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'Secret Invasion' Review: The Jury's Still Out

 Cobie Smulders and Samuel L Jackson in Secret Invastion on Disney Plus

Secret Invasion closely resembles Star Wars: Andor series. Both Disney+ series are slow-burn spy thrillers with character-driven plots, and devoid of Jedis and Avengers to save the day. Marvel’s latest entry, however, is not as sleek looking like Andor, and the pacing is far more tedious. Two episodes in, it’s not clear yet if the Marvel series is worthy of a binge. 

A dangerous faction of Skrulls has infiltrated the highest levels of government, and mounting an attack on humanity with plans to take over Earth. Samuel L. Jackson's Fury and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) must stop the invasion.

The first two episodes set up the main players and the conflict at a slow pace.  Secret Invasion is Nick Fury’s Swan song. Fury’s personal life is explored and we see who he comes home to when he’s not living in outer space. Jackson's character is having his own crisis so there's a vulnerable side to Fury.  However, like Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, learning more about the Marvel character’s family life detracts from the mysterious nature of the character. 

Family drama also surrounds Talos' character. His grown daughter G’iah played by Emilia Clarke is part of the Skrull terrorist group. However, it's not clear what motivated her to join the extremists.

Olivia Colman in Secret Invasion on Disney+

Emilia Clarke’s G’iah is a different story. G’iah’s character is more of an observer, milling about taking orders, but it seems a predictable twist is imminent. What’s her story? How did she come to join the murderous group? It’s hard to gauge her motivations and which side she’s truly on two episodes in.

Olivia Coleman is an interesting addition as the head of a clandestine spy organization (not MI6), and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty as we see by the end of episode two. Her character is the one to watch for.

Emilia Clarke in Secret Invasion on Disney+ series

Kingsley Ben-Adir is perhaps the stand-out of the new show. As the rebel Skull leader Gravik, he’s devoid of emotions and a very dangerous character. He’s willing to kill anyone who stands in his way.

SPOILER ALERT
Cobie Smulder meets her end in the first episode which is a cruel twist given that the actress had just reprised her role, and most fans figured she’d finally be in the spotlight rather than on the sidelines. But then again, this is Marvel and Maria may have been a shapeshifting Skull like the one in SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, and the real Maria will show up later in the series.

Secret Invasion is a different vibe than the previous Marvel outings. For those with short attention spans, Secret Invasion may not be for you since it requires patience to see where this Marvel series is headed in the remaining four episodes.

Catch new Secret Invasion episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.

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