Marvel’s Secret Invasion Ep 2 Review
When Marvel said that Secret Invasion would give fans a different kind of Nick Fury, they weren’t joking. The opening episode to the MCU’s latest miniseries saw the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. dealing with the fallout of his past as the Skrulls go from being allies to enemies. Fed up with broken promises, the Skrulls are ready to take Earth for themselves, and as the end to the premiere showed, they’re not pulling their punches. This week, things only go from bad to worse for Fury as he realizes how little he knows about his erstwhile allies and the extent to which they’ve embedded themselves on Earth.
If you haven’t seen the first episode of Secret Invasion, spoilers for the ending are ahead.
The Personal History of Fury and Gravik
The episode opens up with a flashback to the year 1997 that sheds further light on the relationship Fury has developed with the Skrulls over the years. Two years after the events of Captain Marvel, Talos led a group of Skrull refugees back to Earth and left them in the care of Nick Fury. He promised that if they embedded themselves on Earth and helped be his eyes and ears, he and Danvers would make good on their promise to find them a new home. In addition to retroactively explaining how Fury seemed to know everything in the early MCU days, it also establishes that the relationship between Fury and Gravik goes back decades. As a child, Gravik was an orphaned refugee who had to fight to survive his Kree pursuers, and was recruited by Fury himself.
It’s never said directly in the episode, but it’s implied that Fury acted in some capacity as a mentor to Gravik. That’s important for multiple reasons. Firstly, it means Gravik knows Fury’s moves and, thus, can outthink him. Secondly, it means his grudge against Fury is personal, motivating him all the more. Thirdly, he knows how to hurt Fury. Case in point, not only did he manage to launch a terrorist attack in Russia in front of Fury, he killed Maria Hill. This is very personal, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
There’s More Skrulls on Earth than Fury Knew
As Fury deals with the fallout of Gravik’s attack, he also has a falling out with Talos himself, who’s been keeping his own secrets from the spymaster. As it turns out, the few Skrulls that stayed on Earth to work for Fury weren’t the only ones on Earth. On a train ride to Warsaw, Talos reluctantly tells Nick Fury that, besides the ones on a distant colony, he invited most of the remaining Skrull population to live on Earth. Now there’s close to a million of them living in secret. And as the episode reveals, many of them are in positions of power or influence, and most of them are working to turn the world against the US for the terrorist attack on Russia. Worse, by implicating Fury in this, they’re alienating him from any allies in the US Government like Rhodey.
This revelation makes this series fall more in line with the events depicted in the comics. With the Skrulls now controlling much of Earth from behind the scenes, they’re poised to trick humanity into wiping itself out. Worse still, Gravik manages to convince most of the Skrull leadership to elect him as their general and prepare for war. And while facing an army of Skrulls is scary enough, this episode cranks things up even further. As G’iah discovers while snooping around, Gravik’s been combing the planet for DNA samples of superpowered beings. He’s trying to give the Skrulls superpowers to make them a match for Earth’s heroes.
Gravik really is thinking three steps ahead of Fury.
Pushing the Spymaster to his Absolute Limit
When first introduced, Nick Fury was more or less the big good of the MCU. He was the one who brought the Avengers together, and they, in turn, helped save the universe. Since then, though, he’s lost almost all of the resources he had, and most of his allies have either died or deserted him. Which begs the question: if he’s at his lowest point in his life, then how can he hope to stop Gravik and the Skrulls?
Even when he’s at he’s lowest, though, there’s one thing to remember: Nick Fury is still Nick Fury. That means he’s going to fight tooth and nail to protect Earth. And as we’ve seen in the past, Nick Fury can do a lot. And as it turns out, he’s not even on his own in the end. Besides his old colleague in the MI6, he has another ally. In the final moments of the episode, not only is it revealed that Fury is married, but his wife, Varra, is a Skrull!
This moment is huge for MCU Fury. In a series that seems intent on humanizing the famous spymaster, having a secret wife is a big game-changer. The fact that he’s kept this hidden from everyone is a testament to how much he cares about her safety. That, and the idea of having a wife who can shapeshift to look like anyone she wants is cool. Odds are, Fury still has some aces left up his sleeve.
As a whole, this episode was a major improvement over the premiere. Not only does it build on the tension from last week, it raises it to astronomical levels with the realization that a million or so Skrulls could work for Gravik. If Fury manages to stop the threat from his possible former protege without letting the public find out, that would be a feat unto itself.