Secret Invasion – Season 1 Episode 4 “Beloved” Recap & Review


Episode 4 of Secret Invasion begins with relief: G’iah is still alive! Her resurrection, so to speak, has got to do something with the secret machine that Dr Rosa and her husband are building deep in the manors of the nuclear plants. More on this later in this episodic recap.

We briefly turn our attention to 2012, right after the Avengers’ heroics in New York. Fury was formidable back then. He had power, ability, and a sense of cockiness that made him almost invincible. In Paris, he has a romantic date with Priscilla. The defining moment is when she shares one of Ryan Howard’s most emphatic short poems, “Last Fragment.” But what is its significance now? Priscilla is betraying Fury anyway. Why go back and sprinkle salt on Fury’s wounds?

She meets Rhodey in a church. He is mixed up with Gravik’s devious plans. What is up with that? Is he a Skrull too? Let’s hope the episode has some explanation for this drastic turn. Rhodey is determined in his stance that Fury will be killed that day. Either him or Priscilla. She begs him not to go ahead with the plan as Fury is not his old self. He is weak, weary, and defeated ever since the Blip and won’t pose a threat to Gravik’s plan. But Rhodey lays out his word clearly: he is going to kill Fury regardless.

Fury has been listening all this while through a wire. How could she betray her “beloved?” And why would she do it?

G’iah meets with Talos to discuss further plans. She has chosen a side now but asks her father about his plans to give the Skrulls a home. Talos explains that after rebuking the insurgency, Fury and he will demand the POTUS to give refuge to the Skrull people. The fact that they saved the earth from WWIII will be justification enough. He explains that the Skrull people do not have leverage. They must confront reality and live in the skin of humans. Bottomline is that they will be safe. G’iah calls him delusional and walks away, unsure of what lies ahead of her.

Fury confronts Priscilla with her plan to kill him when she comes back home. He calls her the “greatest mistake of his life.” But even so, he would do it all over again. There is pain and love in his voice that is unbelievably convincing. She tells him the story of Dr Priscilla Davis, the dead human whose skin Varra has taken. Varra chose Priscilla specifically to get under Fury’s skin.

She tells him that Priscilla gave her the skin on three conditions, the most significant being that she wouldn’t hurt Fury. They recite “Last Fragment” together and shoot each other at the same time. But they both miss purposely, indicating the strength of their love. Fury then leaves her in a bittersweet moment.

It turns out that Rhodey is indeed a Skrull! Fury knows this and confronts him at his hotel. Rhodey’s imposter understands the game well enough by now. He puts on the video where Gravik, who has taken Fury’s form, kills Maria on camera (from episode 1). He asks how Fury would be able to explain this to a jury. It is leverage against his own vulnerable position. Fury knows it and backs down, leaving the room.

Meanwhile, Gravik and the other Skrulls are building on their plan to put the world’s superpowers against them. This time, the plan is even bolder. Gravik really wants to take the situation by the scruff of its neck.

The POTUS lands in London and his convoy heads toward a meeting with the British PM. This is a set-up as Gravik and his men are waiting up ahead to intercept them. The fake Rhodes informs Gravik about the location of the President and the attack is on an unprecedented level.

Rocket launchers are used to target the vehicles. The hits are quite bad but President Ritson remains alive. Gravik and his men grapple down from the chopper, conversing in Russian to convince the Americans that the attack was orchestrated by them. Talos and Fury are close by and aid the efforts to fight back. It is utter chaos all around as everyone is bamboozled with Fury’s presence. The duo focuses on getting Ritson out. Talos uses his bare hands and lands many punches to break the glass window. A bullet hits him and half of Talos’ body changes into his Skrull form. But he does not stop and gets Ritson out. Fury takes Ritson to safety and Talos, who is now fully in his Skrull avatar, is helped by a US soldier. 

But it turns out that the soldier is Gravik. He stabs Talos in the chest and Talos instantly collapses to the ground. Even though Fury shoots Gravik’s face off, he regains his shape in the same way that G’iah was resurrected. The machine has made these Skrulls almost invincible. Talos’ lifeless body lies on the road as Fury drives away with Ritson to safety. 

The Episode Review

The secret machine has tilted the scales overwhelmingly in Gravik’s favour. Secret Invasion had been hiding its most powerful weapon until now. Gravik’s carefully executed plan must be admired. He is an overbearing antagonistic presence on the show, something that Marvel hasn’t always had. It sets up the final showdown well enough to keep us hooked. G’iah will be key going forward. Her vengeful adrenaline rush could propel a charge down but will leave an emptiness inside her forever.

Episode 4 stood by Fury’s emotional journey with Varra. The characterization of their relationship was spot on and crisply acted by Jackson and Woodard who acted their hearts out to bring vulnerability to the screen. Rhodes’ double play was also a surprise to viewers.

The final two episodes of Secret Invasion are enticingly set for an explosive conclusion. What Fury will do next is anyone’s guess and that is how Marvel has kept us on the edge in its beginning to Phase V of its cinematic universe.

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You can read our full Season 1 review of Secret Invasion here
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