Episode three of the Secret Invasion recap has arrived and things are really heating up.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for those who have watched the first three episodes of Secret Invasion on Disney+. Please do not continue reading if you have not seen these episodes.
Did they not learn anything from Bond?
Pagon (Killian Scott) starts off with a tense scene, questioning Beto (Samuel Adewunmi) and another Skrull, Virkus, about their readiness for their mission to penetrate the Royal Navy and target a significant UN location. Later, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and the Skrull council observe the advanced device that G’iah (Emilia Clarke) came across in the previous week.
“The defenders of Earth will respond. Our only chance to claim this planet as our own is to become superhuman ourselves,” declared Gravik, emphasizing the word “super” and catching the attention of all Marvel fans familiar with Super-Skrull.
“We are not just altering appearances anymore,” Gravik added. “We are altering abilities. We will transform into specifically designed weapons of mass destruction. Every single one of us. Super-Skrulls.”
If we take lessons from Bond movies, it’s important to be clever and explain your strategy clearly to the audience. However, explicitly stated plans are often unsuccessful. This is the issue with being a highly focused and intense villain like Gravik – there’s no time for leisurely activities like going to the movies.
Partially blind date
In 1998, in New York, the solution to the previous week’s suspenseful question was revealed: How long has Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) been working with a Skrull partner? And did he know her true identity as a Skrull? The answer is a definite yes. Inquiring about her new appearance, Fury then proceeds to remind her about the rule against officers and agents getting romantically involved. How presumptuous! Can’t a shapeshifting alien take on a form that she knows her boss will find appealing without him assuming it’s solely for his benefit? Typical male behavior.
After some time had passed, Fury attempted to justify his absence from their less-than-perfect marriage to Priscilla (played by Charlayne Woodard). He revealed that he had retired, although this was a lie, and that he planned to seek revenge during his newfound free time. The pressing question now is who was the mysterious caller on the other end of Priscilla’s phone call. She claimed to not know the answer, leaving us to wonder if it was Rhodey, Talos, or perhaps just a sales call from Sky offering a discounted sports package.
Secrets and lies
Moving from one awkward discussion to the next, Gravik confronts G’iah about the source of last week’s leak. With limited individuals aware of their destination and all present in the same vehicle after picking up Brogan (played by Ben Peel), she skillfully shifts the blame onto Brogan while enduring torture. “I am quite adept at deception,” she boasts to Gravik, who then informs her she will be accompanying him to a meeting with her father, Talos (played by Ben Mendelsohn).
A bird of prey wearing an eyepatch
Each episode of the series has featured an excellent showdown, and this one was no different. Gravik and Talos went head-to-head, showcasing their heavyweight talents. While Ben Mendelsohn and Olivia Colman are both impressive in their roles (and Colman is a frequent presence in the series), Kingsley Ben-Adir stands out as the MVP. He brings intensity, physical intimidation, and determination, all delivered with a beautiful Welsh accent. Ben-Adir’s character also proves to be one step ahead in the cafe scene, though he did not anticipate getting stabbed in the hand. Talos makes it clear that his daughter’s name is off-limits, saying “Until the end of time.” Is this a reference to the Oscars 2022?
Next, we witnessed the existence of Extremis, which miraculously healed Gravik’s hand through advanced genetic manipulation. This technology was first introduced in Iron Man 3 by Maya Hansen (portrayed by Rebecca Hall) and Mike from Neighbours (portrayed by Guy Pearce). It enables the individual to heal and regenerate from physical injuries, even something as severe as a knife wound to the hand.
After exchanging some playful banter, Fury and Talos set off to prevent the submarine attack. They contacted Sonya Falsworth (played by Olivia Colman) for assistance. She had found the hidden listening device planted by Fury and jokingly gave her desk owl an eye patch as a reminder. She also mentioned that she was currently dealing with her own infiltration situation.
I appreciated Talos explaining the extent to which he and the Skrulls aided Fury in advancing within Shield (“Your life improved significantly when I entered the picture”). Their assault on the naval compound was impressive – a thrilling action scene in an otherwise conversation-heavy episode. Dialogue-driven episodes are not an issue, as long as the writing is strong (and I believe this episode delivered on that front), but we must remember this is Marvel: While I enjoy Three Days of the Condor as much as the next person, I come here expecting mildly exciting, exaggerated violence.
The plan to destroy the submarine was called off because G’iah sacrificed to obtain the code. From this experience, I’ve learned that if I ever need to escape quietly, I should not make a loud entrance by kicking open a large metal gate and then riding off on a motorbike. Goodbye Emilia Clarke. I assumed you would stick around for longer, at least until I could make some clever Game of Thrones references in my recaps. Or perhaps she has been granted Super-Skrull abilities and is not actually dead? We will discover the truth next week, along with Gravik’s true intentions as he admitted the submarine scheme was just a distraction.
Lastly, Scilla opened her safety deposit box and received a call from Rhodey (Don Cheadle), who was confirmed to be a Skrull by many commenters. She then asked to speak with Gravik. It is important to not make assumptions – Scilla could be manipulating both Rhodey and Gravik. Fury had suspicions that she was involved in Gravik’s rebellion after the phone call, so it is possible that she is one step ahead of him. Additionally, it is rare for people to keep anything other than a gun, cash, or passports in a safety deposit box.
We are moving quickly now. We have watched three episodes and have three left, and we have seen a hint of Gravik’s ultimate plan. It is unfortunate that we had to bid farewell to Emilia Clarke’s G’iah, especially after Maria Hill’s departure. However, her death will inspire Talos, who has become more ruthless – he killed some Skrulls, something he was hesitant to do before – but is still seen as weak by Gravik.
Notes and observations
The title of this week’s episode was Betrayal, with the previous episodes being titled Resurrection and Promises. Does anyone else think they sound like bands at a music festival? If next week’s episode is named Demons or Terror, I might be onto something.
In the diner flashback, Varra/Priscilla discussed information about Dreykov’s associates. Ray Winstone portrays Dreykov in the film Black Widow, where he is seen being attacked in his Budapest office, a reference often made by Black Widow and Hawkeye.
Priscilla answered her cell phone while in the kitchen with Fury and removed it from the charger. In all the TV I’ve watched, I cannot recall a scene where charging a phone wasn’t a significant plot point. Kudos to Marvel for breaking the norm. Hooray!
The artwork, “Statesmen of World War I,” was painted by James Guthrie, a Scottish artist, and finished in 1930 before his passing. It currently resides in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Once again, Gravik is consuming sugar? Talos observed with disapproval. Can Skrulls develop type 2 diabetes?
Can you tell me a place in central London where I can get a full English breakfast and a pint of Coke for under ten pounds?
The document on Falsworth’s desk featured Derrik, portrayed by Tony Curran, a Scottish performer with an impressive resume. I have come to understand that he was the individual we observed conversing with Falsworth through a blurry video call in the first episode, rather than Richard Dormer’s Agent Prescod as I had initially considered. Despite pausing the scene, I was unable to deduce who Derrik had been seen speaking with in those secretive photographs. Do you have any ideas?
The initial Super-Skrull in Marvel comics was Kl’rt, who was granted the abilities of the Fantastic Four and made his debut in 1963. In the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, numerous Skrulls were bestowed with a variety of powers.
Samuel L Jackson will never escape his Pulp Fiction role as Jules Winnfield, and nor should he want to. As he stood over Commodore Bob with a pistol, barking for the code, I fully expected him to start talking about the “path of the righteous man” and double daring Bob to “say ‘what’ again”.
What are your thoughts on the latest episode of this week? Are you enjoying the series? Any speculations on Scilla’s actions? Share your opinions in the comments below.