Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has just added an intriguing new wrinkle to season 5's central mystery of how the Earth is cracked apart in the future: the Destroyer of Worlds may not be Quake after all. When Phil Coulson's team fought the Kree in the Lighthouse 78 years from now, Daisy Johnson was burdened with everyone's belief that she is the Destroyer of Worlds responsible for the planet's cataclysm. While this may still prove to be the case, a second contender has been revealed for that not-so-coveted moniker: Ruby Hale.
After seemingly eradicating it for good in season 3, the series has brought Hydra back in a big way. This week's episode "Rise and Shine" dives into Hydra's recent history to show the role the evil clandestine organization has played all-along in season 5's events. Ruby herself is the product of Hydra's long-term plans for her mother, General Hale, who was a graduate of the secret Hydra Academy in 1990. Despite being an honor student, Hale was disappointed to learn that the future Hydra envisioned for her was mainly to be artificially inseminated with a genetically engineered "seed" so that she would carry to term Hydra's future leader, Ruby.
This leads to Hydra's further plan to finally outdo the Super Soldier Program that formed Captain America and create Hydra's version of "the most powerful man on Earth."
The Destroyer Of Worlds Isn't Just A Who, It's A What
The first person responsible for Earth's future end is Daniel Whitehall, the now-deceased Hydra leader who was pursuing a dangerous tech called the Particle Infusion Chamber. The device can force human cells to take on the properties of raw materials, such as gravitonium. Whitehall's nickname for the chamber was "The Destroyer of Worlds". This catchy name for the apparatus stuck all the way into the future since it was also attached to the person who used the power granted by the chamber to rip the planet into pieces.
So now that we know what the Destroyer of Worlds is, the big question remaining is who gets to go into the chamber. The two contenders for this "honor" are Ruby and Daisy Johnson. Ruby was bred from inception to not just lead Hydra - which is now moot since Hydra as it once was is a thing of the past - but to also step into the chamber and receive the powers of gravitonium. However, her own mother doesn't believe Ruby has the temperament to wield such power, despite her formidable training that makes her one of the most dangerous teenagers in the MCU.
Will Daisy or Ruby Be The Destroyer of Worlds?
Hale would prefer Daisy Johnson become the Destroyer of Worlds the future already believes she is. In a way, this is a compliment to how well Phil Coulson has trained Daisy to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. However, this could also be Hale's way of protecting her daughter, since Hale intends the Destroyer of Worlds to lead her assault against the Confederacy, an alien race Hydra made a pact with after the Avengers defeated the Chitauri. There are still aliens coming to attack Earth, and either Ruby or her idol Quake will be infused with the power of gravitonium to stop them.
The difference is Ruby wants to become the Destroyer of Worlds, the role she was literally born to play. Daisy doesn't yet know of Hale's plan for her, nor would she willingly agree to become the cause of Earth's destruction she fears she will be. This will all come to a head when Coulson's surrogate daughter meets Hale's ninja daughter at last, but the question is which of them will ultimately be the one who destroys the Earth?
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays @ 9 pm on ABC.