"Family" is the fourth episode of Volume 4 and the forty-fourth episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth sponsors on November 19th, 2016 and was released for registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on November 20th, 2016. It was made public on November 26th, 2016.
The farmboy, Oscar Pine, finishes his work on the farm and walks back into the barn with his tools when he notices something in the mirror. Looking at his reflection, he nervously calls out "Hello?" After a pause, Ozpin's voice booms out of the mirror. He introduces himself as the boy flies backwards into a stack of hay. His aunt calls out from the farmhouse telling him to be careful with his tools.
Yang Xiao Long is inside of a nightmare, where she finds herself with both arms and the ghostly image of Adam Taurus threateningly approaching her, hand on his sword. Yang tries to use Ember Celica to defend herself, but her blasts are ineffective. As he comes right up to her and starts to unsheathe his sword, she discovers both her weapons and her right arm are missing. She immediately wakes up, and takes a moment to look at the Atlas robotic arm she has yet to try on.
Hearing noises from downstairs, Yang heads to the kitchen to find Doctor Oobleck and Professor Port enjoying a drink with Taiyang. Joining them, she learns that Glynda Goodwitch is still performing repairs on Vale and that Oobleck and Port are taking a brief rest. Her former professors ask why she has not tried the robotic arm yet, which she states as an overlooking of her state of being. She says she is trying to treat her current state as the new normal and that she cannot pretend her lost arm will come back. Taiyang agrees but adds that she should not let that stop her from becoming the fighter she has always wanted to be, and assures her he will be there for her when she is ready to get back into combat.
Relaxing after laughing with her father and the professors, Yang returns to her room but is again left forlorn by the sight of the robotic arm. Looking out her window, she sees her father saying goodbye to Port and Oobleck. The professors ask Taiyang if he plans to go after Ruby Rose, who has not contacted her father since she left. Taiyang replies, glancing up at Yang's room, stating that he has some "things to look after".
Team RNJR is on the road, approaching the village of Higanbana, which is well-protected and has an inn they can stay at. They comment on how they have not encountered many Grimm on their trip, deciding they have a lot of luck. Unbeknownst to them, Qrow Branwen is watching from a cliff-face above, having killed several Grimm that were stalking the team. He turns to notice a raven staring at him. After a moment, it flies off after Team RNJR. Qrow scoffs, "Luck".
In Higanbana, Qrow stays at a bar across the street from the inn. He is served a drink he did not order, which the waitress explains is from a lady upstairs with "red eyes". He goes up the stairs and is met by Raven Branwen, his sister and Yang's mother. Raven wants to find out if Salem has Ozpin's relic, but Qrow is more interested in criticizing her for not being there for her daughter after Yang lost her arm, as well as her leading the tribe of bandits that attacked Shion. Raven, in turn, chastises him for leaving the tribe behind, their "family", a term Qrow objects to her using to describe "killers and thieves." Not giving her an answer she likes, Qrow asks if she can tell him where the Spring Maiden is. Raven refuses to answer and exits through one of her portals, leaving an annoyed Qrow and a startled waitress. Noticing the waitress' presence, Qrow asks her to make his drink a double.
The next morning, Taiyang is watering sunflowers when Yang comes out of the house, wearing the robotic arm. Smiling, Taiyang declares, "Let's get started".
Oscar Pine carries a pitchfork into the barn, which has loose bits of hay strung about the floor. He passes a sink with a mirror behind it, and something makes him pause and take a closer look. He sees his own reflection and lifts a lock of his hair, as if expecting something different.
He leans forward and examines the mirror more closely.
Just as Oscar is about to back away, a voice booms out, sending him crashing backward.
Ozpin: Hello! I'm Professor Ozpin!
Oscar looks up at the sink and mirror from the floor of the barn, breathing heavily. From outside the barn, a woman's voice calls out.
Oscar's Aunt: Oscar? You be careful with those tools!
Yang Xiao Long is inside a nightmare. All around her are broken pieces of buildings and darkness. She looks around, confused, and lets out a small gasp when she looks down. She raises both of her arms and turns them, examining their presence, particularly her right arm.
Yang looks up from her arms to see Adam Taurus walking toward her. The red accents in his hair, mask and outfit have a surreal glow. Yang steps back defensively and discovers that she is suddenly wearing Ember Celica. She blasts Adam five times, but they do nothing to him while he steadily continues walking closer.
Adam puts his right hand on the handle of his sheathed sword. Yang tries to attack him again, but her weapon is gone, as is her right arm. She stares for a moment in confusion and disbelief and then startles when Adam is abruptly directly before her. He grins at her and starts to unsheath Wilt from Blush.
Yang awakens with a gasp. She is in her room, lying on top of her bed. The robotic arm given to her by General Ironwood rests on her bedside table, out of the box. Yang looks at it for a moment before turning her face away. She hears laughter coming from downstairs.
Yang heads downstairs to discover Professors Bartholomew Oobleck and Peter Port sitting at her kitchen table and laughing with her father, Taiyang Xiao Long. There's a bowl of fruit at the center of the table.
Port: And, and, and then, in comes Qrow, wearing a skirt! I was just a TA, I-I didn't know what to do, so I just... I just left the room to laugh!
Yang comes to the kitchen door while the three laugh.
Taiyang: We told him it was a kilt! He'd never worn a uniform before, so he didn't know!
Oobleck: That is terrible! What is wrong with you!?
Taiyang: Hey! The girls all said he had nice legs! I did that jerk a favor! Besides, that's not even the best part! See, then we-
Port puts his right leg on the tabletop, cutting off Taiyang.
Port: "Like what you see?"
The three laugh and Port loses his balance. He tries to save himself from falling, but ends up on the floor.
There's even more laughter. Taiyang claps from mirth and Port joins in the hilarity from the floor. Yang giggles too, covering her mouth, but the three teachers become alerted to her presence. Oobleck stands while Port gets up off the floor.
Port: Oh, uh, Miss Xiao Long! Uh, please, join us.
Yang enters while Oobleck laughs, a little bit embarrassed.
Oobleck: Oh, yes, yes, pull up a chair. Please, pull up a chair.
Yang: I'm good.
She hoists herself backward up onto the kitchen counter, beside where her father stands. Port and Oobleck sit back down.
Yang: So, what are you doing here?
Oobleck: Despite popular belief, teachers do have a life outside the classroom.
Taiyang: Now look, let's not worry about that right now. So, there we were, standing in the auditorium, looking at Qrow, wearing a skirt. Then Oz tells everyone, "It's time to work on our landing strategy!"
Oobleck: The Branwen twins have always been... interesting, to say the least.
Port: That sure didn't seem to stop young Tai.
Taiyang: Hey, come on, man, she's right here.
Port: Oh, please! She's a mature young woman! If she can handle combat, she can handle a few jabs at her old man!
Taiyang: That's not the issue, Pete! And besides, she's still a teenager!
Yang: "She" is also in the room, and can be directly spoken to. And I think I've been through enough to be considered an adult at this point.
Taiyang: (sighing) Adult or not, you've still got a long way to go before you're ready for the real world.
Yang: Oh my gosh! Does every father figure have the same three condescending phrases?
Taiyang: Yeah! But we only use them when we mean it!
Port and Oobleck look at each other as father and daughter argue, a touch uncomfortable. Oobleck takes a sip from his mug while Port pulls at his collar.
Yang: Is that so?
Taiyang: As a matter of fact, it is so! If you honestly think that you're ready to go out there on your own, ha, well I guess you lost some brain cells along with that arm.
Yang gasps and pulls back from her father's face while a stunned Port leans forward and Oobleck's mouth drops open and his glasses slip down. There's a comedic beat before the mug slips out of Oobleck's hand to safely land on the table. All three stare at Taiyang for a few seconds.
Yang: You... jerk!
Yang playfully punches Taiyang, and the father and daughter laugh together.
Oobleck: (whispering) Are we finally talking about the Goliath in the room?
Taiyang and Yang look at each other and then laugh. Relieved laughter comes from both Port and Oobleck.
Port: Oh, Miss Xiao L— Yang, if you don't mind me asking, why haven't you tried on the arm yet?
Oobleck: Oh, yes, yes! A piece of Atlas technology given out like that is rare indeed! Not to mention the effort it took to deliver it here. It seems a great many people want to see you returned to normal.
Yang: I'm... scared.
Taiyang takes a sideways step closer to Yang, watching and listening.
Yang: Everyone keeps talking about me getting back to normal. And I appreciate it, but... this is normal now.
Oobleck and Port exchange sad, knowing glances.
Yang: It's just taking me a while to get used to it.
Taiyang: Well, normal is what you make of it.
Yang: What is that supposed to mean? Do you want me to just pretend like nothing happened? I lost a part of me. A piece of me is gone. And it's never coming back.
Taiyang: You're right. It's not coming back. But that doesn't have to stop you from becoming who you wanna be. You're Yang Xiao Long, my sunny little dragon.
Taiyang puts his hand on his daughter's shoulder.
Taiyang: You can do whatever you put your mind to. So whenever you're ready to stop moping, and get back out there, I'll be there for you.
Yang: I... I...
Port: Fear is like any other emotion. It comes and goes. It's all in how you handle it. Why, even I find myself wrestling with that emotion from time to time.
Yang: (unconvinced) Really? You?
Oobleck: (whispering) He's afraid of mice.
Port: (pounding the table) They bring only disease and famine!
Yang laughs while Port rants about the creepiness of mice. Taiyang watches her.
Port: And don't even get me started on their tails! So hairless, and simply unnatural!
Oobleck: Port, I assure you, you are safe. There's no mice here right now.
The scene transitions to Yang taking the last steps at the top of the stairs. She turns partially and lifts her hand to those below.
The arm on the bedside table is the first thing she sees when she walks into her room. She looks at it for a moment but then moves to the window when she hears the front door to the house open followed by the voices of the three men. She decides to stand out of side beside the window and listen.
Port: Thanks for having us over, Tai.
Taiyang: Any time. You're always welcome.
Oobleck: It may be a while before we return. There is still much work to be done at the school.
Port: I hesitate to ask, but is there any word from young Miss Rose?
Behind Taiyang, Yang moves into visibility at her bedroom window.
Taiyang: Not yet.
Oobleck: Have you thought about going after her? Trying to bring her home?
Taiyang: (sighs) I've got to... look after some things.
As Taiyang glances toward her bedroom window, Yang moves out of sight again and squeezes her right upper arm, looking dejected.
On a path through the woods, Team RNJR moves forward with Ruby looking at a map.
Ruby: Come on, guys! If we pick up the pace, we can hit the next town before sunset!
Jaune: Assuming it's still there.
Ruby: Of course it'll be there. This one's supposed to be pretty big! Hee-gan...bayn-a.
Ren: Higanbana. It's a well protected village with a popular inn.
Nora: Which means, no camping in the rain!
Ruby: See? Everything's going to be fine!
Jaune: You know, we've had a lot of ups and downs. But things could be a lot worse. I really thought we'd see more Grimm.
Ren: As did I.
Nora: I guess our luck is finally turning around!
The scene changes to Team RNJR being viewed from above, a rocky outcropping just on the edge of the view.
Nora: To Higanbana!
Jaune and Ren: To Higanbana!
Ruby: To Higanban... ban-a!
A Beowolf stomps into view and growls at the four kids. Just as it is about to leap, it is stabbed through by Qrow. Three disintegrating bodies of other Beowolves are just behind him. A black raven caws from a tree branch on eye level with Qrow, catching his attention. He looks at it and it flies off, following RNJR.
Qrow: (scoffing) Luck.
It's raining on the village of Higanbana. Through the window of an inn, the four kids are shown silently discussing with the proprietor. A backward zooms brings the visual out into the street, and through yet another window being viewed from the inside of a tavern. Qrow sits at a table, watching.
A waitress sets a glass with liquor and ice in front of him.
Qrow: Oh, I didn't o—
Waitress: From the woman upstairs. Red eyes. Said you wouldn't mind bottom shelf.
Qrow turns and looks up. An overhead shot shows the spacious lower level of the tavern and its several round tables, while the edge of a balcony is just visible. Qrow turns back.
Waitress: (winking) But I went ahead and gave you top. Lucky you.
With a pleased smirk, Qrow watches the waitress as she walks away. After she is gone, he looks through the two windows to see no one visible in the lobby of the inn.
He takes his glass and heads upstairs. Raven Branwen waits for him at one of the tables, her mask atop it.
Raven: Hello, brother.
Qrow stares at her from the top of the stairs for a moment before moving to her.
He pulls the chair that's beside her and drags it to a position across from her instead. With his hand on the back of the chair, he simply looks at her expectantly. Raven rolls her eyes and moves her mask to the side. Qrow sits down.
Qrow: So, what do you want?
Raven: A girl can't just catch up with her family?
Qrow: She can, but you're not. Now how 'bout we get on with it? Unless you plan on keeping these comin'.
He sets the glass down.
Raven: Does she have it?
Qrow doesn't answer right away, instead running his fingertip along the edge of his glass.
Qrow: Did you know Yang lost her arm?
Raven: That's not—
Qrow: Rhetorical question, I know you know. It's just obnoxious that you'd bring up family and then carry on like your own daughter doesn't exist.
Raven: I saved her.
Qrow: Once. Because that was your rule, right? Real "Mom of the Year" material, sis.
Raven leans forward and grabs Qrow by the forearm, stilling his sarcastic, nonchalant motions. The view slowly spins above their heads as she speaks intently to him.
Raven: I told you Beacon would fall and it did. I told you Ozpin would fail and he has. Now you tell me. Does. Salem. Have it?
Qrow: I thought you weren't interested in all of that.
Raven: I just want to know what we are up against.
Qrow: And which "we" are you referring to?
Raven glares and finally lets go of her brother and sits back down with a noise of disgust.
Qrow: You should come back, Raven. The only way we'd beat her is by working together. All of us.
Raven: You're the one who left. The tribe raised us, and you turned your back on them.
Qrow: They were killers and thieves.
Raven: They were your family.
Qrow: You have a very skewed perception of that word.
Raven stands up, upset.
Raven: I lead our people now. And as leader, I will do everything in my power to ensure our survival.
Qrow: I saw. The people of Shion saw, too.
Raven: The weak die, the strong live. Those are the rules.
Qrow: Well, you've certainly got someone strong on your side. I've seen the damage.
Raven: (turning away) We couldn't have known the Grimm would set in as quickly as they did.
Qrow: I'm not talking about the Grimm.
Still not facing Qrow, Raven looks up, eyes widening slightly at his words.
Qrow: And I'm not talking about you, either.
Raven: If you don't know where the Relic is, then we have nothing left to talk about.
As she reaches for her mask, Qrow grabs onto the top of it.
Qrow: I don't know where the Spring Maiden is, either, but if you do, I need you to tell me.
Raven: And why would I do that? (pulling her mask out of Qrow's grasp)
Qrow: Because without her, we're all going to die.
A moment of tense silence passes between them as a nearby lantern dies out.
Raven: (scoffing) And which "we" are you referring to?
Qrow grimaces as Raven walks away. The sound of her sword getting unsheathed is heard and he looks up, unhappy. Raven walks into her red portal and disappears. There's the sound of breaking glass and a gasp. Qrow turns to see the waitress, trembling at the sight of Raven disappearing. She takes a cautious step backward as she looks sideways at Qrow.
Qrow: (gesturing to his glass) Make this one a double.
Back at Patch, Taiyang is outside the house, watering his bed of sunflowers. Yang comes out, wearing the robotic arm. She uses it automatically to shade her eyes from the sun, and then looks down at the metal hand interestedly, moving the fingers around. Taiyang stands.
Taiyang: Okay. Let's get started.
- Port's phrase "Mistral wasn't built in a day" refers to the phrase "Rome wasn't built in a day".
- Oobleck's phrase "the Goliath in the room", refers to the phrase "The elephant in the room".
- The musical score that plays during Qrow and Raven's conversation was titled "Corvi et Geminos" (Latin for "Ravens and Twins"). It is now titled as "Which "we" are You Referring To?". Composer Alex Abraham had released it on his SoundCloud.
- Taiyang calls Yang his "sunny little dragon" which is a rough translation of her name in Chinese.
- Originally, the inn and tavern in Higanbana were the same building, but they were separated when they couldn't figure out how to fit Raven into the scene.
- This was the last episode that Professor Port's voice actor Ryan Haywood voiced the character in the main series before he was removed from Rooster Teeth.
- Main article: Family/Image Gallery
- Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 4