Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to Earth with plenty of baggage, but who will he find waiting for him? The first episode of Secret Invasion was written by Kyle Bradstreet and Brian Tucker and directed by Ali Selim.
Moscow: Present Day
In an alleyway, Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) tells someone on the phone not to move. He tosses the phone away. Then he pulls a gun from an ankle holster and cocks it before tucking it into his jacket. In voiceover, Agent Prescod (Richard Dormer) says to imagine a world where information isn’t trustworthy. “Society starts to fray.” We can only trust those close to us. But what if those we trust aren’t who we thought they were?
Prescod posits that five global terrorist strikes were actually all false flag operations by Skrulls to sow worldwide discord. He recaps the role Skrulls played in Captain Marvel, set 30 years earlier. Carol Danvers and Fury promised the Skrulls a new planet. But Prescod says now the Skrulls want Earth.
Ross says there’s only a handful of Skrulls on Earth, so they couldn’t undertake an operation of that scale. Prescod insists there could be tens of thousands and Ross wouldn’t know. Ross confirms some of Prescod’s facts but remains skeptical. He says Skrull contact comes through Fury, so they’re allies. Fury’s on S.A.B.E.R., and Ross needs evidence to bring him to Earth.
Prescod offers Ross a tablet and says it’s the attack that will set the world on fire. He paces as Ross reads it. Prescod says he doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Ross says he’ll give the information to Fury. But after a tense moment, Prescod jumps him.
Ross shoots Prescod in the chest. He leaves the building and heads down an alley. He calls Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and requests an extract. Hill directs him to a location six blocks east. But an armed figure begins pursuing Ross through the streets.
Ross is struck by a car but keeps running. The pursuit leads to the rooftops. Ross attempts to jump across an alleyway but doesn’t make it. Injured, he crawls across the ground. Hill arrives just as Ross’s pursuer does.
But the pursuer reveals himself to be Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). “Ross” dies and is revealed to be a Skrull. Hill says, “He was one of you.” Talos replies, “No, he’s one of them.”
A dark forest is interrupted by a descending beam of light. A figure emerges from the light. This is revealed to be Fury. He watches his shuttle ascend. Then he tests the ground with his boots. He’s illuminated by headlights. It’s Hill. They embrace.
The pair arrives at an apartment. Fury meets Talos upstairs. He’s standing beside a plant from the Skrull homeworld. His wife Soren brought it everywhere with her. The plant has adapted along the journey. Fury says he’s sorry about Soren to Talos. Talos says Soren worried it would take something like this to bring him back, and she was right.
Talos tells Fury the Skrulls have been helping him to ensure he’d help them. But since the Blip he’s been different. He’s disappeared. Furthermore, Talos and Soren’s daughter G’iah also disappeared. Talos explains she’s young and angry about not having a home. Further, Talos was kicked off the Skrull Council and exiled. Meanwhile, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) took Fury’s disappearance personally.
Gravik is the newest member of the Council. Hill explains he preys on the rage of young disenfranchised Skrulls. Because Skrulls are immune to radioactivity and the country has many abandoned nuclear plants, many of them are hidden in Russia. The catch is that the plant locations aren’t on a map. Hill found Prescott’s evidence on “Ross”: schematics for a dirty bomb. The bomb will be used for a false flag operation, ostensibly carried out by an American anti-Russia group. Prescott’s theory is that the Skrulls are attempting to start a war. It’s an existential threat to humanity. Fury says he’s going for a walk. Talos states he’ll stand out walking in Russia at night.
At the White House, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) informs U.S. President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) that Fury has left S.A.B.E.R. The President says that’s unacceptable. They pass portraits of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Rhodes says they intercepted a message from Hill to Fury. While it hasn’t been decoded, they know the pair are friends. Since Rhodes can’t reach them, they’re AWOL. The President tells Rhodes to deal with it.
In Moscow, Fury receives increasingly paranoid stares from other pedestrians. They speak untranslated Russian. Then, Fury is shoved into a van by several thugs. In the next scene, his hood is removed to reveal Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman) and a room filled with ticking clocks. She dismisses the thugs. While she offers him a drink, she only gives him the cheap stuff in retaliation for “destroying her flat.”
Sonya asks what Fury is doing in Moscow. He replies he’s trying to stop the Skrull invasion. She points out he knows the rebel leader and Fury corrects that he knew him. Sonya asks if he came down from S.A.B.E.R. because he feels responsible. Fury asks her about a heist at a black market weapons storage facility in Kazakhstan a few days prior. She says she hasn’t heard about it, and he says she’s lying.
But she counters that the Snap changed him. Undermined his confidence. Fury points out that he has 30 years of experience with Skrulls. Sonya asks if he’s trying to partner with her. She says the fact that her mediocre bagmen caught him proves he’s not up for it. She offers to have the thugs drop him off and he says he can walk. He’s left a spy camera in her office.
312KM Southwest of Moscow
A figure approaches a gate. He’s hailed by two guards. A vehicle pulls up. G’iah (Emilia Clarke) gets out of the car and tells him to take his “natural form.” He’s revealed to be a Skrull and granted access. She welcomes him to the secret Skrull settlement.
In the car, she asks him if he’s hungry and offers him some Skrull food. She says they grow Skrull food, drink Skrull wine, and wear Skrull skins. She says whatever dangers he weathered to get there, they were worthwhile. They arrive at the settlement, which is close to an abandoned nuclear power plant. It is filled with over 500 Skrulls of all ages, with only some with human appearances.
Not everyone is a warrior, but those who do get to leave while the others remain on the compound. The warriors keep human forms to decrease the likelihood they’re spotted. G’iah enters a door, behind which she says is “victory.”
Inside, the room is filled with lab equipment. A Skrull swears allegiance before taking the appearance of a human soldier. Then the soldier is locked into a device that allows the Skrull to “take his mind.”
The camera in Sonya’s office broadcasts to Fury in his apartment. He makes popcorn as he agrees with Sonya that he wouldn’t have come back to Earth without good cause. Sonya postulates that a certain individual will provide the bomb. Fury says they should visit the broker, incapacitating the MI6 operatives if necessary. Fury says they’re not just in a war with Gravik but also with Sonya. She favors a scorched Earth policy.
In a canteen, Gravik puts sugar cubes into his tea. A soldier informs him that Fury is back on Earth. Gravik says they “go tomorrow” and won’t stop until Earth is theirs. The soldier gives G’iah money and instructs her to deliver it to the bomb maker.
G’iah arrives in Moscow. The streets are decorated with statues of Russian nesting dolls. G’iah dodges MI6. Meanwhile, Talos incapacitates an agent. G’iah reaches the broker. 136-year-old Talos uses his strength to rip a lock off a gate.
The broker tells Talos and Fury the entrance is on the main street. Talos says they aren’t customers. Fury says they want answers. On the street, Hill spots G’iah. She initiates a foot pursuit. Meanwhile, Fury calls the broker in a lie. He says not to lie again.
The broker pretends not to know what the phrase “dirty bomb.” But instead of Fury shooting him, Talos begins fighting him. The broker demonstrates considerable strength. Fury aims at the broker but Talos says it’s his fight and calls Fury off. Talos asks where the bombs are and the broker accuses him of betraying his own people. The broker gets the upper hand but Fury shoots him. The dead broker returns to Skrull form. Talos tells Fury, “I said no,” and Fury leaves.
Elsewhere, Hill pursues G’iah. Hill follows her through a door at the end of an alley. Inside she is confronted by G’iah and they begin to fight. G’iah incapacitates Hill but Talos arrives and takes up the pursuit. He corners G’iah and Talos identifies her as his daughter. He tells her to give him the bombs. Talos says this isn’t what her mother would have wanted. G’iah says her mom doesn’t know what she wants. Talos reveals Soren is dead.
G’iah asks how. Talos tells her to ask the people she works with. He says he’ll protect her if she turns over the bomb. But she says he can’t protect anyone. She escapes to the streets and collapses in an alleyway to cry.
Fury arrives at a bar and is told to wait. He’s seemingly recognized. Fury orders a round for himself and the man. Then he heads to Hill’s table and tells her the Cold War didn’t go hot because of spies like him buying shots. Hill says it’s good to have Fury back. She asks why he abandoned Earth. He says he was building out S.A.B.E.R.
Hill says they traditionally tell the truth during their chess games. Fury concedes he had a crisis of faith. Hill asks why he came back, and Fury says it followed him up there. He says he owed it to Talos. Hill asks if he’s sure he isn’t talking about someone else.
Hill asks if he’s going to move and Fury says he hasn’t decided. But Hill says he’s worried because he used to always be three steps ahead. Fury says she called him. Hill says only at the request of Talos. His radio silence sent a message. Hill says he isn’t ready for the threat that’s out there. She says he was never the same after the Blip. She says his uncertain footing is going to get someone hurt.
Later, Fury lies in Bed and remembers dying because of the Snap. Elsewhere, Gravik looks out a window. G’iah enters a room and hands the bombs to the soldier. G’iah says someone was waiting for her. She suggests postponing the strike. The soldier tells her that thanks to her, they have the bait. G’iah looks distraught.
A blonde woman hails a cab. When the cab arrives at its location, the passenger is revealed to be G’iah. She has agreed to a secret meeting with Talos. G’iah is angry about Soren’s death. But Talos underscores that Soren died while G’iah was working for her killer. Talos says she has one chance to save herself. G’iah says the attack is planned for tomorrow, Unity Day. She says Gravik knows they’ll be there. Talos tells her Soren would be proud of her for meeting him. G’iah says there will be three couriers, but she’ll mark each bag with infrared spray. Talos shares the intel with Fury and Hill.
The next day, Hill, Talos, and Fury track the couriers’ bags with infrared scanning assisting. However, they miss the pass. They begin to chase. The crowds render the task difficult. Fury follows a familiar girl with a rainbow ball. But it turns out to be the man from the bar – or rather, a Skrull.
Fury continues to pursue. The Skrull in question is Gravik. Meanwhile, Hill discovers the backpacks are decoys. Gravik clicks the device and sets off explosions. Panic envelopes the crowd. Fury aims his gun at Gravik but his quarry escapes into the crowd.
Then “Fury” approaches Hill. He hails her and then shoots her as she approaches. The real Fury aims at Skrull Fury, but the imposter escapes. Fury holds Hill as she dies. Someone pulls him off the body. A lingering shot of the corpse suggests she wasn’t a Skrull.
New episodes of Secret Invasion are released Wednesday on Disney+.
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