We start the second episode of Secret Invasion with a flashback. To give us more background information on the villain at hand, we need to know where Gravik came from, right? So, we are taken back to London in 1997. This is where we see Nick Fury, in a scene that takes place after the events of Captain Marvel, donning his eye patch. During this time, Secret Invasion protagonists Gravik and G’iah are still children. NOTE: Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the first two episodes. There are some spoilers ahead.
Background On Gravik
As we learn of Gravik’s “villain origin story,” you can’t help but draw comparisons with Rocket Raccoon’s (as we are fresh off the final chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy). Both characters are geniuses, orphans, and piloted a spaceship to escape death. As viewers, this makes him a villain that we can’t help but sympathize with. This is something that Marvel has traditionally done so well. While we may not have been rooting for Killmonger or Thanos, we can understand their motivations. so it will be crucial for Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to find out more about Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) in order to stop the complete Skrull takeover from happening.
A theme of this series, just two episodes in, is: how do you determine what is real and what isn’t? The Skrulls have the ability to mimic anyone they see, so who are you to trust? Every character seems like they’re playing both sides, and it’s the ones closest to Nick Fury that we’re most wary of. Even Fury acts suspiciously sometimes. However, in the opening scene’s flashback, Fury says, “You keep your word, and I’ll keep mine.” We have a feeling that this may have a subtle undertone throughout the rest of the series. And Fury, himself, is a spy. Even after he assembled the Avengers in their first feature film, the team didn’t trust him.
Fast forward to Moscow after Gravik’s bombing, as seen in episode one. Gravik’s plan to make it look like America wants to start a war with Russia appears to have worked. Also, Gravik killed Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), breaking our hearts. He did this for two reasons: to try and hurt Fury, and to test how much fight Fury has left. Only two people were either taken into custody or taking the blame: the Skrull named Brogan (Ben Peel), who was posing as an American activist against Russia, and Nick Fury. Talos shapeshifted to get Fury out of custody. Though we love Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, he too conveniently gets away with shapeshifting his way out of really dicey situations. It’s always the problem with characters who are too powerful, or who have too many cool powers.
Nick wants to know more about the Skrulls. When he learns just how many of the Skrulls have made their way to Earth (hint: it’s a lot), Fury says in a very Samuel L. Jackson delivery, “Have you lost your reptilian-a– mind?!?” It seems like Talos knows more than he’s letting on, and Fury senses this. As we know, though, Fury was gone and unavailable for five years during “the Blip,” and then he retreated to a space station, so it isn’t exactly Talos’ fault he couldn’t get the stamp of approval from him.
Elsewhere in the episode, we learn just how far Gravik’s hand reaches in the hierarchy of the Skrulls. Being the determined resistance leader that he is, Gravik is able to use the power of his influence to turn Fury’s words of the past into poison. Skrulls and other alien species in the Marvel Universe are quick to smack-talk the human race when it comes to pushing their own agendas. But their critiques of humans help to unite them. As we know, the Skrull resistance wants to create a war between the US and Russia, but in episode two, we learn there are more plans being set in motion that threatens the human race even more.
In episode two, though we’ve lost Cobie Smulders’ Agent Hill, we get to the return of Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes. His dynamic going back and forth with Jackson’s Fury was a delight to watch. We also see Olivia Colman’s Sonya Falsworth again. Sonya is a wildcard. We don’t know whether she really is an ally to Fury or just acting in whatever suits her cause as an MI6 agent. As we continue to carefully watch her character, we find ourselves thoroughly entertained by her tactics. Finally, we meet Fury’s wife, Priscilla (played by Charlayne Woodard). We’re fascinated to meet her after all these years, and we hope to find out more about her in the upcoming four episodes.
Secret Invasion has four more episodes left in this opening season. New episodes drop on Disney+ Wednesdays at 3 am ET.