Marvel’s Secret Invasion Ep 5 Review
If Gravik hadn’t jumped off the slippery slope already, then he has now. Last episode saw him trying to kill the sitting US President to start World War III and claim Earth for the Skrulls. The good news is that Fury stopped that and saved President Riston. The bad news is that he murdered Talos, one of Fury’s oldest allies, right in front of the man. Talos has become as fanatical about his cause as Veranke was in the Secret Invasion comics, and it only gets worse this episode. This episode sees Gravik lose it. Like The Heavy Spoilers YouTube channel says in their breakdown, he’s gone full Jim Jones.
If you don’t know who Jim Jones is, look him up online and be terrified. It doesn’t bode well for anyone, Skrull or Human.
Gravik’s Ready to Sacrifice His People to Win
In the aftermath of his failed assassination attempt, Gravik’s on shakier ground than ever with his people. His own subordinates start openly questioning his decisions, such as choosing to spare Fury when he had the chance to kill him. Furthermore, they question his ability to give them what he promised: access to the DNA of the Avengers, which would make them unstoppable. His response? He kills the one quesitoning him to assert his dominance, something that horrifies everyone present.
It only gets worse from there. In a call to Skrull-Rhodey (real name Raava), he tells her to tell the President the Skrulls helped the Russians in the attack. In addition, he tells her to reveal the location of their home of New Skrullos. His reasoning is because he knows Fury wants to stop World War III and save the Skrulls. He’s gambling his people’s future on Fury giving him what he wants.
By this point, it’s clear that Gravik has lost it. Rather than looking out for his people’s best interests, he’s willing to risk extinction to satisfy his vendetta against Nick Fury. This mirrors real-life cult leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh, who made their followers die in pointless acts of martyrdom. Like them, Gravik would instead let his people die than do what’s best for them, even if it contradicts his beliefs. In other words, he’s not fit to lead, and the Skrulls are realizing that.
G’iah May Step Up to Become the New Leader Her People Need
Meanwhile, G’iah’s dealing with the aftermath of her father’s murder at the hands of Gravik. That’s both her parents now that she’s lost, thanks to him. What makes matters worse is that she called Talos a failure the last time she spoke with her father. Knowing that her father might have died thinking his daughter considered him a disappointment has to be the worst feeling imaginable, and something that she’ll have to carry with her for the rest of her life.
The death and funeral of Talos, which only Vaara and G’iah attend, carries a lot of symbolism. Talos represented the older generation of Skrulls that grew up on their homeworld and remembered what it was like. His passing signals that many of the old ways of the Skrulls are fading away, as the younger generation never knew what life was like before then. Whereas some of them allowed their experiences to taint them, like Gravik, others may choose to pick up the ideals that Talos valued; namely, G’iah.
Having seen firsthand how foolish the actions of Gravik are, G’iah understands that his violent beliefs will only doom her people in the long run. At the same time, she’s not as willing to compromise and blend in as Talos was, wanting the Skrulls to live openly and freely. Knowing that, there’s a good chance G’iah will end up becoming the leader the Skrulls need to survive going forward. Which, again, means more Emilia Clarke in the MCU, and who doesn’t love seeing the Mother of Dragons?
Fury is Back and Ready for Battle
Besides continuing the story of the Skrulls, this whole series has been about Nick Fury trying to get his footing in a post-Thanos world. It’s been repeatedly mentioned throughout the show how he’s been off his game, and we’ve seen the results. Maria Hill’s dead, Talos’ dead, and every government on Earth wants him brought in. Yet he still refuses to call the Avengers. The simple answer: they could be compromised. However, the end to this episode reveals its a little more complicated.
What it boils down to is that for Fury, all of this is personal. Not just because of his failure to keep his promise to the Skrulls, but because of what he needs to prove to himself. He’s become less and less relevant over the years as the Avengers became the big good of the world. As a result, he wants to prove to everyone, but especially himself, that in this world of superheroes, a regular guy can still protect the Earth. He’s not doing this out of pride; he’s doing this because it’s what he did for years before the Avengers showed up, and needs to do it again. And judging by the fact that the episode ends with him donning his iconic eyepatch and trench coat once more, it’s safe to say he’s back in business.
So, to recap: Gravik’s holding Earth and the Skrulls hostage. The only way he’ll back down is if Fury gives him the DNA samples he has of the Avengers. And the world’s on the brink of World War III. It’s up to Fury to stop that, and ensure this series lands on its footing.