Well, that's one way to introduce yourself, Ruby Hale!
A lot of stuff went down during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s return tonight—and we do mean a lot—but nothing more important or shocking than the revelation that Dove Cameron's mysterious character is no regular teenage girl. In fact, she's some sort of highly-skilled weapon deployed by her shifty mother Gen. Hale (Catherine Dent) to capture our team of heroes just after they returned to present day—one who rocks a killer body suit and mask and knows her way around a chakram (those circular throwing blades she made quick use of). Oh, and she just happened to chop poor Yo-Yo's (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) arms off, thereby putting the dire warning she'd received from her future self into motion.
There are so many question surrounding Ruby—and Cameron promised E! News that, initially, they'll keep coming the more we see her—but rather than spill all the beans, the Descendants actress is simply relishing the opportunity to get down with her very bad self.
"I mean, about me—when I was six or seven years old and all the girls were getting their first play set lip glosses—you know, those make-up toys that are not really make-up? They're probably just full of lead and terrible chemicals. [Laughs] When all the little girls were getting those things, for my birthday, I was getting fake vampire teeth molds online and I was putting ketchup in the corners of my mouth and running around to the little girls in school who were not my friends and wanting to be a vampire. I was just like a strange, dark child," she told us. "I never wanted to be other girls, I wanted to be the thing they were afraid of. [Laughs] It's pretty messed up, but that was my personality...So the fact that, as I've gotten older, I've gotten to play characters where people don't look at me and think, ‘Oh, five-foot-two, green eyes, baby face blonde' and they look at me and think I could play somebody who's scary or somebody who could cut someone's arms off, right? Like, that's the best thing for my little heart."
"When I first got the episode, I was like, ‘Oh my god. This girl doesn't play.' I love how gory and gruesome these guys get. They're not afraid to be strange or disturbing. I love that," she continued. "I think a lot of people kind of shy away from that and I've always found that stuff really interesting, so I was really stoked when I started figuring out who Ruby was."
While the reveal of exactly what Ruby is capable of was shocking enough, we also learned that the typical teenage girl bedroom we first met her in happened to be housed not in a normal home, but a fortified bunker under her mother's control, leaving us to wonder just what is going on between mom and daughter.
I can't say too much. I would say that Ruby is not a free bird and that bunker you see her in, that's her room. That is her existence. That's pretty much all she knows," Cameron said. "And that's another thing where it's like what would that do to somebody's psyche, you know, to essentially be a caged weapon? Because at the end of the episode, her mother basically says to her ‘You didn't do what I said' and we very quickly understand the relationship is ‘I tell you what to do. You do it. And if you don't, consequences follow.' In a much more extreme way than other mother-daughter relationships. I can't really tell you too much, but I can tell you Ruby is not a free bird and Ruby is not her own. As far as Hale is concerned, Ruby definitely belongs to her."
Could this caged bird sort of life be the thing that's lead Ruby to be uncomfortably fixated on an unsuspecting Daisy (Chloe Bennet), as we've been told Ruby is? "Yeah, exactly," Cameron said, laughing. It's a recipe for a lot of things, as you'll see later on."
What surprised you most about Ruby's arrival on the scene? And how do you think she fits into her mom's team she's recruiting of S.H.I.E.L.D. enemies? And what does this all have to do with the world ending? Share your theories in the comments below!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC.