Secret Invasion episode 3 review | Agents of Fandom

G’iah Deserves Better in Secret Invasion Episode 3

Why must we fall into the same traps over and over again?

Secret Invasion episode 3 is now streaming on Disney+, and as quickly as Marvel’s latest series has arrived, it’s now halfway over. While the series continues to offer the same spy-thriller tone fans were so anxiously anticipating, some indefensible choices and pacing issues hold it back in contrast to previous episodes.

Unfortunately, Secret Invasion episode 3 deals a terrible hand to Emilia Clarke, who portrays G’iah, and has been one of the notable standouts thus far. The third installment has a lot to offer, including some incredible scenes showcasing the beautiful relationships on which this story centers. However, it’s capped by some problematic tropes and alarming patterns.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Secret Invasion episode 3*

Secret Invasion episode 3 review: A struggle to keep pace with its predecessors

Talos and Gravik in Secret Invasion episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and Gravik’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) relationship goes back years. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

Although episode three is not without its flaws, it accomplishes a lot with a shorter 43-minute runtime. It’s slightly discombobulated, lacking the same flow from scene to scene as previous episodes, but the pacing issues are a minor stain. Secret Invasion episode 3 continues to establish that the relationship and history between Talos and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is worth exploring further. The writing for their particular character dynamic is operating on a higher level than the rest.

Talos and Fury’s relationship has provided some bitter tension at times in the series, like on the train in episode two, but it also offers some heartfelt scenes that help ease the weight of that very tension. Following their previous disagreement, the pair take it upon themselves to patch things up quickly, knowing the world simply cannot afford for the two of them to not be on the same page.

Their car ride on the way to Robert Fairbanks’ (David Bark-Jones) home offers some of the MCU’s best dialogue while bringing new insight into Fury’s rise at S.H.I.E.L.D. The emotional depth on display between Talos and Fury in this scene feels deeper than two fictional characters reminiscing on old times. It feels more on the level of two human beings who have been through hell and back together. The pair always seem to be annoyed with each other in a constant state of bickering, but it’s obvious there’s no one they’d rather have accompanying them on this journey.

Secret Invasion episode 3 makes a grave mistake with G’iah

Gravik and G'iah in Secret Invasion episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
If what we’ve seen can be believed, G’iah has met a terrible fate at the hands of Gravik at the end of Secret Invasion episode 3. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

The choice at the tail end to kill G’iah is where this episode fails most spectacularly. Whether this is a fake-out death remains to be seen, but to even have this as an option after killing Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) in the premiere and securing a stellar talent like Emilia Clarke for the role is nothing short of asinine. Maria’s death serves only to motivate Fury, and G’iah’s death serves only to motivate Talos—this is textbook fridging in Secret Invasion episode 3.

If G’iah is alive, there are a few other options in this scenario, and none of them are good. There’s an off chance that her mother Soren—who is thought to be dead—is posing as her daughter here to help her make an escape. If this is the case, bringing back a female character just to kill her off without establishing her remains an equally poor choice.

If she isn’t dead and wasn’t being impersonated by another Skrull, the only other alternative is that she is also a Super Skrull capable of extraordinary healing, and Gravik is completely unaware. Gravik is cunning and intelligent, and there’s zero evidence to suggest one of his closest followers could have enhanced herself without his knowing. He sniffs out her redemption plot to turn back to her father with ease, so nothing about this adds up.

This is a poor choice, regardless of how you spin it. Among the series’ many examples of good writing, G’iah’s redemption arc taking place over three episodes is not one of them. Alive or not, Emilia Clarke deserves better.

Super Skrulls are here in Secret Invasion episode 3

Gravik in Secret Invasion episode 3 | Agents of Fandom
Gravik has turned himself into something far beyond a shape-shifter, something more terrifying and formidable. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

Thus far, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik deserves to be recognized among the rest of the great MCU villains. His very presence commands every ounce of the viewer’s attention anytime he’s on-screen, and that was before there was any certainty he was a Super Skrull. Now, there’s an added layer of terrifying capability after he demonstrates his ability to heal from severe wounds in mere seconds, thanks to Extremis.

An army of regular Skrulls is enough of a challenge, given each one has the strength of a super soldier and the ability to steal anyone’s identity. But an entire army of Super Skrulls? That creates a whole new problem, one that Nick Fury surely isn’t capable of dealing with alone. He’s rounding back into form, but he’s far from prepared to deal with anyone who has otherworldly strength and Wolverine-like healing in their arsenal.

One thing is to be expected, Super Skrulls certainly have a weakness, something a man like Fury is capable of exploiting. Because as of right now, what could he possibly do if he was locked in a room with Gravik? His options are slim to none and slim just left town. If Super Skrulls prove to have no weakness, a potential power-up for Talos and other Skrulls may be coming down the line.

A tease at the episodes’ conclusion points to the idea that Rhodey (Don Cheadle) is indeed a Skrull, and may have been one for some time. Rhodey has operated as more of a shadow figure thus far, but expect him to become a larger player in the war moving forward.

Secret Invasion episode 3 is a stumble, but not a complete fall

Talos, Gravik, and a lot of Skrulls | Agents of Fandom
Talos and Gravik’s parley in Secret Invasion episode 3 doesn’t go according to plan, for anyone. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

Although killing/fake killing G’iah is a huge misfire, the series continues to display a highly sought-after tone and compelling story. The tension is palpable, and the stakes rise with each passing scene. Mistakes have been made, but nothing is done that can’t be undone.

It remains to be seen whether the six-episode shackle will affect Secret Invasion as it has with Marvel Disney+ series past, but the writing so far lends to the idea that it won’t. The stakes, action, and pure paranoia are sure to elevate further as we move toward the finish line.

Secret Invasion episode 3 is now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest Secret Invasion news and reviews.

'Secret Invasion' Episode 3 Review

'Secret Invasion' Episode 3 Review
3 5 0 1
3.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Offers great tension building
  • Relationship between Talos and Fury
  • Story progressing and stakes rising

The Bad

  • Unbelievably poor choice to kill G'iah
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