By The Nerdling
General Hale’s backstory is reveal as well as her plans to save humanity.
Spoilers for the Future
“Rise and seize the future”
28 years ago, Hale was a promising student about to graduate from Hydra Academy. Smart, forward thinking, and strong, but Hydra is a boy’s club. When Whitehall is looking for people to work on his newest project (another iteration of the Super Soldier program which will bond a substance with a person), the young, and less qualified, Von Strucker is picked to run the project as he is being groomed as a future Head after all. Despite her talents, Hale is chosen to be the surrogate mother for a genetically enhanced child for Whitehall’s program.
As a consolation while the embryo is being developed, Hale is sent to the Air Force as requested with the promise of becoming an astronaut as she had always dreamed. But her visions of seeing space are never realized when Hydra is ready for her to carry the child.
The Last Two Heads
26 years later, Ruby is at the much smaller, not quite as powerful Hydra Academy. Like her mother, Ruby excels in her courses and training, but doesn’t have the disposition her mother possesses. Hale is looks forward to what Hydra has instore for her daughter, but Ruby’s instructor plays coy about the future.
Gideon Malick is captured by SHIELD and Hale is summoned by Fisher, her superior at the Air Force and fellow Hydra spy. Fisher gives her instructions to find a communications device Hydra built after the Battle of New York using Chitauri tech. Hale is to take over communications with a group of Alien leaders calling themselves The Confederacy. Talbot arrives to take Fisher in, but he takes his cyanide pill to avoid interrogation.
Hale returns to Hydra Academy to find Ruby disagreeing with her instructor about the final test. Kill her beloved dog as we have seen Ward and Hale do before her. Ruby argues the tradition as well as many of the other older ways are archaic, especially now when it is clear Hydra is finished. Her instructor grabs Ruby’s arm forcefully and Hale’s motherly instincts kick in. She shoots and kills the instructor proclaiming she and Ruby are the final Heads of Hydra.
A New Deal
A year and a half later, Talbot is in the hospital recovering slowly from the gunshot wound to the head courtesy of the Daisy LMD. Hale talks Talbot’s wife into transferring him to a different facility where he can receive better care. This facility is the newly outfitted Hydra Academy.
Talbot wakes in a small, baron room. He makes his way to the dining hall and he sees the same routine with Ruby Werner Von Strucker endured. Talbot follows Ruby to a training room, angrily attempting to get her to talk to him. Hale enters, right on cue, and takes Talbot to the alien communications device. She explains the war heading to Earth and the Confederacy is offering to help save humanity. Hale needs the particle-infusion chamber Whitehall built. Talbot knows where it is hidden and refuses to tell. Hale locks Talbot away.
Destroyer of Worlds
In the present, Coulson wakes in the same room and makes his way to the dining hall, unimpressed by the “Econo Lodge continental breakfast” and the ignoring game Ruby plays. Grabbing a box of cereal, he returns to his room with a message that Hale can find him there.
Hale fetches Coulson and takes him to meet Qovas, the Alien we saw her talking to last week. Qovas tells Coulson about the pending war and shows him Thanos’s ship is on its way. The Confederacy will protect Earth, for a price.
Upon their return, Hale explains the Confederacy wants gravitonium and Inhumans in exchange for protection. Coulson’s not buying the shadowy group is not going to go back on their word and outright enslave the human race when they are given those powerful weapons. Hale has already thought of this and is planning to alter the deal. She wants to use Whitehall’s partial-infusion chamber to create a specimen to be a show of force. Ruby was her first choice, but the young girl has a hot temper and aversion to following orders. Hale thinks a gravitonium-infused Daisy would be the best person for the Whitehall dubbed “Destroyer of Worlds”.
Of course, Coulson is not going to go through with that proposal. He has seen the consequences (or what he thinks are the consequences) of Whitehall’s plan. He attempts to explain to Hale he has seen the future and Earth was destroyed by that power. Upset Coulson was not inline with her vision, she has him taken back to his room to think it out.
Later that evening, Ruby pays Coulson a visit. She overheard parts of the conversation between him and her mother. Ruby wants to know where she went wrong if the Earth ends up destroyed. Coulson tells her it wasn’t her who became the Destroyer of Worlds, but Daisy Johnson. Upset by this information, Ruby wants to know where to find Daisy. Coulson refuses to tell prompting Ruby to bring in the beaten and crazed Talbot. The once great general apologizes to Coulson saying he held out as long as he could, but “SHIELD never came” and he told them everything he knew.
Daisy goes to find Robin to save Coulson. May wants Fitz to embrace the Hydra side to gleam info on what Hale could be up to. Jemma reveals Deke’s parentage to Fitz (his reaction is priceless) and her theory they are invincible. All those things feel like they are going to lead to bad stuff.
Talbot one-liners are so great! “Calamari Mata Hari” and “Cross-fit Tinker Bell” are among the best. Seeing him at the end of the episode was gut-wrenching.
I wish I could get into more stuff, but this was a jam-packed episode! Next week looks like it is going to be a big one too!
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.