Daisy Johnson better watch her back.
When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight, with the team finally returning to a still-intact Earth from the future, Descendants star Dove Cameron makes her highly-anticipated debut as the mysterious Ruby, daughter of shady Gen. Hale. And from the sound of things, the girl has her sights set on Quake.
While details on the character have been scarce in the lead-up to her arrival, ABC's description of Ruby notes that she possess a cunning intelligence and a mysterious obsession with one of the team. (Her first scene in the episode, released early online, reveals the object of her obsession via a poster featuring Chloe Bennet's character on her bedroom wall.)
"I can't really say much. I can say that sometimes adulation, as we all know, can bleed a little bit into an unhealthy obsession and she's definitely gone into that territory," Cameron told E! News about the devotion to the hero. "She's very, very obsessed with Daisy. I can't tell you why, I can't tell you where it goes, I can't tell you anything. But yeah, she's very fixated. And Ruby's not really someone you want to have fixated on you, I guess it what I would say. [Laughs]"
As Cameron tells it, Ruby may be young, but she's not someone you'd want to tangle with. "I would describe her as incredibly intelligent, incredibly controlled and strong-willed. I would describe her as a recipe of her surroundings and a result of her upbringing and I would describe her as a machine," Cameron teased. "You know when you meet that personality, they walk into a room and you go, ‘Oh I am terrified of you' and you have no idea what's going on in their mind or what they're going to do next? We all know those people. I would say that's Ruby. Ruby is very much a reptilian. She's a very scary girl. But she is a real girl. She's a 17-year-old girl and she's complex. There's a lot of emotion there. She's very intense."
And this girl has a very unique relationship with her mother, Gen. Hale (played by Catherine Dent), who we've already watched shoot two of her subordinates in the head. "I guess yeah, I would say that, it's a relationship between two women. It's much less mother-daughter than it is—I guess Ruby sees it as two equals. Ruby is not afraid of her mother in a lot of ways, but also in a lot of ways, she's still a little girl. I wish I could tell you more. Her and her mother's relationship is almost like a really, really maximized version and intensified version of what happens to any girl when she's about to leave home," Cameron explained. "There's a reason that's such a well-known archetype and story where mothers and daughters fight when a young girl's transitioning into being a woman. Ruby definitely feels she is a match for her mother, so she's not afraid of her. Both women are incredibly headstrong and incredibly ego-driven and, I would say, almost blinded by their own abilities, so that's definitely a bit of a recipe for a death match. But there's a lot of love there, too, so you'll have just have to see."
With that said, the question remains: Will Ruby prove to be a friend or foe to the team? Cameron, predictably, is remaining tight-lipped. "I would say with a lot of confidence—it's not about me, but just the way that she's written—I would say that Ruby is the unmatched wild card of season five. The mystery surrounding Ruby might continue on for some time. It might be a ‘How do you feel about Ruby?' situation as the season unfolds," the actress said. "I think that it's going to be a long process understanding Ruby. You'll get some clues and things like that early on, but I don't think Ruby has access to her own emotions and she's kind of running on almost like her wiring. I can't say anything about if she's a friend or foe to S.H.I.E.L.D. You'll have to see. She's definitely dangerous and you want her on your side. I just can't tell you whose side she's on."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC.