|“||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|
|“||You just couldn't do it, could you? You couldn't lay down and die? Well if I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me.||„|
|~ Chairman Hargrove to the denizens of Chorus just before his final assault|
Chairman Malcolm Hargrove was the former head of the UNSC Oversight Sub-Committee as well as the CEO of Charon Industries, who exchanges messages with the Director of Project Freelancer throughout each chapter of Reconstruction. The Chairman serves as a supporting character in the Recollections, a minor character in Season 10, and the main antagonist of the Chorus Trilogy, under the alias Control.
Messaging The Director
During Oversight, Malcolm Hargrove 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 new 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.
Negotiation with the Reds and Blues
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 Reds & Blues 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 became wanted criminals by the UNSC, due to hiding Wash as well as their attempts to rescue Epsilon. However, after the group confronted The Director at the Freelancer Offsite Storage Facility, the Blood Gulch Crew received a full pardon from The Chairman 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.
|“||I'm not paying you to put bullets through the heads of Space Pirates. I'm paying you to ensure the acquisition of my property. And when I lose my property, you lose your payment.||„|
|~ The Chairman as "Control" in a transmission to Locus|
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 The 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.
Charon's Final Assault
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.
It was revealed by the events of Red vs. Blue: Season 15 that the Reds and Blues successfully captured Hargrove and he was arrested for his crimes, thus making Epsilon's noble sacrifice justified.
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 crimes. 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, and his ultimate goals being purely financially based rather than The Director's ostensibly good aim of resurrecting a loved one as well as win the war.
When The Chairman's true colors are revealed to the UNSC, he furiously attempts to take his revenge by eradicating everyone on Chorus, both enemies and allies, despite the fact he would still end up imprisoned no matter what; showing that The Chairman is an extremely vengeful and unforgiving character who will do whatever it takes to make his enemies suffer.
Skills and Abilities
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.
- Like Wyoming, The Chairman speaks in a somewhat English accent.
- The Chairman's name wasn't revealed until the episode Oversight.
- The Chairman is the third of four British characters to appear in the series, the others being Wyoming, Jones, and General Donald Doyle respectively.
- 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 The 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.
- The Chairman 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.
- Alongside Felix, they are the only Pure Evil villains of Red vs Blue. However, while Felix's were gradually driven by hatred and revenge against the Reds and Blues, Hargrove's motives were profit-based and pure greed.
- He is currently the only main antagonist to still be alive after their respective saga.