‘Secret Invasion’ Episode 5 Recap & Review: Fury’s Deadly Secret Revealed, Gravik Shows His Full Colors

What the Hell has happened to Secret Invasion? While the earliest episodes weren’t blow-your-mind great or anything, they were superior to the two most recent episodes which just feel really bland and perfunctory. This isn’t a series that is barrelling to an exciting conclusion, but plugging away in hopes of crossing the finish line.

That said, a lot happens in a fairly short episode so let’s get to it.

Episode 4 ended with the apparent death of Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) during a Skrull attack on President Kitson (Dermot Mulroney). Of course, death has been a fickle thing in this series, used as a cliffhanger again and again. However, it isn’t long before Talos’ actual death is confirmed, and we see Kitson being wheeled into a hospital in critical condition. Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to follow but he isn’t cleared, and so he sits outside, gun drawn, because he doesn’t know who he can trust. One person he definitely can’t is Rhodye (Don Cheadle), who is actually the Skrull known as Raava. Rhodey gleefully tells Fury the doctored video of him shooting Maria Hill has been leaked, and soon Fury will be the most hated man in the worldd. If there’s an upside to all of this, it’s that news reports also show Talos fighting to protect the President. His hope was always that Skrulls would earn humanity’s trust through their actions. Too bad he had to die for it.

Meanwhile, Gravik’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) plan is falling apart. The goal was to kill Kitson and have the Russians blamed for it, but failing that, his people are starting to get fed up. Not only that, but Gravik is acting like an asshole bossing everybody around, and risking his soldiers’ lives to achieve his own goals. This leads to Pagon (Killian Scott) questioning his leadership, and Gravik responds by impaling him with his Groot powers. Ouch. Yeah, that’ll win you some loyalty points, boss man! Also, Gravik has told Raava to inform the President that he was attacked by Russians, and to reveal to him the location of New Skrullos, where Super-Skrull formula is being developed. This will lead to a US military strike on Russian soil, which would threaten the lives of the Skrulls stationed there. More loyalty points! Finally, he orders his men to seek out and kill Varra, the Skrull who is Fury’s wife Priscilla and also has a long history with Gravik. He basically spends this entire episode ordering the deaths of his own clan or just outright killing them himself.

After her bewildering absence last week, Olivia Colman returns as MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth. She gets right down to business, revealing her Director to be a Skrull by pointing a gun to his head. All she wants is the location of Dr. Rosa Dalton (Katie Finneran), who has been working on the Super-Skrull formula for Gravik. Sonya arrives there later and confronts Rosa and her husband, telling them she knows they are Skrulls and knows what they are doing.  Sonya orders them taken in and their labs burned to the ground, but when Rosa’s spouse tries to fight back, Sonya shoots him point blank in the skull. Damn, she’s badass. Good use of Colman here.

Meeting G’iah (Emilia Clarke) at a safehouse in Brixton, Fury tries to talk about the death of her father. But G’iah isn’t having it, believing his death to have been in vain on a foreign planet. Fury knows she’s a Super-Skrull now; G’iah reveals that Gravik only has limited amounts of DNA for the formula. She also mentions Gravik wanting something called the Harvest, and Fury recognizes the name immediately. She leaves to give her father a proper burial, while Fury heads to Finland.

G’iah heads to Fury’s home where she encounters a wary Priscilla/Varra, who thinks the girl is working with Gravik. But she says she’s there to bury her father, and Priscilla helps her to give him a well-earned farewell. G’iah resents that he isn’t getting a much bigger send-off, but Priscilla tells her that Talos was never much for ceremony. The older woman also talks about the house and how she and Fury managed to build a life together, something G’iah doesn’t fully understand yet being so young. It’s around this time that Gravik’s men attack and are easily beaten by the two.

Did I mention that Gravik, who has shown so much loyalty to his soldiers this episode, was attacked by them? They beat him down pretty good, too, but he’s a Super-Skrull and manages to survive. He kills many of them, including Beto (Samuel Adewunmi) who is executed in front of the others, but not before Beto tells Gravik that he’s acting like a monster.

At the hospital, the President has recovered enough that Rhodey can do everything Gravik asked him to do. While the President is hesitant to call a military strike on Russian land for fear of starting WWIII, Rhodey convinces him it’s the right thing to do if they want to stop the Skrull invasion.

Good lord, there’s still more. Gravik calls up Fury like they’re old chums, and agrees to call off the military strike if Fury will give him the Harvest. It’s here that we get a cool cameo by Rick Mason, who we last saw in Black Widow played by O-T Fagbenle. Mason is there to give Fury something that he’ll need “on the other side”, and then he splits as fast as he arrived. We also learn that the SHIELD helicarrier is basically on the shelf. Good because all it ever does is crash, anyway.

Arriving in Finalnd, Fury uses masking tech similar to get past airport security with no problem. It’s like some Mission: Impossible shit, except we saw this used in the MCU already in the Captain America movies. Fury mets with Sonya, who was already cool before we learned that “Audacity” by Stormzy is in her car playlist. Fury wants to know why Sonya was trusting Rhodey with so much information, and she’s shocked to learn that he’s actually a Skrull. Apparently, the super spy was the last to know.

Fury then finally reveals why won’t call in the Avengers for help. He says this mission is “personal” and the world can’t keep depending on superheroes to do everything for them. He says the only power he’s ever needed was “planted between my ears by a single mother” and “wrapped around my finger by a woman who’s far greater” than he’ll ever be. Fury also reveals what Harvest really is. In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, nearly all of the Avengers spilled their blood in the fighting. Afterwards, Fury had a stealth team of Skrulls, which included Gravik, sweep in and collect all of that DNA. Fury speculates this is when Gravik came up with his Super-Skrull idea. Fury also reveals to Sonya that his wife is a Skrull, and Finland is where they liked to honeymoon. It’s also here that Fury has one of many fake tombstones with his name on them. The Harvest is hidden within one. Retrieving it, Fury goes inside of a small cathedral and retrieves his familiar leather suit and eyepath, along with a gun. It’s time to finish this war.

As you can see, there’s a ton of shit going on here and all crammed into an episode less than 40-minutes long. Because of that, nothing feels like it’s given the proper time to breathe. The big emotional moments don’t have the same impact. This is when we should be dealing with the devastating loss of Talos, but it kinda feels like an afterthought. Gravik’s sudden turn from a freedom fighter to a brutal slayer of his own kind is too sudden to make sense. Fury’s past machinations coming back to haunt him is a good twist, though, and he’s great when paired up with Colman’s Sonya Falsworth. More of these two elite spies working together, please.

With just one episode to go, Secret Invasion has actually set itself up for a straight-forward, exciting finale. While this one was overstuffed, it was in service of clearing the decks for Fury and Gravik to have their showdown, and with a bunch of Avengers super-powers in the mix it could be awesome. I also really want to see how this whole deal with Rhodey shakes out. How long has he been replaced and where is the real one? That answer might not come next week, or it could be teased for the future Armor Wars movie.

Secret Invasion episode 5
Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.
secret-invasion-episode-5-recap-review-furys-deadly-secret-revealed-gravik-shows-his-full-colorsWhat the Hell has happened to Secret Invasion? While the earliest episodes weren't blow-your-mind great or anything, they were superior to the two most recent episodes which just feel really bland and perfunctory. This isn't a series that is barrelling to an exciting conclusion, but...