REVIEW: Predictable and Dull, Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’ Finale is an Overt Disappointment

From the time the earliest teasers for Secret Invasion rolled out online, it was clear that at some point in the show, Nick Fury wouldn’t be Nick Fury. Since writer Kyle Bradstreet left that “ace” up his sleeve, it was pretty evident from the time “Fury” infiltrated the Skrull hideout that it wasn’t really him. In fact, even in the aftermath of last week’s episode, plenty of fans had already guessed exactly what was going to happen with The Harvest; however, most of those fever dream theories were more interesting than what was delivered in “Home.”

As far as series finales go, Marvel Studios has seemed to have a hard time “sticking the landing” as everyone likes to say. To continue that analogy, the Secret Invasion finale would be more akin to a gymnast hitting the springboard and then launching headfirst into the pommel horse. For what was hyped up as a paranoia-landed spy thriller, the series as a whole lacked any sense of suspicion or mistrust as to who was or wasn’t a Skrull and despite their efforts, nobody actually believed Russia and America were going to war. Skrull Rhodey was always going to die. G’iah was always going to have her vengeance. “Who do you trust?” Certainly not the people rubber-stamping the choices made here.

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

Much as it had previously done with the Kree, Marvel Studios has now painted themselves into a corner with the Skrulls. Kevin Feige once proudly claimed that Marvel Comics pointed Marvel Studios in the right direction with their projects: “The answers are always in the books,” said the head man. It now seems that in their quest to avoid doing direct page-to-screen adaptations, they’ve entirely lost their way. Much like Ronan the Accuser and Mar-Vell before him, Kl’rt, the OG Super Skrull, will either be ignored entirely or greatly reduced in significance…so that the MCU could have Gravik? For decades, Marvel Comics has found ways to keep the Kree-Skrull War alive and interesting but somehow, over the course of two projects, Marvel Studios reduced it–and all its players–into minimalist impressions. What’s left? Some “peace talks” and a brand new most powerful being in the galaxy in Emilia Clarke’s G’iah and Fury’s Skrull wife. What are they going to do now? No idea. Varra’s work is apparently “important” and G’iah’s final scene reeks of the all-too-common theme among Marvel Studios’ writers that whatever comes next for the character is the next guy’s problem.

And what of the hero of the series? After pushing the people he once took under his wing and hoped to find a home for into a war against their own extinction, Nick Fury…pisses back off into space? So he can make jokes again in The Marvels? After a half-assed explanation given not by Nick but by G’iah pretending to be Nick, old Nick is back and nobody would blame anyone for wondering how–or even if–the events of Secret Invasion will have changed him when we see him again. For four episodes, the series really only worked as a showcase for Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Don Cheadle and Olivia Colman’s talents; however, once it came time for it to change gears and try to find its relevance in the ongoing shared narrative, the wheels came off entirely. Ultimately, Secret Invasion will be remembered as a series of unfortunately misapplied and wasted concepts that show Marvel Studios just doesn’t value or understand the Cosmic corner of the comics that Feige once said held all the “answers.” It might be time for the studio to course-correct and work its way back to taking more inspiration from the comics–or it might be too late already.

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