"Tipping Point" is the forty-sixth episode of RWBY and the sixth episode of Volume 4. It premiered for Rooster Teeth sponsors on December 10th, 2016 and was released for registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on December 11th, 2016. It was made public on December 17th, 2016.
Team RNJR walks along a path and discusses the duration of their trip. They come across an abandoned town which is not marked on their map. Worried, they run into the town in case anyone needs their help but quickly discover that no one is in the town. A sign reveals that the town was known as Oniyuri. Lie Ren tells the rest of the group its origin, revealing that his parents were among the people associated with it and how a single Grimm in particular managed to wipe it out.
In Atlas, Weiss Schnee sings at the charity concert. At the after-party, she examines a painting of Beacon Academy that is being auctioned to raise money for Vale. As she looks at it, Henry Marigold walks up and attempts to flirt with her. She becomes annoyed when he tells her he doesn't know what the party is for and orders him to leave. Weiss then overhears a woman tell the other guests that Vale had it coming. Weiss becomes infuriated and yells at the crowd. Jacques Schnee tries to stop her, but she accidentally loses control of her Semblance and summons a white Boarbatusk which rushes to attack the woman. James Ironwood shoots it down before it can harm her. However, he refuses when the woman demands that he arrest Weiss, stating that she "is the only one making any sense" before leaving the building.
As RNJR makes their way through the town, Tyrian attacks, and he tells them that he only wants to capture Ruby. However, the rest of the team refuse to let him do so. They fight, but RNJR is clearly outmatched by Tyrian, who is revealed to be a scorpion Faunus. As he is about to strike Ruby with his tail, Qrow Branwen arrives and blocks the strike with his sword, revealing his presence to Ruby and the rest of Team RNJR.
Nora: Another day, another adventure!
Ruby: What's on the agenda today?
Nora: With a side of...?
Ruby: (sighs) Haven is a lot farther away than I thought.
Ren: Ruby? How long did you think this journey was going to take?
Ruby: I don't know! I grew up in a small area; I've never been this far away from home!
Jaune: Right but... how long?
Ruby: Maybe like, uh... two weeks?
Jaune: (looking up from the map to glare at her) What?!
Ruby: Okay, fine! Three or something! (not making eye contact) Look, whatever.
Ruby looks up again after a beat and notices something ahead.
Ruby: Hey, what's that?
Nora jumps onto a slightly fallen post of a fence to get a closer look at a wall and building ahead.
Jaune: That's... strange. (checking his map) I didn't think we'd be hitting another village for a few days.
Nora: Are those buildings... damaged?
Jaune: We should search for survivors!
Jaune drops the map and all four go running into the village, with Nora leaping onto the wall and to a rooftop from there. They discover the town to be empty. Ruby lifts a fallen plank of wood to find only plant outgrowth underneath.
Nora: Nothing over here!
Jaune: No one over here, either!
Ren: It almost seems like... the town was abandoned.
Ruby looks around while the others go offscreen, feeling unease in the wind.
Nora: Hey, I think I found something!
Ruby turns and rushes over. Nora, Jaune and Ren are looking at a town sign. Nora moves the ivy growing over it to the side to read what it says.
Nora: Oniyuri? Never heard of it.
Jaune: Me neither.
Ren: I have.
The other three look at him, surprise on Nora and Ruby's faces.
As Ren speaks, there are wide shots showing the various unfinished buildings, disrepair and neglect of the village.
Ren: Frustrated with the council, they pooled their resources together to build their own city, with their own laws. They hoped that one day, it could maybe even become its own Kingdom. Many thought it would be the future.
Ren walks away from the other three.
Ren: I know my parents did.
Ruby: What happened?
He brushes some dirt off of the stone border of a low wall to reveal claw marks.
Ren: What always happens.
Jaune: The Grimm.
Ren tightens his hands into fists.
Ren: Not just any, one.
Ruby briefly faces Nora in confusion, but Nora doesn't move her concerned gaze away from Ren. Ruby turns back to him.
Several small black birds take off from a tree outside Oniyuri's wall. They fly over the village and the four travelers.
Jaune: Come on. Let's just get through here. This place gives me the creeps.
He turns and leaves, soon followed by Nora. Ren lingers for a moment for a few moments, seemingly in thought, then follows. Ruby is the last to move as she looks over the empty village. Leaves blow through behind her after she follows her friends.
Dramatic, feminine vocalizing is heard.
The broken moon shines brightly to the sound of Weiss Schnee singing.
She stands alone on a large, empty stage, singing a wordless aria, her arms outstretched. She is perfectly positioned below the center of the painted emblem of Atlas that dominates the stage.
The song changes to emphatic lyrics.
"I'm not your pet, not another thing you own.
I was not born guilty of your crimes.
Your riches and your influence can't hold me anymore.
I won't be possessed,
burdened by your royal test.
I will not surrender.
This life is mine."
Weiss concludes her song and bows while the audience applauds. She looks up to the balcony above stage left where her father and brother are watching. Jacques Schnee remains seated, not applauding, while Whitley Schnee is standing giving a slower paced, sarcastic clap. Weiss looks back at the audience, all clapping still in their seats. She turns and walks backstage, her feigned smile replaced with a frown.
A waiter carrying martini glasses on a tray opens up a door and enters the ballroom where people mill about to soft piano notes. He holds the tray next to a young man, who takes a glass before walking off. A blonde woman in a dark green halter dress stops to look at the waiter before moving on. Background conversation is audible.
Second Waiter: Need anything else?
Blonde Woman: No.
The blonde walks up to a man.
Background Man: Hey. Nice dress.
Blonde Woman: What, this old thing?
Background Man: Heh. Didn't you enjoy the performance?
Blonde Woman: Yes, she has a lovely voice.
The camera pans the room, showing a number of dressed up people as the waiter moves across the room. On the far opposite end of the room is a display area with three large paintings and two abstract statues. To one side Jacques is conversing with a man in glasses and a gray-haired woman in a green dress. They are laughing. Weiss is behind her father, looking at the floor with her hands held primly behind her back. Whitley stands similar further behind their father, only his gaze is directly on him.
Jacques: That's precisely my point. We offer Faunus the exact same wages given to the rest of our mining staff. Their argument's completely invalid right out of the gate.
Businessman: Well, I think the bigger issue here...
Weiss: (to herself) Ugh.
Businessman: ...is our society as a whole.
Jacques: (scoffing) Why, you mean Atlas?
Businessman: Atlas, Mantle... You can't deny the economic disparity between the two.
Businesswoman: I mean, what exactly are you suggesting?
Weiss starts to step away, only to have her forearm grabbed by her father, who doesn't even turn around. Weiss halts, startled.
Businessman: I'm just saying I don't think it's necessarily an issue of compensation as much as it is one of opportunity...
Jacques: (pulling Weiss back and turning to face her) Where are you going?
Weiss: (with a meek expression) I'm... just a little thirsty.
Jacques: Sweetheart, we have people for that.
He lets go of Weiss and begins to raise his arm to call over a waiter. Weiss stops him by grabbing his forearm, prompting a sideways glance from Whitley.
Weiss: What? No, I can get it. I'll be right back, I promise.
The two lock gazes as the conversation next to them continues.
Businesswoman: Look, no one asked them to move here.
Businessman: But companies like the SDC promised jobs.
Jacques decides to let Weiss go and turns back to his companions.
Jacques: I'm sorry, I tuned out for a second, but sounds like I'm the good guy again?
Jacques and the businesswoman share a laugh. Weiss moves across the room to look at the painting of Beacon Academy. She has barely reached it when Henry Marigold speaks to her.
Henry: It's beautiful. (pauses) You two match.
Weiss stands with her arms crossed, maintaining a cold expression throughout most of the conversation.
Weiss: Yes, it's a lovely painting.
Henry: So, that was my attempt at breaking the ice. How am I doing so far?
Weiss: (sigh) You are leaving a lot to be desired.
Henry: Well, I've always appreciated honesty. (offering his hand) Henry. Marigold.
Weiss turns her head to look at him.
Weiss: Weiss Schnee.
She lightly places her fingers across his in a very loose handshake.
Henry: I know, I saw your performance. (cringes at himself) Obviously. (clears his throat) You were wonderful. And I promise I'm not just saying that 'cause you're pretty.
Weiss turns her attention back to the painting, and there is brief silence between the two.
Henry: Honesty, remember? So, you thinking about buying it?
Henry begins to rattle the railing as he speaks.
Weiss: No. I don't think so.
Henry: Yeah, kinda pricey for a painting.
Weiss: (annoyance in her voice) It's to raise money.
Henry: Oh really? For what?
Weiss: For what? (throwing him a disgusted look)
Henry: Heheh, I'll admit, I only come to these things for the food and drinks.
He reaches out and takes a champagne flute as a waiter walks by.
Henry: And the extraordinary company. Of course.
As he sips his drink, Weiss shifts her stance to face him.
Henry: So what, is it another Mantle fundraiser or something?
Weiss: Get. Out.
Henry: (with a slight laugh) What?
Weiss: Get out, or I will have security escort you out.
Henry: But I haven't done any-
Weiss takes on a more aggressive stance as she raises her voice. He stares at her in disbelief before obeying.
Henry: Pfft, whatever.
She watches him walk away, and once he is gone, she turns back to the painting, crosses her arms and closes her eyes.
Angry Businessman: No, no, no! I asked for a double sundae! This is completely... (drowned out by chatter)
Waiter: I'm so sorry. Sir.
The camera pans up the Beacon Academy painting, then shows the sign in front of the display, which reads:
"SHOW THE WORLD WE CARE
All proceeds go to the Kingdom of Vale".
Weiss' eyes are open again as if she had just been observing the painting, and she once again closes her eyes. The chatter of the party guests grows louder, but one voice stands out among the rest.
Trophy Wife: But really, does it come as any surprise, what happened to Vale?
Weiss opens her eyes and turns slightly, peering over her shoulder at the woman.
Trophy Wife: It was a long time coming if you ask me.
The Trophy Wife's Husband places his hand on her shoulder, trying to shush her, but she shakes it off, leaving him to glance around the room with a forced, nervous grin.
Trophy Wife: What? (laughing) You said the same thing last night. If they're so arrogant to think they can get by without proper kingdom defense, then I say good riddance.
While she talks, her Husband drops the act and heaves a silent sigh. The Trophy Wife's rant is cut off by a voice shouting angrily across the room at her.
Weiss: Shut up!
The room falls silent, and all of the party goers turn to look at her.
Her voice still raised, Weiss angrily gestures to the guests while she speaks.
Weiss: You don't have a clue! None of you do!
Trophy Wife: Excuse me?
Weiss: You're all just standing around talking about nothing! Worrying about your hair, your money, your stupid problems that don't mean anything!
Her father quickly approaches her while Whitley looks on with a faint smile on his face.
Jacques: Weiss, that's enough.
He grabs her wrist, and she immediately begins struggling to pull away.
Weiss: Let go of me!
Jacques: You're embarrassing the family!
Weiss: I said let go!
Weiss breaks free her father's grasp with a harsh tug, but in the process, she loses her balance and collapses to the floor. Suddenly, a glyph manifests next to Weiss, and a Boarbatusk is summoned. She looks at it with wide eyes, her jaw dropping. The Boarbatusk Summon charges toward the Trophy Wife.
Trophy Wife: Please, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, just leave me alone.
It leaps toward her and her Husband, jaws wide open, but it is shot down by James Ironwood before it can reach her.
Trophy Wife: Arrest her! What are you waiting for? She's insane, she should be locked up.
Ironwood: She's the only one making sense around here. Thanks for the party, Jacques.
The general casually makes his exit. Still on the floor, Weiss looks up to see her father turn to glare at her.
As the four members of Team RNJR continue out of Oniyuri, Ren suddenly senses something. He puts out his hand to stop the other three, eyes closing as he focuses. Somewhere close by Tyrian Callows can be seen running. Ren draws his weapon. Ruby, Nora and Jaune immediately follow suit. Tyrian soon leaps high over the wall to engage them in combat.
He immediately takes out his weapons in a seamless motion and, laughing eagerly, moves to attack Ruby. Ren intervenes, StormFlower clashing with Tyrian's claw blades. Ren attempts to both kick and shoot Tyrian, but he dodges. The two have a couple more attack and parries until Tyrian kicks Ren several feet away.
Tyrian turns to go after Ruby again, who rushed forward with Crescent Rose to meet him. Tyrian uses his blades to block the scythe and kicks Ruby backward. She easily remains upright and they clash again. Tyrian manages to land a strike on Ruby's right arm, causing her to cry out at the pain and him to laugh. She's doesn't break stride however and leaps back to take a swing at him with her scythe. He dodges and then lands a moving blow against the body of Crescent Rose, causing a red shimmer to cross her Aura in the area of the strike.
Jaune steps in at that moment and Tyrian climbs onto his shield and grins at him. Nora rushes in with Magnhild, but Tyrian just leaps from Jaune's shield to her hammer and up through the top story of a narrow, rectangular building. Holding himself up with his feet on wooden frames to either side of him, Tyrian looks down at Team RNJR.
Jaune: We're not looking for a fight!
Ren: Who are you?
Tyrian leans forward, drops from the tower, does a front flip, and lands on his feet in front of them.
Tyrian: Who I am matters not to you. (points to Ren) Or you. (points to Nora) Or— (cuts himself off and pauses) Well... you do interest me. (pointing to Jaune)
Jaune gasps nervously.
Tyrian: No, I only matter to you.
He points to Ruby, and the rest of RNJR turn to look at her. She tilts her head in confusion.
Tyrian: (breaks down into laughter) You, you haven't the slightest clue, do you? Oh, how exciting this must be.
Ruby: What do you want?
Tyrian begins acting dramatically in response to her tone of voice.
Tyrian: Oh, the rose has thorns! My little flower, I'm here to whisk you away with me!
Nora: Well, what if she doesn't want to go with you?
He stares for a moment with his lips scrunched up before answering.
Tyrian: Well, I'll take her.
Jaune walks over and stands between him and Ruby, his shield held in front of him.
Jaune: We're not going to let you do that.
Tyrian closes his eyes and inhales through his teeth. His eyes slowly open, and he happily growls a single word with a dark grin.
Delighted that they're willing to fight, Tyrian moves fast to attack Jaune from behind.
Ren deliberately shoots Jaune's shield so that the ricochet hits Tyrian. Tyrian covers his eyes with his arm and then cartwheels onto Jaune's shield, using his claw blades to spin in the air against it. Ruby steps in to face Tyrian on his descent, but he just kicks her to the side. She regains her ground by using Crescent Rose to steady herself. Jaune takes a swing with his sword at Tyrian, but he simply dodges and kicks him away as well.
His next move is to run toward Nora. From across the way, Ruby grins and shoots Nora with lightning Dust. It passes just over Tyrian's left shoulder, and he turns as he senses it. Nora gets knocked down when the bolt makes contact, dropping Magnhild in the process.
Mistaking the move for an error on Ruby's part, Tyrian gives Nora a baffled stare and laughs while Ren, Jaune and Ruby simply watch and wait.
Tyrian: Well, if that isn't ironic.
He senses something is up and loses his mirth. With a determined, satisfied grin, a now upright and supercharged Nora rushes Tyrian from behind, moving over his right shoulder and coming before him just in time to hit him with Magnhild. The blast from the contact has the other three covering their eyes from the backwash of dust and air, Jaune actually taking cover behind his shield.
The air clears to reveal a perfectly fine Tyrian in a crouch, using his now unveiled scorpion tail to block Magnhild. He giggles and curls his fingers at Nora.
He kicks Nora twice in the face before leaping backwards and upward onto a roof, leaving his coat behind.
Ren: He's... a Faunus.
Tyrian: Plastic soldiers and pawns. My heart and body belong only to our goddess.
Tyrian: Hmph, only in her wildest dreams.
Tyrian leaps back into the fray. He uses his tail to knock Crescent Rose down. Though surprised, Ruby doesn't lose her grip on it. The two both attack each other and miss until Tyrian kicks Ruby backwards again.
Tyrian uses his tail to go after Ren before finally kicking him away and attacking Jaune next.
A crow flies determinedly toward the fray while Tyrian kicks Jaune back and then Nora, and then Ren returns for more only to leap away again. Without missing a beat, Tyrian lets Ren be and goes after Ruby again. In quick succession, he delivers a right hook to her face and a left blow to her torso, causing red shimmers on her Aura on her head and chest respectively. He turns and swings his tail to knock her back into the air. She flies back several feet and he rushes forward to meet her before she lands. While Ruby's still midair, he kicks her right in the abdomen, causing a large red shimmer over her abdomen and hips.
The incoming crow turns into Qrow Branwen who keeps running forward after landing.
Tyrian approaches Ruby on the ground and raises his stinger, his eyes turning dark purple. Nora, who is comforting a fallen Ren, and Jaune both look on in horror. Laughing, Tyrian is about to strike with his scorpion tail when Qrow bursts through a building and inserts himself between them, holding his weapon behind his back. There's a metallic noise as Tyrian's stinger hits against Qrow's weapon and clips into the blade. He lets out a nervous giggle of surprise while Ruby and Qrow make eye contact and smile at each other.
The camera cuts to black.
- The music used during Team RNJR's stay in Oniyuri is called "The Gang is All Like... OMG, it's Oniyuri". Composer Alex Abraham had released the track on his Soundcloud.
- Two co-founders of Team Four Star, a group that abridges anime, are voice actors in the episode. The Angry Businessman is voiced by Nick Landis, also known as Lanipator, and the Businessman is voiced by Scott Frerichs, also known as KaiserNeko.
- Main article: Tipping Point/Image Gallery