"Taking Control" is the eleventh episode of Volume 4 and the fifty-first episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth sponsors on January 28th, 2017 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on January 29th, 2017. It was made public on February 4th, 2017.
In the Land of Darkness, Cinder Fall trains under Salem's guidance in using her Maiden powers. Tyrian Callows returns, fearful of displeasing Salem by not returning with Ruby Rose. He defends his failure by informing her that he poisoned Qrow Branwen. Salem tells him that he disappointed her, and Tyrian takes out his grief on a Beowolf, much to Cinder's horror.
Yang Xiao Long spray paints her robotic arm yellow and black, then gets ready to leave on her motorcycle. Taiyang Xiao Long arrives to wish her well in person, and ask if she is going to see Raven Branwen, or go after her sister in Mistral.
Weiss Schnee attempts to sneak out of the Schnee Manor with the help of the butler, Klein Sieben. Along the way she overhears Jacques Schnee and James Ironwood arguing about his decision to close the borders of Atlas. Ironwood also mentions that Winter Schnee is in Mistral, reporting that a serious threat is brewing and people are mobilizing. Noticing that the conversation is concluded and that Ironwood is on his way out, Weiss uses a Glyph to prevent the door from opening. She escapes through a secret passage in the library when Ironwood and Jacques finally break out of the study.
Sun Wukong wakes up on a couch in Ghira Belladonna's study. Blake Belladonna is there, greatly upset about his injury and extolling about this exact thing being why she left the rest of Team RWBY behind. She had learned to love them, now missing them every day and hoping they hate her for leaving, accepting the consequences. Sun points out that she is not actually being selfless like she thinks, saying that shutting her caring friends out hurts more than any enemy-inflicted injury. He overexerts his arm and then winces in pain, which manages to get a laugh out of Blake. Kali Belladonna falls into the room, clearly having just been eavesdropping. Ghira delivers the news learned from Ilia Amitola's Scroll that Adam Taurus is planning a repeat of the Fall of Beacon at Haven Academy after overthrowing Sienna Khan. Blake declares that the best course of action is to take the White Fang back into their leadership.
An arcing slash of fire moves across the black screen, quickly followed by another. There is a brief beat before two more fiery arcs slash across the screen. An irregular circle of flame bursts outward from the center, revealing behind the black a panting Cinder Fall.
She is in a large, empty room. Behind her is a darkened arched hallway. On either side of the arch, the walls of the room have a low ledge the bear several burning white candles. Four Beowolves approach Cinder, moving in a semicircle formation. Cinder swings her left arm at them, sending another slash of fire. It cuts through the middle of all four Grimm and they disintegrate away.
Cinder pants again, still upright yet taking a breather. She does not get long, as heavy footsteps approach from her left. She gasps and looks in their direction. A Beringel leaps into the air, ready to deliver a blow to her with its fist. Cinder, however, pulls back her right arm and pushes a ball of flame right at it. It, too, disintegrates.
As its body disappears, Cinder falls to her knees, breathing heavily.
Salem walks forward while Cinder continues to struggle for normal breathing.
Salem: I thought you were the girl who wanted power. Did you lie to me?
Cinder winces on the force of Salem's question before looking upward. Turning to face Salem, Cinder clearly shakes her head negatively.
Salem: Then stop holding back. If you wish to master your new powers, you must -
Salem is cut off by the sound of heavy doors opening. On the opposite end of the stone hall, a sobbing Tyrian Callows enters. He falls to his knees once in the room, both hands flat on the floor and his head bowed.
Tyrian: (softly) I'm sorry. (raising his hand to his chin) She'll forgive me. Pleeeease.
Tyrian bows again on the last word.
Tyrian: Forgive me...
She stands before him. He raises his body but remains sitting on his legs while Cinder rises from the stone floor behind Salem.
Salem: (holding out her arm imperially) Your task - were you successful?
Tyrian: (bowing his head) N-no.
Cinder's eye widens. Salem also looks surprised for a moment before narrowing her eyes and walking away. Cinder watches their leader for her further reaction without looking at Tyrian.
Tyrian: (begging and turning his body to remain facing Salem) But-but hope is not lost! My tail, my stinger... I-I poisoned him, Qrow! He will not be a nuisance to you any longer, no... no longer! I've done that... have I done well? Have I pleased you?
Salem: The last eye is blinded... you disappoint me.
Salem leaves. Tyrian falls forward, wailing. A Beowolf approaches, all focused on Tyrian's negative emotions. It ignores Cinder and leaps upon him. Tyrian sends it away with a single blow and it lands on its back. Still wailing, Tyrian opens his weapons and leaps atop the Beowolf. He slashes at it repeatedly, tears streaming down his face. His wails gradually turn into laughter as he vents his grief into the butchering of the Grimm. Cinder watches, horrified.
Outside of her home on Patch, Yang Xiao Long spray paints her robotic arm and half of Ember Celica bright yellow. She goes into a tool shed and takes the tarp that had been covering her motorcycle, Bumblebee, off.
Taiyang Xiao Long: I don't remember saying that you were ready.
He is leaning against the frame of the open shed door, arms crossed.
Yang: (without turning around) Oh yeah? You're gonna try and stop me?
Taiyang: (chuckling) No. I think I'm still too sore after our last fight. I just wanted a better goodbye than a letter. And, I also have a question for you.
Yang turns around.
Taiyang: Where are you going?
Yang: What do you mean?
Taiyang: (moving into the shed) Well, despite asking him numerous times not to, I know that Qrow told you where your mother's been at these days. I know how much you wanna see her. I've stopped you in the past, but I won't anymore. And we both read the note. We know your sister's headed to Mistral. So, where are you going?
Yang looks down at the tarp as Taiyang makes his point. She remains gazing down for another couple of beats before looking up at her father. Her eyes narrow in determination, her decision made.
Weiss Schnee steps out of her bedroom, carrying a white suitcase and Myrtenaster. She looks around cautiously, her footsteps loudly resounding in the ornate hallway. She jumps and gasps when Klein Sieben appears right behind her. He puts his finger to his lips and shushes her before smiling.
Klein: (whispering) Let's go.
The two move quickly across the carpet, their footsteps muffled. Side by side, they go down the staircase and clickety-clack their way across the entrance hall. They are moving down another hallway when Klein's Scroll buzzes. They both look at it with squinty eyes.
Klein: Master Whitley! I... um... yes, of course. I'll be just a moment.
He clicks his Scroll off and tucks it away.
Klein: (whispering to Weiss) Head to the first floor library. I'll meet you there.
They separate, going in opposite directions. Weiss is soon creeping outside her father's study door when she hears a glass crash followed by the rising voice of James Ironwood. She crouches behind a cushioned chair against the wall.
Ironwood: You need to control yourself!
Jacques: You're talking to me about control? Do you even hear what you're saying?
Ironwood: I am basing everything on my reports from your daughter.
Jacques: A daughter you stole!
Weiss moves closer to the door to listen.
Ironwood: Oh, we are not getting into that again.
Jacques: Oh, yes, we have far more pressing matters to discuss, starting with your apparent lunacy!
The scene changes to an overhead view inside Jacques' study. He is seated at his desk while Ironwood has both hands on it, leaning over him from the other side.
Ironwood: (sighing heavily) Winter is one of my best. If she's telling me there's a threat in Mistral then I am not going to take that news lightly. She's been there for weeks, people are mobilizing, sudden spikes in weapons and Dust trades. Someone is about to make a play and I do not trust Leo to stop them.
Weiss is listening outside.
Jacques: You've never trusted anyone other than yourself!
Ironwood: (shouting) And for good reason!
Weiss covers her mouth with her hand as she gasps at the sound of Ironwood slamming his fist onto the desk.
Ironwood: If Oz had just listened to me from the start...
Jacques: You need to get a grip.
Ironwood: That's exactly what I'm doing. Our people need protection. By this time next week, the Kingdom of Atlas will be officially closing its borders. No one in; no one out. Without the council's permission.
Jacques: You mean, without your permission?
Ironwood: And if that becomes the case, I would think you'd want to be on my good side.
Ironwood walks away from the desk, leaving Jacques to sigh and fold his hands. Outside the door, Weiss hears him coming and uses Myrtenaster to cast a black Glyph onto the handle. When Ironwood tries to leave, the handle turns but the door will not open, despite him shaking it.
Ironwood: It's locked.
Jacques: What are you talking about?
Ironwood steps back and slams into the door, shoulder first. It does not budge. Weiss turns and makes her way down the hall across the carpet while a couple more bangs come from the door.
She reaches the library, but it is empty.
Weiss: Klein! Klein, where are you?
A hidden door in the corner opens, revealing Klein.
Klein: (red-eyed and with an accent) Keep your voice down, I told you I'd be here.
Weiss rushes over, dropping both sword and suitcase in order to hug Klein with both arms. He returns the hug and his eyes turn back to normal.
Klein: Are you sure Mistral is safe?
Weiss: (stepping back and clasping her hands formally in front of her) No, but it's where I'll find Winter.
Klein: (speaking with eyes that have turned light brown) I suppose she'd be the only family you have left after tonight.
Weiss: (putting her hand on his shoulder) I'll always have you.
Klein: You most certainly will.
A loud bang from further in the house makes them both look. It is clear that Ironwood has gotten finally out of Jacques' study.
Jacques: Klein?! Klein, get down here this instant!
Klein's shoulders slump.
Klein: Go, now.
Weiss grabs her things and goes through the secret passage in the corner of the library. She pauses to turn and look at the butler one more time.
Weiss: Thank you, Klein.
He nods and shuts the door.
It is daytime in Menagerie birds tweet in the trees around the balcony outside Ghira Belladonna's study. Inside, a shirtless Sun Wukong lies on the couch, his head propped on the arm and his hands folded over his abdomen. A slow pan of his body reveals a bloodied bandage on his left shoulder where Lightning Lash had struck him, as Sun blinks awake. He raises his head with a groan.
Blake Belladonna is sitting on a chair across from the couch, her body facing him. Her head is bowed and her hands are folded in her lap.
Blake: This... is why, Sun. This is why I left them all behind.
Sun: (sitting up) What are you... wait, where am I?
Blake gets up and walks over to the couch as Sun looks around in confusion.
Blake: I am done seeing my friends hurt because of me.
Blake: Shut up! Do you think I like being alone? Every day... every day I think about them! Ruby, Weiss, Yang... they were my friends! I loved them like I never thought I could love anybody. And I hope they hate me for leaving.
Sun: (raising himself up to reach out to her) You don't mean that.
Blake: Yes, I do!
She is forceful enough with her voice that Sun pulls back.
Blake: (holding her hand to her head) Everyone thinks they can help me, but they can't. (sitting down) You saw Ilia last night and she's not even the worst! No. No more. They're better off without me. I made my choices and I'll deal with the consequences because they belong to me.
Sun: You think you're being selfless, but you're not. Yeah, that chameleon friend of yours got me pretty good. But I'd do it all again if it meant protecting you.
Blake turns to face him, surprised.
Sun: And I can promise Yang would say the same.
Blake turns away, looking down.
Sun: (sitting up fully, with effort) You can make your own choices, sure. But you don't get to make ours. When your friends fight for you, it's because we want to. So stop pushing us out! It hurts more than anything the bad guys could ever do to us.
Sun looks at the floor and Blake, who had turned to face him, turns away again.
Sun: But, if it makes you feel any better, the next time I go up against Lizard Girl, it won't be for you - it'll be to get even.
He attempts to point to his would with his left thumb, but he can not complete the motion and it aggravates his injury. Sun winces in pain and Blake laughs.
Blake: My hero.
The door behind Blake, the same one that Sun crashed through the night before, crashes down again. This time it is Kali Belladonna embarrassing herself through eavesdropping too closely. Behind her, Ghira looks down at his wife on the ground with his hand on his hip. Kali pops upward again.
Kali: (in an affected tone) Oh! Oh dear, would you look at that, he's awake! Thank goodness!
Ghira: (covering his face with his hand) Kali, please.
Sun: Hey, Mrs. B!
Blake: (walking over to her mother) What are you doing?!
Kali: Well, sweetheart, your father needed to speak with the two of you.
A Scroll is set down on the coffee table. It shows a master folder labeled W. F. with six subfolders inside. The subfolders are labeled: Assignment, E.L., P.R., E.W., S. F., Untitled.
Ghira: I'm afraid you were right to be suspicious.
Blake: What do you mean?
Sun: Not if we destroy the White Fang once and for all.
She stands up, full of decision.
Blake: We're not going to destroy the White Fang. We're going to take it back.
Ren: Not again, not again...
They come to a stop after passing under an arch leading to the center of town. Ren is panting, but Nora is hardly winded. Ren lifts his head and his worried eyes change to ones smiling in relief.
Ruby: What are you guys doing here?
Jaune: Did you hear that noise? What was that?!
Ren's eyes grow wide and he falls to his knees, clearly alarmed.
Ruby: Ren! What is it?!
The sound of plodding footsteps can be heard coming closer.
Jaune: Wait, you guys hear that?
Ren: (in weak protest) No...
The footsteps come to a stop. A bone horse head breathes loudly, exhaling black smoke. Within the bones are glowing red lights and around it is the black flesh of a Grimm.
Ren lifts his head.
Weapons can be seen, stuck into an offscreen body that has bones sticking out perpendicular to its spine. Slowly, a torso raises, revealing a horned, humanoid Grimm. The horns and front part of the face are bone while the mouth is merely thin strips of Grimm flesh stretching across an opening. The mouth, the bones, and the eyes all glow red. The Nuckelavee twitches its head and roars.
The screen cuts to black.
- Blake saying "My hero." in this episode is a callback to "Of Runaways and Stowaways" when Sun is caught by Blake and says the phrase and later in the same chapter, where he also catches her and asks Blake to say it, though she never did.
- Kali crashing through the door while she and Ghira were eavesdropping on Blake and Sun is a callback to "A Much Needed Talk" when Sun was eavesdropping on Blake and Ghira.
- Salem asking Cinder if she wasn't the girl who wanted power is a callback to "Beginning of the End" in Cinder's monologue.
- Ironwood threatening Jacques foreshadows Ironwood later arresting Jacques for treason in Volume 7 and later killing him in Volume 8. It also foreshadows Ironwood using the Atlas Military to control Atlas during the events of Volume 7 and eventually declaring martial law in the kingdom after turning against Ruby's Group.
- Main article: Taking Control/Image Gallery