Marvel Studios’ new spy thriller series, Secret Invasion, has just hit Disney+. Now that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has finally returned to Earth, he and his allies must stop a group of shape-shifting Skrulls from terrorizing the globe.
Given the nature of this series, there are already many surprises after just one episode that have left audiences with questions. Who killed [REDACTED]? And why? And just what is Talos up to? DT asks the hard questions and provides some quasi-answers to the many mysteries the first episode of Secret Invasion sets up.
Note: This article features major plot spoilers for Secret Invasion.
When Fury reunites with his Skrull friend, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), the latter reveals that his wife, Soren, died while he was away. Later, Talos reveals to his daughter, G’iah (Emilia Clarke), that her leader, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), is responsible for her death. Audiences last saw Soren impersonating Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and helping Talos and Peter Parker defeat Mysterio and his illusory Elementals in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
At this point, the details surrounding Soren’s death are pretty vague. Hopefully, the show will elaborate on the circumstances of her demise later in the series, preferably with a flashback. It isn’t a good look for this series to kill Soren off-screen, especially if her final scene is in the post-credits of Far From Home.
After Talos tells G’iah that Gravik killed her mother, the rebel Skrull tells her father about the bombs Gravik and his team will place in Vossoyedineniye Square. Though she claims the bomb bags will be marked with infrared paint, Hill discovers that the bags are decoys, allowing the Skrulls to succeed with their terrorist attack. This raises the question of whether or not G’iah set her father up by pretending to switch sides or if Gravik knew of G’iah’s betrayal and had switched out the bombs ahead of time.
In a shocking twist, the first episode ends with Maria Hill getting gunned down by Gravik disguised as Fury after the evil Skrull bombs the Unity Day celebration. Hill bleeds out in the real Fury’s arms, but the latter is forced to leave his faithful partner behind as he pursues Gravik, making for a surprising fate for such an underrated character.
Though it looks like Maria met her demise with the episode’s final shot, one can’t help but wonder if she is gone. Death is very much a revolving door in the superhero genre, as plenty of heroes and villains seem to die, only to return quite often. Even Fury faked his death after getting shot in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so audiences must wait and see if Maria is a 100% dead.
Following the show’s premiere, Marvel Studios has come under fire for using AI-generated imagery in its opening credits sequence. The show’s director, Ali Selim, claimed to Polygon that the utilization of AI fits the show’s themes. “When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of it — it just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?” said Salim.
Despite this understandable creative choice, Salim’s decision came at a terrible time. Marvel Studios has been criticized for overworking and underpaying its VFX artists, and resorting to AI as these artists fight for their rights only adds insult to injury. On top of that, Hollywood creatives have been protesting the growing use of AI in the Writer’s Guild of America strike. How much longer before this kind of AI usage forces disgruntled artists to also go on strike?
Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.