You’ve caught me mopping the salty tears I’ve been shedding since the last episode of Secret Invasion. Not only have we lost Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) this season, but now G’iah (Emilia Clarke)?! Life is not fair!
Meanwhile, Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been fired, and his wife (Charlayne Woodard) is a traitor. She’s an agent of Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), the leader of a Skrull rebellion intent on causing the extinction of humankind in order to take Earth for himself. Had Fury and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) not just averted an international crisis, I would say the Earth is screwed.
Let’s hope this next episode is happier!
Well, we didn’t have long to wait! The opening scene shows the preceding moments before Gravik shot G’iah. Talos’ daughter used the Super Skrull Maker to fuse herself with extremis! Fast forward to moments after her supposed death, her wounds glow with extremis, and she is healed. She makes a clean getaway, with Gravik still thinking she’s perished. We have a secret weapon!
See? Happier! Right?
In the wake of the Battle of New York, 2012 (The Avengers), Fury dines with his wife. She suspects her husband was the man to assemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and she’s right. Because Fury knows that his home is worth fighting for, drawing parallels to Skrull motivations.
Cilla and Fury recite Late Fragment, a poem by Raymond Carver. It’s Cilla’s way of saying that, although everything isn’t perfect, she knows that he loves her dearly, and she loves him, too. That’s enough. Awwwwwwwww.
Why do clandestine meetings happen in a church in front of a choir practice so often? It’s weird. Cilla sits in the back, awaiting her rebellion contact. It’s Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). I mean, we kinda already knew that from his voice in the last episode, but here it is. Confirmed.
Skrull Rhodey tells Cilla that he fired her husband, and that’s not the end. She is instructed to kill him. This is a sticky situation. Cilla assures Rhodey that Fury has become broken down and useless since the blip, so there’s no need to murder him, but Rhodey is unmoved. Either she kills her husband, or Cilla will be the one six feet under. That’s an ultimatum if ever I’ve heard one.
Unbeknownst to the pair, Fury is listening in. He’s bugged his wife and can hear the whole conversation. It pains him to hear what has transpired, and predicts what is about to happen. Someone is going to either be a widow or a widower very soon.
Talos and G’iah meet. G’iah is on her father’s side now, and it is her choice. She wasn’t forced to spy; she did it for herself. She heralds Talos as their only hope to stop this war with the humans, but G’iah isn’t stupid. Gravik has massive support in the Skrull community because he has a plan to carve out a new home for his people. It may be psychotically genocidal, but the plan is working. What’s Talos’ plan?
Her father lays out a plan which is optimistic to say the least. He says that if they save the world and keep proving that Skrulls can be trusted and have good hearts, then the world will have no choice but to accept them.
Yeah Talos, that’s how racism and xenophobia works. It just goes away if you ignore it. Sure. G’iah walks away furiously, calling her father delusional. I’d love to see the world that Talos believes it is, but I spend too much time on Twitter. G’iah has a point.
Cilla returns to her family home to find her husband in the kitchen making tea with his wedding band stowed in a bowl on the sideboard. It’s tense, both knowing that shit’s about to go down.
Fury says he knows she’s planning to kill him but still counts Cilla as the greatest mistake of his entire life. He has no regrets. Cilla regales her husband with the story about how she became who she sees before him. She says that she was granted permission to use the original Priscilla’s appearance on the proviso that Cilla continues to be a good daughter to her parents and she be buried at sea. And, most importantly, she never hurts Fury.
They recite Raymond Carver’s poem once more before drawing their guns and firing.
Who shot who? Who survived? Both! The Furys miss on purpose; they care too much about each other. Fury walks away, warning that the rebellion will not be happy, and lamenting that they may be past the point of no return for their marriage. Brutal.
Skrull Rhodey emerges from the bathroom of his hotel room to find Fury drinking scotch at his table. Rhodey is incredulous; he FIRED his ass, so why is he here now? But a quality glass of whiskey is too tempting.
Fury acts dumb and warns of high-ranking Skrulls in the government (wink wink, it’s Rhodey, wink). Rhodey is suspicious, expecting his drink to be spiked with poison or nanotechnology, but Fury drinks first, showing that it’s safe.
Suddenly, Rhodey becomes extra confident and plays surveillance footage of Gravik shooting Hill from episode one. You know, the one where he was disguised as Fury? Fury is public enemy number one and has no bargaining chips. Rhodey, cocky, downs his drink and steals Fury’s expensive bottle of scotch, telling Fury to get out.
Again: Rhodey Sucks!
It wasn’t poison or nanotechnology. But it was a tracker! Idiot!
Fury and Talos follow Rhodey from a safe distance as he is driven to a landing strip. Disembarking from Air Force One is President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney), who notices that Rhodey has been drinking. Take a mint, man!
The President leaves the landing strip in a large convoy of vehicles. Rhodey makes contact with the Skrull rebellion, confirming the car number that contains the US Head of State. Blatantly and in front of humans!
AMBUSH! Gravik attacks. He instructs his men to only speak Russian, the exact opposite of that one Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 mission, No Russian. The goal being that they frame Russia, retaliation ipso facto, bingo bango, NUCLEAR WAR.
The President’s car is hit by a missile and is blown off the road. The American forces are overrun, while Rhodey (freaking War Machine) sits in the car and waits. It looks dire before Fury and Talos arrive to even the odds. Talos works on extraditing the President while Fury and the remainder of the Secret Service hold off the Skrull attack.
Gravik starts to show off some of his superpowers. He’s got some Groot in him! And it’s scary! I have no idea if this guy can be killed with extremis in his veins and Groot in his…roots?
Bang! NO! Talos is wounded, and he starts to revert to Skrull form. A confused soldier almost kills Talos before Fury steps in. Talos doesn’t look in good shape, but he manages to free Ritson. Fury carries el presidente to his car.
Fury starts to go back for Talos when he sees a soldier carrying his friend. A suspicious soldier. OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD! It’s Gravik!
Talos, Fury’s best friend, is executed by Gravik and his stupid Super Skrull arm of violence. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Fury shoots Gravik in the face and is confronted with the horror of him healing immediately through his extremis abilities.
Fury drives away with the President, holding back his emotions for now.
Not me. I’m still crying. Seriously, RHODEY SUCCCCCCKKKKKKKS!
Nobody is safe. This is one of the first Marvel properties where I truly believe anybody could be killed off. It’s refreshing and adds a sense of danger to the adventure. Of course, this is the MCU, so there are ways of bringing people back from the dead, but for now, I’m enjoying the peril our heroes are in!
But… not Talos! He was eviscerated! I did not enjoy that.
There were some great moments in this episode. Classic espionage situations with tense conversations that could transform into double-cross and violence at the drop of a pin. The action sequences are good, but I’m here for the calm, threatening conversations.
Only two episodes left. Fury is isolated and alone, so how is he going to save the human race? He needs help. One thing is for sure, G’iah is gonna be real mad when she finds out her dad is kaput. And to think, the last thing she said to him was that he was delusional.
Where are the tissues? I’m going again.
And also, Rhodey sucks.