- "...Everything I've built...Everything I've worked towards, rests upon a strong foundation. An intricate web of partners, politicians and clients each supporting one another and right now...your thread is straining to support the rest."
- —The Chairman to Locus and Felix in Along Came a Spider
Malcolm Hargrove is the Oversight Sub-Committee Chairman of the UNSC as well as the CEO of Charon Industries. His introduction in the series presents him exchanging messages with the Director of Project Freelancer throughout each chapter of Reconstruction. The Chairman serves a supporting character in the Recollections, a minor character in Season 10, and the main antagonist of the Chorus Trilogy, under the alias Control.
Hargrove was originally an assistant in the UNSC Oversight Sub-Committee when it was first formed. He was involved in the development of military weaponry and, over time, became the Chairman of the Sub-Committee and CEO of Charon Industries. While he is known for his formality and reputation, Hargrove is secretly very power hungry and corrupt. From justifying the laws of the government, manipulating others for his benefit, and hiring mercenaries, the Chairman became one of the most influential individuals in the galaxy.
With his connections in both the political and criminal world, the Chairman believed he was untouchable and his greed grew to extremely unethical standards (killing all inhabitants of a planet for profit) before facing his greatest threat: the Blood Gulch Crew. The Chairman is of British descent and shown to be past his prime, yet retains a high level of intimidation and cruelty. The Chairman's greatest fear is his crimes being exposed to the UNSC, as he would lose everything he established. Although his appearances have been minimal, Hargrove has become one of the most impactful and elusive characters in the series.
Role in PlotEdit
Messaging the DirectorEdit
During Oversight, Malcolm makes his first correspondence with Dr. Leonard Church as a representative of the newly formed UNSC Oversight Sub-Committee, stating that he looked forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship between the two departments. At this point, Malcolm served as the assistant to the chairperson of the sub-committee. However, after the Director demanded more bases for his "tests", Malcolm suspected that he was hiding something. At some point, Malcolm Hargrove became the Chairman of the Oversight Sub-Committee and the CEO of Charon Industries.
Years later, when the Meta began to go on his rampage, the Chairman began to inspect Project Freelancer. During the transmissions with the Director, the two argue fiercely and he discovers the Director's crimes in the past, including torturing the Alpha A.I. During the end of Reconstruction, he becomes fed up by what he found in the files about the Director and decided to place him under arrest. He questions the Director's intelligence with the A.I.s by asking about the safety protocols. However, the Director would send him one last message on why he committed the crimes and hoped he would understand.
Interaction with the Reds and BluesEdit
The Chairman reappears as the commanding officer of the UNSC Maximum Security Detention Facility where Agent Washington is being held in the episode My House, From Here. He sends Washington on a mission, with the Meta, to locate and capture Epsilon, in exchange for his freedom. For their pursuit, the Chairman provided the two ex-Freelancers with left-over enhancements from Project Freelancer. However the Meta was killed by the Blood Gulch Crew and, unbeknownst to the Chairman, Wash escaped with the Blue Team at the end of Revelation, in which the Chairman believed him to be dead.
By the events of Season 10, the Reds and Blues become wanted criminals by the UNSC, due to hiding Wash as well as their attempts to rescue Epsilon. However, after the group confront the Director at the Freelancer Offsite Storage Facility, the Blood Gulch Crew receive a full pardon from Malcom Hargrove for their actions of bringing Project Freelancer to justice as well as stopping several major threats. At the ceremony, the Chairman meets the group for the first time.
Later on, the Chairman uses a group of Space Pirates to eradicate the people of Chorus, a planet undergoing a civil war. Acting as Control, Locus reports to him throughout Season 11 and Season 12. It's then revealed in Lost But Not Forgotten that Control shows an interest in a crate on board the UNSC Crashed Ship and has Locus retrieve it. However, during this time, Carolina somehow infiltrated Control and a mercenary compound, obtaining vital information before impersonating them. In Cloak and Dagger, it's revealed that Felix works for Control as well, and that Control is someone who wants to eradicate the planet's inhabitants by escalating the Chorus Civil War.
When the Blood Gulch Crew find out about the plan and flee with Carolina, Control has Felix and Locus lie about their deaths to their respective armies in order to push them towards a final confrontation. However, the Blood Gulch Crew ultimately prevent the two Chorus armies from killing each other by revealing the Space Pirates' involvement in the war. When Control scorns Locus and Felix for their failure and tells them to go to war with Chorus, the Blood Gulch Crew contact him and reveal they know the Chairman's true identity. After they accept his declaration of war, the Chairman is informed by a recovered F.I.L.S.S. about the crate Locus previously sent, containing the Meta's helmet.
After his declaration of war against Chorus, the Chairman gives a press conference addressing the humans still being at war with the aliens. Later on, Hargrove contacts Locus and Felix from onboard the Staff of Charon and brings up the loss of Charon's alien-human hybrid firearms, which the two attempt to skirt around. However, Hargrove quickly chastises the two for their repeated failures, before offering one final incentive to motivate them: a modified version of Meta's armor and all of its enhancements. If the two are able to eliminate the Blood Gulch Crew, he will award them with the armor. If not, he will give the armor to someone else capable of completing the task and have their first priority be eliminating the two of them instead. He then logs off, but not before stating that in order to run the Meta's armor he needs a new A.I. installed in it, but is unable to attain one thanks to the Director's previous actions.
After Locus betrays Felix, leading to the latter's demise, the former activates the Communication Temple with the key he took from his former partner. Epsilon proceeds to broadcast Hargrove's treasonous actions to the entire galaxy, including the UNSC back on Earth, a Sangheili Embassy, and even Blood Gulch. Hargrove himself witnesses the revelation of his crimes and proceeds to go to Chorus. He arrives at the Communication Temple aboard the Staff of Charon, telling the Reds and Blues that they've "made a terrible mistake." In a desperate last attempt to finish what he started, Hargrove deploys several Mantis droids to the planet's surface, much to the horror of Kimball and the Blood Gulch Crew.
Following Hargrove's orders, the mantis droids begin killing both the inhabitants and even the Space Pirates for their failure. However, the Reds and Blues fly aboard the Staff of Charon to shut the Mantis droids off from the source, with assistance from F.I.L.S.S, who gleefully defies Hargrove's orders. As they get closer, Hargrove resides himself aboard the bridge until his soldiers deal with them. Hargrove taunts Tucker and Epsilon by stating that even if the colonists are saved, they themselves will not make it out alive. Tucker replies by saying they'll wing it before cutting him off just as Epsilon powers down the Mantis droids. Hargrove's forces then trap the Blood Gulch Crew inside his trophy room but the crew prepares themselves for a battle when Hargrove's forces begin to breach in. Carolina, Wash, the Feds, and Rebels fly up to the Staff of Charon in order to assist their comrades.
Following the events of Season 13, it is revealed that Hargrove was captured.
Malcolm Hargrove, at first, seems to be a reasonable and polite man of the UNSC, acting calm during many of his messages and holds the law to a high level by seeking justice for the crimes the Director commits. However, the Director has suggested that the Chairman had risen into political power by tearing others down, meaning he is not what he appears to be. The Chairman is also shown to be negotiable as he makes deals best suited for his personal interests, such as when he allowed Washington and the Meta to capture Epsilon for him in return for their freedom. In addition, the Chairman has a short temper, such as when the Director insults him and UNSC law.
The Chairman also possesses a dark sense of humor, as he jokingly states that the Director will be remembered in history for disobeying UNSC law or when he reads Wash's criminal record and acknowledges his personal favorite of Wash's crime. Later developments in the series show his apparently lawful and sanctimonious image to be something of a sham. His actions reveal him to be an extremely unethical and self-serving individual, plotting to have an entire planet of colonists killed because they stood in the way of a profit seeking endeavor and coldly ordering the deaths of the Reds and Blues should they become an inconvenience.
The sincerity of his moral condemnation of the Director is seriously questionable, and he is guilty of many of the same things, including the misappropriation of UNSC property. His actions and apparent motivations seem to validate the Director's impression of him as power-seeking, and arguably paint him as far worse an individual than the Director ever was, given his requirement for collateral damage rather than it being an unfortunate consequence of his orders. His ultimate goals are purely financially based rather than the Director's ostensibly good aim of resurrecting a loved one and to win the war. When the Chairman's true colors are revealed to not only the UNSC, but the entire galaxy, he attempts to take his revenge by eradicating everyone on Chorus (both enemies and allies), despite the fact that this would not solve any of his problems, and he would be imprisoned no matter what, showing that the Chairman is an extremely vengeful and unforgiving character who will do whatever it takes to make his targets suffer.
Overall, Hargrove is a man who aims to control any situation he engages in on his terms alone, with no regard for how his actions negatively impact those around him. There are even moments where it is shown that he enjoys the misery that his actions inflict on those who incur his wrath. The Chairman is known for thinking of things in an almost purely monetary sense, disregarding the stumblings of Locus and Felix with his belief that their superior training and equipment would allow them every advantage over the Reds and Blues without considering the factors that allowed them to overcome both the Mercenaries and the Chairman himself repeatedly; such as trust, ingenuity, and faith in the friends that the Blood Gulch Crew gained and inspired in others over time. Hargrove's bleak, materialistic view of the world tended to blind him to the way that his enemies thought and acted, allowing for his many defeats at the hands of the Reds and Blues.
The Chairman was also a collector of sorts. Aboard his ship, The Staff of Charon, he is shown to be in possession of an immense private collection of Freelancer technology, relics, and more. Among his relics are Agent Maine's helmet and armor, the Drone body that Epsilon once inhabited, the Brute Shot, and most disturbingly, the impaled helmet of Agent Texas, a relic that particularly angered Epsilon. This extensive collection flagrantly displays the Chairman's obsessive, materialistic, and sadistic personality.
As he attempts to hide his true goals and motives, the Chairman has developed only a few relationships. However, many of the series characters seem to regard the Chairman with disdain either due to his criminal actions or his attitude towards them.
Hargrove seemed to trust Locus' abilities as a soldier and, as a result, hired him to eliminate the inhabitants of the planet Chorus. Being his employer, Locus respected the Chairman and loyally followed his orders without question throughout The Chorus Trilogy. However, because of this, Locus refused to kill the Reds and Blues on occasions where could have simply to follow Hargrove's orders. In the end, Locus betrayed the Chairman and refused to kill anyone else after coming to terms with his actions.
Hargrove and Felix's relationship seemed to be very strained. While Felix was loyal to the Chairman and agreed to eliminate the people of Chorus for a profit, he did not respect the Chairman, going as far as to call the Chairman a prick. In addition, Felix was willingly prepared to disobey the Chairman's orders for his own selfish gain but was continually stopped by Locus. On Hargrove's side, the feelings seemed mutual, as he too did not respect Felix. Hargrove would constantly chastise him for his failures and made a sarcastic remark when Felix joined a radio conversation between him and Locus during Long Time No See.
The Director interacted with the Chairman greatly, though, interestingly, never in person. Both seem to be rivals as when the Director requested to use several locations for simulation tests, Hargrove (before becoming the Chairman) had suspected the Director was hiding something, though granted his request. This rivalry is best shown in the messages they send to each other during Reconstruction. As time passes, the Director insults the Chairman for being someone who'll tear down others to rise in political power, while the Chairman was infuriated with the Director's criminal actions and replied that the Director will be remembered in history for the wrong reasons.
After the Chairman reveals that the Director will be taken into custody, the Director sends one last message on why he committed the crimes in a peaceful tone, hoping that the committee, and even the Chairman, would understand. After Project Freelancer was shut down, the remaining equipment was put in the hands of the Chairman. However, it's later revealed that the Chairman is even more corrupt than him in the Chorus Trilogy and, because of the Director's actions, couldn't obtain an A.I. to further his own goals.
Though the two have interacted very little, F.I.L.S.S. is shown to greatly dislike the Chairman. Whenever Hargrove gives F.I.L.S.S. an order, that latter complies with very little enthusiasm and respect. She dislikes the Chairman so much that she proudly stated her feelings towards him in The End and went against his orders in order to assist the Reds and Blues, much to the Chairman's anger.
While the two have never met, Price's position as second in command of Project Freelancer made him a major enemy of the Chairman. Despite this, the Counselor unknowingly joins forces with him during the Chorus-Charon war, which Hargrove was likely unaware of.
The Chairman, at first, saw Wash as a criminal, due to his crimes of erasing several Project Freelancer assets and files. However, when Wash proposed to obtain the Epsilon A.I. for the Chairman in exchange for his freedom, Hargrove accepted and the two became allies. Unfortunately for Hargrove, Wash did not complete his end of the bargain and escaped by joining the Reds and Blues. According to a UNSC Police officer in n+1, Hargrove wanted to speak with Wash personally. Afterward, the two became enemies ever since.
The Chairman greatly disliked Epsilon as well as the other Reds and Blues, seeing them as enemies for interfering with his operation on Chorus. While acting as Control, Hargrove tells Felix and Locus to kill the Reds and Blues if they become an issue, displaying that he has no remorse for their lives. After the crew declares war on Hargrove, the latter makes it his goal to eliminate the Reds and Blues no matter what, even after Epsilon reveals his plans to the galaxy. Hargrove is also frequently shown getting angry whenever Locus and Felix fail to kill them. When Epsilon and Tucker infiltrate the Chairman's trophy room aboard the Staff of Charon, Epsilon becomes angry after seeing that Hargrove keeps Tex's helmet as a trophy.
Carolina sees Hargrove as a mutual enemy, due to his actions against both Chorus and Project Freelancer. The Chairman took several steps to kill her and the people of Chorus during the events of The Chorus Trilogy.
Throughout his involvement in the series, the Chairman has been presented as a very hidden character, initially only making vocal appearances during his introduction in Reconstruction. It is not until Called Up where Hargrove makes an actual physical appearance, though his face is not shown. While acting as Control, the Chairman goes through great lengths to hide his identity, such as using a distorted voice in order to communicate with others, including his own mercenaries; avoids any visual interaction at all costs, as he doesn't use a camera, unlike the mercenaries, while speaking to others; and only speaks with Locus and Felix and the two then relay the orders to the other Space Pirates, according to Zachary Miller. The "normal" Space Pirates only hear from Control when, as Miller put it in Accentuate the Interrogative, "things are getting dicey." Originally, evidence suggested Carolina or the Federal Army of Chorus was Control, but they've ultimately proved to be red herrings.
While Control leaves little evidence of his identity, he has left some hints. In Long Time No See, it's revealed that Control was associated with Project Freelancer, as Control spoke of the Freelancer armor enhancements as "my property". Because Control specifically knew about the mysterious crate on the UNSC ship, as well as the fact that it contained other Freelancer equipment, he displayed a connection to the UNSC. Control was also aware that the Blood Gulch Crew were mostly mediocre soldiers, revealing that Control personally knew the group to some degree and their adventures. Because he hired all the Space Pirates as well as the fact that he mass produced more advanced armor enhancements and weaponry, Control was shown to be someone with immense wealth and resources.
Eventually, the final clue to Control's true identity was the fact all the equipment on the UNSC Crashed Ship belonged to Charon Industries. When Epsilon notes this from the ship's manifest and that the corporation became "buddies" with the military due to Malcolm Hargrove's influence in both, he realized that the Chairman was Control. Because of this, the Blood Gulch Crew and Chorus armies eventually managed to transmit a message across the galaxy detailing Hargrove's crimes on Chorus, further revealing Hargrove's true identity and motives to the UNSC as well as the message's other recipients.
The Chairman seems to be fond of collecting large amounts of information and equipment, particularly from Project Freelancer. After the program's destruction, the Chairman confiscated all information related to it as well as the program's armor enhancements. Though, he was disappointed at the fact that he could not recover any of the destroyed Freelancer A.I. In his personal office on the Staff of Charon, revealed in Along Came a Spider, it is shown that the Chairman has obtained Epsilon-Tex's helmet, the Monitor, the Meta's Brute Shot, the Meta's helmet, the Epsilon Unit, and Carolina's Magnum, used by the Director to commit suicide. The Chairman seems to refer to these items as his own personal trophies.
In The End, when the Blood Gulch Crew discover his trophy room, they are disturbed and enraged that the Chairman has taken many objects involved from their past adventures for his own pleasure. As the Chairman's forces close in on them, the heroes gladly take the "trophies" to use for the upcoming battle against his forces. This includes Tucker putting on the Meta's armor, Simmons taking Carolina's magnum (which he gives to Donut) and the Monitor, and Grif regaining the Brute Shot.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
Using his intellect and resources, it is shown that the Chairman is a great leader - and more specifically - an excellent manipulator, fooling many to further his goals. For example, when Washington revealed he knew about Epsilon not being in his possession, the Chairman cleverly used Wash's desire for freedom to have the latter to go retrieve the A.I. in Recreation, even though it's implied he was lying later on. During the Chorus Trilogy, using the identity "Control", the Chairman was revealed to have been orchestrating the Civil War on Chorus by commanding the Space Pirates to manipulate the planet's two armies, the Federal Army of Chorus and the New Republic, making sure it continued to the point where the inhabitants were eradicated.
The Chairman has also used his influence in both the UNSC and Charon Industries to obtain vital equipment, such as the Meta's helmet in You Know Who We Are. Even before these events, the Director implied that Hargrove manipulated others to obtain his high position as both CEO of Charon Industries and Chairman of the UNSC Oversight Subcommittee.
- The Chairman's face is first revealed in You Know Who We Are, six seasons after he was first introduced. Also, his face resembles his voice actor, Jack Lee.
- In Called Up, the Chairman is shown to have white hair, but in You Know Who We Are, he's shown to be mostly bald with thinning grey hair on the back of his head.
- Like Wyoming, the Chairman speaks in a somewhat English accent.
- The Chairman's name wasn't revealed until the episode Oversight.
- However, his first name was misspelled as "Malcom" during Seasons 10, 12, and 13. This problem was corrected after the release of the Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide book.
- The Chairman is the second of four British characters to appear in the series, the others being Wyoming, Jones, and General Donald Doyle respectively.
- The Chairman claims that much can come from the merger of business and politics; this would mean he is a fascist or at least is studied in fascist ideology.
- The Chairman could be considered as one of the main antagonists of the entire series, having been associated with many conflicts of three major story arcs: being the one who sent Washington and Meta after Epsilon in Revelation, acting as a benefactor to the Insurrection during the Project Freelancer Saga, and later being directly tied to the Space Pirates in the Chorus Trilogy.
- The Chairman shares similarities with the Doctor Who villain the Master as both characters are masters of manipulation, are ruthless having no qualms about killing innocents or underlings, and both throughout their respective shows have taken great investments in hiding their identity for their benefit.
- Hargrove also shares similarities with the DC comics villain Lex Luthor as both are multi-billionaires at the head of massive corporations, both characters are bald, and both characters use their wealth and intelligence to execute their operations.
- In The Brick Gulch Chronicles, the name of the young boy terrorizing the Reds and Blues is Malcolm Hargrove, a reference to the Chairman himself.
|United Nations Space Command|
|Most Known: Malcolm Hargrove · Allison Church · Locus · Felix · UNSC Police|
|Other Members: Dennis · Jerry · Mayers · Stassney · Blanton · Kilgore · Prison Guard · Spaceship Operator · Delaney · Vargas · Tabatha Morales|
|Most Known: Malcolm Hargrove · Leader · C.T. · Demo Man · Sharkface · Girlie ·|
Sleeveless Soldier · Locus · Felix · Aiden Price
|Insurrectionist: Resistance Sniper · Chain Guy and Chain Girl · Rhee Sebiel ·|
Scully · Murphy · Coffee Man · Space Station Guard
|Space Pirates: Jackson · Sam · Zachary Miller · Ross · Mercenary Scientist ·|
Terrified Mercenary · Curious Pirate
|Other Members: Sherry · Darryl · Terrill|