Now that Secret Invasion Episode 1 has landed on Disney+, viewers have gotten their first taste of the more grounded and gritty Marvel Cinematic Universe series. Lots happened in just under an hour, so let’s look at some of the biggest takeaways from that intense premiere episode.
The Bizarre Opening
Plenty of people are talking about the strange opening sequence that kicks off Secret Invasion. The visuals that accompany the opening credits were actually made by A.I. rather than by a human artist, which explains the uncanny and unsettling feeling the sequences gives off,
Though I can see the thematic reasoning for this decision — the entire series is about who and what you can and can’t trust — it’s certainly understandable to be weirded out by the ever-changing and uncomfortably lifeless moving images.
Anybody Really Can Be a Skrull
Right off the bat, we meet the established MCU character Everett Ross, played by the great Martin Freeman. As the Skrull invasion is explained to Ross, you get the sense that either the manic agent explaining things to Ross or Ross himself could be an imposter.
It doesn’t take long to get your answer, as Ross is chased through the streets by an imposing stranger, then dies after a brutal fall. We learn that Ross was indeed a Skrull, while the stranger is none other than Captain Marvel’s Talos. Barely into the episode, we learn that even MCU vets can be imitated and that it’ll be hard to decipher who’s an ally and who’s an enemy going forward.
Fury’s First Solo Outing
After appearing in a supporting role throughout many movies and similar shows, Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury is finally leading his own MCU project. Right from when Fury emerges from the bright spaceship doorway in Secret Invasion Episode 1, you know that he’s ready to get back down into the weeds to save the world.
Fury gets a good mix of espionage moments and fights in the first episode. Alongside allies like Maria Hill and Talos, Fury uses the skills he’s built up throughout his time as an agent and S.H.I.E.L.D. Director to gather information about the invasion. It’s great to see Fury (and Jackson) flex his muscles a bit and prove why he’s been the guy in charge for all this time.
How The Snap Changed Things
A couple times throughout the first episode, it’s mentioned that Fury hasn’t been the same since Avengers: Infinity War. Fury was one of the many people who was killed by Thanos when the Mad Titan wiped out half of all life, which both Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill and Olivia Colman’s Sonya Falsworth noted has left Fury in a changed state.
Outside of some comedic references in movies like Spider-Man: Far From Home and a somewhat fumbled examination in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the effects of being snapped away haven’t been looked into very much in the MCU. Hopefully we’ll see how this has really gotten to Fury as the series unfolds.
The Bold Ending
The most shocking part of Secret Invasion’s first episode comes from its ending, which seemingly portrays the death of longtime MCU character Maria Hill. Amidst the chaos caused by antagonist Gravik’s bombing, Hill is shot by the Skrull leader as he was disguised as Nick Fury.
We’ve seen a few fake deaths in the MCU before, but Hill’s death was portrayed in the show as pretty definitive. How this will play into the rest of the series and the motivations of the remaining heroes is uncertain, though I’m looking forward to the second episode next week to find out.