Secret Invasion Episode 3 Spoiler Review: Show, Don’t Tell…Unless You’re Marvel

The series is now half-over, but has anything really happened?

Warning: the following review contains spoilers for Episode 3 of Secret Invasion

One of the most essential storytelling techniques is show, don’t tell. It serves as a reminder for writers to ensure the action and drama unfold before the audience rather than them learning about it through exposition. It also keeps the audience and characters at the center of the story. Unfortunately, Marvel has seemingly forgotten this crucial rule when it comes to Secret Invasion.

Episode Three of the special event series, “Betrayed,” slows down the show’s momentum when it should have done the opposite, as it marks its midway point. While the first two episodes didn’t do anything new regarding the tired Disney+ MCU TV formula, they were a fascinating change of pace from their more recent fare. But as that sheen wears off, what Secret Invasion needs is excitement and intrigue. 

The episode begins with Gravik explaining the Skrulls’ next assignment, which is to infiltrate a U.K. army sub and send its missile into a plane carrying a member of the United Nations. He then officially introduces the concept of Super Skrulls, saying they will use them to take Earth from the Humans. It’s a great moment, but no one’s buying it. 


What Secret Invasion is struggling to do is make the looming Skrull invasion feel like a real threat. The characters repeatedly discuss that it’s happening, but more of it needs to be shown for it to be believable. The entire show is starting to seem too contained for the threat it’s portraying. If Fury had come down from space to find out that not only are millions of Skrulls on Earth, but they have also given themselves powers outside of shapeshifting, Secret Invasion would have had a lot more momentum from the get-go. Confusingly, it is now Episode 3, and Fury still doesn’t know Super Skrulls exist.

The opportunity to finally move the plot forward was present in this episode, but it was wasted to keep the story at a standstill. With G’iah’s help, Fury and Talos break into a British Commander’s house, knowing he has been replaced by a Skrull, and stop him from initiating the attack. However, since these shows are written to be six-part movies, Fury and Talos should not have been able to stop the missile as quickly as they did. There should be more impactful consequences since there are only three episodes left.

Instead, “Betrayed” finishes in the same place the previous two episodes did: all talk, no action. In one of the episode’s final scenes, Gravik stops G’iah from escaping the compound after she betrays them; it turns out that the missile attack was actually meant to draw out the mole. This development feels like a cop-out, as it makes the episode somewhat pointless. Gravik then shoots G’iah as she turns back into her Skrull form, seemingly confirming her death. Although, it’s more likely she isn’t dead but turned herself into a Super Skrull in the unrealistically short time she had to flee. If this is the end of Emilia Clarke‘s time in the MCU, fans will riot since she was killed off before she got to do anything remotely noteworthy. 

“Betrayed” also plays heavily into the “things were happening the whole time, you just didn’t know it” trope, which is increasingly overused in franchise storytelling. It’s used twice here with the people Nick Fury is supposedly closest with. The first is Talos; Fury and Talos constantly discuss their decade-long relationship, but their supposed deep-rooted history is missing whenever they interact, and it’s becoming harder to ignore. Talos tells Fury that the Skrulls essentially made Fury who he is by getting him all his information, eliminating all his threats, and moving him up in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ranks throughout the years. The only problem is that fans have been present for many of Fury’s most significant conflicts. Attempting to shoehorn Skrulls into them feels forced. 


The second character is Priscilla, who is revealed to be Nick Fury’s Skrull wife at the end of Episode 2. She only gets a few brief scenes here, but they are the episode’s most compelling. It’s a shame there aren’t more. Learning that Fury, an extremely isolated person, is, in fact, married to a Skrull deserved more than a quick scene over breakfast and an even shorter flashback. Hearing Priscilla describe the pain she felt when Fury got dusted, came back, and left again was deeply sad, but it would have been far more impactful to see her pain in a flashback scene similar to the one in WandaVision, where Monica finds out her mom passed away after returning from the Blip.

The final scene of the episode shows Priscilla leaving her house after receiving a message. At a high-security bank, she claims a safety deposit box with a gun inside and then gets a phone call from an unknown person whom she asks to speak with Gravik. This reveals she’s involved with the rebellion, as Fury suspected earlier in the episode. The voice on the phone sounded like Rhodey’s, who has been heavily suspected of being a Skrull by fans. If a one-sided phone call is how the MCU reveals Rhodey’s Skrull identity, his eventual on-screen transformation is going to be much less exciting, to say the least. 

Episodes of Marvel’s Secret Invasion drop every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+.