Secret Invasion: Betrayed
July 5, 2023 8:19 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Fury uncovers a rebel Skull plot.
posted by ellieBOA (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Outraged at Fury’s dismissal of the finest of British cuisines: the fry-up!
posted by adrianhon at 9:02 AM on July 5, 2023 [4 favorites]

So Fury's got 2 wives/girlfriends? No wonder he was hiding on a space station.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:30 AM on July 5, 2023

What? No, just the one (who is a Skrull).

I was completely underwhelmed by this episode. I didn't think G'iah would be shot, but that's only because it's Emilia Clark. Not because I cared much.

For a show that's supposed to be suspenseful, it's not very. The whole nuclear launch thing was just weird and impossible to believe.

I like the actor playing Talos and I like the interactions between him and Fury, although the writing's trying too hard. But the acting makes up for it. The vibe is interesting and odd. And, as always, Olivia Coleman is great. Well, the actor playing Gravic is quite good, too. But the show is pretty lifeless overall.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:14 PM on July 5, 2023 [5 favorites]

The show's about half over and the two main women characters are dead? Hmm.

On the other hand, we got Super Skrulls. Anyone wondering if this is going to set up the FF movie?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:46 PM on July 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Maria Hill, Gi’ah… was there a discount on fridges or something?

This feels like it was made by the B team. Lazy cinematography, shoddy editing, very disjointed writing and plotting… Sam, Ben, and Olivia are pretty much holding this together.

Gravic’s performance is all over the map — stonefaced Xanatos gambit mastermind one minute, arrogant twitchy prick the next.

I guess we got confirmation that Rhodey’s a Skrull?
posted by sixswitch at 9:47 PM on July 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah I was super pissed that another main female character has been fridged when only side male characters have died, and as a direct result of Talos’ ego!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:55 AM on July 6, 2023

Inverse clarifies how Gravik healed so quickly after Talos stabbed his hand and agrees about Gi’ah.

Vulture recap and archive link.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:08 AM on July 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

There’s a heck of a lot of scenes in the trailers of Gi’ah that we have not yet seen in the series. Weird that they were all a fake-out. Or — hear me out — she’s not dead.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 AM on July 6, 2023 [7 favorites]

I’m still expecting Maria Hill to show up alive by the end of the series.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:54 AM on July 6, 2023 [4 favorites]

This series is just a setup/precursor to what will be the stunning/game changing buddy cop road flic:

Maria Hill and Gi'ah On The Road To Morocco.

(be sure to see it on Imax)
posted by sammyo at 7:13 AM on July 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Talos and Fury are great. Clearly friends, but there are circumstances that put walls between them. The chemistry between the actors and sheer acting talent is off the charts and one of the best part of the series so far.

That nuclear launch subplot was just laughable in its ridiculousness. It felt like a first draft someone brought to the writers room, presented, was rightly mocked, and someone says "ok the basic idea was good, you know the part where bad guys do bad people things, so we'll keep that part". Unbelievable.

Killing Giah was unexpected. The problem is that Gravik doesn't have an emotional core that explains how easily he kills. It felt like he offed Brogan with the same amount of emotional caring that he murdered Giah.

The best villains are ones you can at least understand their actions while not agreeing with them. Gravik just wants to kill all humans and take over the Earth, but why? There's no strong reason given yet.

I haven't specifically mentioned the fridging aspect because, what the hell, MCU? You can NOT be this blind and ignorant. I have more faith in you that, please don't let me down.

The entire premise of Secret Invasion is great, but I also don't care. There should be some mystery and suspense about who's a Skrull and who isn't and there just isn't. It's remarkably bland.

What would be interesting to see is a Skrull, in disguise, flaunting themselves. Something like SkrullRhodey very intentionally calling Fury “Nick”, slowly and carefully, while talking about how he’s going to be meeting with the President soon. That would raise the stakes in interesting ways.

Otherwise, they're doing absolutely nil in making the "Who is Skrull" interesting.

Still betting on Maria Hill being alive and showing up at some point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on July 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

The best villains are ones you can at least understand their actions while not agreeing with them. Gravik just wants to kill all humans and take over the Earth, but why? There's no strong reason given yet.

It seems like they've kind of nibbled around the edges of that a bit, but not quite said anything solid. We know that there's actually some sort of off-world Skrull colony with an emperor, but we don't know why all the Skrulls aren't living there. (It may be political; it may also point toward the introduction of a certain character from the comics into the MCU.) There's also something in this episode about either Gi'ah or Talos accusing Gravik of actually trying to get all of his people killed; Talos makes the point that humans are at their fiercest when their backs are against the wall. There are also some things said in previous episodes about the Skrulls having been more aggressive and hegemonic in the past; that puts them more in line with the traditional portrayal of the Skrulls in the comics, as well as with the shape-shifting Founders of the Dominion in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. How much of the Kree hatred of the Skrulls is about the Kree being fascists and using them as scapegoats and how much of it may be the Skrulls having been maybe that bad, at least some of them, at least at some point in the past? Maybe Gravik has sold out to the Kree, and they're looking for a few shapeshifting agents of their own.
If they get into this in the back half of the season, it might make for some really interesting TV.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:31 PM on July 6, 2023

I was really looking forward to this series; now I'm frustrated with how they've wasted a great cast with this nonsensical plot. Olivia Colman's a delight and I love Ben Mendolsohn, who has great chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson. But the story as it is unfolding is not doing them many favours.

Count me among those who don't buy that Maria (or Gi'ah) are actually dead yet. Or, if they are dead, that they will still be dead at the end of the season.
posted by synecdoche at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2023

I am getting pretty confident in saying that this is one of the weaker entries in the mcu TV shows.

The stuff with Talos and Fury is good in this episode, but from an arc and plotting perspective this is just a disappointment.

The stuff with Fury's wife feels like a misfire. They seem to want the scene at the end to feel like a shocking betrayal, but we hardly know anything about her, or her relationship with Fury, other than they apparently havent seen each other in a long time.

And this is kind of a prevalent issue here. It was hard to be sad about the death of Maria Hill as she barely has a personality, and to be honest they haven't don't a great job of establishing Fury's either.

The thing about a show about shapeshifters who can take any identity is that you expect to be thrown by the reveal of a beloved character is a skull! But other than the presumed Rhodes, most characters here are introduced as Skrulls. If Olivia Coleman turned out to be a Skrulls I am not sure it would change anything, so there's really not much to be surprised at.

I'm also a little confused about where they are going with the super skrull stuff. Gravik apparently had already done it, but who is going to fight him? The super heroes have been very absent so far
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:20 PM on July 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

The logical opponents would be either Rhodey or Carol Danvers, especially since this is basically a sequel to Captain Marvel. But she could probably take them all on with one hand while making a sandwich with the other.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:38 PM on July 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also WRT the Super Skrull project, last week we saw that they had material from Groot, Cull Obsidian (one of Thanos' henchpeople), the Extremis project (Iron Man 3), and a Jotunheim Frost Beast from Thor. Groot, we know, can lengthen his limbs; Cull Obsidian is very strong and has rocky skin; Extremis allows its users to generate extreme heat and even project it as flame. The only one that doesn't fit is the Frost Beast, unless it's a dead end and someone on the project figures out that Skrulls, by using their shape-changing for a chameleon-like effect, can naturally simulate... invisibility.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:33 PM on July 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yeah, disappointed by this. It feels like they're just phoning it in while arranging some supervillains for The Marvels to beat up.

None of it fit together neatly. Why use a nuclear sub to shoot down a plane? I guess you could do it, but surely they're more designed to blow up fixed targets on the ground than moving targets in the air. Seems like overkill as well, now you've blown your cover, and you could have used it to blow up Washington DC or Fort Liberty or something.

And is the world really going to be convinced that the British have decided to attack the UN? Doesn't seem like there's much advantage to it. And with a permanent seat, with veto, on the Security Council, the UK benefits from the existence of the UN.

Feels like there've been a bunch of random last-minute rewrites.

I assumed G'iah was alive and the "don't turn around" thing was because she had some fancy body armour in place, but I could easily be wrong.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:39 AM on July 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

The plotting for the show has been weird, almost like a 22-episode series with a formula: Gravik plans a terror attack to cause WWIII, Fury and Talos just barely manage to thwart it, and someone tells off Fury for his irresponsibility to the Skrulls while he reacts angrily and fails to listen to them. The big twist in episode 1 was just that this time, the heroes didn't stop the bombing, but that's pretty standard Act I stuff in spy thrillers.

So we have the problem that no one has a character arc in it. The events aren't changing anyone or anything, except Emilia Clarke's character, and the show kills her off (or maybe pretends to).

The other issue is that it's a bit too in love with being a generic, just-post-9/11 spy show. For a series about shapechanging aliens with plans to gain superpowers, this sure does rely a lot on bomb-n-missile sorts of terrorism threats, including distasteful and unethical "ticking time bomb" torture scenes straight out of 24.

And the "war orphan traumatized into terrorism" motive for the villain is stock stuff out of that genre, too. The same thing was used in Amazon's first season of Jack Ryan, for example. Again, this isn't merely formulaic, but offensive.

Fight scenes seem to be some standard wrestling around and Krav Maga stuff punctuated by the occasional instantly fatal shooting.

I don't really understand who this is meant for or what it thinks it's doing.
posted by kewb at 12:18 PM on July 9, 2023 [3 favorites]

I feel like this is a grey, boring show that took a genuinely shocking and exciting comic and made it the regular blandness of the MCU. I also feel like a lot of MCU properties do this bait-and-switch, where they’re like “here is an exciting thing”, and then a few hours into the program have stripped all the fun bits out (shape changing aliens, worst best spy) and swapped them for tedious fights in urban spaces.
posted by The River Ivel at 6:04 AM on July 10, 2023

There's a lot of spectacle with no need for it.

Maria Hill shot. No real need for that or that she was shot by a Skrull that looked like Fury.

Oh, there's a million Skrulls on Earth now? How is the plan for taking over still a thing? With 10 Skrulls, they could take a over a major nuclear power or two and start a war. With a million, you have to wonder whether the Skrulls are complete idiots because total domination should be a cakewalk.

Why is Fury so insistent about going it alone? That's just dumb on a world that full of supertypes, let along his bestie Carol Danvers.

Why not just take the Skrulls to the planet that Thanos was on in Endgame? Boom, probably solved. Why have the Skrulls, a space faring species, not discovered a planet on their own?

If starting a nuclear war is the goal, then all the Skrulls need to do is impersonate a US president, an advisor or two and a major general or two and that's plenty to get a nuclear war going. I know this after a few years in the a public school system, the Skrulls have here since the 90s, surely they've done some basic reconnaissance.

Overall, the storyline makes no sense, which is a shame because the show has a talented cast of actors. The show wants to be some tightly woven spy story and it just isn't.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:22 AM on July 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

Is Fury's marriage the closest we are going to get to a Skrullfuck joke?
posted by biffa at 1:12 PM on July 12, 2023

I'm still super pissed that Hill got fridged for Fury's arc. C'mon Marvel, the whole point of Hill is she's the next generation, the successor to Fury and the legacy of S.H.I.E.L.D. That they've killed her off and never bothered to bring Quake into the MCU shows they're not even trying; they'll keep dragging an aging Jackson out until they can perfect his AI virtual actor to carry on in perpetuity.

Only thing I'm loving is Olivia Colman. I'd love a dark comedy with her and Julia-Louis Dreyfus in an MCU buddy-rivalry spy miniseries.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:23 PM on July 12, 2023 [2 favorites]

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