Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) finds out something he didn’t know in “Promises,” but perhaps ignorance was bliss. The second episode of Secret Invasion has a teleplay by Brian Tucker and a story by Brant Englestein and Tucker, and was directed by Ali Selim.
A series of flashbacks to Captain Marvel (in 1995) recounts the roles of Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and Fury in the movie. A few years later (in 1997), a group of Skrulls gather in Brixton, London. Fury greets a Skrull who enters. She introduces him to young Gravik. Then she pulls him aside and tells Fury about his escape from behind Kree enemy lines. She says they could use someone like him. Fury protests that Gravik’s a child, but she says only to human eyes.
Fury concedes to talking to him. He tells Gravik he’s sorry about his parents. Gravik says they died a brilliant death. Fury is sure they did. He tells Gravik the work is very dangerous. Gravik says he’s not afraid.
Talos (in human guise) addresses the group. He acknowledges how difficult the situation has been for the Skrulls. He says those who braved the journey to Earth did so for Fury. Fury steps up and tells the assembled Skrulls that if they will pledge to take care of his home, he and Carol Danvers will work to find them a new home.
The Skrulls present begin taking human form, with Soren going first. “You keep your word, I’ll keep mine,” Fury says. A shot of young Gravik cuts to present-day Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir). He’s in the midst of the chaos in the wake of the Unity Day attack. Gravik and G’iah (Emilia Clarke) get into a vehicle together. A man pulls Fury off of the corpse of Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and puts him in a van. The man is actually Talos.
One Million Skrulls
A train chugs through the Russian countryside. A pair of soldiers knock on the door of a cabin occupied by a woman. They hold up a picture of Fury and ask if she’s seen him. The woman expresses her incredulity at the idea of a Black American on the train. She uses her appearance to smooth the situation over and they leave. Inside, she is revealed to be Talos. Fury emerges from the bathroom at his signal and asks if Talos has heard from G’iah yet.
Fury tells Talos a story about taking childhood train rides with his mother from Alabama to Detroit. He says they had to ride in the colored car. The conditions were bad. Further, they weren’t allowed to use the dining car. Fury says he and his mother would play a game called “Tell me something I don’t know.” His mother used the game to uncover information he didn’t want to share.
Fury asks Talos if he wants to play a few rounds. So Fury says “Tell me something I don’t know about the destruction of the Skrulls.” Talos says the million Skrulls left after the Kree invasion fled. Fury asks about the Skrulls that fled. Talos says that they’re here. One million Skrulls are on Earth. Every Skrull that isn’t in Emperor Dro’ge’s colony answered the call of Talos.
Talos says it was his only choice. He accuses Fury of abandoning the Skrulls to which he had made commitments. Talos says he didn’t think Fury would come back. And when he did come to Earth, he just wanted to leave again. Fury says that Talos knew how to get in touch with him, but didn’t, because he wanted Fury to remain on the station.
Maria Hill’s Mum
Talos says he hopes that with Fury’s help, humans and Skrulls can coexist. Fury says that humans can’t coexist with each other. “There is not enough room or tolerance on this planet for another species.” The train has reached a station. Fury throws Talos out of the compartment.
In London, Hill’s coffin arrives. It is met by Hill’s mother, Elizabeth (Juliet Stevenson). As Hill’s coffin is loaded into a United States plane, Elizabeth crosses the tarmac and confronts Fury. She asks how it happened. Fury says it happened quickly. Elizabeth tells him not to give her platitudes.
Fury tells Elizabeth that Hill died in Moscow. He says someone set a trap. They wanted to hurt Fury, so they hurt Hill. Elizabeth accuses Fury of being the reason Hill’s going home in a box. She says that Hill would have followed Fury to the gates of Hell and back. She says not to let Hill’s death be for nothing.
A montage of international news report clips discusses the Unity Day attack. An anchor reports on impending retaliation from Russia. U.S. President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) calls “bull” on America being involved in the attack. He says the attack has “false flag” written all over it.
Russian Doll, One Inside the Other
In Moscow, G’iah and Garvick are driving. G’iah asks how he knew Fury would be there, and Garvick says he’d only hoped. He says Fury is a shadow of himself, and he could have killed him. But this would have only given him what he wanted. Garvick says he wants to get to the Council meeting. Once they’ve arrived at the door, G’iah is forced to wait outside. Gravik leaves her with a gun. And instructions to shoot the guard in the head if he isn’t out in an hour.
Inside, Gravik greets the Council. Members include the U.S. President, NATO Secretary General, the Italian Prime Minister, and several others. Gravik accepts an invitation to sit. He mocks them for acting human. Gravik says he prefers dogs to humans. He has compelling supporting arguments.
A councilmember says Gravik doesn’t seem to care that he’s caused so much destruction and by extension endangered the Council. Gravik says Fury has betrayed his word and therefore Gravik owes him nothing. He says he will take the Earth himself. He declares war and says he isn’t going to lose this one. Gravik says there are no innocent humans anyway. He further states he has considered the possibility that the Avengers return.
The Prime Minister supports Gravik. She nominates him to the post of Skrull General. The NATO Secretary General blusters but quiets after a throat punch from the PM’s guard. All on the Council but Shirley Sagar (Seeta Indrani) submit to Gravik. She says they did not end up homeless refugees because they were unwilling to wage war, but because they were too willing.
Rhodes to London
Gravik sends Shirley away in peace and says she won’t be harmed. She passes G’iah and leaves. Outside, she contacts Talos and informs him of the developments. Talos says to set up a public meeting between him and Gravik.
Gravik leaves. G’iah follows him. They return to the compound at the abandoned nuclear plant. Gravik is greeted as a hero. G’iah continues to follow him. He enters the secret lab seen in the first episode. Inside, a scientist argues over a failure to execute a “harvest.” There’s some talk about limited DNA samples. The soldier questions Gravik’s leadership. The scientist dismisses him. G’iah watches as an experiment begins.
Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) attends an international emergency security summit in London. Rhodes says he’s aware of allegations that Fury and Hill were in Moscow. He notes that would be in their capacity as private citizens, if so. Rhodes is questioned on the photos of Fury and Hill they have. He says they can’t trust the authenticity of Russian-supplied images but would be willing to have U.S. experts examine them. The summit is skeptical of his responses.
Rhodes says he’s at the summit as a courtesy. He says the President is busy running the U.S. And while the U.S. is sensitive to their concerns, he says, they have no evidence. So sensitivity is all they get. In the lobby, Fury calls his cell and proves he has eyes on him. Fury wants to meet. Rhodes says they can get a drink after he’s done cleaning up Fury’s mess.
Fury arrives at the bar and is frisked by the security detail. He sits down at the table with Rhodes. Rhodes says he’s tempted to turn him over to the Russians. Fury says he was there trying to stop the attack. Rhodes says Fury’s involvement both set the stage for WWIII and flipped their allies to “Team Russia.” Fury asks how well Rhodes knows his security detail. He suggests they could be Skrulls.
Rhodes has known about the Skrulls for fifteen years. The Pentagon was concerned they might invade from inside. Fury says the invasion is happening. Rhodes suggests calling “our friends” and Fury says that would result in them getting duplicated and turned into terrorists. Fury says it is his war. Rhodes says he’s not doing it.
Rhodes says they protect the planet by protecting their seat at the table. Fury asks if Rhodes forgot who helped get him that seat. Rhodes asks if Fury’s suggesting Rhodes owes him. Fury says they owe each other. “Men who look like us don’t get promoted because of who our daddies know,” Fury says. “Every ounce of power we wrestle from the vice grip of the mediocre Alexander Pierces who run this world was earned in blood. So let’s make the power mean something. Help a brother out.”
The Long Rhodes From There to Here
But Rhodes tells Fury to get in the car outside and go to the airport. Fury asks if he has travel plans. Rhodes says he made them for him. He continues to imply that Fury is deluded to think he can take on the problem himself. “You should know better than most,” Rhodes says. “The reason we wrestled this power from mediocre men who don’t look like us was not simply to turn around and hand it to mediocre men who do.” The point of power is to be uncompromising and unsparing and to be able to unreservedly fire someone he admires.
Fury throws back his drink. He is incredulous that they sent Rhodes to fire him. Rhodes says he volunteered. He says he earned the consequences because of his actions in Moscow. The guard begins to take Fury away. But Fury disarms the guard. Rhodes says, “And you wonder why you’re out.” Fury replies, “I’m Nick Fury. Even when I’m out, I’m in.” Outside, he collapses on a bench in anguish.
Sylvia (Olivia Colman) arrives at a butcher shop. The locked door poses no problem for her. She heads to the cooler in back, where Brogan (Ben Peel) is being tortured. The man doing the torturing asks who Sylvia is. She hands over a phone. The person on the line convinces the torturer to command his men to leave and turn the prisoner over. Sylvia cuts off one of the prisoner’s fingers and it reverts to Skrull form.
We Are Groot?
Elsewhere, G’iah accesses a computer. It seems to be a DNA data bank. There are records of DNA for Doctor Dalton, Groot, Frost Beast, Cull Obsidian, and Extremis, all gathered on Earth. Gravik asks what G’iah’s doing. She changes to a different subject and says she’s checking on the status of their newest recruit. Gravik calls G’iah’s father a coward. Then he says their man on the inside has located Brogan. He says they should go.
Meanwhile, Sylvia tells the prisoner that everyone starts to talk when their blood boils at 160 degrees centigrade. She injects him with the substance. He soon begins to feel (and visibly display) the effects. Elsewhere, Gravik gets in a vehicle and departs. Syliva demands to know the location of Gravik’s compound. The prisoner says Gravik keeps everything a secret.
She asks what secrets he doesn’t keep. The prisoner says Gravik’s building a machine. He thinks it’s to make them stronger. She asks who is helping him by leading the science. He says it’s a married couple. She demands a name. He finally gives the name “Dalton.” Outside the previous torturer’s crew begins to get shot. Gravik has arrived with backup. Sylvia says it sounds like the prisoner’s lift has arrived.
G’iah leaves the new recruit in the car. Gravik takes out the opposition. Sylvia escapes through the hatch. Gravik’s guard extracts Brogan. Brogan says he told her nothing but lies. But he’s lying. Gravik says to take him to the car.
Skrull Kill Crew
The Skrull crew is gathered in the car. Authorities have located their safe house. Gravik wonders how they found it. Brogan whimpers in the backseat. In the forest, Gravik orders G’iah to pull over. The soldier opens the door and tells Brogan they’re almost home. Pete takes Brogan a small distance from the road and executes him. Then he returns to the car. Gravik observes G’iah’s reaction.
Elsewhere, Fury arrives at his own safe house. He gets in a vehicle stored there and begins to drive. He arrives at a suburban house. Inside, a Skrull is cooking. Fury uses his keys to unlock the door and enter the house. The books on the shelf are organized by color.
Fury enters the kitchen. The Skrull has adopted the guise of (or is) Priscilla Fury (Charlayne Woodard). She asks if Fury is forgetting something. He retrieves a wedding ring and puts it on. She says it’s almost better. The pair embrace and begin to kiss.
New episodes of Secret Invasion are released Wednesday on Disney+.
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