‘Secret Invasion’ Episode 1-2 Review: The Real Deal

Marvel Studios returns to Disney+ after a year-long hiatus with Secret Invasion. 

The show marks the return of Nick Fury, four years after he was last seen chilling on a S.W.O.R.D space station in the post-credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Secret Invasion brings Fury back to earth to face an ever-growing skrull invasion.

With Secret Invasion, Marvel Studios promises a dark espionage thriller, with the tone of previous MCU entries like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I am very happy to report that it not only delivers on that promise but also ups the dark and gritty to new heights. The first two episodes of the series set up the main villain and conflict early on, especially compared to other MCU Disney+ entries, allowing it to use the entirety of the 6 episodes to develop the main villain. Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik is a young extremist skrull leader who is rightfully angry at Fury for not providing them their promised home,  This paves the way for an intriguing war against the skrulls. The show also makes sure to make Nick Fury feel human while also humanizing the skrulls. Nick Fury in Secret Invasion is not the always 10 steps ahead Director of S.H.I.E.L.D that we are used to seeing. The Blip shook up his world and challenged every belief he previously had, and after years away in space he’s rusty, and no longer feels in control of the world around him. All while the promises he made to the skrulls are coming back to haunt him. While Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos faces the ethical dilemma of going against his own kind, specifically his own daughter Gi’ah, played by Emilia Clarke. Gi’ah is also a follower of Gravik’s sect of skrulls who believe that Fury betrayed them, and the only way they can have their freedom is by ending the human race.

From a filmmaking aspect, Secret Invasion is easily the most sound and high-quality Marvel series. Disney+ shows that extra time and effort were put into the show, as can be seen throughout the first two episodes. The direction, cinematography, and choreography are all top-notch. It also feels the most human of the recent MCU projects. From Disney+’s perspective, it is easily one of the most high-quality projects on the platform and can definitely be described as Marvel’s Andor primarily because of the high quality of filmmaking on display and the humanization of a much larger non-human force. The series is, however, still only six episodes, a major flaw of all the MCU’s Disney+ projects. It is a format that has never really worked for Disney+ and leaves any of their shows, regardless of how well they start, open to pacing issues later on in the season. However, the series does well to set up the main conflict in Villain early on, which has definitely been missing from other MCU’s six-episode entries, so there is still hope that the show doesn’t fall into the same problems of previous MCU Disney+ entries.

After two episodes, Secret Invasion is certainly up there with Loki and WandaVision, in terms of the MCU on Disney+, and if it sticks the landing, it could, easily end up being the best of the MCU Disney+ entries.

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