Secret Invasion episode 2 review

Secret Invasion returns this week with an episode that has a slower burn to it, and lets the consequences of last week’s episode play out in front of the audience. It puts Nick Fury through the wringer, and it looks like things will only get worse.

The opening helps clear some of the backstory for the show that might have been unclear to newcomers, though its placement here seems quite odd, as it would have been better off in place of the manic exposition dump audiences got in episode one. It delivers an emotionally resonant scene, and is full of political allegories to immigration.

The slower burn in this episode comes from its love of political meetings, with the Skrulls, world leaders and Fury himself straddled in bureaucracy. It tries to give these discussions flavour and nuance like in Andor, and at times they do hold interest, mostly due to clever use of humour. But at times they’re not interesting, with not enough information given to understand concretely what’s going on. The Skrulls have evil plans, but what isn’t explained.

The smaller, intimate scenes are where the show is interesting, whether it’s Fury with Talos, Fury with Rhodes, Sony Falsworth, or the final scenes. Ben Mendelsohn gets to use more of his rage that he’s perfected from playing so many villains. It’s another dimension to the quiet Talos, and is a welcome one.

Olivia Colman continues to shine as Sonya Falsworth, and will likely keep doing so throughout the remaining episodes. She displays more of the ruthless side to her role,but does it in a way that’s so casual, as though everyone treats aliens this way. It’s a delight to watch, and her scenes are a standout. More screen time for Sonya please!

Rhodey is in a bit of a weird spot. When in the political meeting, he and Cheadle shine, showing Rhodey’s resolve against the full might of ambassadors from the EU and UK with his humour of saying it how it is, and in a closer scene with Fury he brings the rage. Everyone in this episode is annoyed by Fury’s failings, though here it’s not fully justified.

Rhodey is now tied up in the political machine, and even though he claims to want to help Fury shuts him down at every opportunity. He even understands the threat the Skrulls pose, but has a needlessly confrontational attitude to how Fury is handling it. It’s almost as though he’s been swapped with a Skrull.

If this isn’t the case, it’s likely confrontation for confrontation’s sake. The show needs to have Fury operating on his own, and gets it there in a rather messy manner.

There are also moments punctuated with big reveals, which does keep the audience engaged. There’s the aforementioned Skrull evil plans, but there’s more information about how many Skrulls are on Earth, and who is a Skrull.

It continues the structure from last week, not constructing long and complex mysteries about who’s a Skrull, but instead tells the audience right away. It avoids playing into fan speculation too much, and only occasionally dips its toe in the body swapping shenanigans. It’s the right approach, and something that doesn’t suffocate the more complex political narrative.

This episode overall sets up several avenues for the show to follow in future, and largely does so in a way that’s interesting throughout. There are some character missteps and sections of the episode that don’t carry the intrigue as well as Marvel would like, but overall Secret Invasion remains compelling and should only get more so.

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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