Secret Invasion Episode 6 finale review: A dire snooze

Cameron Frew
Gravik and Fury in Secret Invasion Episode 6

Secret Invasion has been on a downward slope, and while Episode 6 isn’t the show at its worst, it certainly isn’t good; the finale is an overstuffed bore.

I can’t say I didn’t like Secret Invasion at the start. Its political hutzpah was always weak, but the insidious nature of its premise compared to the easier “what if the Avengers have been aliens?” suspense made me believe this was a small-screen endeavor worth investing in; the MCU asks us to follow superheroes, but what if the infrastructure beneath them is totally corrupt?

But then on and went, and the sturdy storytelling of the early chapters descended into half-packed ideas, scrappy plotting, iffy-to-bad performances (Olivia Colman is innocent), and the overriding sense that all of this will be ignored in phases to come, even with Nick Fury returning in The Marvels later this year.

The finale of Secret Invasion did little to dissuade that notion, speeding along to an unsatisfying ending and packed with some of the most bombastic, ugly action in the MCU to date. Spoilers to follow…

Secret Invasion Episode 6 takes Fury to Russia

The episode opens with Priscilla, aka Varra, in her home surrounded by the purple splatters of her intruders. She’s surprised to receive a call from Fury, but he promises he’s dialled it more often than he’s actually gone through with the call. “That’s cold consolation,” she jokes. When asked where he is, he says he’s “far enough away that it makes sense to keep going the way I’m going.”

Priscilla in Secret Invasion Episode 6

Soon, we see a car slowly approaching the gates of New Skrullos, and it fails to heed the bullets-to-the-sky warnings of the troops guarding the place. They pepper the car with gunfire, but they’re both shot and killed by someone offscreen – it’s Fury, and he’s here to settle his issues with Gravik once and for all. The merciless shot to the chest is a nice touch, even if the gloopy effects take away the bite of it.

Meanwhile, Rhodey is pushing President Ritson to retaliate against the Russians for the attack on his convoy, an idea that has an admiral pretty nervous, given the Russian president has “strenuously denied it.” Rhodey says she must have taken a “stupid pill with [her] breakfast” and urges Ritson to appropriately avenge the “all-out assault on our republic.” The politicking is abysmally scripted, but this coming from someone who loves The West Wing, so perhaps I’m being too harsh – or not enough.

Fury and Gravik face off… or do they?

Fury, spluttering in constant coughing from all the radioactivity, eventually makes his way to Gravik in the Super-Skrull room. “No Avengers, no invisible cloak and shield?” Gravik asks, but Fury is riding solo. Back at the hospital, Sonya tells Rhodey to get Ritson out before Fury comes and kills him; is she a Skrull, or is there a larger game afoot?

Gravik recalls getting his face from the first human he ever killed, which he’d been ordered to do by Fury. He had a wife and children, and he was a “bit misguided”, but every murder he’s committed on his say-so has taken “a little piece” of his heart. “You pimped us, Fury,” he tells him, with his veins popping in rage as he vows to “take a flamethrower to humanity.” Kingsley Ben-Adir is an incredible actor and if it weren’t for his icy charisma, this scene would be nothing but a man screaming in another man’s face; the material is incredibly trite, but he makes it watchable.

Fury confesses to always knowing there wasn’t another planet for the Skrulls, but he didn’t tell them. “It’s easier to save the lives of eight billion people than change their hearts and mind,” he says, remembering how he felt “relief” as he was “flaked off” before the Blip. But he returned to Earth because he felt responsible for Gravik, as he was his youngest Skrull operative, and now he’s decided to give him what he wants: the Harvest, containing Carol Danvers’ DNA along with the rest of the Avengers.

Gravik thinks he’s gone crazy, but Fury has one condition: take the powers and go wipe out another species, but “leave Earth the hell alone.” He loads up the machine with the DNA with both of them inside, and through the scorching light, Gravik emerges as a new being: muscular and taller, clearly armed with all sorts of powers. He tries to punch Fury, but he stops his fist and clobbers him into the air. Does Fury have superpowers? No, it’s actually been G’iah in disguise this whole time while Fury infiltrated the hospital.

Super-Skrull Smash Bros.

G’iah and Gravik have an all-powered scrap, and it’s a bit like watching a video game where both players have used all the cheat codes at their behest – in other words, it’s really, really boring, not to mention the appalling CGI as both characters flick through their move sets, whether it’s Ebony Maw’s gaunt aesthetic or G’iah growing Mantis-like beams out of her head, and don’t get us started on all the massive arms.

Emilia Clarke as G'iah with Super Skrull powers in Secret Invasion Episode 6

G’iah eventually gets the upper hand and grabs Gravik by the throat. “You’re just like your father,” he says, before she fires a massive energy beam through his chest (RIP to any nearby bird, plane, or satellite in its way) and kills him.

At the hospital, Sonya holds a gun to Rhodey’s head and Fury pleads with the president to believe him: Rhodey is a Skrull and he’s trying to plunge the US into war. Rhodey shoves Sonya in a panic and grabs her gun, but before he can pull the trigger, Fury puts a bullet in his head, spraying the wall with his Skrull blood as he returns to alien form. Again, this sort of violence feels like a step into a new teenage era for the MCU; gone could be the days of the Russo Brothers’ frantic cutting in Civil War to dance around severe bloodshed.

Ritson overplays his hand and Sonya gives G’iah a deal

Ritson is visibly shocked, and even embarrassed by Rhodey being a Skrull. We’ve not really had any taste of the president’s political positions, but he makes it abundantly clear quite quickly: calls Congress to authorize an emergency bill that designates all “off-world born species as enemy combatants,” which Fury describes as “real one-term president stuff.”

Ritson, Rhodey, and Sonya in Secret Invasion Episode 6 review

We see scenes of wanton carnage as hit squads try to weed out Skrull imposters, some of whom still want to help humanity, and kill innocent people. “Call off your war,” Fury asks. “Give me a break, there’s only one way this ends – the old Nick Fury would have known that. If you truly care about the Skrulls, get them off my planet,” the president responds.

After beating Gravik, G’iah frees all the real people locked in fracking pods, including Everett Ross and the real Rhodey. “Colonel Rhodes? How long have you been in here?” Ross asks, which begs the question: has Rhodey been a Skrull since the events of Endgame? We’re betting that he has.

Fury and Varra reconcile in the stars

In the final scene, Fury prepares to go back to S.A.B.E.R. when Priscilla, aka Varra, shows up. He reveals that the Kree are now open to peace talks with the Skrulls, but he wants her to come with him, as she’s the best diplomat they have.

“We’re better together,” Fury says, but Priscilla returns to her Skrull form. “I just wanted to tell you that I love you, as I am,” she says. “Only as you are,” Fury responds, and they head into space together in a radiant beam of white light. We’ll say this: the dynamic between Fury and Varra has been one of the best things about Secret Invasion, and we wish the series spent more time digging into their time together and fleshing out the complexity of their relationship rather than all the other claptrap.

Secret Invasion Episode 6 finale review score: 2/5

An uninspiring end to one of the MCU’s worst shows, Secret Invasion Episode 6 has glimpses of goodness but mostly echoes its worst flaws; dull, half-baked, and forgettable.

Secret Invasion Episodes 1-6 are available to stream on Disney+ now. Check out our other coverage below:

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