SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "All Roads Lead...", the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ruby Hale is dead, but is she really gone? In "All Roads Lead...", the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Hydra assassin met an untimely end. However, the show has a proven track record of bringing characters back from the dead, which means that we may not have seen the last of her yet.
Let's start with the obvious: Ruby is dead. The show made this abundantly clear with a visceral shot of her throat getting cut. Further, her body -- and the pool of blood it left behind -- appeared in the rest of the scene. Her mother General Hale even left the body behind with S.H.I.E.L.D. As such, the show has gone to great lengths to show that Ruby is dead. So how is it, exactly, that she could come back?
First, we need to examine the resurrection that started them all. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. likely wouldn't have been created if not for the fans' love of Philip J. Coulson, but the series had a major hurdle to clear right off the bat: his death. As such, the show had to come up with a way to resurrect the beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, thus providing a means by which the Marvel Cinematic Universe can overcome death. The series has never shown the finer details of this procedure -- at least, outside of the fact that it involves Kree biology -- but it has certainly set a precedent for life after death.
It is, perhaps, more telling that this resurrection procedure has returned to the show very recently. In the Season 5 episode “Best Laid Plans,” which took place in the year 2091, the Kree used a similar kind of technique to raise Tess from the dead. Additionally, Kree overlord Kasius used the procedure on a future version of Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez, so that he could bring her back to life when he had need of her.
Recently, the show drew a direct line between Kasius and the Confederacy, an alliance of several alien races who claim they will protect the Earth in exchange for Inhumans and gravitonium. Hale's contact with the Confederacy, a being named Qovas, handed her a vial of odium -- one that looks exactly the same as the elixir that Kasius took just before he died. Thus, the show has established a connection between the Confederacy and Kasius. Since there's a link between the two, the Confederacy may also know how to bring humans back to life using Kree biology.
In the last episode, Hale gave the Confederacy exactly what they wanted: the whereabouts of the gravitonium. If and when the Confederacy gets hold of the gravitonium, they may feel generous -- and perhaps even reward Hale by bringing her daughter back from the dead. Regardless, Hale's association with the Confederacy certainly paves the way for Ruby's return from death. For now, though, she remains as dead as a door nail.
Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Elizabeth Henstridge.