"So That's How It Is" is the fourth episode of Volume 6 and the seventieth episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on November 17th, 2018 and was made public on the Rooster Teeth site on November 24th, 2018. It was released on YouTube on November 23rd, 2019.
In northern Mistral, Jinn's story about Salem and Ozma ends. Yang Xiao Long is furious at Ozpin for again having kept information from them, Ruby Rose angrily questions whether Ozpin has a plan to defeat his immortal enemy and Qrow Branwen punches Ozpin's host, Oscar Pine, in the face. Ozpin then retreats into the deepest part of Oscar's mind to the point that he cannot be reached. As Blake Belladonna and Weiss Schnee question what to do, Maria Calavera calls everyone out, saying that negativity will not help as much as leaving to search for shelter. The group decides to leave, with Maria seated on Bumblebee's seat as Yang pushes the motorcycle.
In the Land of Darkness, a Mistral Airship carrying Mercury Black, Emerald Sustrai and Hazel Rainart arrives at Evernight Castle some time after the Battle of Haven. Tyrian Callows receives them, taunting the group regarding the fact that Cinder did not return. Angered, Emerald draws her weapons to threaten Tyrian but eventually backs away.
Once in the meeting room, Salem asks who is responsible for the group's defeat in Haven. Hazel stands up and takes full responsibility, but an enraged Salem flips the table, hitting Tyrian upside the head in doing so, and states that someone else is to blame, and proceeds to summon Grimm arms from the floor which grab Hazel and drag him to the ground. Emerald then admits it was Cinder's fault. Salem confirms, stating that Emerald must understand the failure, and adds that Cinder "must be left to toil in her isolation until she redeems herself".
While releasing Hazel, Salem tells her subordinates that no matter what drives them, they must not put their desires before her own, as "the path to your desires is only found through me." Salem starts discussing the Relic of Destruction in Vacuo's Shade Academy, but then Hazel reveals that Qrow's group is taking the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas under Ozpin's orders. Salem orders everyone to leave the room, and in frustration delivers a powerful scream that shatters all the windows of the meeting room.
Back in Mistral, the snowstorm is getting worse, so once Ruby's group finds the seemingly abandoned Brunswick Farms, they head inside to take shelter.
Yang: (enraged) There was so much you hadn't told us! How could you think that was okay?!
Ozpin doesn't say anything, he just hangs his head back down in shame.
Ruby: Professor... (Ozpin looks up at her) What is your plan to defeat Salem?
Ozpin: I... don't have one...
Suddenly, Qrow punches Ozpin in the face, sending him into a nearby tree trunk.
Qrow: No one wanted me... I was cursed... I gave my life to you because you gave me a place in this world... I thought I was finally doing some good...
Ozpin: (tearfully) But, you are!
Qrow: Meeting you... was the worst luck of my life...
Ozpin stares back in disbelief upon hearing Qrow say that, before looking down dejected.
Ozpin: Maybe you're right...
Ozpin's eyes glow as control is transferred back to Oscar Pine. He holds his cheek in pain from the effects of Qrow's punch.
Ruby: What happened?
Oscar: He's... gone.
Yang: That bastard! Tell him we're not done yet!
Oscar: No, this is different. He's gone. It-- It's like he's locked himself deep inside my head. Our head? (grunts as he holds his head in pain) I hate this! I want it to stop!
Weiss: He just left us?
Blake: What are we gonna do now?
Yang growls in anger.
Maria: Enough! We need to get move on. It'll be dark before we know it, and every one of you is spewing negativity! (helps Oscar up with her cane) There's a trail over there, trails usually lead somewhere.
Yang: Lady, I don't know who you think you are but--
Maria: (slamming her cane) No buts! I understand that you're upset. Honestly, I'm still coming to terms with the fact that this is humanity's second time around. But, if we don't move, we die. And I'll be damned if I've lived this long just to die out here in the cold!
Ruby: She's right. Come on.
Everyone grabs their belongings and whatever Dust they can carry with them. Maria sits on Bumblebee as Yang walks her bike. Ruby walks over to Oscar and hands over the handle of his cane.
Oscar: (grabbing the cane) I'm just going to be another one of his lives, aren't I?
Ruby: (puts her hand on his) Of course not. You're your own person.
Qrow: Don't lie to him, Ruby. (drinks from his flask) We're better than that.
Ruby and Oscar look down sadly before walking to join the others.
In the Land of Darkness, five Nevermores are perched on a rocky outcropping with large purple crystals. They fly away when an airship flies by them heading towards a large purple structure in the distance. The airship lowers down to an outcropping that serves as a dock, and Hazel Rainart, Mercury Black, and Emerald Sustrai hop out. As they proceed forward, they notice Tyrian Callows leaning against the entrance at the bottom of the stairs. His scorpion tail now has a spiked, metal tip covering it from where it was cut off.
Tyrian: (laughs) Welcome back, welcome back! I do hope you missed us as much as we missed you.
Emerald and Mercury glare at Tyrian.
Hazel: Let's go.
The three proceed forward past Tyrian.
Tyrian: Speaking of which, where is our Fall Maiden?
Emerald stops upon hearing this, prompting Tyrian to giggle, causing Emerald to growl.
Mercury: Emerald, come on.
Tyrian: (in a mocking tone) Don't tell me something happened to her? (laughs)
Emerald: (turns around and draws her weapons at Tyrian) I will cut off more than just your tail.
Tyrian: (chuckles as he slowly walks toward Emerald) Careful, little girl. Cinder isn't here to protect you anymore.
Tyrian gets close to Emerald's face, causing her to back away. Tyrian intentionally cuts his cheek with the blade of Emerald's weapon. Emerald has a disturbed expression on her face upon seeing this, and Mercury steps up to hold Emerald's shoulder and scare Tyrian away from her.
Mercury: (glaring) Back off, freak.
Tyrian: Oh, don't misunderstand, I am in mourning just as you. Because it appears you've failed our Queen, and that is a tragedy.
A moment later, Tyrian drops his sympathetic facade and starts to laugh maniacally. Mercury looks back at him in disgust while Emerald has a fearful expression on her face. The two of them and Hazel turn around to proceed up the stairs as Tyrian continues laughing.
In the meeting room, Salem opens her eyes and glares at her subordinates. Tyrian and Arthur Watts are seen fearfully sitting at the table while Hazel, Emerald and Mercury are kneeling at the other end of the room.
Salem: I would like you to explain to me... how it is you failed so spectacularly?
Hazel: The Faunus Militia split our forces--
Hazel remains silent with a fearful expression on his face.
Salem: Let me rephrase the question - who is responsible for your defeat?
Emerald and Mercury stay kneeling as Hazel stands up to give his answer. Salem listens intently.
Hazel: I take full responsibility.
Suddenly, Salem flips the table over, knocking Tyrian off his chair. Watts hastily stands up from his seat and backs away.
Salem: (angered) But that wouldn't be fair now, would it?! We all know who's truly to blame...
Salem walks forward and menacingly holds her hand out in front of her.
Hazel: I don't--
Salem motions her hand, and a glyph with her symbol appears underneath Hazel. Multiple Grimm arms come out from it and grab Hazel, forcing him down on all fours and suffocating him.
Salem looks over to Emerald, who is still staring down with a fearful expression.
Salem: I want you to tell me whose fault this was.
Salem slowly walks over to Emerald as she breathes heavily.
Emerald: (closing her eyes in fear) Cinder! We failed because of Cinder...
Salem: That's right. (placing a hand on Emerald's shoulder, causing her to flinch) I want you to understand that failure. I want you to understand why Cinder must be left to toil in her isolation until she redeems herself.
Salem walks away from Emerald. Both her and Mercury look up in surprise.
Mercury: You mean--
Emerald: She's alive?
Watts: You're joking, how could you know that?
Tyrian: Are you questioning our divine savior?!
Watts: (reels back) I...
Salem looks over to Watts and glares at him.
Watts: (chuckles nervously) Of course not, forgive me.
Salem proceeds to address her subordinates.
Salem: It's important not to lose sight of what drives us: Love, justice, reverence... (she meets Emerald's eyes briefly) ...But, the moment you put your desires before my own... they will be lost to you.
Salem releases Hazel from her grasp and walks back to the other side of the room. Hazel catches his breath.
Salem: This isn't a threat. This is simply the truth. The path to your desires is only found... through me. (turns her head to glare back at them)
Hazel stands back up, Tyrian lets out a small chuckles, and Watts straightens his coat. Salem glances outside, where several Nevermores are flying, before looking down and closing her eyes.
Hazel: Ma'am. (everyone looks at him, Tyrian glaring) I have... more to report.
Salem's eyes narrow, and she spreads her hands, causing the Grimm arms to appear around Hazel's feet again. Hazel looks down at them nervously before explaining himself.
Hazel: Qrow and the children are taking the Lamp to Atlas.
Tyrian: (laughs) Not if I can help it.
Hazel: And they're being led... by Ozpin.
At this, everyone slowly looks toward Salem with fearful expressions on their faces and Mercury notices the windows starting to crack.
Tyrian: So soon?!
Watts: He's the only man with a chance of getting through to Ironwood. If that happens...
Watts suddenly stops as he and everyone else notice the windows cracking. They then look at Salem, and dark smoke emanates from her.
Salem: (furious) Leave...
Tyrian: Your Grace, I can...
Salem glares at Tyrian, causing him to reel back. Emerald looks on in fear before Hazel puts a hand on her shoulder.
Hazel: Come on.
Everyone quickly proceeds to exit the room as the windows start to crack even more. Emerald takes one last look behind her as the doors close. Salem, left alone, seethes with anger before calming herself down. Everything is seemingly quiet, but then all of a sudden, Salem yells out in rage and the windows shatter violently.
Back in the snow, Team RWBY, Qrow, Oscar and Maria proceed on the trail. The snow starts to pick up even more.
Qrow: (sighs) Doesn't look like this is gonna let up.
Blake: Just wanna get this stupid Relic to Atlas.
Weiss: Let's hope we don't have to walk all the way there.
Yang: (to Maria, sarcastically) I thought trails led somewhere.
Maria: Do you have nothing better to do than to harass a defenseless old lady?
Ruby: Everyone, quiet. Do you hear that?
Everyone stops in their tracks. A metallic squeaking can be heard. A large farm can be seen, one of the front gates swings back and forth with the wind. A large sign above the entrance reads "BRUNSWICK FARMS". Everyone arrives at the gate.
Blake: Well, at least one good thing happened today.
Weiss: It looks abandoned.
Ruby: It's still better than this.
Qrow: Come on, I think we could all use some rest.
Everyone proceeds through the farm's gates, with Qrow being the last to enter. The snow starts to pick up even more as the gate is heard closing with a metallic clang.
- The scene involving the villains during this episode originally took place before "The Lost Fable" in an early version of the script, but was moved after thinking about the different way people would be looking at Salem after the episode.
- Main article: So That's How It Is/Image Gallery
- Volume 6 Directors' Commentary Chapter 4