This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
The Secret Invasion finale is now streaming exclusively on Disney+, and it’s fair to say many are excited to put this era of Marvel TV in the rearview mirror. After a blazing hot start with the first two episodes, the series struggled to grasp any discernible identity in the latter half.
Secret Invasion displays all the textbook problems associated with Marvel Disney+ shows, while also doing the very thing they opt to make fun of in a previous finale. Overall, the Secret Invasion finale feels incredibly rushed and without purpose, compounded with some strange power upgrades that forever change the context of the MCU.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Secret Invasion finale*
Secret Invasion finale review: a disappointing waste of potential
An ending that lacks any purpose or resolution seems inevitable, given the show’s trajectory over the last several weeks. Secret Invasion was marketed as a grounded spy thriller similar to The Winter Soldier and Black Widow, and while the third acts of these films get a little illustrious, the beloved characters and their journeys are still very much at the center.
I can’t say for certain whether a portion of Secret Invasion was written by AI, but given the questionable decisions throughout and the series’ willingness to rely on AI for the intro, it wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Gravik (Kinglsey Ben-Adir) have been the center of conflict since the premiere, so the choice for them not to meet in the finale, and only twice in the series as a whole, just doesn’t add up.
The Secret Invasion finale has many factors working against it, but sticking to a 37-minute run time with so much to accomplish is simply inexcusable. There’s no time to sit with or enjoy anything (if there were any scenes to enjoy), only a Juggernaut style sprint towards a murky finish line that produces more questions than answers. For a series that had potential to be remembered as a truly special Disney+ entry to display such a grotesque lack of commitment down the final stretch is disheartening to say the least.
Super Skrull showdown leaves a new MCU alpha after the Secret Invasion finale
It’s intriguing to see a massive power portfolio unleashed in such a short period of time, but this entire CGI third act fight special contributes nothing to further the narrative. Does She-Hulk not poke fun at this very concept that unfolds in the Secret Invasion finale? Given that G’iah (Emilia Clarke) is the only one left standing at the end of the clash, the question must be raised: is she the new most powerful being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Super Skrulls with the abilities of a few powerful Marvel heroes is one thing, but Super Skrulls with the collective biological power of all the Avengers and the villains they’ve faced over the years is another thing entirely. There simply isn’t an explanation for powering G’iah up to this level in the Secret Invasion finale. The show’s final moments tease a spin-off featuring G’iah and her new partner Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman), but is there a worthy adversary for someone who has the power of Carol Danvers, Bruce Banner, Ebony Maw, and so many more coursing through their veins?
The answer to the question “How will a regular human like Nick Fury possibly take on Super Skrull General Gravik?” is simply, he won’t. G’iah being the one to swoop in and power up at the last moment to match up with Gravik after being sidelined for the majority of the series is, as Deadpool would say, just lazy writing. G’iah remaining as a floater in the MCU with her immense power level adds an extra layer of difficulty for larger crossover stories going forward.
Either she’s there to help face any big threat, or there will be massive questions as to her whereabouts. But as Marvel has demonstrated in the past, it’s much easier and cheaper to explain an absence in a future project than to include someone where they’re needed.
“Let’s turn them both into Super Skrulls, and hope our Super Skrull wins!”
“I like your plan, except it sucks.”—Star Lord, probably
A plethora of unanswered questions plague the Secret Invasion finale
If there’s one aspect of a television finale that deserves to be prioritized, it’s resolution. The Secret Invasion finale is more interested in setting up future projects that may never come to fruition, as opposed to a satisfying ending for the story laid out over the past six weeks. An actual conversation between Fury and Gravik, maybe detailing their past, given that they are the two central figures of the series, seems like it should have been an obvious place to start.
How on earth have the humans survived the radiation at New Skrullos for the many years they’ve been imprisoned there? If a human needs iodide pills to survive more than a few minutes at the compound, that means they would surely be dead within days, if not hours of exposure. If the humans were being held inside a lead tank or something radiation resistant, great! But that can’t be left up to the audience to figure out.
It would be an immense pain to establish how long every single person has been held captive by the Skrulls. But to bring in established characters like Rhodey (Don Cheadle) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), and not offer up any timetable is one of the Secret Invasion finale’s biggest failures. Planting the idea but not committing to Rhodey being a Skrull during Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Natasha’s (Scarlett Johansson) death’s is cowardly. If the real Rhodey was actually not there to mourn them, we deserve to know.
A look forward towards ‘The Marvels’ and more
Just because this has been Marvel’s worst outing in the Disney+ department doesn’t mean it’s a bad year. Although Disney CEO Bob Iger has said to expect a significant cut back on Marvel content over the coming years, fortunately that doesn’t stop what’s already completed.
Fans can still look ahead to exciting new projects like The Marvels, Loki season two, and Echo, which are all set to arrive before the end of this year. Secret Invasion will unquestionably go down as a severe missed opportunity for the MCU, wasting some of the best performances in franchise history. These outings by most of the cast will long be remembered, even if the show will inevitably be forgotten.
All episodes of Secret Invasion are now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Follow the Agents of Fandom on socials for all the latest news and reviews.
'Secret Invasion' Finale Review'Secret Invasion' Finale Review
- A somewhat cool Super Skrull fight
- Great closeout performance from Kingsley Ben-Adir
- How did the humans at New Skrullos survive?
- So much for Fury and Gravik
- How long have Rhodey and Ross been Skrulls?
- Stupidly short runtime
- Feels pointless