Disney+ Marvel Reviews

‘Secret Invasion’ Episode Six Review: “Home”

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the show being covered here wouldn’t exist.

*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode six of Secret Invasion*

We’ve officially got another “worst MCU title of all time.” I honestly thought things couldn’t have gotten worse after the release of Thor: Love and Thunder, and Kevin Feige’s promise for quality control would ring true. However, with the release of episode six of Secret Invasion, the show has officially solidified itself as the worst thing Marvel Studios has ever done, with the biggest wasted opportunity of the entire franchise. I honestly thought that things were going to pick up steam in its finale, where big reveals would alter the course of the rest of the MCU and give the show its relevancy. However, nothing of note happens save for the most ridiculous retcon and a brief fight scene that’s easily the worst moment of this franchise.

It is kind of funny that their last show, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, mocked the very thing the finale of Secret Invasion is doing, have to indecipherable CGI blobs fight in the most inconsequential of ways. We’ve got G’iah (Emilia Clarke) and Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) fighting each other with the SAME POWERS! That’s right, G’iah shapeshifted herself as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), made Gravik believe he was dying of radiation poisoning, gave him The Harvest, put it into the machine, and the two transformed themselves into every single MCU superhero/villain ever. As Fury, G’iah punches Gravik with a Free Guy Hulk punch (no joke), and the two fight together in a matchup that would be best described as the MCU’s Greatest Hits but is actually the most egregious and unimpressive thing the franchise has done so far.

G’iah hones in powers from Carol Danvers, Mantis, Korg, Extremis, Ghost, and Drax, whilst Gravik samples Ebony Maw, Abomination, you name it, it’s probably there. First, how can they hone in their powers like that, and how do they specifically know that the Mantis powers allow G’iah to make Gravik fall asleep, the Ghost powers unlock invisibility, and so on? How would they know all this since they apparently weren’t present during the battle of Avengers: Endgame? Gravik was part of Fury’s cleanup crew, but that doesn’t explain any of it. The only one I would understand would be Captain Marvel, but that’s about it. The rest makes absolutely no sense that each of these heroes would completely understand the weight of the power(s) they hold and duke it out inside a green-screen-laden environment with absolutely no stakes to the proceedings. This is supposed to be world-ending stuff, and yet feels so small compared to Endgame.

We’re on the cusp of World War III being launched if President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) orders a nuclear strike on New Skrullos, and yet we can’t help but feel completely bored by the stakes at play. It absolutely does not help that the finale is 37 minutes long, and everything happens in a flash. The fight scene is over as soon as it begins, and the conflict between Ritson and Rhodey (Don Cheadle), whom he finally learns is a Skrull, doesn’t seem as massive as it should for the MCU. Moreover, it’s revealed that Rhodey has been a Skrull since…the end of Captain America: Civil War. That’s right, he’s wearing a hospital gown next to Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), who asks him how long he has been there. He doesn’t know, but the last time we saw him in that outfit was in Civil War.

That means he didn’t get a chance to fight alongside Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) for one last time, nor have a chance to mourn his best friend. Of course, some have pointed out that it could have massive repercussions with his arc and completely change the direction of Armor Wars. That may be true, but it still doesn’t feel right. I would hope that Armor Wars would retcon this to Rhodey being a Skrull in a post-Endgame era (you can write in that he went to a hospital for a routine appointment or something like that, who cares, and it still would be better than whatever they came up with in Secret Invasion), but it doesn’t feel like that will be the case. The dramatic tension between Rhodey, President Ritson, Nick Fury, and Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman) also falls completely flat.

Marvel has been wanting Rhodey’s Skrull reveal to be one of the most game-changing things of the entire franchise thus far, but it raises more questions than answers, just as the fight between G’iah and Gravik, which completely falter any momentum the two could’ve had in their arcs. G’iah is now the MCU’s most powerful superhero, with her amalgamation of powers. Can’t imagine how amazing that will be when she shows up in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars (big sarcasm here, folks).

And then the show ends in the most farcical of ways: President Ritson’s words unleash a geopolitical war between Skrulls and humans, who go their own way to kill people they believe are Skrulls. Fury calls him, stating that these words are the actions of a “one-term President,” teasing Thaddeus Ross’ (Harrison Ford) potential bid in Captain America: Brave New World, to which he then goes back on S.A.B.E.R. with Priscilla (Charlayne Woodard) for the events of The Marvels to happen. I bet that, with the exception of Priscilla’s appearance in the film, nothing in Secret Invasion will make its way to The Marvels.

It feels like such an unimportant point in the MCU’s latest iteration when it could’ve been one of the biggest events of the entire Multiverse Saga so far. After the last few remaining six-episode shows (I know Echo is rumored to be five episodes long, but no official source has reported on this, so I’m sticking with six for now) air, Marvel needs to stop and reorganize the way they make series, especially in the wake of James Gunn’s DCU potentially obliterating the franchise, aesthetically and thematically. Marvel has gone stale as of late, and it’s high time they reinvent themselves. For the life of me, I cannot sit through another dud like Secret Invasion ever again.

Overall show rating: 1.5/5

All episodes of Secret Invasion are now available to stream on Disney+.

About Post Author

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal, with a specialization in Video Game Studies. He is now currently enrolled in a graduate diploma in Journalism.

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