Secret Invasion Episode 3, “Betrayed,” shows how strong Gravik’s forces are and proves that Nick Fury has lost his footing. The betrayals at the end make this dour show seem even more grim than we initially thought.
On the one hand, a show about spies and espionage was bound to be pretty depressing. On the other hand, depressing doesn’t have to mean dull, and Secret Invasion missed the memo.
Maybe because this was the shortest of the episodes so far, but it wasn’t as enthralling as the first two. The tension towards the end when they have to try to stop the submarine strike is the closest you come to being nervous but even then it’s hard to believe that the show would let the Skrulls have such a big victory early on.
The fact Gravik was using the operation as a way to lure out the mole is a decent twist though.
The scenes with Fury’s wife Varra also fall a little flat just because the show has spent zero time developing their relationship. Sadly, Fury ghosted her to go live in space, but we’ve barely spent any time with the character to actually care about her heartbreak.
Secret Invasion is a chance to give Fury the spotlight, but maybe not every character needs a complicated backstory. Maybe some supporting characters were meant to be just that.
There are some bright spots in the acting on the episode and Ben Mendelsohn wins MVP for being a masterful scene partner in scenes with Kinglsey Ben-Adir and Samuel L. Jackson. Even if you aren’t that interested in the Skrulls, the philosophical opposition of Gravik and Talos is genuinely compelling.
Their conversion on the difference between statesmen and soldiers nicely illustrates their differing philosophies and helps ground the conflict beyond normal Marvel alien shenanigans. The show seems to at least be trying to make Gravik a more developed villain than most we’ve seen in these films and shows, but he has yet to reach his full potential.
As far as Talos and Fury’s buddy comedy act, it vacillates between laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking. In fact, I find myself more invested in their relationship than the one between Fury and his wife.
I’ve said it before but the two actors have such good chemistry that it feels wasted on this middling series. The same can be said for the underutilized Olivia Colman on this episode.
The episode ends with Gravik murdering G’iah for being the mole and Varra seemingly being implicated in Gravik’s plot. Oh yeah, and it’s looking pretty good that Rhodey is also a Skrull based on his voice on a call.
Of these three depressing revelations, there’s a good chance all could be misdirects. Killing two lead female characters in the span of three episodes would be a pretty TERRIBLE look, so I’m guessing G’iah lives.
I would also guess Varra might not be the baddie they’re making her out to be. Sure she’s heartbroken over Fury leaving her but I don’t see her wanting to eradicate humanity over it.