Secret Invasion Concludes Uneven Run With “Home”

Emilia Clarke as G'iah in Marvel Studios' SECRET INVASION, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

Marvel Studios is showing signs of franchise fatigue as espionage thriller Secret Invasion concludes its uneven run on Disney+.

The series didn’t do what its comic book counterpart did in changing up Marvel’s status quo. Instead, it killed off Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). We barely even had time to mourn Hill’s passing before Fury and Talos figured out a plan. Perhaps most surprisingly, Secret Invasion does not even feature a tag scene to set up The Marvels in November. The big surprises in the series were the reveals of Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) as Skrulls but no clue regarding how long an imposter took the place. Armor Wars and other upcoming Marvel Studios properties will have to answer the question of how long were they kidnapped. Will any of them make mention of Hill’s death? Time will tell.

Emilia Clarke as G'iah in Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+.
Emilia Clarke as G’iah in Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) still has some tricks up his sleeve. Rather than walk into whatever Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) has set up for him at New Skrullos, he wisely switches place with G’iah (Emilia Clarke). This allows for her to become a Super Skrull thanks to all of the blood retrieved by Fury’s Skrull spies following the Battle for Earth in the Harvest. Audiences learn the reason why Gravik chose the face that he did–the person is the first person he killed under Fury’s orders. G’iah and Gravik also duke it out in a classic CGI fight scene. The two of them contain so much power that it just becomes a showcase to showoff the powers of nearly two dozen heroes and villains.

If one pays attention to the screen, there are also some surprises as this is the first time audiences learn that Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Abomination (Tim Roth) duking it out against Thanos and company in Avengers: Endgame. Which begs the question of where was she when Marvel gathered all of its female heroes on screen? But anyway, it’s not everybody’s separate DNA but a combination of DNA.

Here is a listing of the Avengers and other heroes with their DNA in the Harvest:

  • Hulk
  • Captain America
  • Winter Soldier
  • Captain Marvel
  • Thor
  • Valkyrie
  • Korg
  • Groot
  • Gamora
  • Drax
  • Mantis

We already knew about Groot, Frost Beast, Cull Obsidian, and Extremis because of previous episodes. Only Fury can answer the question as to why there is a need for their DNA but the following villains also have their DNA in the Harvest:

  • Thanos
  • Proxima Midnight
  • Corvus Glaive
  • Outrider
  • Chitauri
  • Ebony Maw

Nobody in the Marvel Cinematic Universe should have this much power. There is certainly a question of what will happen with G’iah going forward. What we know is that she leaves with MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman) later on during the nearly 40-minute episode. But again, there are more questions than answers. Also, if G’iah now has Captain Marvel’s powers, why do we not see her anywhere in either trailer for The Marvels? Marvel is just opening more questions than they can answer!

Anyway, the plan allows for Fury to join Falsworth at President Ritson’s (Dermot Mulroney) bedside. Both Fury and Falsworth know the truth and ultimately, Fury shoots Rhodes and the dead Skrull transforms back into Raava (Nisha Aaliya). This leads to Ritson calling off a strike against New Skrullos. There is some fallout that might remind audiences of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. After Ritson declares all off-world species as hostile threats and a promise to hunt the remaining Skrulls, people start attacking media and politicians for fear that they’re Skrulls. This is probably the reason why Ritson will eventually be replaced by Thunderbolt Ross as president. Last but not least, Fury and Varra (Charlayne Woodard) return to S.A.B.E.R. for a peace summit.

Secret Invasion had so much potential to truly standout as an espionage thriller but the series is ultimately a letdown for Marvel Studios. If Marvel is going to continue making series for Disney+, they need to give them longer runs to as to really develop their characters. Yes, we have returning heroes but other characters do not get the time they really need to develop. This is a downside of all the MCU series running some 4.5-6 hours and as a reminder, the shorter seasons are why SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are on strike.

HEAD WRITER: Kyle Bradstreet
EPISODE WRITERS: Kyle Bradstreet and Brian Tucker
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kevin Feige, Jonathan Schwartz, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ali Selim, Kyle Bradstreet, Brian Tucker
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jennifer L. Booth, Allana Williams, Brant Englestein
CAST: Samuel L. Jackson, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Charlayne Woodard, Killian Scott, Dermot Mulroney, Christopher McDonald, Katie Finneran, with Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, and Don Cheadle

All episodes of Secret Invasion are streaming on Disney+. Episode 6 Grade: 3/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.