"Dead End" is the seventy-fourth episode of RWBY and the eighth episode of Volume 6. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on December 15th, 2018 and was made public on the Rooster Teeth site on December 22nd, 2018. It was released on YouTube on December 21st, 2019.
Team RWBY, Qrow Branwen, Oscar Pine and Maria Calavera are denied entry into the Atlesian Military base in Argus. The guards allow them to speak to their commanding officer, Caroline Cordovin, after inspecting Weiss Schnee. Cordovin, who has a bitter history with Maria, will only allow Weiss to enter, leaving the group stuck in Argus. Qrow goes off to drink his frustration away.
Back at the Arc family home, Team RWBY tells Jaune Arc, Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie what they learned from the Relic of Knowledge, including that Salem cannot be killed. Jaune, thinking that Ozpin is posing as Oscar, takes his frustrations out on the young farm boy. Jaune, Ren and Nora decide it is best to have some time to themselves.
Afterwards, Ruby attempts to call Qrow on her Scroll, only to receive no answer back. She then laments to Maria that she is letting everyone down. To cheer her up, Maria agrees to talk to Ruby about her Silver Eyes. Maria reveals that Silver-Eyed Warriors are powered by strong desires to preserve life, which she deduced from the vision showed by Jinn that they originated with the God of Light. They can only be activated in the presence of Grimm, hence any actual training for Ruby will have to be done in combat.
Ruby's teammates return, telling Ruby, Jaune, Ren and Nora that Oscar has gone missing.
Team RWBY, Qrow Branwen, Oscar Pine and Maria Calavera are seen standing outside of the gates to the Atlesian Military base on the island off the coast of Argus. Yang Xiao Long puts her hands on the bars of the gate to speak to the guards.
Yang: Come on! You didn't even hear us out!
Nubuck Guard 1: Our orders are clear: The Mistral-Atlas border is closed!
Nubuck Guard 2: Please!
Nubuck Guard 1: Have a good day!
Both Nubuck Guards: A good day!!
Qrow: Hey, if you don't wanna believe that I'm friends with Ironwood--
Both Nubuck Guards: General Ironwood!
Qrow: Yeah, General Ironwood, then fine. But look, we have Weiss Schnee with us and we're trying to get her home safely.
Weiss looks down with reluctance upon hearing Qrow say that. The two guards look to each other before turning their attention back to the group.
Both Nubuck Guards: Approach!
Weiss shares a look with Blake Belladonna, who just shrugs. Weiss then walks up to the gate and the two guards step up and bend down to inspect her. After a moment, both guards stand straight back up.
Both Nubuck Guards: Very well!
Guard Nubuck 2: You may speak with our commanding officer!
Guard Nubuck 1: We will fetch her at once!
The two guards turn around in sync, and chant "Hup hup hup" and "Atlas Atlas Atlas" as they run to get their superior.
Blake: They were... kind of--
Ruby: Super weird? Uh, yeah.
Oscar: What's wrong?
Maria: Well, I... may know this commanding officer...
Ruby: That's good, isn't it? If she's your friend, then maybe she'd be more willing to help us.
Maria: I wouldn't exactly call us... "friends".
Maria: Not quite.
Maria: That's the one!
Oscar: Wait, what?
Maria: Oh, yes. I come through here about once every ten years to get my eyes checked up in Atlas. You bring outside cashews on one flight, and suddenly you're placed on the additional screening list for life!
Qrow: You've gotta be kidding me...
Maria: Now, now, let's not give up hope yet. (beat) Maybe she's dead!
Suddenly, the gates open up quickly, and the two guards return.
Guard 1: Introducing!
Guard 2: Special operative!
Both Nubuck Guards: Caroline Cordovin!
Footsteps can be heard approaching before the camera lowers down to reveal a short-statured elderly woman around Maria's age wearing the standard Atlesian officer uniform. Cordovin steps forward and glares at Maria.
Cordovin: Hm. I've seen you've chosen larger contraband to smuggle this time.
Maria: Oh, Cordo. You know they say time changes people, but I see you've still got that stick right up your--
Ruby: (interrupting) H-hello! Miss, uh, Cordovin. My name is Ruby Rose, and I was wondering if you would hear us out about--
Cordovin: I've already heard what your other little friends had to say, Miss Rose. (she looks behind Ruby, noticing Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, and Lie Ren standing a little ways away behind the group) What are you doing back here?! I thought I told you to leave!
Nora: (tries to charge forward, only to be held back by Ren and Jaune) And I told you we wouldn't rest until you let us through!
Ren: (nervously smiling and waving) Nice to see you again as well!
Cordovin: You civilians are clearly incapable of comprehending the importance of our mission here in Argus. So allow me to say this slowly, with smaller words: This base, that relay tower, the very safety of Argus are all gifts from the glorious Kingdom of Atlas! (a backdrop showing the Atlesian flag waves behind her) And it is my duty to uphold them, as only I have the wit and tenacity for such a task.
Guard Nubuck 1: Such wit!
Guard Nubuck 2: Such tenacity!
Maria: Or maybe Atlas just wanted to get you as far from the kingdom as possible.
Cordovin: (growls) You're just like the rest of these Argus ingrates! This city wouldn't even be here if it weren't for our Atlesian ancestors, and what do we get in return? The entire world is ready to put a knife to our throats!
Ruby: Please, we know your kingdom had nothing to do with the Fall of Beacon. We were there.
Weiss: No one's happy about the Atlas borders or embargo, but I know General Ironwood is just worried. It's why we need to talk to--
Cordovin: The General is no coward! Atlas is strong. If all the kingdoms plan to make us their enemy, then so be it! Atlas will prevail!
Both Nubuck Guards: Atlas will prevail!
Yang: (unimpressed) Do you guys seriously have to do that?
Cordovin: (sighs) If Miss Schnee has truly come to her senses and wishes to return to her family, then, of course, the Atlas military will escort her home. But the kingdom will not be responsible for her "friends" of... questionable character. (glances at Blake specifically upon saying her last statement)
Weiss: (in a hostile tone) What's that supposed to mean?
Cordovin: It means we're done here.
The gates to the base are shown closing quickly, leaving the group outside once again.
Nora: Oh yeah? Well, your face looks... like a big dumb boot!
Jaune: (deadpan) Way to show her, Nora...
Ruby, Blake and Yang look to Weiss.
Weiss: I don't...
Ruby: Weiss. I told you we wouldn't leave your side for a second. We'll find a way to Atlas. Together. (places a hand on Weiss' shoulder)
Weiss smiles and nods back at her friend. Qrow starts to walk away.
Ruby: So... where are we going now?
Nora: Yeah, what's the plan?
Qrow: (bitter) The plan? The plan just got shut on our face three times over. I'm going for a drink.
Ruby: (running over to her uncle) Uncle Qrow, I really think we should try and come up with something... (Qrow walks away before she could finish) ...together.
Jaune: What's his problem? It's not your fault we can't go on.
Nora: If he's gonna be a jerk then we'll just come up with something without him. I mean, we've got Ozpin with us! He usually knows what to do.
Upon hearing this, Oscar looks down sadly, and Weiss, Blake and Yang exchange troubled looks.
Ren: (noticing this) What is it?
Back at Saphron's home, Jaune punches the wall, leaving a very large crack in it.
Jaune: Everything we did was for nothing!
Blake: That's not true.
Nora: (angry) Really? Cuz it sure does sound like it.
Blake: I, um...
Ren: If Salem can't be killed, then how are we supposed to win this?
Everyone remains silent.
Jaune: (sarcastic) Wow... Great plan everyone!
Oscar: Look, none of this is great, we know. But we're not the bad guys here.
Jaune: (hostile) Are we sure about that?
Jaune: He's in your head, isn't he? Did you already know about this? (angrily walks over to Oscar)
Weiss: He didn't know any of it!
Jaune: (grabs Oscar and shoves him against the wall) How much longer can we even trust him?!
Jaune: How do we even know it's really him?! What if we have been talking to that liar this whole time?!
Ruby angrily glares at Jaune, who glares back at her. He looks back over to Oscar, who is cowering in fear. Jaune, realizing what he has done, lets go of Oscar with an apologetic look on his face. Jaune then goes upstairs. A door can be heard opening and slamming shut.
Yang: Is he... gonna be okay?
Nora: I don't know! (gets up and leaves)
Ren: I think it would be best if we had some time to ourselves. (leaves and heads upstairs as well)
Team RWBY and Oscar remain in the living room.
Blake: Maybe we could all use some space.
Everyone stays silent. Oscar looks down sadly.
Later on, Ruby heads outside onto the backyard porch with her Scroll to her ear.
Ruby: Come on, please...
Ruby takes away the Scroll from her ear, looking at the screen with Qrow's portrait on it and text above it in red letters saying "NO ANSWER".
Ruby: (frustrated) Where are you?! (throws her Scroll into the yard)
Maria: You know, I came out here to avoid the yelling.
Ruby notices Maria sitting next to a small table with a plate of fruit on it.
Ruby: Sorry. The others went to get food for tonight.
Maria: Why not go with them?
Ruby: I don't know... (sits down on the porch) I don't know anything... What do I tell Jaune and his team when we don't even have a plan? Qrow's out drinking, Ozpin hasn't come back and even if he did, I don't know if I could trust him. And there's always Jinn, but... we only have one more question we can ask her. I feel like I'm letting everyone down...
Maria: You know, you don't give yourself enough credit.
Ruby: Oh... (chuckles) Thanks.
Maria: That wasn't a compliment.
Ruby: Uh... what?
Maria: If I have to explain it to you, it will just defeat the purpose. But if you're tired of not knowing anything, how about we discuss those eyes of yours?
Ruby: Oh! (stands up) Yes, ma'am, I would be honored!
Maria: Sit back down, for Pete's sake.
Ruby does so.
Maria: Let's start with what you do know. Tell me.
Ruby: Uh... Silver-Eyed people are supposed to be legendary warriors. Or something. And at the Fall of Beacon, I turned a giant Wyvern into stone.
Maria: (shaking her head) Oh, boy.
Ruby: Look, if I already knew everything I wouldn't be asking for help! (crosses her arms and huffs)
Ruby looks back up with a sorrowful expression on her face.
Maria: It's not your fault. I had my father to teach me, and even he didn't have all the answers. But what he told me makes sense, given what I've seen.
Ruby: Was he a Huntsman too?
Maria: It wasn't really an official title back in his day. I only knew him as an old soldier and an excellent teacher. I never attended one of those fancy academies of yours, but I scored higher on the license exam than any other Huntsman or Huntress that day.
Ruby: (smiles) You must've been proud.
Maria: Heh, he would've scolded me for showing off. He'd never been able to find much information about our abilities. Just legends of warriors whose eyes shone like mirrors, reflecting the light of the world onto darkness. He found so little, in fact, that it made him cautious. How could such powerful bloodlines be so rare? Unless something was actively seeking to destroy them.
Maria: I tried to keep my powers a secret, but as you know, it wasn't enough. I owe my life to my training, and my Semblance. At the end of the day, those are still your most powerful tools.
Ruby: What is your Semblance?
A lemon is shown dropping from the tree, which Maria catches before it could hit the plate of fruit.
Maria: "Preflexes"! A silly name I came up with. Hard to explain, but I can sense everything better than most and react to attacks almost before they happen. Combine that with my training and secret ability to turn Grimm to stone, or blind them, or vaporize them. (clears throat) And that's how you become the Grimm Reaper! (smiles)
Ruby: So, how do I laser beam monsters with my eyeballs?
Maria: (smacks Ruby on the head with her cane) First, you stop thinking like that! I want you to think of all the times you've triggered your powers. What did those moments have in common?
Ruby: (rubbing her head) I... was scared, and stressed. Is it emotional? Like unlocking a Semblance?
Maria: It's emotional but more focused than that. Think, what is it you wanted?
Ruby: (clenching her hands) I wanted to protect my friends.
Maria: Precisely! It is the desire to preserve life which fuels the light inside you. And to make no mistake, it is light. Preservation is an extension of creation, or, at the very least, an enemy of destruction. The Creatures of Grimm were made by the God of Darkness, but your light comes from his brother.
Ruby: How do you know that?
Maria: I always knew how to use the light, but never why it only worked on the Grimm. Then, Jinn showed us her vision. Were you paying attention?
Ruby closes her eyes and thinks back to when the God of Light destroyed all the Grimm in the Land of Darkness. The God of Light transforms into his dragon form, revealing his own pair of Silver Eyes.
Ruby: The God of Light... His eyes! (stands up) Okay, where do we start?
Maria: Well, not here. The light will only work in the presence of Grimm. Meaning the only practice you'll get will be a trial by fire. But, what you can do is focus on creating a state of mind that you can tap into when you need it. Don't think about your light as a means of destroying evil, but as a way to protect the people of Remnant.
Ruby: But, that can't be right.
Ruby: You said the light only reacts to Grimm, but... I used it during our battle at Haven. It reacted to Cinder.
Maria: Interesting... Perhaps there was something that you just weren't seeing?
Ruby notices Yang at the door. Ruby walks back into the house to see Weiss and Blake present as well.
Ruby: Oh, hey guys.
Jaune: (also walking into the room with Ren and Nora) What's going on?
Blake: (sadly) It's Oscar. He's missing.
Ruby, Jaune, Nora, and Ren become shocked to hear Oscar went missing as Ruby and Jaune look at each other with concerned looks on their faces.
- Ruby's recollection of when she previously used her silver eyes allude to previous episodes:
- Ruby mentions turning a Wyvern to stone at the Fall of Beacon, referring to "End of the Beginning" where she unintentionally uses her powers to petrify the Grimm atop Beacon Tower after witnessing Pyrrha Nikos' death. This is the first time the creature is referred to as a Wyvern in the show.
- Ruby also mention her powers affected Cinder somehow during the Battle of Haven, referring to "The More the Merrier" where she accidentally unleashed her silver-eyes powers when she experienced a traumatizing flashback of Pyrrha's death.
- Main article: Dead End/Image Gallery