Lots went down last week. We discover that Nick Fury has married a Skrull. Gravik is building a Super Skrull tech in a lab. With the potential for a new power rising, Fury must act fast to stop the impending events. Secret Invasion Episode 3 – “Betrayed” confirms the Super Skrull plan is in place. However, Gravik seems aware of other individuals moving in the shadows. Can he counter Fury’s opposition?

Recap – Secret Invasion – ‘Betrayed’

Beto (Samuel Adewunmi) peeps for a mission with two other Skrulls. Pagon (Killian Scott) asks why Beto joined the resistance. He does not want to keep running. The Skrulls prep their new looks for the mission. They each will take on the appearance of naval soldiers.

Gravik observes the Super Skrull machine when the council joins him. He confirms the plan that Beto is executing. Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) wants to change powers, not faces. They will push humans into war and take advantage of the fallout.

In 1998, Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) met Scilla in a diner. The two flirt, with Fury trying to pull rank. However, she does not work for him. He finds that intriguing.

Fury cooks breakfast while the newsman (Christopher McDonald) – a confirmed Skrull – stresses prepping for World War III. Scilla (Charlayne Woodard) joins Fury in the kitchen, asking why Fury returned after years. Something must be wrong if he returned. She notes that his choice to stay away hurt. Fury asks if Scilla has been in touch with Gravik. She pushes back, reminding him that she grieved him during the blip, only for him to abandon her. Scilla became herself again without Fury on Earth.

Secret Invasion Betrayed
(L-R): Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Charlayne Woodard as Priscilla in Marvel Studios’ SECRET INVASION, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

Gravik wakes up G’iah (Emilia Clarke). He’s concerned there’s a leak with Brogan. Only four Skrulls knew where Brogan was going. Gravik thinks someone leaked to the feds where they were heading, and Brogan could not know where they were going. When G’iah puts it back on Brogan, and suggests that the Skrull gave up Gravik, the conversation becomes tense. G’iah admits she’s a good liar but would not give up Gravik. After a minute, Gravik leaves the room and tells G’iah she’s coming with him on a mission tomorrow.

The next day in London, Gravik and G’iah exit a private jet. Gravik tells G’iah that her father called a parley. Gravik meets Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) in a museum. They look at a World War I painting, and Gravik notes that statesmen never get the work done. It’s soldiers that end wars.

They begin their discussion while sitting down for a meal. Gravik prods Talos over and over until he threatens G’iah. When Talos makes a move on him, the entire crowd reacts. They are all Skrulls. The show of force is impressive. Talos tells Gravik that he never understood humans. He believes Gravik’s actions will unite humanity against the Skrulls. When Gravik makes another comment about G’iah, Talos stabs him in the hand and leaves. Gravik pulls his hand through the knife, and his hand fuses back together thanks to Extremis.

Secret Invasion Betrayed
(L-R): Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos in Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

As Talos leaves, he is bumped by a passerby. The person hands Talos a communication and steps away. Gravik notices and walks back to the car. The passerby disappears behind a car, and when Gravik turns, he sees G’iah waiting at the car. He gets in, but he feels uncertain.

Talos eats an English breakfast in a pub. Fury walks in and tells him about a high-ranking Skrull. Talos refuses to help unless Fury asks for help. At first, Fury is unwilling to beg, but he admits he needs Talos before he leaves.

Talos and Fury use the info from G’iah to alert the British. The Neptune submarine will launch on the UN in New York. They call Sonya (Olivia Colman) and confirm the information about the British sub. She’s mad at Fury after finding the tracker, but she’ll do her best.

While they drive, Talos and Fury talk about their history. Fury thinks that he’s been cleaning up the Skrulls’ messes. However, Talos is unwilling to let that slide. He brings up how much the Skrulls helped Fury’s ascension. Fury remains quiet until they get to the house to intercept Bob.

Talos and Fury make it through the security team quickly. As they go upstairs, Talos updates Fury on where “Bob” is located. A vocal cadence gives Bob away, and Fury enters the room with a gun aimed at Bob’s son. While Bob has Talos at gunpoint, he surrenders to save his son.

Talos and Bob fight about the Skrull leadership. Bob believes Talos is not the man he once was and deserves to be removed from leadership. He makes a quip that G’iah is a traitor, and Talos shoots him.

Talos calls G’iah, who has access to the original version of Bob. She fights her way through the compound. Eventually, she finds the general and passes along the info to Talos. He thanks her and tells her to run now. With her help, they stop the mission. Fury asks Talos why he did not join Gravick. Talos, a bit offended, cites his relationship with Fury.

G’iah attempts to run but is stopped by Gravick. He admits it was a mission that the target would have been helpful. However, rooting out the traitor in their midst was essential. He shoots her in the chest and drives away.

At the Fury house, Scilla receives a phone call. She leaves the house and goes to the bank, where a gun hides in a lock box. Her phone rings again, and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) tells her where to meet him. She asks to speak to Gravik, but he says no, they’re speaking to each other.

Episode Breakdown – Secret Invasion – “Betrayed”

This episode feels rather disastrous for the plot unfolding. Over and over again, Secret Invasion – “Betrayed” – tries to create stakes. However, every person is distrustful. No one seems to believe anyone. There is no such thing as a genuine moment in the show, and to further undermine the last episode’s best moment, we’ve been alerted to the Skrull allegiance of an Avenger. If you want a playbook for destroying the faith in a show about espionage, “Betrayed” hands you the blueprint.

Beyond creating a jumbled mess of characters that now feel meaningless as they interact, Secret Wars and “Betrayed” squander its best assets. Both Mendelsohn and Ben-Adir build interesting chemistry with their scene partners. Most importantly, they craft excellent takes on their characters.

On the flip side, Secret Invasion continues squandering Jackson and anyone who shares a scene with him. In the attempt to undermine Fury as uninformed, the show has gone too far. They’ve now made him look inept, in addition to incompetent. The problem with this process is that there’s no coming back. Either Fury is as destructive as we’ve been led to believe, or it’s a plan he’s been hatching the whole time. If that’s the case, the show will pull the rug out from under us in a Deus Ex Machina way that furthers the pointlessness of the series.

Additionally, everyone just seems bad at espionage. Gravik holds discussions in broad daylight and shouts in a museum. He gives away that he’s surrounded by Skrulls early in that sequence, and Talos cannot pick up on it. Even after it’s been revealed that he’s surrounded, Talos stabs Gravick without repercussion. What are the other Skrulls doing?

Fury has been thwarted again, with every person on the planet realizing he’s lost his touch. His wife seems to hate him. Fury did not realize that leaving the planet would make people mad (perhaps the cardinal sin of Secret Invasion’s premise). G’iah obviously gets smoked out, knows that Gravick is still watching her, and even tells him she’s a liar. Of course he would be distrustful, but nothing about his plan would lead to her capture. For it to work, he would have to know that Talos would break, that Talos would kill “Bob,” and that “Bob” was the only person who actually knew how to stop everything. Then, he would have to know for certain that Talos would call G’iah, and that she’d walk right into a trap. For a spy show, this is too convenient. It’s just not enough.

What’s worse, “Betrayed” seems inclined to tell us that G’iah is dead. Emilia Clark is too big of a name, and she will not be off the show so easily. It’s a mess on many levels, and everyone is just bad at their jobs. It cannot feel like authentic espionage if bad secret agents could infiltrate every level of these organizations.

Last but not least, the choice to undermine the Rhodey/Fury scene is unforgivable. This was the one genuine moment in the show to this point. It’s the one moment that rang true. Now it’s dead. It’s an unforced error that is meant to feel like a bombshell, and instead proves there’s no logic or reason to any of it. At any point in any episode, anyone can become a Skrull, which is simply a bad way to operate a dramatic story.

While Secret Invasion wants to sow seeds of disinformation, it simply has not done so in any logical manner. Instead, Marvel overplayed its hands in a handful of ways. We can see the seams on this show more than any other, and “Betrayed” leans too far into bad television. For this collection of talent to sleepwalk through the material is criminal. Making matters worse, the two engaging performances leave little emotional impact. Sadly, Secret Invasion has become as dull and frustrating as its film counterparts. This could unravel quickly for Marvel. A definition of a no-stakes show, which is the worst thing this could have become.

Alan’s Rating: 3/10

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