At the halfway point of Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, the dominoes have started to fall into place. As befitting the spy thriller genre, betrayals are occurring on all sides. Trust is a commodity that few people can trade on in this kind of story. As a viewer, you can’t help but question everyone’s loyalties, much in the same way the cast of characters are having to do. This kind of fraught atmosphere is what makes spy thrillers an engaging genre but it can potentially be overdone.
Spoilers ahead, so don’t read this if you haven’t watched Episode Three “Betrayed” of Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion.
The action has shifted from Moscow to the UK after the first two episodes. We get a chance to see Fury and Priscilla (Fury’s Skrull wife) have some time together in this episode. While it’s clear they care for each other, there is a palpable amount of tension between the two. Scilla is right to call out Fury for essentially abandoning everyone once he returned in the Blip. My feeling is that coming back after being dust for five years and losing Tony, Natasha, and Steve had a profound impact on Fury. There’s something off about Fury in this series and some of that, I believe, is that he is no longer the spymaster he once was.
This is most telling during the sequence with Talos and Fury as they drive to confront a Royal Navy Commodore about a potential attack (more on that in a bit). Talos lays it out for Fury by telling him that without Talos and the Skrulls serving as an intelligence force for him, Nick Fury would never have risen up in the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. the way he did. I’d like to think that Fury would have risen on his own merits but you can’t take away Talos’ point that easily. The Skrulls served as a vital network under Fury, enabling him to catch things before they happened or lean on people to get things done. Even with their friendship fraying at the edges, Talos still holds an immense amount of respect for fury, which is clear in how Ben Mendelsohn plays his character.
The main plot of the episode involves a seaborne attack perpetrated by members of Gravik’s faction. Three Skrull infiltrators sneak on board a Royal Navy submarine with the intent on destroying a UN flight heading from the USA to Europe. Doing this would escalate tensions even further, with Gravik’s main goal to kickstart a third World War between the remaining superpowers. But this isn’t all that Gravik is up to, though.
In my last review, I suggested that Gravik is intent on creating Super Skrulls and we received confirmation of that early on in the episode. In the comics, Super Skrulls were genetically augmented Skrulls that had the powers of the Fantastic Four. Since the Fantastic Four haven’t been introduced yet, the writers of the show have wisely used other individuals to provide the same abilities (such as Groot’s ability to extend his limbs or Cull Obsidian’s rock-like skin).
We get to see this in full force during the confrontation between Gravik and Talos. Gravik agrees to meet with Talos, even going so far as to bring G’iah with him as his driver. During the car ride, G’iah overhears Gravik talking about the attack. She manages to copy down the information on a burner phone, which she later gives to her father Talos after the meeting. The meeting itself is a tense affair. Gravik’s arrogance is unbound in his scenes with Talos and Kingsley Ben-Adir gets to ham it up a bit during their exchange. Pushing Talos’ buttons regarding his daughter gets the normally stoic Skrull to snap, stabbing Gravik in the hand with a table knife. The interesting moment, though, is that when Gravik pulls his hand free, his wound begins to glow orange and the skin begins to reknit. It looks like Gravik’s scientists were able to perfect the Extremis program and successfully graft it into Gravik’s DNA.
However, this wouldn’t be a spy thriller if there were double-crosses or the potential for more double-crosses. G’iah’s plan to thwart the attack on the UN plane is successful (with Talos and Fury able to take out the Skrulls impersonating the Commodore and his son). Unfortunately, this reveals her status as the mole to Gravik, who promptly guns G’iah down as she is attempting to escape the nuclear plant the Skrulls have called home. I seriously doubt G’iah is done at this point in the story, though. Emilia Clarke is far too valuable as part of the cast for her to die this early in the story. I think it is far more likely that G’iah will end up replacing her father as Fury’s Skrull partner before this story is over.
The potential betrayal is with Scilla, Nick Fury’s wife. During their earlier scene having breakfast, Fury softly questions if Scilla has had any contact with Gravik. His wife shoots down the question without directly answering it. As the episode draws to a close, she receives a phone call and heads across town to open a safe deposit box. In the box is a loaded gun and nothing else, clearly setting the stage for Scilla to have to kill someone. Then she gets another phone call and it’s James Rhodes that we hear on the other end of the line. When Scilla says she wants to talk to Gravik, Rhodes tells her she is dealing with him now. This may be a misdirect to cause the audience to think Rhodes has been replaced by a Skrull infiltrator. On the other hand, it would make sense for the Skrulls to replace Rhodey.
Tensions are mounting as Secret Invasion enters its second half of episodes. I’m intrigued to see where the story goes from here. The show still has yet to address the subtext of refugees being a threat to the established order. I’m not sure why the writers are avoiding that concern but it may just be too early in the story. So far, it’s been an interesting (if slightly uneven) ride. Hopefully, the next three episodes will shed further light on the story and shift the direction away from potentially concerning concepts.
My book series The Atalante Chronicles is now live on Amazon for Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover Print-On-Demand. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Find me on the web: https://linktr.ee/TheKingSquare
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution helps with covering the cost for this site. Give what you can and thank you.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly