Picking up from where "The Badge and The Burden" left off, Weiss Schnee has changed into her battle outfit and is armed with Myrtenaster as Peter Port releases a Boarbatusk into the classroom for her to fight.
After silencing Ruby Rose repeatedly, Weiss is momentarily disarmed, the Grimm having locked Myrtenaster in its tusks and launching it across the room. However, she is unable to retrieve her weapon, but manages to use a glyph to block the beast's attack before launching a counterattack, defeating it by stabbing it in the stomach, a strategy which Ruby suggested earlier.
When the class is dismissed, Ruby asks Weiss about why she snapped at her. The Weiss tells Ruby that from the moment they met, Ruby has been acting like a child, and she believes Ruby is not cut out for a leadership role. The two go their separate ways, Weiss seeking out Professor Port for his counsel while Ruby runs into Ozpin.
Ruby begins to question if Ozpin made a mistake in making her a leader, to which he claims it is too soon to tell. Ozpin confesses that leaders are rarely perfect. He admits to having made "more mistakes than any man, woman, or child on the planet", but also states that he does not believe making Ruby a leader was one of them. He tells her that being a leader is a badge that she will wear constantly, and if she does not perform at her best, others will not have much of a reason to follow her.
Meanwhile, Weiss explains to Port her belief that she should be the leader of Team RWBY, to which Port disagrees. Port states that he has worked underneath Ozpin for many years and the headmaster has never given him any reason to question his judgment. According to Port, Weiss has gotten everything she has ever wanted her whole life, and now that something she wanted has been given to someone else, she is throwing a temper tantrum; truly childish behavior. He goes on to claim that if Weiss wants to earn the respect of those around her then she should learn to follow and support instead of trying to lead. Although Weiss insists that Port's statement is not entirely true, she considers what Port has told her.
Later that night, Weiss returns Team RWBY's dorm room to find Yang Xiao Long, Blake Belladonna, and Ruby already asleep, the latter surrounded by a number of textbooks and papers, implying that she fell asleep studying. Though Ruby apologizes for her sloppy behavior, Weiss - taking Peter's advice to heart - goes to get Ruby a fresh cup of coffee and admits that she has always wanted bunk beds as well. Ruby smiles, Weiss leaves to change clothes, and the scene fades to a night shot of Beacon Academy.
The opening ends to Weiss Schnee, now back in her regular attire, readying her Myrtenaster at the growling creature in the cage barely seen at the end of the last episode. Her teammates cheer her on from their seats in the front row.
Yang Xiao Long: (raising her fist) "Goooo, Weiss!"
Blake Belladonna: (waving a small flag saying "RWBY") "Fight well!"
Weiss Schnee : (lowering her sword and looking over at her "leader") "Ruby! I'm trying to focus!"
Ruby: (looking sheepish) "Oh, um... Sorry..."
Port: "Allllright!" (next to the cage, pulling out his axe) "Let the match... begin!"
The professor swings down and breaks the lock, dropping the cage door and revealing the Boarbatusk inside, which immediately charges at Weiss. She uses Myrtenaster to deflect its attack and roll to the side, readying herself for its next move. The Grimm stands a distance away from its enemy, studying her.
Port: "Ha-ha! Wasn't expecting that, were you?"
Ruby: "Hang in there, Weiss!"
Weiss is now speeding towards the oncoming Boarbatusk, sticking her blade straight at its skull until they meet and Myrtenaster is trapped in the beast's tusks. Weiss is still hanging on to the hilt, and is tossed around as she struggles to get the rapier back.
Port: "Bold, new approach. I like it!"
Ruby: "Come on, Weiss, show it who's boss!"
Weiss turns to glare at Ruby, only for the Boarbatusk to turn its head and rip the sword from her grip. Myrtenaster lands far away from its master, who is knocked back by the creature's tusks.
Port: "Oh-ho! Now what will you do without your weapon?"
Weiss looks up just in time to see the Boarbatusk charge again, rolling out of the way just in time to avoid getting trampled and make it crash into a desk. Weiss rushes at her sword and slides to get it back in her hand.
Ruby: "Weiss! Go for its belly! There's no armor underneath-"
Weiss: (turning to Ruby) "Stop telling me what to do!"
Ruby looks hurt at Weiss' rebuttal. Meanwhile, the Boarbatusk leaps into the air and rolls into a ball, spinning rapidly in the air and landing on the ground, consistently gaining speed until it launches itself at Weiss. It comes closer and closer, but Weiss activates one of her blue-white circles and blocks the roll, leaping up into the now-black snowflake symbol and turning it blue again so she can drive the blade into the Boarbatusk's stomach. It squeals and falls silent while Weiss gasps in relief.
Port: "Bravo! Bra-vo! It appears we are indeed in the presence of a true Huntress-in-training!" (as Weiss stands up at attention from her exhausted position and Ruby continues to frown) "I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Be sure to cover the assigned readings, and... stay vigilant! Class dismissed!"
Weiss glares and turns away, walking hurriedly to the exit past her teammates.
Jaune Arc: (watching her leave) "Sheesh, what's with her?"
The remaining members of Team RWBY look at each other with the same question.
Weiss is still storming off, but Ruby turns a corner and manages to catch up with her.
Weiss: (turning around) "What?"
Ruby: "What's wrong with you? Why are you being-?"
Weiss: "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you? You're supposed to be a leader, and all you've been so far is a nuisance!"
Ruby: (scoffs) "What did I do?"
Weiss: "That's just it - you've done nothing to earn your position! Back in the forest, you acted like a child, and you've only continued to do so!"
Ruby: "Weiss, where is this coming from? What happened to all the talk about 'working together'? I thought you believed in acting as a team."
Weiss: "Not a team led by you. I've studied and trained. And quite frankly, I deserve better." (turns her back to Ruby, trying to reach out but dropping her hand with the following words) "Ozpin made a mistake." (walks away as Ruby looks dejected)
Ozpin: (standing right behind a surprised Ruby with a coffee in one hand and his cane in the other) "Hmm... Now that didn't seem to go very well."
Ruby: (looking doubtful, even on the verge of tears) "Is she right? Did you make a mistake?"
Ozpin: (laughing slightly) "That remains to be seen."
Weiss is still walking around the halls until she comes across a balcony where Professor Port is watching the sunset over Beacon Academy's rooftops.
Weiss: (approaching him) "Professor Port!"
Port: (turning to look at her) "Ah, Miss Schnee! And to what do I owe this fine pleasure?"
Weiss: "I... I enjoyed your lecture!"
Port: "Of course you did, child; you have the blood of a true Huntress in you."
Weiss: (smiling) "You really think so?"
Port: "Most surely!" (notices Weiss' small frown and lack of eye contact) "Hmm... Something's troubling you."
Weiss: "Yes, sir..."
Port: "Dear girl, confess to me your strife!"
Weiss: "Well... I-I think I should have been the leader of Team RWBY!"
Port: (silent for a moment until he speaks) "That's preposterous!"
Ruby: "What do you mean?"
Ozpin: "I mean, it's only been one day. Ruby... I've made more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on this planet. But at this moment, I would not consider your appointment to leader to be one of them." (leans in so he can look more directly at Ruby) "Do you?"
Weiss: (now getting angry) "Excuse me?!"
Port: "I've believed in Professor Ozpin for many years, and the man's never once led me astray!"
Weiss: "So you would just blindly accept his decision even after seeing how exceptional I am?"
Port: "With all due respect, your exceptional skill on the battlefield is matched only by your poor attitude."
Weiss: (seething now) "How dare you!"
Port: "My point exactly. I see a girl before me who has spent her entire life getting exactly what she wanted."
Weiss: (crossing her arms, looking defiant) "That's not even remotely true!" (under the teacher's gaze, she reluctantly relents:) "Well... not entirely true."
Ozpin: "Being a team leader isn't just a title you carry into battle, but a badge you wear constantly. If you're not always performing at your absolute best, then what reason do you give others to follow you?"
Ruby looks thoughtful with Ozpin's words, then smiles at him.
Port: "So the outcome did not fall in your favor. Do you really believe that acting in such a manner would cause those in power to reconsider their decision?" (as Weiss finally calms down and looks at him again) "So instead of fretting about what you don't have, savor what you do. Hone your skills, perfect every technique, and be not the best leader, but the best person you can be."
Weiss smiles a little at the words of wisdom.
Ozpin: (turning back on Ruby, still talking to her) "You've been burdened with a daunting responsibility, Ruby. I advise you take some time, to think about how you will uphold it."
Ruby, with a last look of consideration, turns and walks away. She comes to the balcony where Port is walking away from Weiss and smiles a little at her partner.
The full moon shines over the green lights of Beacon, and in the room of Team RWBY, the door opens and Weiss' shadow is seen against the hall's light. Blake is sleeping under the covers, Yang is spread out on her bed and snoring, and when Weiss lifts the blanket of Ruby's tent, she finds the occupant with her head resting on notes, a pencil in her hand, and open books all around her. Weiss, looking amazed at Ruby's determination, clears her throat and gently shakes the other girl awake, who takes a second to regain consciousness and start flailing in surprise.'
Ruby: "Weiss! I-I was studying, and then I fell asleep! I'm sorry..."
Weiss places a hand over Ruby's mouth and puts a finger to her own so Ruby understands the need for lowering her voice. Weiss looks near Ruby's pillow and spots an empty Beacon coffee mug.
Weiss: (lowering her hand) "How do you take your coffee?"
Ruby: "I... I don't..."
Weiss: (getting irritated) "Answer the question!"
Ruby: "Uhh, cream and five sugars!"
Weiss: (sighs) "Don't move." (she ducks under to her own bed and comes up a moment later with a fresh cup, offering it to Ruby) "Here."
Ruby: "Um... Thanks, Weiss."
Weiss: (smiles, then looks apologetic) "Ruby, I think you have what it takes to be a good leader." (Ruby smiles appreciatively) "Just know that I am going to be the best teammate you'll ever have!" (they share a smile) "Good luck studying!" (ducks under, only to come up and point at one of Ruby's papers) "That's wrong, by the way." (ducks under again, and her voice comes from the doorway this time) "Hey, Ruby?"
Weiss: (stands in the door with her hand on the knob) "I always wanted bunk beds as a kid." (she starts to close the door)
Ruby, grinning at the progress with her friend, goes back to her notes as scene fades to black and the credits roll.
- Port keeps several Grimm heads in his classroom as trophies. It is later revealed in the World of Remnant episode "Grimm", that they are taxidermy recreations as Grimm evaporate shortly after death.
- Some of the text in Ruby's book is the same text from Blake's book in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2".
- Weiss' comment about bunk beds can be interpreted as foreshadowing of her siblings.
- Many fans claim that Port capturing live Grimm and keeping them in cages is a reference to his voice actor, Ryan Haywood, keeping a cow named Edgar trapped under his house in Minecraft. However, as Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross have said, this episode was written long before Ryan captured Edgar. This parallel between Port and Ryan was merely coincidence.
- Main article: The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2/Image Gallery