Back in 2001, when the first movie of the Fast franchise, The Fast and the Furious, hit theaters, hardly anyone could have predicted that a simple story revolving around a cat-and-mouse game between a bunch of street racers/DVD player hijackers and a bright-eyed rookie cop would generate a multibillion-dollar-earning franchise a decade down the line. But here we are all these years later, with ten movies released as part of three trilogies and the first chapter of the upcoming trilogy, Fast X, already raking in big numbers at the box office. While the NoS-pumped physical law-defying campy fun doesn’t seem to be restrained by brakes or clutches, the makers have charted out the ending of the franchise, and the aftermath of Fast X has provided enough hints that will help viewers assess what the final lap will look like. We would like to discuss it briefly, thereby joining the dots of the plot points of the movie with the larger narrative.
Gisele’s Return And Possible Link With Mr.Nobody
As the climax sequence of Fast X ends with the fate of Dom and his son shrouded in uncertainty, the scene moves to Antarctica, where Letty, now assisted by the criminal mastermind Cipher, has broken out of the agency’s black site and is moving across the uninhabitable landscape. As the duo comes across the frozen ocean, the nuclear submarine (stolen by Cipher during The Fate of the Furious) surfaces by shattering the sheet of ice, and from it, Gisele Yashar emerges, the longtime ally of Dom’s team. While Letty seems perplexed at the sight of her, Cipher’s statement clarifies that getting rescued in this way was part of her plan too. Gisele’s return from death came as a delightful surprise to the fans, but given the longtime speculation and the tendency of the franchise to resurrect people willy-nilly, we are not so sure if the surprise factor works.
Gisele, a former Mossad agent operating as an infiltrator in Mexican druglord Arturo Braga’s cartel, became a member of Dom’s crew during the events of the fourth installment of the franchise, Fast and Furious (2009). Gisele later became involved in a relationship with Han, and the duo became fan favorites in no time. However, as the team clashed with Owen Shaw in Fast and Furious 6, Gisele sacrificed her life while saving Han as she fell off of an aircraft mid-takeoff. The burning questions that arise with her return is how she survived and why she is aligning herself with Cipher.
Gisele’s past itself can answer that question and also provide hints about another key mystery: the possibility of Mr. Nobody’s survival. Gisele was taken under the wing of Mr.Nobody before joining Braga’s cartel, and she was the link through whom he came to know about Han and Dom’s crew. It was also revealed during the events of “The Fate of the Furious” that Mr.Nobody had saved Han from Owen Shaw’s attack and had assigned him for safekeeping of a global weaponry program called ‘Project Aries.’ In the next part, Fast and Furious 9, Mr.Nobody was assumed to have lost his life in a plane crash during Dom’s estranged brother Jakob’s attack, but it was never confirmed.
It was due to Mr. Nobody’s absence that his protégé had to take the reigns, whom Dante later tried to eliminate during the Vatican bombing. The protégé, Little Nobody, got injured, and with both of them out of the picture, it was easy for Dante to slip his business partner, Aimes, inside the agency, causing significant misery to Dom and his family. With Gisele’s return after over a decade, there is a real chance of Mr.Nobody having faked both his and Gisele’s deaths and working secretly with Cipher to tackle a threat much like Dante’s.
Lucas Hobbs’ Vital Role
In the post-credits sequence of Fast X, we get to see another surprising return of a longtime member of the Fast family, this time the former manhunter/DSS agent Lucas Hobbs, played by Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson. Accompanied by other stealth combat operatives, Hobbs enters a mansion – presumably of Reyes, and receives a call from Dante who threatens him due to his involvement with his father, Hernan’s death. The character was co-incidentally introduced in “Fast Five” as well, and after his initial disapproval of Dom and his crew, he allied with them to take down Hernan Reyes. While Dom and Brian were responsible for destroying Reyes financially, Hobbs killed the drug lord at the end, and its not surprising that in the future installments, he will be in the crosshairs of the vengeful son, Dante. But at the same time, it should also be mentioned that due to a pretty ugly clash between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson that went public a couple of years ago, Dwayne announced his retirement from the main “Fast and Furious” franchise, and we last saw him in the eighth entry of the franchise. Although he starred with Jason Statham in the spin-off movie Hobbs and Shaw, there was confirmation that he would not be appearing in future Fast movies.
Therefore, this surprise return of the Rock to the Fast franchise is going to please fans, and the fact that he will have a larger role to play in the sequels only adds to the excitement. Although the decision to return might also have something to do with Black Adam flopping miserably at the DCEU and Rock’s ambition of gaining control over the comic-book media franchise going astray,
Shaw’s Siblings Will Play An Integral Part
Although their initial stance as ruthless enemies has caused much misery for Dom and his crew, Shaw brothers Owen and Deckard did go through a change of heart later on and, along with their mother Queenie Shaw, helped Dom save his son from Cipher. In Fast X, we meet Queenie Shaw acting as a mediator between Dom and Tess, and later in London, as Han decides to seek help from Deckard, we see the duo laying waste to the agency agents who were hunting Dom’s family. Deckard finds out that all of Dom’s previous associates are targeted by the agency, which includes his mother, Queenie as well, and to ensure her safety, he arms himself to the teeth before leaving his hideout to ‘dig some graves.’ In the sequel, the Shaw family will play a significant role in bringing down Dante and his associates; we might also see Owen Shaw and Hattie (the youngest of Shaw siblings whom we first saw in Hobbs and Shaw) joining the familia to bring down antagonistic forces. Given their past camaraderie, another reunion between Deckard and Hobbs is bound to happen in the upcoming sequel as well.
Brian’s Return And Old Enemies
While Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto can be termed the muscle of the family, the late Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner is where the franchise’s soul resides. During the actor’s untimely death in the midst of the production of Furious 7, the devastated makers and the cast decided to give his legacy a proper tribute and changed the ending of the movie accordingly, which included an emotional farewell. But the character itself is pretty much alive in the franchise, and it makes little sense as to how the life-threatening events surrounding his family are happening while Brian remains inactive. To address this situation, in Fast and Furious 9, a faceless cameo of the character was included, hinting at Brian’s upcoming return. Given the fact that Dom and the majority of his crew are already in mortal danger by the end of Fast X, Brian’s return is a certainty, which is also clarified by actor Vin Diesel. Although it doesn’t feel ethically right to have the CGI’d version of the actor play the role even after his demise, the makers wanted to close the arc of the character in a proper way, and most importantly, it’s Hollywood we are talking about.
The return of Brian can be tied to a number of still-unresolved plot points. The druglords like Arturo Braga and Carter Verone, who had sworn revenge on Brian and his crew, are very much alive and incarcerated. With the family regrouping for an eventual retaliation, there is a possibility that the baddies will make a league of their own too. All in all, the sequel(s) to Fast X are surely going to be action-heavy, star-packed, and unabashedly messy, looking to end the franchise in a ginormous way.