Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion (Photo credit: Marvel/Disney+)
Finally, something happens in Secret Invasion. I think it is starting to turn around with the third episode of this series. Although, I have problems that are slowly accumulating as the series progresses. So here goes.
We begin in the third episode, “Betrayal,” with Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) meeting with the Skrull council members from the previous episode about his plan to send his rebels to infiltrate the Royal Navy to launch missiles on a United Nations aircraft and possibly gain the attention of the Avengers. Using the coerced research of the Dalton couple, they plan to evolve into Super Skrulls and become the dominant species on Earth.
Flashback to New York in 1998 with Young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), meeting one of his personal Skrull spy network agents Varra/Priscilla (Charlayne Woodard) with info on Dreykov’s operations (the bad guy/head director of the infamous Red Room in Black Widow), while they started to flirt with each other beginning an interesting relationship.
Shifting back to the present day, Fury asks Priscilla if she has ever been in contact with Gravik and his rebellion, thinking that she might be a spy for him. She avoids the question by discussing their strenuous relationship when she was a widow during the Blip and after Fury was brought back to life by Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame and disappeared again to his SABER space station.
Talos and Gravik have a parley meeting that literally goes nowhere except the latter threatens to kill his daughter. Fury goes to Talos and asks for his assistance again since he has information that there might be a Skrull high up in the U.S. government. Talos gives information about the attack on the UN plane and heads to the home of Commodore Robert Fairbanks to stop the attack.
On the way there, Talos reveals how Fury’s Skrull spy network over the years was responsible for his ascension in the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. As they begin to engage at Fairbank’s compound, it turns out that “Fairbanks” is a Skrull. Talos kills Fairbanks after being provoked by his former leadership and contacts Gi’ah (Emilia Clarke) for his authorization code, stopping the attack in time. However, as Gi’ah attempts to escape New Skrullos, Gravik intercepts her after becoming suspicious about her loyalty for the past two episodes. Gravik ends up shooting her, seemingly killing her.
The episode ends with Priscilla contacting somebody on the phone to talk with Gravik. The person on the other end who sounds a lot like Don Cheadle tells her to meet them at St. James’ Church in one hour.
This episode is better than the previous two and it’s trying to be more interesting. However, it seems as if the writers on this show just misused their female characters badly. Maria Hill dies shockingly in the first episode. Now Emilia Clarke’s Gi’ah dies two episodes later. And we barely have any idea of what kind of character she is or why she even joined Gravik’s rebellion in the first place. Unless she reappears in the next episode, miraculously survived, and lives another day. Even Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Coleman) takes a backseat in dealing with her own infiltration problems within MI6. So, I’m more confused with these choices they are making.
Fury’s characterization is more annoyingly childish than actually maturing. Fury should have been more thankful and appreciative of the efforts of Talos’ undercover spy network and talk to Talos with maturity and understanding as a person of color talking to another person whose alien race is on the verge of extinction. Instead, their banter goes on for maybe a minute or two of constant argumentative dialogue that makes me think, “This is not how people talk and resolve their differences.” Also childish is how Earth is dealing with its international politics and the Skrull problem.
At this point, I think Kevin Feige, director Ali Salem, the screenwriters, and producers/executive producers should have watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers (whichever version) and made the Skrull invasion feel like an actual threat. Maybe they did and just plucked specific moments for their show just to be there for Cinephiles. I have many ways to rewrite this show in another article but for now (sighs)… This show is slowly but surely trying to test my patience.