Like Joel in The Last of Us, Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been losing his closest allies, left, right and center. Maria Hill and Talos are dead. His now estranged wife is working for the enemy. Col. James Rhodes is a Skrull sleeper agent and has orchestrated an attack on the President. It’s all looking gloomy for our eye-patched friend.
There doesn’t seem to be much further to fall. What surprises has this week’s episode got in store for our formerly eye-patched pal?
Fury escorts a severely injured President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) into hospital, hoping that his pleas for Ritson not to trust Rhodey somehow penetrates his unconscious mind. Fury stations himself outside the ward, gun drawn, ready for the coming battle.
Back in New Skrullos, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) briefs his operatives on the next steps, regrouping after their moderate failure. Yes, their ambush caused some damage, but the President survived the attack, and pictures of Talos appearing in Skrull form have surfaced. Worst of all, Fury is alive, signaling the betrayal of Cilla (Charlayne Woodard).
When Gravik’s leading lackey questions why they aren’t celebrating the death of Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and going after Fury, Gravik snaps and uses his Groot powers to cull the dissenting voice from the herd. It does the trick, no more questions from the rank and file. Gravik orders a squad to find and murder Cilla for her disobedience… even though Gravik doesn’t even want the former S.H.I.E.L.D. commander dead anymore!
I always think that a leader who kills their own men indiscriminately is living on borrowed time. The cracks are showing in Gravik’s cool facade.
Rhodey (Don Cheadle) has his orders. He needs to convince Ritson that the Skrulls and the Russians were behind the attack. Partially true, I guess. But he’s also tasked to reveal the location of New Skrullos and to encourage a missile strike on the compound on Russian soil. That would be extremely bad!
Fury stops Rhodey before he enters the ward, putting a gun to his head. He knows Rhodey is a Skrull, but Rhodey holds all the cards. The only way to out Rhodey is to kill him, apparently. NOT TRUE, as we know from Sonya’s (Olivia Colman) torture scene earlier in the season. But Fury accepts it.
It gets worse for Fury. The arsehole that is Col. James Rhodes has leaked the video of Gravik (impersonating Fury) killing Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Fury is now the most wanted man on the planet. Uh-oh, spaghetti-os! Rhodey sucks. I promise that’s the last time I write that… in this article.
Sonya Falsworth pulls a gun on her superior and asserts that he is a Skrull operative. After a very brief “HOW DARE YOU!”, Sonya shoots him in the hand. His hand immediately reverts to its native green skin tone. See Fury!? You could have done this!
Sonya asks the sleeper agent about the location of the Super Skrull-making scientist, Dalton. He doesn’t hold up under questioning. One point to Sonya.
Gravik, meanwhile, minding his own business, is attacked by a group of his soldiers. They’re sick of his bullsh*t. Gaining the upper hand, they put a bag over his head and hold his arms and legs down. This isn’t going to end well.
Super Skrull powers ACTIVATE! Gravik breaks free and quells the mutiny, brutally killing his attackers and letting out a primal roar. He scares the citizens of New Skrullos. Why is he doing this if not for them? You can see a gradual loss of sanity and control in the rebel leader, and it’s scary. He’s a monster.
Fury enters a safehouse, the location of the original Skrull Summit, finding it breached. G’iah (Emilia Clarke) is waiting for him. She laments her final conversation with her father when she called him delusional. His death was for nothing, and she left because she knew he’d lose. Fury corrects her, saying that he fought for something greater than himself, and it matters. He did not lose!
G’iah tells Fury about the Super Skrull machine, and the rebels have various samples of superpowers in their vault of tricks, including the extremis DNA she absorbed. However, Gravik still hasn’t found what he’s looking for: The Harvest. That strikes a chord, initiating concern.
Fury leaves the safehouse, telling G’iah to seek out his wife to help bury her father. Slightly cold from the big man.
Finland. Sonya surprises the Skrull scientists Rosa (Katie Finneran) and Victor Dalton. She offers them a “Cake or Death” choice to tell her about their experiments or face, well, death. Rosa is pliable, but Victor is only convinced by a silencer pressed against his neck.
Sonya torches the laboratory and takes the Daltons as her prisoners. Victor makes a desperate attempt to silence Rosa and make his escape. Sonya, cool as you like, pulls her service weapon and shoots him in the forehead. All with a smile on her face. I’m sort of scared of Sonya, ya know?
Rhodey has El Presidente right where he wants him. He convinces Ritson that the Russians, with help from a community of Skrulls, attacked their convoy, announcing an all-out war! The President knows the consequences that a strike on Russian sovereign land would be tantamount to declaring World War 3, but he’s teetering on the edge of acquiescing.
Fury receives a proposition from Gravik, offering to call off his plan for human extinction if he hands over The Harvest. What the heck is that?!?! Considering the offer, Fury travels to Finland to retrieve The Harvest with the help of Mason (O-T Fagbenle). Remember him? Natasha’s go-to guy from Black Widow? Mason hands Fury a Widow’s Veil to help him enter the country.
G’iah cautiously enters Cilla and Fury’s home, aware that Gravik’s men would likely be on their way or, worse, have already arrived. She meets Cilla, who agrees to help bury the fallen former General.
The funeral pyre crackles as Cilla recites a Skrull prayer. Cilla and G’iah bond as Cilla gives insight into her and Fury’s relationship. G’iah is antagonistic, asking if Fury ever loved her while she was green. Cilla did not react kindly but understood the anger of youth and grief. Either way, Cilla resolves to make her stand in the home she built a life in with the man she loves.
BANG! Wow, that genuinely startled me! That shot came out of nowhere, even though we all knew Gravik’s men were on their way. Well done, Secret Invasion! Gravik’s operatives storm the Fury abode, but G’iah and Cilla are prepared. They close ranks and fend off the attackers with the help of their trusty backpacks of violence.
Shooty McShootfaces. With the operatives dealt with, G’iah takes her leave.
Disguised as a rich white guy, Fury enters the country, where he is met by Sonya. He reveals that Rhodey is a Skrull, and she is taken aback as she’s just corroborated damning information on New Skrullos for him.
They travel to one of Fury’s graves, where he retrieves The Harvest. He finally comes clean. The Harvest is the amalgamation of all DNA recovered in the aftermath of the Battle of Earth (Avengers: Endgame). That’s Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Hulk, Thor, Groot, etc. etc. It’s the motherload for a guy who wants to become a Skrull God.
And why does Gravik know about it? Because Fury sent him and a team of Skrulls to collect it in the first place. It’s his fault, and he knows it.
Fury leaves the cemetery, calling persons unknown for backup. Let’s goooooooooooooooo!
It’s poised for the battle of the century. I’m sure everyone wants a piece of Gravik, but is he too powerful? If I’m a betting man, I would say whoever was on the other end of Fury’s phone call is someone who can challenge him. But don’t forget about G’iah because her rage is surely going to be a factor.
That’s a setup and a half!
But is there too much to tie up in the finale? We’ve got Gravik to take down, the Skrull uprising to quell, Fury to exonerate, a crapload of humans to free from New Skrullos, and, most of all, MAKE SURE RHODEY GETS HIS COMEUPPANCE! I’ve enjoyed this series, but its strengths have been its spy-thriller-like pacing and tension. If we just get a typical action-packed MCU finale, I’ll be desperately disappointed.
And disappointment is the buzzword. Until now, I’ve not noticed the cracks in the plot, but here we go. It doesn’t make sense that Cilla is ordered to kill Fury, fails, and then is ordered to be killed herself, only for it to be revealed that Gravik needs Fury alive to retrieve The Harvest. Like, what?! Then, Fury contradicts his own reasoning for not calling The Avengers. Earlier in the season, he says that it’s to save their reputations if Skrulls manage to take their appearance. In this episode, he cites his pride and guilt, and sometimes humans had to take care of themselves. NO FURY! Squash the rebellion however you can; screw your pride!
And as I’ve already said, it would have been easy to reveal Rhodey’s Skrull appearance to the Secret Service. Just chop a finger, wound the man, and he’d show his real face. We’re hitting a few plot holes the size of craters at the final hour. Can it recover?
I choose optimism.
Let’s see if I’m right next week!