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Secret Invasion: Episode 6 Review

With episode 6, Secret Invasion unfortunately ends with a whimper, not a bang, thanks to its frustrating insistence to conform to Marvel’s default template.

After several weeks of pessimistically predicting that Secret Invasion would end with a whimper rather than a bang, it doesn’t bring me any joy at all to say that I was right. It wasn’t the hardest prediction in the world to make, as Marvel has a tendency to butcher the finales of their various Disney+ shows, but there’s something about episode 6 of Secret Invasion that makes it hurt so much more. Perhaps it’s because I had genuine hope for this show, even when the masses had seemingly dismissed it. I never stopped believing in the strength of its cast and the emotional weight of Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) character arc, but at the end of the day, it cast those elements aside in favour of yet another rushed CGI battle, an unfittingly loud end for Marvel’s most quiet show.

Let’s start by addressing the Super Skrull-sized elephant in the room. Now, the second this concept was introduced into the show, alarm bells rang into my head. It immediately felt like Secret Invasion’s way of forcing action into a story that otherwise thrived without it, and well, that’s almost exactly what happened. It’s a frustrating choice because it’s one that the show never seems particularly confident in – not devoting enough screen time to it for it to actually leave an impact and be memorable in the slightest, meaning that it just feels out of place, a big CGI brawl with some sub-par visual effects in a show that’s been almost entirely people sitting around tables chatting. It’s like if Succession (2018-2023) ended with two characters flying around like Captain Marvel, fighting to the death.

My other main problem with this finale is just how tepid it all was. For a show named “Secret Invasion”, that’s adapting a large-scale Avengers-level event from the comics, everything just felt so small. At times, that worked massively in the show’s favour, giving us some of the most emotional and powerful moments in the entire MCU, but during this finale, it felt like the show was really lacking a major reveal or, at the very least, some kind of major consequence. Yes, we now know that Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle) was a Skrull for who knows how long, but at the end of the day, that’s really it. I spent the entire episode waiting for that moment that would get me out of my seat, the one that would really make the Skrull invasion feel like a threat, but it never came.

loud and clear reviews secret invasion episode 6
Episode 6 of Marvel Studios’ SECRET INVASION, exclusively on Disney+. (Des Willie. © 2023 Marvel)

At the end of the day, the Skrulls just never felt particularly interesting. Consistently, the best part of Secret Invasion was the human characters, like Olivia Colman’s Sonya Falsworth, who desperately needed more to do in this finale, and Nick Fury himself, meaning that this finale, which is obviously more interested in the aliens who the story has spent six episodes trying to get us to care about, ends up spending too much time on characters we don’t care about. Moving forward, I’m sure it will feel like the whole Skrull invasion never happened, because there was never once a moment in this entire show where it felt like the shapeshifters actually meant business.

That’s not to say this finale falls completely flat. The relationship between Nick Fury and his wife (Charlayne Woodard) is still potentially the strongest in the entire cinematic universe, and I do quite like the scene where Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) is berating Fury for his past mistakes, but unfortunately I can’t say that I’m walking away from Secret Invasion particularly satisfied. Throughout its entire runtime, it felt like it was almost a great show, but just kept falling short because of its constant struggle to use its villains effectively. It’s a shame considering just how exciting Secret Invasion could have been if it had all of the Avengers at its disposal, but I am definitely grateful for the couple of fantastic scenes this show gave us, even if it couldn’t always keep up that level of quality. 

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Episode 6 of Secret Invasion is now available to watch on Disney Plus.

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