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SLJ as Nick Fury.jpg

'Secret Invasion' Series Premiere Recap, 'Resurrection'

By Brian Richards | TV | June 23, 2023 |

By Brian Richards | TV | June 23, 2023 |


SLJ as Nick Fury.jpg

Previously in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: After recovering her memory and remembering who she was before gaining her superpowers, Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, defeated her former mentor, Yon-Rogg, with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, and prevented Ronan the Accuser and his Kree squadron from launching any further attacks. She then leaves Earth to help a race of shapeshifting aliens called Skrulls find a new place to call home, and later returns to Earth to help The Avengers defeat Thanos once and for all. After Thanos is defeated, and half of Earth’s population is resurrected, Nick Fury and Maria Hill recruit Spider-Man to help team up with Mysterio against a threat from the Multiverse, only to realize that Mysterio is the threat, who is looking to use Tony Stark’s technology to wreak all kinds of havoc. Fury and Hill turn out to be Skrulls Talos and Soren, while Fury remains in outer space aboard a space station, where he is in charge of S.A.B.E.R., the intergalactic version of S.H.I.E.L.D.

THE STORY SO FAR: Talos and Maria Hill uncover a terrorist plot that is about to be carried out by a renegade group of Skrulls who are tired of waiting for Captain Marvel and Nick Fury to find them a new planet to call home as they originally promised, and have decided to take over Earth instead and make it their home. (One of the Skrulls taking part in this invasion? G’iah, the now-adult daughter of Talos.) They both get word to Fury, who returns to Earth to help stop this from happening, while also realizing that with Skrulls working against them as the enemy, and seemingly taking no prisoners, it will become even more difficult and more dangerous to know who can be trusted.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: The opening scene between Ross and Prescod, which makes it clear to the audience in numerous ways that the stakes are high when it comes to going after the Skrulls, and how dangerous it’s going to be for everyone involved. Fury’s return to Earth, and his reunions with both Maria Hill, and with Talos, the latter reunion being a painful one as they discuss Soren’s death. Olivia Colman as MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth, who is playful upon seeing Fury in the flesh once more, but gets deadly serious in letting him know that he no longer has it takes for this fight against Gravik and the Skrulls. G’iah meeting Beto, and introducing him to what she and other Skrulls lime her at their compound are willing to do to achieve their victory. (Much like Steppenwolf and his Parademons in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, they are immune to radiation, and have made an abandoned radioactive power plant into their base of operations.) Talos vs. Not-Poprishchin, which ends when Fury busts several caps in Not-Poprischin’s ass, since the fight isn’t entirely looking to be in Talos’ favor. G’iah being confronted by Talos, who informs her that Soren is dead and that her leader, Gravik, is the one who killed her. The chess match between Fury and Hill, where she expresses her frustration at his lack of communication from outer space, and he confesses that he’s been having a crisis of faith and questioning who he is since The Snap occurred. (Yes, I know it’s called The Blip, and no, I’m not calling it that.)

Oh, and this exchange between Fury and Hill during their chess match:

MARIA HILL: “Making friends with the locals?”

NICK FURY: “How do you think we kept the Cold War from getting hot? Spooks like me buying shots.”

MARIA HILL: “You can’t say that.”

NICK FURY: “No, you can’t say that.”

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: I’ll get to that at the end of the recap.

DO ANY OF THE AVENGERS APPEAR IN THIS EPISODE?: The only Avenger who makes an appearance is James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine (Don Cheadle), who appears to be working as an advisor to President Ritson (played by Dylan McDermott Dermot Mulroney). Upon hearing that Fury is back on Earth, and working alongside Hill, he orders Rhodey to fix this.

CAPTAIN MARVEL?: No.

MONICA RAMBEAU?: No.

SO WE STILL DON’T GET TO FIND OUT WHY FURY WANTED HER TO VISIT HIM IN OUTER SPACE?: Not in this episode, no. Instead of getting the answer to this question in the next five episodes, something tells me that answer won’t be provided until November 10, 2023, when The Marvels opens in theaters.

EVERETT ROSS?: Not exactly. The episode starts with Ross meeting up with Agent Prescod, who is in full-blown Pepe Silva mode as he explains that Skrulls have been carrying out acts of terrorism around the world, and that they’re just as dangerous as deception and infiltration as HYDRA, if not more so. He reveals to Ross what they have planned next, and that Fury’s help is needed. When Ross responds to this, something about it convinces Prescod that he’s actually a Skrull, and the two of them end up brawling violently. Which ends with Not-Everett Ross shooting Prescod to death, and ending up in a foot chase with a mysterious Russian operative that results in Not-Ross falling to his death after trying to be like Daredevil by leaping from one rooftop to another, and failing miserably.

SO DOES THAT MEAN THAT EVERETT ROSS HAS BEEN A SKRULL THIS WHOLE TIME?: I seriously doubt it. But then again, I had doubts that Sharon Carter would turn out to be the Power Broker, and look how that turned out.

WELL, THEN, WHERE IS THE REAL EVERETT ROSS?: Most likely, he’s still on the run and in hiding, ever since Okoye broke him out of custody when he was arrested by the CIA, on orders of his ex-wife, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

ANY EASTER EGGS WE SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?: The technology used by Gravik and his Skrulls to restrain humans they are holding captive for impersonation, and to absorb their memories, was also used on Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. One of the ‘Wanted’ posters seen on the bulletin board displayed in Prescod’s safehouse is that of a CIA assassin who is a member of the ‘Treadstone’ program from the Bourne series of films. Sonya Falsworth is a descendant of James Montgomery Falworth, a.k.a. “Union Jack,” who served alongside Captain America during World War II as a member of the Howling Commandos. Fury attaching a camera to Sonya’s owl statue is reminiscent of when Tony Stark planted a bug on S.H.I.E.L.D’s computer database in The Avengers, and accessed their files to discover Fury’s Phase 2 plan of using the Tesseract to invent powerful weapons against any and all threats of extraterrestrial origin.

ARE THERE ANY SCENES DURING THE CLOSING CREDITS?: No.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE SECRET INVASION OPENING CREDITS THAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT?: As Allyson described in her own article earlier this week, Marvel Studios used A.I. technology to design the opening credits for Secret Invasion. Yes, Marvel Studios, the film and television division of Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Comics, one of the biggest — if not the biggest — comic book companies in the world, and has hundreds of artists who they could’ve hired to craft and design the opening credits for their upcoming series, decided to ignore and disrespect those artists by saying, “Nah, let’s have some A.I. do this for us, instead.” Once this decision became known to the public, the backlash was loud, swift, and merciless, especially from other artists who work in the comic book industry.

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OH, WOW! THAT’S F-CKED-UP!: Yes, it is. It’s been clear for far too long that writers and artists have dealt with enough bullsh-t when it comes to working for Marvel Comics, and how they are treated and ignored long after their work has been published and resulted in more financial success for Marvel Comics (and not so much for the actual writers and artists), but this was just one more spoonful added to that ever-growing mountain on their plates.

TO SUM IT ALL UP: A solid and entertaining pilot to get the ball rolling, and literally bring Nick Fury down to Earth so we can see him do what he does best: be a brilliant spy with serious trust issues, as he does what he can to stay three steps ahead of everyone else in order to keep the world safe, even if his choices aren’t always the nicest or the easiest. Seeing Samuel L. Jackson onscreen as Fury is always a pleasure, and seeing him play a version of Fury who is consumed with self-doubt, and has physically and mentally reached the point where even his friends are wondering if he’s an asset or a liability when it comes to fighting the good fight. And his scenes with Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, and Olivia Colman all have some terrific chemistry that holds your attention even when there are no bullets or explosions popping off yet.

It’s clear that Secret Invasion is in the same territory as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as it’s much less reliant on bathos to put viewers at ease, and more focused on being a 1970s-era political thriller where loyalties are always unclear, and a happy ending isn’t guaranteed. (And no, Archer, we’re not doing “Phrasing” right now.”)

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The biggest downside of this episode, and social media has had a lot to say about it, is the death of Maria Hill at the hands of Gravik, who disguised himself as Fury to get close enough to shoot her with a smile on his face after setting off the explosions, and using his backpack-toting couriers (and G’iah) as decoys to distract Fury and company. Whether or not this is real, or if Hill somehow survived this and faked her death like Fury himself did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the ending reminded a lot of fans that Marvel has developed a very disturbing habit of killing off their female characters and doing it for reasons that make no sense and bring very little satisfaction to those fans. Gamora, Black Widow, Aunt May, Wanda Maximoff (even though we kind of know that Wanda — a.k.a. the MCU version of Jean Grey until we get the actual Jean Grey herself — will be back from the dead, but still), Frigga, Jane Foster, and even Soren herself, have been killed off, and in some cases, were fridged just to inspire the main characters (most of them male) that now it’s personal. I know this was meant to be the gut-punch that keeps us tuning in, but killing off Maria Hill, who was never really used to her full potential in the MCU, despite how much Cobie Smulders could always be counted on to give a performance that was worth watching, is…well, it’s bullsh-t. The MCU has gotten many a deserved side-eye for how it treats its female characters, and this right here isn’t going to silence those complaints anytime soon.

Only five more episodes to go to see whether Maria Hill truly is dead, to see whether or not Secret Invasion will be a little less infuriating when it comes to what’s next, and to continue playing “Who’s really a Skrull and who’s not” when it comes to Fury, his friends, and his enemies.

This episode of Secret Invasion has been brought to you by “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by The Undisputed Truth…



And by “The Last Carnival” by Bruce Springsteen.



This article was written during the 2023 WGA strike. Without the labor of the writers currently on strike, ‘Secret Invasion’ wouldn’t exist.