Secret Invasion has finally come to an end. Even though it’s only six episodes, it feels like an eternity has passed between the first episode and today’s episode. I don’t mean that in a good way, though. It has been an excruciatingly painful process because of the poor direction, writing, and acting. To make matters worse, the show has managed to tarnish the reputation of Marvel Studios, a billion-dollar company, by resorting to generative A.I. instead of paying artists to make the opening credits. That said, this isn’t a singular, isolated issue. Marvel has been skimping on quality and focusing way too much on quantity, thereby producing mediocre-to-awful products one after the other. On top of that, there’s the exploitation of CGI and VFX artists that makes them look less like the superheroes they parade around and more like the villains in their movies and T.V. shows. Yet the wheel keeps turning. So, let’s talk about the final episode of Secret Invasion!
Gravik Confronts Nick Fury
Nick Fury calls up Varra (if she were Bengali, she would’ve taken offense to that name) and tells her that he’s going on “one final mission.” The “do or die” nature of this episode doesn’t work at all because you know that Nick Fury is going to make it out alive and show up in The Marvels. One can counter that by saying if people haven’t seen the trailers for The Marvels (which is almost impossible because they are plastered all over the internet), they won’t be aware of Fury’s fate. Hence, they’ll be invested in Fury’s “final mission.” But the issue here is that Marvel has a history of not committing to deaths in their stories. So, even if you aren’t aware of the fact that Fury is going to show up in The Marvels, you know that Marvel is not going to kill off Nick Fury. Even if they do, they are going to pluck a Variant of his from the Multiverse and keep things running. It’s true that comic books function in that manner. Then why should we expect something different from Marvel’s movies and T.V. shows?
Well, the simple answer is that live-action and comics aren’t the same thing. They attract different kinds of emotional investment. And there’s a simple solution to this issue. Instead of making everything an “end of the world” or “end of this character” story, focus on how it can fundamentally change the protagonist. Make them go through dilemmas that they have never faced before. If the audience knows about the rules the character abides by, watching them struggle to change will automatically keep things interesting. However, I guess all this is too complex for Marvel. Elsewhere in the narrative, Rhodes continues to convince President Ritson to nuke Russia in retaliation to the act of aggression on the American convoy. Rhodes gets a call from Sonya, who tells him to move the President because Fury is making a beeline for him. However, we see Fury in a heated conversation with Gravik about how Fury has doomed their race. This pretty much gives a hint that the Fury talking to Gravik is a Skrull because why would the real Fury walk into a radioactive region without any protection?
Gi’ah Fights Gravik
Rhodes starts to move Ritson to a secure location, but his guards keep getting taken out by an unseen assailant. Fury requests that Gravik take the vial containing the DNA of all the Avengers (as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy) and leave Earth alone. Gravik checks if Fury is telling the truth or not and then fires up the Super Skrull-making machine to become a Super Skrull. It’s kind of stupid that he doesn’t kick Fury out of the machine. He just keeps him there and lets him be blasted by the beams. Yes, you can say that Gravik’s inflated ego and anger made him think that Fury was of no consequence, and he didn’t need to worry about a dying man. Even if that’s the case, you are blasting yourself with rays that will give you the power of all the Avengers. If you are not sure what it is going to do to a human, why would you keep him there?
Well, it’s a convenient way to give Gi’ah all the powers in the world. Oh yes, the Fury in New Skrullos is Gi’ah, and the one in the hospital is the actual Nick Fury. Nobody saw that coming (this is sarcasm, BTW). Much like every other Marvel show, Secret Invasion proceeds to have a CGI battle, and it’s horrendous to look at. I didn’t quite understand how Gi’ah got to kill Gravik, even though they were supposed to have the same powers. I guess we have to chalk it up to “fictional logic.” Anything goes. To be honest, I would’ve been fine with that if the fight choreography, the CGI, and the editing of Gravik and Gi’ah’s fight wasn’t bad. The creators had the perfect opportunity to create an impactful and grotesque battle as the two Skrulls shapeshifted while fighting. They chose to give us the most basic version of that idea. Classic Marvel.
Did Nick Fury Make Things Worse For The Skrulls And Humans?
Nick Fury, Sonya, Ritson, and Rhodey have a bit of a standoff at the hospital because Fury and Sonya are trying to convince Ritson that Rhodey is a Skrull, and Rhodey is trying to convince Ritson that Fury has gone mad. Anyway, as soon as Rhodey tries to grab the gun from Ritson’s hand, Fury shoots Rhodes through the head, and Ritson finally gets to see who has been misleading him. Ritson does the most expected thing: he says that every single Skrull on Earth is an enemy, and they must be eliminated. I say “expected” because this is what the United States of America has always done after acting as the aggressor. That said, in this case, things are different. Marvel is presenting Americans as victims here because their country has been invaded without any provocation from their side, and hence, they must act violently in the name of patriotism, nationalism, and survival. I’m sorry, but this is propaganda. I don’t know if those who are watching this show have the ability to see that or if they are consuming this like any other Marvel product, but this is pretty bad stuff. So, interpret everything that’s on display in a pragmatic fashion.
Moving on with the plot, Gi’ah saves the real Everett Ross and the real James Rhodes. Gi’ah says that Rhodes has been in captivity for a long time, but we don’t get to know when he was replaced. The same can be said about Agent Ross, whom we had last seen in 2023 Marvel film, Wakanda Forever. If the real Ross was in New Skrullos this whole time, that must have been a Skrull that the Wakandans saved. But then a Skrull version of Agent Ross who died at the beginning of the miniseries? Was that the same Skrull as the one we saw in Wakanda Forever? Are there two Skrulls impersonating Ross? I don’t know. All we know is that the real Ross is in safe hands now. After this little rescue mission, Gi’ah and Sonya decide to work together, and they discover a room full of unconscious people whose brains are being analyzed by Skrull tech to gain information.
At the end of Secret Invasion, Fury condemns Ritson’s xenophobic stance, and instead of doing anything about that, he just leaves. That too with his wife, Varra! We see Skrulls and innocent humans who are suspected to be Skrulls getting murdered! And Fury leaves? What kind of show is this? He supposedly came to Earth to make things better for humans and Skrulls. However, he makes matters worse for everyone, hops onto his spaceship, and goes away to SABER. Is Marvel kidding me? What is the lesson here? That you can get a heroic sendoff even if you do a bad job of handling the thing that you have chosen to handle? I am confused. That said, I am incredibly glad that this show is over. I am not looking forward to Nick Fury’s return in The Marvels, but since the Marvel assembly line has no intention of bringing things to a stop, I have to keep track of what they have to offer.