With Ruby Rose in tow, Weiss Schnee hurries to meet her sister, Winter Schnee, as her airship lands at Beacon Academy. Weiss is overjoyed and excited to see her sister, but Winter is initially cold and dismissive, refusing to tell Weiss the reason and duration of her visit, as well as criticizing her "novice" performance in the Vytal Festival. However, after this cold initial exchange, Winter becomes warmer towards Weiss, expressing interest and concern for her well-being. Weiss introduces Ruby to Winter, and the sisters leave together.
However, Qrow Branwen arrives at Beacon and destroys two of the Atlesian Knight-200s in Winter's entourage, attracting her attention. Qrow, with whom Winter is familiar, accuses her superior, General James Ironwood, of being a sellout and betraying Professor Ozpin. He also mocks Atlas' ability to protect the people. Angered by Qrow's accusations and disrespect, Winter draws her sword and attacks Qrow, who retaliates with Harbinger, his transforming gun-sword-scythe. The pair then begins to fight in the crowded Beacon courtyard as Ruby and Weiss watch from the sidelines. However, the fight is interrupted by Ironwood, who orders Winter to stand down. Ironwood is shortly followed by Ozpin and Glynda Goodwitch, who disperse the crowd.
That evening, Ironwood, Winter, Qrow, Glynda and Ozpin meet at Ozpin's office. The meeting is tense, with Winter and Qrow blaming each other for starting the altercation. Ironwood orders Winter to leave, and the remaining four discuss matters of security, and the threat looming in the shadows. Qrow, who has been away for months on a reconnaissance mission, reveals that the mysterious infiltrator who had compromised Beacon was also responsible for the comatose condition of Amber, the current Fall Maiden. He warns that he has "seen the things she's made, and they are fear."
Qrow also criticizes Ironwood's indiscretion in bringing an enormous fleet of airships to Vale. Ironwood asserts that his forces are necessary and provide a feeling of safety. Ozpin disagrees, explaining that the people would interpret the presence of the army as a sign of conflict, spreading concern and fear among the populace – conditions which are likely to cause a resurgence of the Grimm. Ozpin concludes that their next move should be to find a "Guardian" to protect and reassure the populace.
Meanwhile, Mercury Black, who had witnessed the fight earlier, informs Cinder Fall and Emerald Sustrai of Qrow's presence in Vale, which appears to be of significant concern. However, Cinder dismisses the danger, reasoning that none of the authorities knows their identity and decides that they shall continue on with their current plan. It is revealed that the virus Cinder had planted at the Cross Continental Transmit System tower earlier in the year gives her the ability to control the match-ups in the Vytal Festival tournament. Cinder has also gained access to Ironwood's Scroll after he placed it on the table to interface with the Beacon network during the discussion in Ozpin's office.
From her dorm, Cinder engineers the next match-up of the Vytal Festival tournament doubles round, with Emerald and Mercury facing Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY, commenting "Let's give the crowd a good fight..."
Ruby: (running to catch up with her partner) Weiss! What is the big deal!? Who is it? Who is she!?
Weiss: (as she stops and smiles at the sight of...) Winter.
Ruby: Wait... Your sister?
Weiss: (cups mouth) Winter! (the two then run up to the elder Schnee as she turns to see them) Winter! I'm so happy to see you! Oh... (suddenly curtsies) Your presence honors us.
Winter: (looks around she she approaches them) Beacon... It's been a long time. The air feels... different.
Ruby: I mean it is fall, so, eh, it's probably colder.
Weiss: (punches Ruby in the shoulder, causing her to gasp in pain before turning back to her sibling) So, what are you doing here?
Weiss: Oh, right. Well, how long are you staying?
Weiss: Of course. (nods and smiles in understanding)
Ruby: (looks pensively around in the silence) Well... this is nice... I think.
Weiss: (excitedly) You're going to love it here! I know you travel a lot, but so much of Beacon is different from Atlas! (discreetly whispers) Vale, too. The government and school are completely separate! Can you believe it!? I-
Winter: I'm more than familiar with how this kingdom handles its... bureaucracy. That is not why I came.
Weiss: Right! I'm sorry!
Winter: Nor did I come here to watch my own blood fail so miserably in battle. But it appears that I have no choice in the matter.
Weiss: (puzzled) But, we won!
Winter: Only a novice would refer to that as a victory. I counted at least three strikes missed. (The camera then cuts to a side view of the group as she turns to her security) Leave us. (The AK-200s obey, walking two steps backwards into formation as she sighs and smiles a little more warmly at Weiss) How have you been?
Weiss: Oh, splendid! Thank you for asking. I'm actually in the very top ranking of our sparring class! And the rest of my studies are going wonderfully, too! I'm-
Winter: (The camera cuts to Winter's hand as she slaps Weiss, leaving a massive bump on her head) Silence, you boob! I don't recall asking about your ranking, I'm asking how you've been. Are you eating properly? Have you taken up any hobbies? Are you making new friends?
Weiss: Well, there's Ruby.
Ruby: (giggles as she pushes the lump back into Weiss' head) Heh, boob.
Winter: I see. So this is the leader you wrote of. How appropriately... underwhelming.
Ruby: Uh... Thank you!
Winter: Greetings, Ruby Rose. I wish to thank you for taking an interest in my sister.
Ruby: Oh! Uh, yes, of course! (attempts to salute and curtsy) The honor is in my... court! (nearly losing her balance with this gesture, waving her arms until she can get back up)
Winter: I have business with the General and your Headmaster. But, seeing as I'm early, why don't you take me to your quarters?
Winter: (as she and Weiss begin walking towards the Academy, followed by the androids) Yes. I wish to inspect them and make sure that they are up to my personal standards.
Weiss: Of course. Just so you're aware, the bunk beds only look unstable.
Winter: Bunk beds?
Ruby: (waving goodbye behind them) I'll catch up- I mean, I will... reconvene with you both... at a later... (she pauses with her hand on her head, wracking her brain for the right word) juncture! (she raises her finger, before stepping out of sight to the left) At a juncture. Yeah.
The camera cuts to Weiss, Winter and the androids walking towards the courtyard, before shifting to first-person view, where a certain someone dizzily sneaks up behind the AK-200s and promptly decapitates one, before kicking its head towards the group.
Qrow: Hey! (group turns around to see the man who was previously seen in the Crow Bar) Yeah, I'm talking to you, Ice Queen! (tosses the decapitated machine aside)
Winter: (as one of her automated soldiers advances, rifle raised) Halt!
Weiss: (angrily walks up to the offender's face) Excuse me! Do you have any idea who you are talking to!?
Qrow: (places hand on Weiss' face) Sssshhh. Not you. (pushes her out of his way as he moves forward)
Qrow: (looks at the irritated Winter as he clarifies) You. (a raven is seen perched on a lamp post before flying off and circling past the group) Saw that gaudy ship of yours in town. I guess you're here, too.
Winter: I'm standing right before you.
Qrow: (squints through his hazy state of mind) So it would seem.
Winter: You realize you just destroyed Atlas Military property.
Qrow: (sarcastically apologizes as he looks at his surroundings) Oh, oh I'm sorry. See, I mistook this for some sort of... sentient garbage.
Winter: (walks over to face Qrow) I don't have time for your immature games, Qrow.
Weiss: Wait, you two know each other?
Qrow: Geez, you Atlas Specialists think you're so special, don't you?
Winter: It's in the title.
Qrow: Well, you know what you really are? A bunch of sellouts. Just like your boss.
Winter: I'm not sure what you think you're implying, but I've heard enough.
Winter: (shoves Weiss aside) Weiss, it's time for you to go.
Qrow: Listen to big sister, Weiss. She'll protect you. Just like Atlas is going to protect all of us, huh?
Winter: If you won't hold your tongue, then I will gladly remove it for you! (draws her sword)
Qrow: Alright then... (slicks back hair) Come take it.
The square clears before Winter charges at Qrow, starting a fight. During the fight, the camera cuts to the two spinning and trading blows as Ruby enters the crowd next to her teammate.
Ruby: What's going on?!
Weiss: Some crazy guy just started attacking my sister!
Ruby: Oh no! Who would do such a th- (sees Winter's opponent) That is my uncle!
Ruby: (yells loudly) Kick her butt, Uncle Qrow!
Weiss: Uh... (decides to shout her own encouragement) Teach him respect, Winter!
Mercury: (seen walking in the crowd when he witnesses the two fighting) Huh? (Mercury then runs off from the impromptu duel, as the two continue their battle)
The fight comes to a close, with Winter propelling herself forward, screaming in rage and preparing a thrust towards Qrow, just before a commanding voice is loudly heard in the courtyard, stopping her blade's point mere inches away from Qrow's neck.
Winter looks behind her to see General Ironwood standing behind her, with Penny Polendina behind him.
Winter: (lowers her blades as she addresses Ironwood at about face) General Ironwood, sir!
Ironwood: (approaches Winter with Penny by his side) What in the world do you think you're doing?
Winter: He started the altercation, sir!
Qrow: (puts his hands behind his head in a relaxed stance) That's actually not true. She attacked first.
Ironwood: Is that right? (Winter searches for words, only to realize Qrow is right. She looks down in shame) And you. (Qrow points to himself in mock confusion) What are you doing here?
Qrow: I could be asking you the same thing.
Ozpin: Now, now, everyone. (intervening beside Glynda Goodwitch) There is a sanctioned fight happening just around the corner at the Colosseum, that I can assure you has better seats... and popcorn. (swirls his cocoa)
Goodwitch: Break it up, everyone! We will take care of this mess. (glares at the three)
Ironwood: Let's go.
As Ironwood and Winter leave, Penny notices Ruby and quietly waves to her, while Ruby waves back. Ruby then leaps giddily onto Qrow's arm, shaking her legs in delight.
Ruby: Uncle Qrow!!! (as she hangs on Qrow's outstretched arm) Hi. It's so good to see you! Did you miss me? Did you miss me!?
Qrow: Nope. (they share a grin as he pats his niece's head)
Ozpin: Qrow! (the Huntsman turns to look at the headmaster as Ruby gets dropped) A word, please. (Goodwitch then repairs the courtyard using her telekinesis)
Qrow: (to Ruby, discreetly) I think I'm in trouble.
Ruby: You did kinda tear up our courtyard.
Qrow: Yeah, I did. (winks and gives her a fist bump) Catch ya later, kid. (he walks off to join the others)
Weiss: (walking up beside Ruby, arms crossed) And suddenly, your recklessness makes sense.
Ruby: (nudges Weiss' shoulder) You're just mad because he whooped butt.
Weiss: That was a draw, at best!
Ruby's grin says otherwise.
The scene shifts to Ozpin's office late at night. Ironwood is waiting with his arms crossed while Winter is impatiently pacing about. Suddenly, a smirking Qrow, accompanied by Goodwitch and Ozpin, arrive in the elevator.
Winter: What were you thinking!?
Ironwood: If you were one of my men, I would have you shot!
Qrow: (pulls out flask at the three enter the room) If I was one of your men, I'd shoot myself.
Goodwitch: While I wouldn't condone his behavior, retaliating like you did certainly didn't help the situation.
Winter: He was drunk!
Goodwitch: He's always drunk! (the four turn to Qrow to see him drinking from a flask. His eyes widen when he notices them staring, and he holds the flask out to the side, looking at it awkwardly before grimacing.)
Ozpin: (staring at Qrow in shock, then sighs and sits down) Qrow, why are you here?
Ironwood: You've been out of contact for weeks! You can't just go dark like that in the field!
Qrow: I'm not one of your special operatives, Jimmy!
Qrow: Whatever. You sent me to get intel on our enemy, and I'm telling you, our enemy is here.
Ironwood: (leans against Ozpin's desk) We know.
Qrow: Oh! Oh, you know! Well, thank goodness I'm out there risking my life to keep you all informed!
Ironwood: (exhales) Qrow-
Qrow: Communication's a two-way street, pal. You see this? (pulls out his Scroll and points to it) That's the SEND button.
Winter: They had reason to assume you'd been compromised.
Qrow: And I have reason to assume you don't need to be here. (points to Winter) Seriously, who invited her?
Ironwood: (after a moment of silence, without looking at her) Schnee, we'll discuss this incident back at my ship.
Winter: (looks surprised) But sir!
Ironwood: Winter. Leave.
Winter: (salutes Ironwood) Yes sir. (turns on her heel and gives the winking Qrow a dirty look as she exits via the elevator)
Ironwood: (gestures to Qrow) Go on.
Qrow: Your little infiltrator isn't just another pawn. They're the one responsible for Autumn's condition. (takes a drink from his flask once more)
Qrow: Despite what the world thinks, we're not just teachers, or generals, or headmasters. The people in this room, the leaders of the other two academies, we're the ones that keep the world safe from the evils no one even knows about! (getting up in Ironwood's face) It's why we meet behind closed doors, why we work in the shadows. So you tell me, James, when you brought your army to Vale, did you think you were being discreet, or did you just not give a damn!?
Ironwood: (stares down at Qrow as he places his Scroll on Ozpin's desk) Discreet wasn't working. (the center of the room projects a hologram of Vale, Beacon Academy, the Amity Colosseum and Ironwood's fleet of Atlesian Airships, which he gestures to) I'm here because this is what was necessary.
Qrow: You're here because Ozpin wanted you here! He made you a part of this inner circle and opened your eyes to the real fight that's in front of us!
Ironwood: And I am grateful.
Qrow: Oh, well, you've got a real funny way of showing it.
Ironwood: The people of Vale needed someone to protect them; someone who would act. When they look to the sky and see my fleet, they feel safe, and our enemies will feel our strength.
Qrow: (starts laughing) You... You think they're scared of your little ships? I've been out there and I've seen the things she's made, and let me tell you - they are fear.
Ozpin: (standing up) And fear will bring the Grimm. A guardian is a symbol of comfort. But an army is a symbol of conflict. There's an energy in the air now, a question in the back of everyone's minds... (gestures to the display) "If this is the size of our defenses, then what is it we're expecting to fight?"
Ironwood: (glares at them before sighing and walking forward, picking up his Scroll just as it flashes with the image of a Black Queen) So then, what would you suggest we do?
Ozpin: I suggest we find our guardian.
Cinder: And you're sure?
Mercury: Bad hair, used a scythe, and smelled like my dad after a long day. It was him.
Emerald: What do we do?
Cinder: Nothing. We stay the course. They have no idea who we are, so we have no reason to worry. Besides, the last of the heavy lifting is being taken care of thanks to our clever little friend. (picks up her Scroll as it too flashes with the Black Queen) Speaking of which... it appears we have a new access point. (Ironwood is shown on the Scroll as an icon, along with a curling "W" in the other corner)
Emerald: Anywhere good?
Cinder: You could say that. Go to your rooms. I'll prepare everything for tomorrow.
Emerald: Yes, ma'am.
Mercury: Got it.
The Scroll reveals the roster of the Vytal Festival Tournament doubles round, which includes CRDL's Russel Thrush and Sky Lark, SSSN's Sun Wukong and Neptune Vasilias, and Penny Polendina and Ciel Soleil.
Cinder: Let's give the crowd a good fight.
The next morning, the crowd sees the rigged match-up on the screen at the Amity Colosseum.
Port: (over the announcement system) The randomization process is complete! Ladies and gentlemen, your doubles tournament fight!
As the announcement is heard, RWBY cheers with arms raised, JNPR is seen providing applause, and SSSN is shown sitting in front row seats. Bolin Hori and Nolan Porfirio are seen talking to each other behind RWBY, and Dove Bronzewing is sitting behind JNPR. The camera shifts to Cinder, now watching her teammates in the seats as she menacingly claps with a devious smirk, before it cuts to black and the credits roll.
- Weiss Schnee
- Ruby Rose
- Winter Schnee (First Appearance)
- Qrow Branwen
- Mercury Black
- James Ironwood
- Penny Polendina
- Glynda Goodwitch
- Cinder Fall
- Emerald Sustrai
- Coco Adel (Picture)
- Yatsuhashi Daichi (Picture)
- Russel Thrush (Picture)
- Sky Lark (Picture)
- Ciel Soleil (Picture)
- Blake Belladonna
- Yang Xiao Long
- Nolan Porfirio (Cameo)
- Bolin Hori (Cameo)
- Jaune Arc
- Nora Valkyrie
- Pyrrha Nikos
- Lie Ren
- Dove Bronzewing (Cameo)
- Sun Wukong
- Scarlet David
- Sage Ayana
- Neptune Vasilias
- Peter Port (Voice)
- "It's Brawl in the Family" is a play on words with "it's all in the family."
- When Ruby realizes Weiss' sister is fighting her uncle, she gasps and shouts "That's my uncle!". This is a callback to the first episode, as well as a reference to a joke Burnie Burns once made about anime.
- One of Junior Xiong's Henchmen appears in the audience. He later appears in the episode PvP.
- Barbara Dunkelman, the voice actor for Yang, did the motion capture footage for Winter's non-fighting scenes. Miles Luna, voice actor for Jaune, did the motion capture for Qrow.
- According to Ruby the current season is Fall, this may imply that the school year for Huntsman Academies starts in the late winter or early spring.
- It is also possible that Huntsman Academies operate like colleges in the USA, offering the students' education in spring and autumn semesters.
- Winter's line to Weiss about Ruby, "So this is the leader you wrote of" was later turned into a fan-made comic strip and featured as "Letter to Winter" a skit in "Cinder Who?", the 21st episode of RWBY Chibi.
- Main article: It's Brawl in the Family/Image Gallery