Outside the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower, Cinder (dressed as a cat burglar), stealthily approaches an armed guard. She knife-hands the back of his head, rendering him unconscious with a stunned grin on his face. She drags him behind some bushes.
Inside the building, Cinder approaches more guards.
Atlas Soldier 1: Excuse me, no one's allowed in this area. (Cinder continues to approach.) Stop!
The soldier opens fire when Cinder does not heed him. She charges in and manages to overpower him, punching the soldier then grabbing his arm. Cinder kicks another soldier and uses the first one's gun to take him out. She then throws him against a handrail. Two more soldiers rush her wielding batons. Cinder flash-forges a pair of black blades from fire Dust and slashes at both of them. Batting the first aside she advances on the second and strikes him before sweeping both legs. The first soldier recovers but she blocks each swing with her blades. After blocking a kick she elbows then shoves him to the floor. As he tries to get back up she flips over to kick him in the head, checking for more guards before moving on.
Two guards are shown to be on an elevator.
Atlas Soldier 2: Hey, man, do you know the Wi-Fi password?
Atlas Soldier 3: It's Beacon, but replace the E with a 3 and add a pound symbol to the end.
The elevator door opens to show Cinder waiting. One of the guards notices the fallen men outside. Both guards grow apprehensive as Cinder casually walks onto the elevator, the doors closing as she turns around. Thrashing sounds can be heard from outside the elevator.
Outside the building, Ruby approaches and sees the unconscious guard. She gasps and pulls out her Scroll, dialing for her weapon locker which crashes into the courtyard and opens to reveal Crescent Rose.
Inside the building, the elevator doors open to show Cinder examining a Scroll. The two guards are knocked out.
Cinder: Oh! That's handy.
She pockets the Scroll and walks out of the elevator and toward the control consoles nearby.
Emerald: (via earbud) A party guest is leaving.
Cinder: (sighs) Which one?
Emerald is shown to be dancing with Mercury.
Ironwood is shown to be walking out the door as Ozpin gives his send-off.
Mercury: (offscreen) I guess the general's had enough fun for one night.
Random code appearing on a computer screen is shown to change into a Queen chess piece.
Mercury: (via earbud) Should we intervene?
The other monitors in the room light up.
Cinder: No... we're done here.
As she starts to walk away, she notices the elevator doors opening. Ruby steps out of the elevator slowly, brandishing her weapon.
Ruby: Hello? (She stumbles due to her high-heeled shoes.) Is anyone there? Hello?
Cinder smirks confidently then rises from her hiding place and steps out toward Ruby.
Ruby: Excuse me? You know, it's not a masquerade party, so why don't you take off that-!
Cinder produces a container of ice Dust and sends shards of glass flying at Ruby. A battle ensues as she defends herself then opens fire. Cinder blocks each shot with her hand as parts of the outfit glow. She once again summons a pair of blades, Ruby launches herself forward but Cinder dodges. Her eyes and outfit glowing again as she combines the blades into a bow and fires three arrows. Ruby stumbles back from the explosion and they stare each other down. But their fight is interrupted by the appearance of Ironwood on the nearby elevator. Ruby is visibly glad to see him until she notices that Cinder has disappeared.
In a hallway, Cinder discards two bracelets and her mask to change from her stealth suit into a black dress and enters the dance. Two guards following her crush the bracelets underfoot and are visibly confused at the sight of the crowded dance hall. The screen pans over various people including Neptune dancing and having a good time as they walk back out.
Emerald and Mercury are still dancing together as Cinder taps Emerald's shoulder.
Cinder: Oh, may I cut in?
Emerald steps aside.
Emerald: Of course.
Emerald leaves as Cinder begins to dance with Mercury.
Mercury: And how's your night been?
Cinder: Mmm... a little more exciting than expected.
Mercury: Should we be worried?
Cinder: Hardly... They'll be scratching their heads long after we finished what we came here for.
Mercury: So then what now?
Cinder: Enjoy the rest of the night. After all, it is a party.
The camera pans away from the two showing the rest of the party. Jaune and Pyrrha are sitting at a table, Sun and Blake are dancing, there is a squad of red and yellow soldiers out side and Ironwood is shown approaching Ruby before one last shot of the Queen chess piece appears on the computer screen and the clock chimes midnight.
- At 2:22, an Ursa can be seen "dancing" in the far right corner.
- The title of the episode is a play on the dancing game Dance Dance Revolution, which creator Monty Oum had an affinity for, as noted by fellow Rooster Teeth employees.
- Team JNPR's dancing is parodied in the RWBY Chibi episode "A Slip Through Time and Space".
- Ren almost breaks the fourth wall by looking at the audience when asking a question.
- Mercury saying they should be home by midnight is a possible reference to Cinderella, Cinder's fairy tale character allusion.
- When Mercury and Emerald are overlooking the dancers, Penny and the Atlas Soldier can both be seen doing "The Robot".
- The Wireless LAN brand "Wi-Fi" is mentioned. Its password is b3acon#.
- The DJs from the previous episode (who seem to be a reference to the French DJs Daft Punk) appear again toward the end of the episode.
- Barbara Dunkelman provided some of the terrible dance moves for Neptune through motion capture.
- The events of "Burning the Candle" are re-told in the first part of Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 of RWBY: The Official Manga.
- Main article: Dance Dance Infiltration/Image Gallery