Let’s Talk about Secret Invasion Episode 1-6
The Marvel Cinematic Universe ends its 30-year alien infiltration with the latest episode of its most recent series.
Let’s talk about Secret Invasion episode 1-6, the one with all the out-of-nowhere resolutions.
Nick Fury vs. the Skrulls
Five episodes ago, the legendary leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, returned home to Earth after a prolonged outer space vacation.
We learned early on that Fury promised the Skrulls something he lacked the ability to give them.
Fury offered to find a new alien home world for the Skrulls. In order for that to happen, Fury and his friend, Carol Danvers, would have had to displace an alien species.
Does that sound like something heroes would do? Of course not. Fury made an insincere offer that has caused a generation of Skrulls to distrust him.
Their leader, Gravik, built his reputation by carving out a Skrull society in Russia.
Then, in the last episode, he randomly turned on everyone and started murdering Skrulls. It made zero sense and felt haphazard in its introduction.
That’ll be a recurring theme with today’s recap, as the episode must address much of what happens to provide a satisfying conclusion.
Speaking of which, we begin with Varra exiting her home, which she recently decorated in the color of Skrull Head Blood.
There’s a dead Skrull right by one of her doors. Does Sunshine Cleaning do alien murder scenes?
Anyway, Fury calls Varra and says his goodbyes…without actually saying them.
Soon afterward, Fury uses the distraction of a slowly moving, driverless car to shoot some guards and invade New Skrullos.
As a reminder, New Skrullos is bad for humans due to the high radiation levels.
The implication here is that Nick Fury is making one last stand for humanity.
The President’s Incredibly Stupid Story
I’ll warn you right now. You’re gonna need to turn your brain all the way off for the Secret Invasion finale.
Putting any thought into it whatsoever will drive you to distraction. The plot holes are roughly the size of Jupiter.
We’ll start with an insipid conversation between the President, his most trusted military advisor, whom we’ve never seen before, and Skrull Rhodey.
The extremely competent woman suggests that someone has attempted a false flag operation to paint Russia as the perpetrator.
Skrull Rhodey, who performed the false flag operation, disagrees entirely with her.
The bed-ridden President receives intel that Russian troops have lined up near the border of other countries.
Skrull Rhodey has prepared remarks for the President’s speech, which…wait, what is Skrull Rhodey’s job again? Wouldn’t speechwriters do that?
Shouldn’t the President’s Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense have some say in this conversation? What is even happening?
*sigh* It’s my problem, and I’ll deal with it.
Sonya Falsworth thinks the whole thing is stupid as well. She calls Skrull Rhodey and informs him that he must move the President.
The Skrull obviously doesn’t want to do that, but it’s all a ruse anyway. Falsworth spends the next several minutes shooting Skrulls in the head.
Skrull Head Blood is the new orange which had been the new black.
Anyway, I don’t think this scene speaks well of the Secret Service, which hasn’t locked down a hospital after a POTUS survived an assassination attempt.
One middle-aged woman can somehow wreck the place. I’m not even joking.
Eventually, someone points a gun at Skrull Rhodey and then splatters his brains on the wall while the President watches. But it’s not Falsworth!
The Fury/Gravik Showdown
Speaking of Russia, Fury invades the New Skrullos compound, which he discovers is littered with dead Skrulls.
Fury coughs and checks his Geiger counter to estimate how close he is to death via radiation poisoning. Hold that thought.
Once inside the compound, Fury heads straight to the Super Skrull science lab.
Gravik is standing there awaiting him.
Now, hear me out. Shouldn’t Gravik have stopped Fury from reaching the place that can empower people with Super Skrull skills?
The stupid doesn’t stop there, either. As Fury mimics the symptoms of radiation poisoning, Gravik taunts him by monologuing.
Somewhere, Syndrome is screaming, “DON’T DO IT! JUST KILL HIM!!!”
Gravik…goes a different way with it. Fury presents the Skrull with what he wants, the contents of The Harvest.
Now, Gravik can assume the powers of all the Avengers present in the final battle with Thanos…and Ghost, who wasn’t even there. Just go with it.
Anyway, Gravik yells at Fury and then powers up the machine…with both of them standing inside the testing zone.
That’s right. For no apparent reason, Gravik provides Fury with the power of all Avengers as well. Gravik’s not much of a tactician, is he?
OP Battle of the Super-SUPER Skrulls
First, Fury does confess to some stuff to ease his mind, but none of this merits discussion because…it’s not Nick Fury!
G’iah was apparently faking the radiation poisoning, even at the times when it made no sense to do so because Gravik wasn’t around to see her.
To a larger point, apparently, Skrulls cannot tell when other Skrulls are in human form, even ones who have known each other from childhood.
Gravik realizes he’s just joined G’iah in becoming arguably the two most powerful beings in all creation.
G’iah does the whole “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die…” thing before assuming the abilities of several Avengers.
Ultimately, G’iah goes full Mantis and puts Gravik to sleep. Then, she utilizes the Carol Danvers special to shoot a hole in Gravik and thereby kill him.
This fight is a LOT of fun if you put no thought into it but rather enjoy it for what it is.
You’ll notice tributes to The Hulk, Drax, Korg, Abomination, and several others. It’s a total superhero fight, but the story cycles through it too fast.
For a series with a $212 million budget, Secret Invasion always seemed to rush the special effects.
Anyway, G’iah wins the battle and thereby lays claim to intergalactic domination. She’s got the powers of Captain Marvel and pretty much everybody else.
If you thought Khaleesi was scary during the final season of Game of Thrones, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
At this moment in the MCU timeline, G’iah is ALL AVENGERS AT ONCE!
The President Obliterates the Timeline
Globally wanted fugitive Fury also shows up at the President’s hospital wing – I guess because everyone in the Secret Service is dead by now? – and speaks his mind.
Fury confirms to the President that Skrulls walk among us and are currently trying to trigger World War III.
The spymaster proves his point by killing Skrull Rhodey, who reverts to his natural form as the President watches.
Meanwhile, G’iah the nigh-Ominipotent rescues the various captured humans, including Agent Everett Ross and the real James Rhodes.
The series dances around the timeline matter, as Ross asks Rhodes, “How long have you been here?” War Machine doesn’t answer.
G’iah informs Rhodes, “You’ve been held hostage for a long time.” The internet is currently ablaze in speculation about what this means.
By the way, G’iah liberates some of the scientists and others we’ve watched die (as Skrulls) in previous episodes as well.
The President then chooses to go on camera with a message. I’ll quote it in its entirety:
“We all witnessed the terrorist attack that was carried out on my motorcade earlier this week in England.”
“The terrorists responsible were a shape-shifting alien-born species known as Skrulls.
“That is why tonight, I’m presenting to Congress for immediate emergency authorization, a bill that designates all off-world-born-species enemy combatants.
“We know who you are. We know how to find you. And we will kill every last one of you.”
The grotesque overreaction here kinda makes you wonder what Abe Lincoln would have done to actors if he’d survived his assassination attempt.
There might not even be a Hollywood.
Nick Fury in Spaaaaaaaaaaace
The story ends much as it began.
Having saved humanity from an alien attack and unintentionally triggered the greatest persecution of aliens since, well, America circa 2017, Fury is ready to return “home.”
To him, outer space has become the place where he feels most comfortable.
This time, Fury doesn’t want to go alone, though. He is hopeful that his wife will help him embark on peace negotiations with the Kree.
Apparently, in the wake of recent Guardians of the Galaxy events, the Kree are interested in a peace summit with the Skrulls.
We also learn that Priscilla is the greatest diplomat among her people, which is probably something the show should have mentioned before its final scene.
Varra, who will no longer allow anyone to deadname her as Priscilla/Scilla, politely declines the offer.
Two minutes later, after Fury confesses that he loves Varra for who she is, the Skrull boards the ship with her (super-old) human husband.
I guess it was a soft no rather than a hard no. I’m kidding. She indicates that she will help him get started, but then she will return to Earth.
The only consistent aspect of Secret Invasion is its inconsistency.
Also, in a turn that provides more hope about a future spinoff, Falsworth doesn’t exactly befriend G’iah.
Instead, the two women agree to use one another to protect Skrulls from a hostile American President.
Speaking of which, Fury refers to that dude as a one-term President, which hints at the impending rise of Thunderbolt Ross as a politician.
That storyline likely plays out in Captain America: Brave New World.
As for the budding womance between G’iah and Falsworth, Disney should greenlight that tomorrow…with an entirely different writing team than Secret Invasion.
Final Thoughts about Secret Invasion
Folks, if you’re familiar with my writing, you know that I’m a very positive person as a rule.
I understand that the creative process is challenging, and I admire anyone willing to put themselves out there to try to tell an entertaining story.
Even if you don’t succeed, at least you made the attempt, which is commendable.
Still, as a Marvel fan, I’ve been honest with you in the instances when a story fell short of expectations.
Most recently, I warned you to drop your expectations for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as low as you could.
Well, in my opinion, Secret Invasion is every bit the Disney+ equivalent of Quantumania in terms of least-case scenario results.
We’re discussing high-budget Marvel stories that make little sense and feel slapped together recklessly.
With Secret Invasion, I cannot help but wonder about the timing. Marvel was in flux during the first half of 2023 when this series was finishing its editing.
Many of the scenes feel out of order and lacking context. Characters appear for the first time but then vanish, never to be seen again.
Something happened behind the scenes here to sabotage the project, and we’ll likely learn the details at a later date.
The Lingering Flaws of Secret Invasion
Independent of the explanation, Secret Invasion is a total bust with its storytelling, editing, and (most importantly) setup for future MCU stories.
Under the “logic” of the President’s final order, the United States just declared war on New Asgard, most Guardians of the Galaxy, and several other Avengers.
New Asgard is a fishing village that has recently dabbled as a tourist destination. We could pick smarter fights.
The President’s actions make zero sense and come with far-reaching consequences.
Hopefully, Marvel is smart enough to ignore all this, which is perfectly justifiable.
We should all pretend as if the Secret Invasion proved so secret that nobody even knew about it.
This series is far and away the worst Marvel program on Disney+ to date.
You’d be better served to watch Werewolf by Night four or five times instead.
I generally ignore Marvel criticisms as somewhere between nitpicky and baseless.
Sadly, Secret Invasion joins the pantheon of Lousy MCU offerings alongside Eternals, Quantumania, and Thor 2.
This series was a bust.
Sonya Falsworth is great, though. I look forward to future scenes between Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and her.
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