WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 174, "The Revival of the Divine Tree," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
The Hashirama Cell has been linked to Orochimaru, who clearly has even more skeletons in his closet than just his villainous past show in Naruto. The fact he didn't care to gather all the research is suspicious, and with the way he treats Mitsuki like a science project, he seemed like may well be back to his villainous ways. Thankfully, the latest Boruto episode offers the former Sannin redemption, along with a mysterious partner.
As the God Tree attacks Konohamaru, he instructs Mugino to take the feudal lord from the Land of Valleys back to Konoha as he can provide evidence against Victor. Mugino's wounded badly but has no choice other than to roll solo as Boruto and Sarada are locked in battle with Deepa. However, as he totes the damaged lord out, he's ambushed by Victor's mysterious secretary.
As she rushes in, she's immediately blocked by a hooded ninja who teleports in out of nowhere. Mugino stumbles back but is propped up by another shorter hooded ninja, perplexed by what's happening. As the secretary moves in, the first ninja performs a lightning-fast move, dusting her a la Avengers: Infinity War. It's unknown which jutsu was used, but as the ninja takes their hood off, Mugino's stunned to see it's Orochimaru, out of his lair and apparently deadlier than ever.
Orochimaru killed the secretary without hesitation. As he smiles, enjoying his work, Mugino is left wondering who's his assistant. It can't be Mitsuki, who's recovering from Deepa's beating. It can't be Log either, as he's way taller. Some fans think it's a Shin clone from Kabuto's lab or another Mitsuki clone, but knowing Orochimaru, he's hidden another worker bee away for missions like these.
With the tree breaking out of the lab, Orochimaru gets distracted, fascinated to see bits of his work in action. His scientific interest has been piqued, as he's always wanted to create something tied to Kaguya, Hashirama and the ultimate monster that can suck all of Earth's chakra up but never perfected such a creation. As all hell breaks loose, however, he and his partner will be needed to help Konohamaru, as Victor's entered the battlefield. The Kara Outer wants to protect his creation so it can drain hundreds of workers around, ensuring he gets to feed on its chakra fruit, but with Orochimaru now entering the picture, it won't be an easy task.