Directed by Kerry Shawcross, Gray G. Haddock & Miles Luna
We open to Pyrrha getting her world rocked as Ozpin and co. tell her the secret history of Remnant. Later we start the opening of the singles matches with Yang vs. Mercury.
Tropes in this episode include:
- The Assimilator: This episode strongly implies that Cinder really can steal away powers. At the very least the episode says that someone did steal the Fall Maiden's power, and the scene fades to Cinder's smirking face.
- Cliffhanger: The fate of Yang is left up in the air, and it won't be resolved until the series continues in 2016.
- Dark Reprise: A slow, melancholy, ominous piano rendition of "I Burn" plays in the background as Yang realizes what actually happened and what she's done/been seen to do.
- Death Glare: Emerald gives one to Yang after rushing to Mercury's side.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: Employed by Mercury at the end of the episode. He mentions to Yang at the end of the fight that there "won't be a next time" for her and deliberately tries to attack her. Yang defends herself, thus breaking Mercury's leg. However the cameras in the arena showed an entirely different sequence of events, with Yang hitting Mercury out of nowhere. Given this is Cinder were talking about, it's very likely that Mercury getting injured was part of her plan to entice the Grimm. The only question is whether or not Mercury knew about it.
- Extremity Extremist: A fight between two of the strongest such fighters: Yang, a Boxing Battler using power fists vs. Mercury, a Dance Battler with Armed Legs.
- Finishing Move: Mercury attempts this by converging all his wind projectiles onto Yang at once. Unfortunately for him, she is still left with 16 Aura and becomes enraged.
- Geo Effects: Averted for the first time: the singles match appears to take place on a small floating arena with flat ground.
- Magic A Is Magic A: The power of the Maidens, or at least how it is passed on, works like this. 1) It can only go to young women and 2) the last person that the previous Maiden thinks of will be the one to inherit the power unless they are male or too old for Requirement 1, in which case it will manifest in someone random. The Benevolent Conspiracy is concerned because Cinder has found a way to break these rules and steal part of the Fall Maiden's power.
- Punch Parry: Opens the fight between Yang and Mercury: Yang's fist meets Mercury's foot.
- Recoil Boost: Mercury fires from his gun-boots to avoid being knocked out of the fighting arena.
- The Reveal: We find out who Autumn is, and we also find out at least part of what Cinder is planning.
- Sore Loser: Subverted. Mercury who responds to Yang's "Better luck time!" with a growled "There's not going to be a next time!" before attempting to attack her. After that we learn that it was only to provoke her into attacking him as part of Deliberate Injury Gambit, and might not have even happened.
- Stunned Silence: The audience members who aren't booing or vocalizing their disgust at Yang attacking Mercury are left speechless, including the rest of Team RWBY.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Yang has a confused and dazed look on her face at the very end.
- Wham Episode: Pyrrha, and the audience, are introduced to the secret history of Remnant. Everything people think they know is wrong. Magic really does exist, grants wielders unimaginable power, and has to be kept secret by a Benevolent Conspiracy to prevent utter chaos... an organisation that wants Pyrrha to artificially inherit at least part of that magic.
- Wrong Context Magic: Semblances and Dust work very differently to "magic" such as the Maidens' powers, and it takes Pyrrha a few minutes to wrap her head around it. The power is apparently unrelated to Dust (and doesn't require it to function), and is directly passed from one person to another. Semblances can work without Dust, but are unique to the person and, with the sole exception of the Schnees, cannot be passed on. This power can be intercepted by villains and stolen. Even the Benevolent Conspiracy that knows all about Maiden power is caught off-guard by Cinder's unprecedented ability to steal that power.