TV Recap: Nick Fury Returns to Earth in Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” Premiere

The invasion has begun! Marvel’s Secret Invasion premiered today on Disney+ and Nick Fury has returned to Earth to face the threat of a full-scale Skrull invasion. Just when you though you knew what to expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, now you don’t know who you can trust and who is who they say they are.

The episode opens in Moscow with Agent Ross meeting with a new character, who we learn is named Agent Prescod (his first name is agent). We actually saw most of this opening sequence in a clip released earlier this month after a series of cryptic tweets from Marvel Studios. Ross meets with Prescod in some kind of safehouse, where the seemingly paranoid agent explains what appears to be a crazy conspiracy theory. Presod tells him Skrulls have been orchestrating a world war through a series of seemingly random attacks. Ross tells Prescod he needs hard evidence if he’s going to call Nick Fury, who has been on SABER (the space station headquarters of a new intergalactic defense organization), back to Earth. Prescod give Ross a tablet that has the evidence of the next planned Skrull attack. After seeing it, Ross tells Prescod to let him take the evidence to Fury and Prescord promptly tackles him, starting a fight that results in Prescod’s death.

Ross leaves the safehouse but notices he is being tailed. He calls for help and we see Maria Hill give him a location to be extracted. Ross runs to try and lose whoever it is that is following him, resulting in a chase sequence. Ross gets to a rooftop and tries jumping across to another but comes up short, falling multiple stories back to the street. Hill pulls up to Ross in a vehicle as the man who was chasing him comes out of a nearby building. When Hill points her gun at him, he reveals himself to be Talos. Ross dies on the street and is revealed to actually be a Skrull. On the surface, this isn’t entirely unexpected as we knew Skrulls would be impersonating some characters at some point. However, we are now left with the question of how long Ross has actually been a Skrull. Was is actually him who was helping Shuri and Okoye in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Had he ever really even been to Wakanda? Was it a Skrull who was interrogating Zemo?

After the title sequence, which was created by AI, we see Fury returning to Earth, greeted by Hill. Fury looks much older nad is walking with a limp – clearly not his typical formidable self. Hill takes Fury to an apartment, where he reunites with Talos. We learn through their discussion that Soren, Talos’ wife, has died. Talos brings up that the Skrulls are still waiting for Fury to keep his promise of finding them a new home, and that his daughter, G’iah, has disappeared. He also explains that he was kicked off “the council” and pushed into exile and that Gravik took Fury’s abandonment much harder than he did.

Hill gives Fury – and us – an explanation as to what this mysterious Gravik has been up to. We learn that Skrulls have been hiding out in abandoned nuclear power plants in Russia because they’re immune to the radiation and that Gravik is the newest member of their council. We learn that Ross’s impostor was trying to cover up schematics for a dirty bomb that was to be used in the next Skrull attack and that Gravik’s plan was to use an organization called Americans Against Russia (AAR) to start a war between the US and Russia.

Back in the US, we see James Rhodes meeting with the President to inform him that Fury has left SABER. The President calls SABER “the most complex aerospace defense system in the history of mankind” and tells Rhodey to deal with the situation.

Fury goes for a walk, clearly with some sort of plan in mind. In the exact opposite of typical Fury fashion, he draws a lot of attention from locals and is promptly abducted. He is brought to a house where we meet Sony Falsworth, with whom Fury clearly has an existing relationship. We see Fury plant a device in the office as he tries to get information regarding Gravik’s plans, but she isn’t willing to give him any. She points out that Fury knows Gravik personally, but Fury corrects her, saying he “knew” him. Falsworth points out that Fury has been changed by the blip and he is not what he used to be.

Outside of Moscow, we see a man approach a gate guarded by two armed men. A car approaches and Emilia Clarke’s G’iah, the daughter of Talos, gets out. She instructs the man to take his natural form and he reveals himself to be a Skrull. She welcomes him in and explains that this is a sort of Skrull sanctuary, where the shapeshifting aliens can live in their own skin. As she shows him around, we see Skrull children playing as others work various jobs. G’iah explains that they can live here in peace or they can choose to be warriors for the cause, which is the only way they’re allowed to leave the compound.

G’iah leaves the man behind and heads to join several men and one Skrull – at least as it appears. One of the men who appears to be in charge has the Skrull recite some kind of oath. He then looks up at a shadowy figure, presumably Gravik, watching on from a window and orders someone to “bring him his shell.” A man is dragged in and sat next to the Skrull. He is revealed to be a member of the AAR and the Skrull takes the form of this man. The AAR soldier is then placed in a fracking pod so that the Skrull can also take his memories. G’iah looks up and sees the shadowy figure move away from the window.

Back at their safehouse, Fury, Hill and Talos watch a projection of Falsworth explaining who the Skrulls will be going to for their dirty bomb, giving the team their next target. Fury says they need to go get this bomb builder and take out any of Falsworth’s Mi6 agents. Talos protests but Fury points out that Gravik knows mercy is Talos’ weakness and he needs to prove him wrong.

At the Skrull compound, we see Gravik meets with Pagon, the man who led the operation earlier. Gravik is informed that Fury has returned but also that he is not what he once was. Pagon then takes G’iah out of the building and gives her the task of picking up the bombs. There is an evident lack of trust in G’iah.

After we see G’iah head into a building for the pickup, we watch Talos take out an MI6 agent. He and Fury then head into the building after we see G’iah make the purchase of the bombs. G’iah makes her way out of the building before Fury and Talos get inside to confront the bomb maker, who is putting on a front as an art dealer. Hill watches G’iah leave and tails her. Inside, Fury’s questioning of the bomb maker leads to a fight and the reveal that the man is actually a Skrull. Talos tries to get information out of the man but he fails to subdue him and Fury is forced to step in and shoot him. Talos is upset that Fury didn’t give him the chance to handle the situation, perhaps unhappy with the potential unnecessary killing of a Skrull.

Hill tails G’iah into a tunnel but the young Skrull get the drop on her and takes her down before running away. Talos arrives just in time to stop her before he learns the one he’s chasing is his daughter. She refuses to give him the bombs and he reveals to her that her mother was killed by the people she works for. Still, she leaves with the bomb, visibly distraught over the loss of her mother.

Fury arrives in a bar where he meets Hill for a drink and a game of chess. Hill sees through Fury’s lie that he was simply off Earth to build SABER. Fury explains that he had a “crisis of faith.” He also says he returned because he owes it to Talos and Hill questions if he’s sure he’s not talking about “someone else.” Fury seems surprised by that response, as though Hill has some information he didn’t think anyone else knew. Hill quickly changes the subject though and asks Fury if he is going to make his move in their chess game. When he says he’s thinking, Hill becomes the third person in this episode to point out that Fury is not what he used to be. This is a much more vulnerable Nick Fury. She warns that he should walk away before someone gets hurt.

G’iah delivers the bomb to Pagon and explains that someone was waiting for her but doesn’t reveal that it was her father. She tries to postpone the strike but Pagon refuses and says thanks to her, they have the bait they needed.

G’iah meets with Talos and confronts him about her mother’s death. He explains again that she dies while G’iah was working for her killers. G’iah gives Talos Gravik’s plan and lets him know that they have hundreds of operatives in the field. She also explains that Gravik knows they will be there, but she doesn’t know how he knows that. Could there be a Skrull in Fury’s group? Aside from Talos, of course.

Fury, Talos and Hill go to where G’iah is dropping off the bombs. They watch her make the drop and go off following the bags, which becomes a stressful chase through crowds of people. Fury is startled when he notices a small girl he saw nights earlier, watching him. He follows her and watches as she transforms multiple times. Meanwhile, Talos and Hill both track down the bags but learn that they were decoys.

Fury sees Gravik, who sets off an explosion before Fury can act. Two more explosions follow and Gravik calmly walks away through the chaos. Fury calls Hill toward him but then shoots her in the stomach, dropping her to the ground. Another Fury sees himself and approaches as the other raises his gun (buckle up, there’s going to be a whole lot of descriptions like this throughout this show). Another explosion goes off before one of the Furys can pull the trigger and he reveals himself to be Gravik. The real Fury approaches Hill, who dies in seconds before Fury is dragged away and the screen cuts to black.

This was a wildly tense and fast-paced opening to this new Marvel series. There are going to be a whole lot of questions going forward as we try to figure out exactly who we can trust. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to be going through all of that without Maria Hill.

Marvel’s Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.

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Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."