‘Secret Invasion’ Episode 3 Recap & Review: G’iah Is Under The Gun

One of the major selling points of Marvel’s Secret Invasion series is the paranoia factor. Who can the heroes trust? Is anyone who they actually say they are? The shapeshifting nature of the villainous Skrulls leaves open the possibility that anyone who is killed may or may not actually be dead, or that they were never who they claimed to be to begin with. In the first episode, fans were stunned by the sudden murder of Maria Hill, a mainstay of the MCU. This week’s episode finds another major character who has apparently bit the dust.

The word “apparently” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. While Twitter debates on this character’s death, there are other things that happened in episode three. As I reviewed the first two episodes of the season already, these recaps will be shorter and more general.

Episode 3 advances a number of things teased in episode 2. Skrull war general Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) confirmed what we already suspected, that he is upgrading his soldiers into Super Skrulls. When G’iah (Emilia Clarke) discovered strains of DNA belonging to Groot, a Norse Frost Giant, Cull Obsidian, and Tony Stark’s Extremis, it was pretty clear what was going on. The original Super Skrull in the comics, K’lrt, was a soldier given the powers of the Fantastic Four. They’ve received considerable upgrades since, and that’s what we’re seeing reflected in the MCU version.

G’iah is under the gun pretty much this entire episode. From the beginning, Gravik suspects her to be a mole, feeding information to her father, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and countering the plan to wipe out the human race.  When Gravik and Talos have a parley at a hotel restaurant, she feeds her father crucial, and confidential, information. Easily goaded, Talos stabs Gravik in the hand and we see that he’s already given himself the Extremis powers, healing the wound seamlessly just as we saw in Iron Man 3.

Meanwhile, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has a Skrull wife. He met Priscilla/Varra (Charlayne Woodard) in 1998, and we see the flashbacks to young Fury and her early courtship. But things have become strained over the years. She was left to fend for herself when Fury vanished after “The Blip”, but was then devastated when he returned only to vanish again up in space, this time by his own choosing. Her loyalties are under question, too, especially as she confirms she has “become herself again” during Fury’s absence. Being that nothing is quite as it seems in this series, just because it looks like she’s working with Gravik doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

Meanwhile, remember that Fury got shit-canned out of power by a rather pissed-off Rhodey (Don Cheadle) last episode? Well, that may or may not have been the actual Rhodey. Anyway, Fury knows there’s a Skrull in London impersonating a high-ranking U.S. Official. He reaches out to Sonya (Olivia Colman, still sorta wasted in this show), and she’s none too pleased about the bug Fury left in her office, but gives him some help anyway.

Talos and Fury, who had a major blow-up last episode, aren’t so chummy anymore but the world is at stakes so put that aside. But not before Talos reminds Fury that he didn’t move up in SHIELD until the Skrulls were there to help. Oof. Combined with info gathered from Sonya and G’iah, the two are able to find the Commander of a sub that Gravik has set to launch a strike that will start WWIII. They manage to stop it, but not without G’iah blowing her cover.

As G’iah tries to escape, she is confronted by Talos who knows exactly what she did. He shoots her dead as she’s in the middle of a sentence, not bothering to wait for an explanation or some lie to get out of it. She turns into her skrull form, usually an indication of death.

However, she Is a shapeshifter. She could’ve reverted back to form willingly in order to fool Gravik, who, despite being a hardened and experienced soldier, didn’t bother to check. Let’s be honest; she’s probably alive and not-so-well, but will be invigorated for the fight against Gravik from here on out.

Another mystery emerges as Priscilla races to a safe deposit box after receiving an unknown text. Inside the box is a gun, and while she’s leaving with it she receives a call that sounds like Rhodey telling her where to meet. She says she wants to speak with Gravik, but he shuts that idea down as the episode draws to a close.

Will this episode turn things around for those who have been cold on Secret Invasion up to this point? I’m not so sure. Currently it’s among the lowest-rated shows that Marvel has ever done, and that includes friggin’ Iron Fist. Perhpas there simply isn’t enough superheroics? It’s also not a very funny show as the mood is dark, claustrophobic, and violent. Frankly, that’s right up my alley, though, and I love the air of tension that fills every scene. The shadowy aspects are on point in this episode, too. Like I said earlier, this episode is all about G’iah and her loyalties and you could sense immediately that something big was going to happen with her. I also like what they’re doing with Fury, revealing small things about him without ever shaking the air of mystery that surrounds him. The Super Skrull bit feels a touch out of place, but I’m curious to see how far they’re willing to go with it. The one thing Secret Invasion has failed at is getting across how dire the stakes are for the world. There’s still time left with three episodes remaining, though.