After the premiere’s shocking death, Secret Invasion is back and Nick Fury is more ready than ever to take on the Skrulls. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple when even his usual allies aren’t there for him.
The episode begins with the use of flashbacks, starting with actual Captain Marvel footage and introducing a new scene set in 1997 where Fury meets with Skrulls in Brixton, London (a great explanation for them casting so many Brits) to recruit them.
Is it kind of messed up that he trades him and Carol finding them a new planet to live on in exchange for their service to SHIELD as spies? Yes! Extremely messed up!
Most importantly, we also meet Gravik, the Skrull rebellion leader, here as a young boy. This episode does a slightly better job explaining his motivation and it all starts with hearing Fury’s promise as a child — a promise that goes unfulfilled.
I am not 100% Team Gravik, since I am generally anti-eradicating humanity, but I can see where he’s coming from and childhood wounds tend to fester if not healed. He lost his parents in the war and then spent so much of his life in service to a man who betrayed him.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, as Gravik’s human form, is extremely charismatic but also just the right amount of sinister to make you question his motives. In a scene with the Skrull council where he stages a coup in order to become the Skrull war general, you see how easily his ideology turns from idealism to violence.
On Fury’s side, things aren’t going so great either. He and Talos get into an argument over Fury’s methods and Talos lying about how many Skrulls are on Planet Earth. It’s a great showcase for the actors, so much so that you wish you got to see them go toe to toe in a show where one isn’t playing a green alien.
Fury is right about one thing though: If humans can’t even get along with each other how can Talos expect them to accept the Skrulls?
It’s not really that surprising Fury alienates (pun intended) his allies, as he’s still reeling from the death of Maria. Sure it served its fridge-y purpose of motivating him, but he’s not making the best decisions now.
(I won’t even begin my diatribe about how Maria has so little backstory the only person they can think of to meet her coffin is her unnamed mother.)
Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle also make a meal of the dialogue Marvel gives them as the two get into a heated conversation about what is owed to men like them and the ones who came before them. It’s powerful without being overly sentimental, especially when Rhodey points out, “The reason we wrestled this power from men who don’t look like us wasn’t to turn around and give it to mediocre men who do.”
Ouch, that had to hurt.
So in short, Fury is kind of screwed and returns home to his Skrull wife in another twist ending you don’t see coming!
At least he still has Sonya on his side, and Oliva Colman gets the most fun scene of the episode torturing a captured Skrull operative and getting more information about what Gravik is planning. Although the details of the science aren’t entirely clear, it appears they plan to enhance Skrull DNA to make them unbeatable to the Avengers.
Even that double-crosser G’iah is freaked out by the plans. Maybe it’s not too late for her to actually turn to the good side.