The only thing the Fast & Furious franchise loves more than cars and family is bringing main characters back from the dead. Both Letty and Han survived seemingly fatal explosions thanks to the combined power of editing and shameless retcons. But Fast X made both of those resurrections seem reasonable with a return that was absolutely absurd even if it felt inevitable. Gal Gadot’s Gisele, thought to have died ten years ago in Fast & Furious 6, is alive! And also driving a nuclear submarine in Antarctica! And maybe working for Cipher? Or Mr. Nobody? Or Mr. Nobody’s daughter?
How is she alive at all? Why did she go into hiding in the first place? And did she finally reemerge because she saw Han’s new dating profile? Clearly there’s a lot to unpack about Gisele’s perplexing return, so here’s our best attempt at explaining it.
What Do We Know About Gal Gadot’s Fast & Furious Character?
Gisele Yashar made her debut in the franchise’s fourth film, Fast & Furious. The skilled intelligence operative began her career as a Mossad agent before going to work for Mr. Nobody in the CIA. He called her the “best” agent he had back in “the good old days.”
At some point she then joined Arturo Braga’s underworld enterprise in Mexico. The series has never explicitly confirmed whether she had become a criminal or if she was simply working undercover in Braga’s outfit. However, all circumstantial evidence points to the latter. That includes how her last name Yashar translates to “upright” in Hebrew.
No matter her past allegiances, Gisele became an important member of the Fast family. She saved an amnesiac Letty’s life and helped her reunite with Dom. Gisele then answered the call to join Dom’s crew and rob Hernan Reyes’s fortune in Rio de Janeiro. She then shocked Mr. Nobody by leaving The Agency so she could travel the world with her new love, Han.
Their plans to settle down in Tokyo ended in what had been the character’s last film before Fast X.
How Did Gal Gadot’s Gisele “Die” in Furious 6?
The love of Han’s life sacrificed herself to save him at the end of Furious 6. The two were fighting together atop a car attached to a giant cargo ship that was already airborne. (Only this franchise, right?) Han was holding onto to a dangling Gisele when she saw their foe about to murder Han. Rather than let Han die, she let go, pulled out her gun, and shot their enemy in midair while falling backwards at a ludicrous speed. That all happened in the split second before she must have smashed into the ground. (Again, only a Fast & Furious movie could pull this off.)
There was little reason to think Gisele could have possibly survived. The plane (and therefore her car it was dragging) was likely traveling at least 184 mph. At that speed even the invincible Dom Toretto might have hurt himself. But, just as co-stars Sung Kang and Vin Diesel wanted—it turns out she did survive!
How Did Gal Gadot’s Gisele Return in Fast X?
The specifics of how Gisele survived an otherwise fatal fall are unknown and probably don’t ultimately matter. The franchise found easy ways for Letty and Han to come back from certain death. And the laws of physics (especially gravity) don’t matter in the franchise, so why would a fall off a car at 200 mph?
We can guess who helped her pull off her disappearing act. Mr. Nobody, her former boss, successfully helped Han fake his own death so he could go into hiding. Han was trying to protect a loved one at the time. With enemies all around the world, Gisele might have taken Mr. Nobody’s offer to do the same after she magically survived. Her “death” might have left Han heartbroken, but it might have kept both of them alive.
Okay Fine, But How Did Gisele Show Up on a Submarine in Antarctica?
:second, longer deep breath:
Mr. Nobody’s likely involvement with Gisele’s secret life is the most logical explanation for why she returned. On a nuclear submarine. In Antarctica.
Letty and Cipher had been imprisoned at a black site run by the Agency, which the missing Mr. Nobody once led. Few people in the world would even know it was there. Even fewer would have access to a submarine to drive there. And only a couple of people would know Letty was there and needed rescuing.
Mr. Nobody and his most trusted associates, especially his daughter, are the only ones who fit that very specific criteria.
We don’t know Mr. Nobody’s fate, but his daughter Tess (played by Brie Larson) did put Letty’s escape in motion. She injured Letty, getting her into the same room as Cipher who helped break them out. The two would have been stuck wandering through that frozen wasteland had Gisele not shown up to save them. It seems as though Tess’s plan involved sending Gisele out with the world’s most expensive Uber.
I Guess That Makes Sense, But Was That the Submarine We Saw Before?
That can’t be the submarine from the franchise’s eighth film, The Fate of the Furious. Dom’s crew destroyed Cipher’s carjacked nuclear sub in that film with a rocket. This was a totally different billion dollar vessel being driven around like a stolen dirt bike.
This shouldn’t surprise us even if it’s totally ludicrous.
Why Would Gisele Come Out of Hiding Now?
The easy/correct answer is that the franchise is ending and every dead hero comes back eventually. That’s what always happens. (We put John Cena’s odds of returning at 99.9%.) But we’ll try and answer this with an in-universe explanation.
Is it possible Gisele has been working for Cipher this whole time? Literally anything is possible in these films. But it seems as though Gisele was called upon by the Nobodies when there was nowhere else to turn. Letty needed someone from her “family” to not only save her but all the rest. And whatever reason Gisele had for hiding in the first place isn’t as important as stopping Dante.
Either that or Gisele saw Han is finally ready to start dating and is not okay with that. Honestly, that makes us much sense as anything having to do with the latest Fast & Furious resurrection.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.