Marvel’s Secret Invasion Finale Recap: “Dwelling” on Disney+

Secret Invasion’s finale was launched right this moment, and man, did it land flat on all factors. After a lackluster five episodes, I didn’t have excessive expectations for the Marvel Disney+ collection’ sixth, however the round ending and failure to meaningfully engage in any emotional beats really left me chilly.

All Secret Invasion episodes have been directed by Ali Selim, and episode six, “Dwelling,” was written Kyle Bradstreet and Brian Tucker.

We begin out the episode with the reiteration of Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) promise to seek out the Skrulls a planet, which didn’t fucking occur—and a reminder that Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) was elected to Skrull Basic, which looks as if it ought to imply one thing, however contemplating how so many Skrulls turned on him in episode 5, doesn’t appear to matter in any respect. We leap proper right into a home scene with Vaara-as-Priscilla (Charlayne Woodard) and Fury. She asks Fury if he’d have beloved her if she had appeared as a Skrull and wasn’t sporting a human pores and skin. Fury is noncommittal, and both he’s manipulating her or he’s a shit communicator, which is truthfully Fury’s modus operandi this complete collection, if not throughout his complete lifecycle within the MCU.

Then we’re again in New Skrullos, as an empty automobile rolls in the direction of the doorway. Two Skrulls are taken out by Fury as he launches a one-man assault on New Skrullos, assuming Gravik is there? Which makes… no sense since america is acvitely planning a strike on New Skrullos and if I have been Fury I wouldn’t assume Gravik was hanging on the market as a result of like… what in regards to the bluff? And wasn’t he simply in London with Vaara? Already, this isn’t including up.

Again in London, a laid-up President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) will get Warfare Eagle recommendation from Raava-as-James “Warfare Machine’’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle), whereas a way more average Navy Admiral tells Ritson that they don’t understand it’s the Russians, and “President Vladimov” has denied accountability. Genuinely, Rhodey is getting determined, and it’s wild to show this beloved character into such an aggressive navy totalitarian. If anybody didn’t understand it was Raava in there at this level, they positive do now. When Rhodes gave Ritson drafted “remarks” for the president to inform the American people, I absolutely misplaced it. This man is pulling shadow authorities shit and never even being delicate about it. You gotta give your self an out if you’re enjoying puppetmaster, Raava, that’s like lesson primary.

We’re again to Fury in New Skrullos, and he runs into the bloody scene of the put-down revolution. He’s additionally coughing, apparently due to radiation, however radiation doesn’t work like that except you’re stepping right into a dwell nuclear reactor, so Fury stumbling round simply appears to be like goofy. Possibly it’s a pretense? Possibly this isn’t Fury in any respect? Suicide has by no means been Fury’s go-to plan, and whereas I don’t agree with Maria Hill’s (Cobie Smulders) evaluation in episode one which Fury doesn’t take dangers, this appears foolishly dangerous. I don’t purchase it! To not point out that people have actually gone into this facility as a part of the Skrull alternative program they usually appear to be doing nice. Granted they’re in stasis however it’s not like they’re in anti-rad pods or something. They’re nonetheless uncovered to the radiation. God, that is all so dumb.

Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman) calls Rhodes and tells him to get Ritson out of the hospital instantly. She’s so mad about Rhodes being a Skrull. Rhodes pulls Ritson to the highest flooring and tells his safety group to go looking, however they’re fairly successfully dispatched by an unknown gunman. To be sincere, Raava has been so aggressive the previous few episodes there’s merely no approach she survives.

However once more, fast reduce to Fury, who’s actually within the Tremendous Skrullification machine with Gravik. We get some backstory with Gravik, and I’ve to let you know that whereas I really like Kingsley Ben-Adir, and I can see that he’s working so, so arduous to earn the Marvel Cash—completely performing his ass off—this materials is operating him into the bottom, and it’s upsetting to look at an objectively nice actor try to squeeze blood from this stone of a script. Gravik screams about Fury’s failure, and like, I get it, he’s proper, however when are we going to get some accountability, as a result of I’m positive Gravik’s not going to ship?

Fury then admits that he knew inside the first few years of looking that there can be no different planet for the Skrulls than Earth (infuriating!), and that Fury’s plan B after this realization was constructing a house for the Skrulls on Earth. After which the rationale he didn’t even try plan B is that “people suck.” Which, true, however god, that’s a shitty message, and nonetheless goes again to the truth that Fury mainly conscripted a bunch of aliens into his spy ring after which determined to gaslight them for years and allow them to rot in human skins. And we’re supposed to love this man? Fury then palms over the Harvest—this collection’ shiny Macguffin that incorporates the DNA of all of Earth’s heroes and some intergalactic ones too.

So Fury makes an attempt to commerce the Harvest for Earth, which shouldn’t be an incredible deal. Particularly when there’s no bargaining chip, no go-between, simply… an outdated sick man with nothing left to cover. Besides the truth that that is very seemingly not Fury in any respect, as Fury has executed one factor constantly this complete collection, which is play on the individuals who underestimate him… or whoever appears to be like like him proper now. Gravik inserts the vial into the machine; we see superhero names flit throughout the display, and thank god we’ve watched over 100 hours of the MCU at this level so we all know who all these characters areL Thanos, Thor, Hulk, Valkyrie, Winter Soldier, Captain Marvel, and a dozen extra I didn’t catch.

Gravik flips the swap on the Tremendous Skrullification machine whereas Fury continues to be within it and really that is so suspect, they may not have been clearer about the way in which that Gravik will probably be undone by his personal creation, very like Fury in a second of tried round storytelling. I’m already drained.

The machine turns off and we get full Skrull Gravik, who’s the beefiest Skrull I’ve ever seen, as a result of apparently getting superpowers has the identical uncomfortable side effects that they’d again within the Nineteen Forties when Steve Rogers turned superhuman. He instantly tries to kill Fury, however Fury fights again with powers after which, the reveal: it’s G’iah (Emilia Clarke)! She hasn’t executed a lot for a couple of episodes, so it’s no shock to see her again, however it’s fairly bizarre how there’s simply lots of teleporting round.

Additionally, as an apart, I do know that this sequence the place G’iah and Gravik combat is meant to underline that G’iah can management these powers higher (someway?) however she appears to be like goofy as hell with only a full-sized Drax arm coming out of her physique. Not less than with Gravik in full shirtless beefcake mode the CGI flows higher.

Again within the hospital, Sonya flips on Raava-as-Rhodes, pulls a gun, and is outwardly going to attempt to inform Ritson what’s up. By this level Fury’s proven up on the hospital and Ritson will get a rundown on absolutely the wildest conspiracy principle I’ve ever heard—that shapeshifting aliens have kidnapped the world’s biggest minds, have them in pods, and except the nuclear assault is named off proper now everybody will die. Skrulls sounded extra seemingly than this bullshit. “Don’t kill the pre-eminent folks in pods beneath the deserted Russian base” appears insane to me, as an argument. Not nuking folks ought to be sufficient.

We’re again to the Tremendous Skrull combat, which I do know was a ache within the ass to do VFX for, however there’s something completely ridiculous about this sequence the place two very, very proficient actors turn out to be dolls with completely different legs and arms connected. It appears Marvel can’t resist a large blow-out-the-budget combat it doesn’t matter what type of story they’re telling. I dunno, man. I simply don’t assume you’ll be able to name this present grounded when you’ve got two Tremendous Skrulls utilizing actually Each Energy within the MCU encyclopedia to combat one another. Not less than the combat solely takes a couple of minutes, extra MCU movies ought to take word. Oh, Gravik dies, naturally. It’s a really boring dying and no person on display cares.

Then, Ritson tells the American public in regards to the shapeshifting aliens, and declares them enemy combatants, promising to seek out them and kill each final one in every of them. Which, to be sincere, is strictly what I’d count on from a president, however it actually feels as if we’ve arrived on the worst attainable choice for this ending. Subsequent, G’iah releases all of the trapped prisoners, and there are actually no surprises with who the Skrulls have been imitating. G’iah runs into Falsworth, who presents to assist G’iah get the sources she wants to shield her folks and keep protected. G’iah is unimpressed contemplating her dad’s long-standing love affair with Fury, and Falsworth instantly says “let’s go away love and friendship out of this,” providing a quid professional quo, however by no means truly saying what she needs from G’iah? G’iah heads to an underground bunker the place a whole bunch of individuals have been put right into a sleep stasis utilizing Skrull tech. Spycraft, it appears, continues to be what the Skrulls are going for use for.

Image for article titled Secret Invasion's Finale Is One Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Picture: Marvel Studios

So now we’re on the closing denouement of the collection. Fury calls Ritson, and we see Skrulls assassinated by vigilantes… but in addition harmless folks dying for the crime of being suspected of being Skrulls. Fury ends the collection by strolling in the direction of the very same SABER mild that transported him down earlier than he’s intercepted by his spouse. Priscilla, lady, you might be too good for this man. Why are you chasing this asshole who left you for like three years to fuck off into house? You may do higher!

Now, for no cause in any respect, the Kree are “open to peace talks” with the Skrulls?? WHY? HOW? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? God, right here it’s, lastly an attention-grabbing plot, an interesting story that I’d have truly beloved to have seen on display and it’s actually simply an epilogue word. None of this is sensible, and it appears like such an apparent arrange for The Marvels that it makes me wish to tear my hair out. None of this reveal is sweet! What’s the level? Why is Fury abandoning the million or so Skrulls on Earth? He nonetheless has to make this proper and he’s simply pretending just like the Skrulls who will probably be pressured underground will wish to have something to do with him and this bullshit “peace treaty!” Talos can be so disenchanted in you, Fury.

Then Varra transforms and tells Nick that she loves him. They kiss, as if it is a big romantic second, some type of sweeping gesture, and I’ve to let you know I’m unmoved! I don’t care about Fury’s romantic entanglements! That is boring! The completely satisfied/extraordinarily dysfunctional couple goes to house collectively, fucking off earth completely.

Truthfully, this complete complete collection appears like an intermission. A really boring, staid, unhappy intermission the place all that’s actually completed is killing Talos and Maria Hill. The purpose of Secret Invasion is content material. The purpose is that it’s a narrative and Marvel can inform it, however it can’t truly have an effect on the bigger MCU in any approach that issues, so it’s crammed with quickie deaths and low cost imitation video games. What’s really modified? Nothing, besides that now everybody is aware of there are Skrulls on Earth. However they’ve traded Fury and Talos for Falsworth and G’iah, and Gravik is an inconvenient blip.

There was such potential for Secret Invasion and the final episode renders your complete collection forgettable, a footnote that may be summed up in two sentences, the place nothing feels modified. If there was ever a collection that in all probability may have been a part of an e mail chain moderately than the topic of a pitch assembly, that is it.

All episodes of Secret Invasion at the moment are streaming on Disney+.

This piece was written through the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. With out the labor of the writers and actors at the moment on strike, the film being coated right here wouldn’t exist.

Need extra io9 information? Try when to count on the newest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and all the things you’ll want to find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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