‘Secret Invasion’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 4 “Beloved”


Secret Super Skrull

This week we’re picking up right where we left off. Gravik left G’iah’s body in the road, her Skrull form on display after he shot her at point-blank range. In a small flashback, we see G’iah again before she ran from New Skrullos, accessing files — and, importantly, vials — in the lab. Switching between shots of her prone, on the road in the dark, and her hasty use of all the mysterious machinery we’ve seen the Skrull scientists working on, we see that G’iah put herself in the machine before she left. She upgraded herself to be one of Gravik’s “Super Skrulls.” As the series of flashbacks ends, we see G’iah’s gunshot wound begin to glow and, with a shaky gasp, she sits up.

Paris, 2012

Nick Fury walks into a quiet, classy wine bar. After hanging up his coat, he approaches a table and sits down opposite Priscilla. She tells him that she was watching the news — the Avengers’ Battle of New York — and she had a feeling that he was the one who had got them all together. Because Fury has a powerful sense of righteousness and knows how dangerous the universe can be. Fury asks Priscilla about the book she’s reading. It’s a collection of poems by Raymond Carver, and after he enquires as to her favorite, the pair read “Late Fragment” together, switching out the lines like a conversation.

“And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?”

“I did.”

“And what did you want?”

“To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.”

Raymond Carver’s “Late Fragment”

Beloved on the Earth

As the flashback to Paris ends, we see Priscilla sitting in Saint James’ Church, where her phone call at the end of the last episode instructed her to be. As the choir sings, she waits. Eventually, Colonel James Rhodes enters from behind. Rhodey takes a seat beside her, and she tells him that Fury was fired a few days prior. President Ritson, she says, must have known he was in Moscow. Rhodey snorts, pointing out that President Ritson doesn’t even know the sun’s risen unless he briefs him on it — it was him that fired Fury. Surprised, Priscilla questions why, if Rhodey — if Gravik — fired Fury, he needs her at all. She is bluntly told that what Gravik needs and doesn’t need is none of her concern. Rhodey is the one telling her to kill Fury. His threats to her are unveiled — either Fury catches a bullet, or she does, and he doesn’t much care which.

At Fury and Priscilla’s home, we see Fury with an earpiece, sitting outside as he listens to Rhodey and Priscilla converse. He closes his eyes, looking exhausted as Priscilla tries to tell Rhodey that Fury is broken and has been ever since the blip. He’s powerless and defeated, and they don’t need to kill him.

In the church, Rhodey admonishes Priscilla before rising to leave and subtly reminds her of his threat on the way out.

Fury looks upset as he removes his earpiece.

When Priscilla returns to the property, she notices that Fury’s wedding ring is in the jar, even though he’s making tea in the kitchen. He came in through the back door, he says. The ring slipped his mind. When she asks if that means he’s coming or going, he tells her going. A work thing, he says. They’re both lying to each other, tense but polite, as they sit down to have tea.

They sit opposite each other, and Fury begins to speak. Of all the reckless things he’s done in his life, he says, marrying her was the biggest mistake. But even so, as she sits there planning to kill him, he isn’t sure he regrets anything. He takes his pistol out and puts it on the table. She mirrors him.

Fury asks Priscilla to tell him the story of how she chooses the woman whose face she wears. The woman had a congenital heart defect, Priscilla explains. She was dying. After growing close to her during her illness, she asked her if she could assume her life. If she wanted, through her, to fall in love. She told him about Fury. Visibly upset, Priscilla explains how the woman made her promise to never hurt him.

Fury recites the first line of “Late Fragment,” and they go back and forth through the poem, as they did in Paris in 2012.

As they reach the final line, both go for their guns and fire.

Both deliberately miss. After, in the quiet, Fury comments that he isn’t sure if that means they should get divorced or renew their vows. He gets up to leave, reminding Priscilla that they’ll be coming for her. She questions whether Fury would have loved her if she’d been her true self.

As he leaves, Fury can only say that they’ll never know.

An Unsatisfactory Plan

Beside a peaceful lake, G’iah and Talos sit on a bench overlooking the water. Talos expresses how regretful he is for forcing G’iah into her role, but she rebuffs him, saying that she doesn’t need any pity or sorrow for what she did of her own free will. She’s with him now because he’s her father, and he is the only answer to where she belongs. But, she tells him firmly, what she does need from him is a plan. How is Talos going to find their people a home?

Talos explains that he believes that by helping the humans defeat Gravik’s insurgency with Fury, it will give them leverage with President Ritson. If they save the planet, he believes he could secure an amnesty for the one million to stay.

G’iah doesn’t look impressed. Doesn’t Talos want to live in his own skin? Of course he does, he tells her, but they have to deal with reality. They are a people without a planet, depending on the goodwill of their hosts. Talos believes that if they show Earth who they are, keep contributing, they will be accepted.

G’iah thinks he’s delusional. That is not who they are, and it’s not who she has become. She rises and walks off. He calls after her, but it’s to no avail.

Pappy Van Winkle

A Skrull takes a shower in their own skin, enjoying the water. Once done and wrapped in a towel, they stand before a mirror, and we see them transform in Rhodey.

Exiting the bathroom, Rhodey walks into the main living area of a sleep hotel suite to find Fury sitting at his table with a bottle of rare bourbon, a 23-year Pappy Van Winkle. He tells Rhodey he didn’t like the way they left things the other day, so he thought they could settle their beef like gentlemen.

After checking whether the bourbon is poisoned, Rhodey asks Fury why he’s really there. Fury tells him, somewhat dramatically, that there are Skrulls in the US government. Close to Ritson. Rhodey labels it a wild story, and Fury points out that all Rhodey has to do to keep his mouth shut about it all is to give him his job back.

Rhodey has a counter. Retrieving a flash drive from a cabinet, he plays footage of Gravik, with Fury’s face, shooting Maria Hill in Moscow. He makes it clear that no one will believe it wasn’t Fury, and that he’s made copies of the footage. He takes the bourbon and tells Fury to get out.

Looking angry, Fury leaves. Rhodey remains, looking at the footage on the TV and helping himself to another glass of Pappy.

Outside in Fury’s car, Talos and Fury sit watching a protesting crowd surround an armored car. Talos holds up a small vial of what appears to be bourbon. A liquid location tracker. He comments on what a good idea it is. On a screen in the car, the tracker pings, and the two drive off after the armored car.

Rhodey exits the car at an airfield and greets President Ritson. He gives him some advice on how to handle the Russians, or tries — it isn’t terribly well received, as Ritson is more concerned about why Rhodey smells like bourbon. The two men enter separate cars, and the president’s cavalcade moves out.

Marvel Studios

Citadel Down

Pagon has bad news for Gravik, he thinks, as the two meet on a dark airfield. There’s a reason G’iah isn’t with them, he thinks. Gravik quickly tells him that G’iah was the mole, and he’s already taken care of her. As he boards the private aircraft that’s getting ready to depart, Gravik reminds Pagon that they “want them to think it’s the Russians.” So, he says, they need to make it big and loud just like the Russians would.

Later, as the president is driven along in a column below, we see Gravik and Pagon in an attack helicopter. They get a phone call from Rhodey, confirming the president’s position in the line. Gravik gives an order in Russian, and two missiles launch at the cavalcade.

The president’s car flips, and chaos ensues.

Agents fire up at the helicopters, but Gravik has plenty more firepower — and manpower — to drop onto the tarmac.

Behind, we see where Fury and Talos were following the tracker Rhodey swallowed, a safe distance away from the cars. Upon seeing the explosion, they rush in to help.

An agent confirms that the president is alive, but they are under fire. Gravik and Pagon drop out of the helicopter, surrounded by Russian speaking fighters, who all open on the president and his men. Rhodey sits calmly in his vehicle while the battle ensues.

Well-placed shots take out several helicopters. Fury and Talos arrive and dive in, realizing that they have to save Ritson. Pagon spots them and alerts Gravik to their presence. Fearlessly, he approaches the presidents line, then shoots out a Groot-like arm, wrapping one of the agents in vines and choking him. A “Super Skrull” indeed.

Marvel Studios

Fury and Talos reach the presidents car. Talos uses his superior strength to start smashing through the armored window. He is shot, targeted by Pagon under Gravik’s orders. He takes enough damage that his Skrull form begins to show. The military around them notice the transformation, but luckily listen to Fury when he tells them that Talos is with him, and on their side.

With the president barely conscious but freed from the car, Fury begins to drag him to safety. When he looks back, an unfamiliar soldier is picking up Talos — by then so injured he’s clearly a Skrull — from the floor. Fury freezes and orders the soldier to put Talos down.

He doesn’t. Fury shoots, and the soldier recoils, turning into Gravik. Before Fury can do anything else, Gravik stabs Talos in the chest and drops him to the floor.

Fury shoots Gravik right in the face, but he glows and heals right before his eyes, much to Fury’s horror.

Pagon pulls up on a motorcycle to collect Gravik, and the two escape, leaving Talos’ body behind.

Fury is torn between the armored car and his friend’s body, but after a moment of indecision, he climbs into the vehicle and drives Ritson away to safety.

Secret Invasion releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+. Don’t forget to check out Nerds & Beyond for recaps and updates!

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