‘Secret Invasion’: Fury’s connection to Gravik no longer matters

Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Secret Attack, episodes 1-5.


As a spy series featuring shape-shifting aliens, Marvel Studios’ A secret invasion Makes a lot of effort to shock its audience with big story twists. This gives the set a beautiful air of mystery and makes it refreshingly unpredictable. However, the series also waited too long to reveal one of its most important secrets. Throughout the five episodes currently airing, there are frequent hints that Detective Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and anti-Skrull leader Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) share important personal links. However, the last act of cruelty so even finding what this connection will not make him sympathize, so the storyline has become very pointless.


Who is Gravik?

Gravik in his Skrull form after defending himself from the coup
Image via Disney

A flashback revealed that Nick met Gravik in 1997, when he was making a deal with Talos’Ben Mendelsohn) a group of Skrull refugees that if they help him in a covert operation to protect Earth, he will help them find a new home planet. A teenager at the time, Gravik lost his parents to the Kree-Skrull war and had to escape Kree space on his own. Nick was introduced to Gravik by Varra (Charlayne Woodard), Nick’s future wife, who believes she will be valuable to Nick’s secret Skrull unit. Although Gravik seems unconvinced by Nick’s promise, he served in the unit until at least immediately after the Battle for Earth in 2019. Avengers: Endgame. He was part of the team that Nick sent to collect DNA samples of the Avengers left on the battlefield. However, between that time and the present day, he became disaffected and began a violent rebellion, with plans to seize Earth as the Skrulls’ new home planet after destroying the human race by starting a world war.

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Throughout the series Gravik has been shown to have a grudge against Nick even more than his general hatred of humans. He spoke of Nick’s personality and habits with a level of knowledge that suggested he knew him personally, more closely than his commanders and soldiers. A few times they met in the field, Nick had a visible feeling, and, as Gravik’s right hand Pagon (Killian Scott) noted, Gravik refrained from killing Nick despite having many opportunities to do so. It was also revealed that he contacted Varra after his radicalization. This has led many viewers to speculate that Nick and Varra had a significant personal relationship with Gravik in the intervening years, with many speculating that the couple may have been adoptive parents or agents of the young Skrull. This would add more tragedy to the series and parallel the other damaged family relationships featured throughout. However, it has not yet been confirmed that Gravik is actually the son of Nick and Varra and with only one episode left in the series a lot of potential for that revelation is lost.

‘Secret Invasion’ missed many opportunities

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion
Image via Disney+

If the audience knows that Gravik is Nick’s son, the conflict between them will be more complicated and interesting. Suspense will be created from the question of whether their relationship will allow Nick to enter Gravik and stop him from his violent ways, as Talos did with his daughter G’iah (Emilia Clarke). The viewer’s investment in Nick, which has been built during his 15 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ensure that they root for his son around, even if only for the sake of his father. With the nature of their relationship still a mystery, this investment could not be made. And nothing in Gravik’s current behavior or personality suggests that he can be redeemed.

The villain trope associated with the hero is usually based on the villain being unwilling. A secret invasion viewers see this with G’iah. She joins the resistance to make a better future for her people, but it’s clear she’s uncomfortable with the group’s brutal ways. This makes it clear that she is being led astray rather than actually evil and encourages the audience to believe that she can choose good, just like Talos. Gravik hasn’t revealed the brutality he was involved in, but he hasn’t shown any hints of remorse or conflict. In the first episode of the series he kills MCU fan favorite Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and carried out a bomb attack that killed more than 2,000 people, and he became very cruel since then.

He turned to his own people. He killed Talos and the descendants that he suspected might betray him and tried to kill G’iah when he found out that she was giving information to Talos and Nick, although she survived since she gave herself some of the same superpowers Gravik is now. When Pagon interrogates him, Gravik kills him, causing members of the resistance group to kill him, before Gravik uses his powers to kill them. Your current plan is to set up US President Ritson.Dermot Mulroney) into a Skrull city attack by the New Skrullos, hoping that this would motivate Skrulls around the world to join his cause. All of this shows that Gravik is not interested in creating a better future for the Skrulls, he just wants power, and puts him well beyond the possibility of redemption. He’s not a villain the audience feels bad for, he’s someone they want to see brutally taken down, and a last-minute reveal that he’s Nick’s son, or that they have some other special connection, isn’t going to change that.

The series also missed an opportunity to use Varra’s relationship with Gravik to strengthen her storyline. At the end of the third episode, she tries to contact Gravik. Skrull agent James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) answered the phone instead and told her that Gravik wanted her to kill Nick. Nick overhears this while following them, causing him to confront Varra as the two hold guns at each other. In the end, they both shoot each other and Varra admits that by refusing to kill Nick, she made herself a target for Gravik. This was already a tense part of the series, but it would have been more intriguing if viewers knew more about Varra and Gravik’s dynamic. If the series had confirmed before this point that Gravik was Varra’s son it seems more likely that she would have gone through with killing Nick and the extent of her divided loyalties would have been clearer.

Finally, revealing the important connection between Nick and Gravik in the final episode could have a detrimental effect on the tone of the series. A secret invasion has been a dark and sad series, especially in comparison to other MCU projects. It spent a lot of time making Nick more flawed than he was previously presented, and he lost a lot throughout the first 5 episodes. Now is the time to build him back and the team needs him to win decisively to end on an amazing note. The revelation that Gravik is his son, or important to him for another reason, will now make his inevitable failure depressing rather than satisfying and implying that Gravik’s evil turn is Nick’s fault, showing that he is guilty of another failure, in addition to not fulfilling his promise to the Skrulls.

Big picture

  • A secret invasion created a captivating air of mystery and unpredictability through its shocking twists and turns.
  • The series hinted at an important personal connection between Nick Fury and Gravik, but the brutality of the final story made the connection seem pointless.
  • The last-minute revelation of the relationship between Nick and Gravik won’t change the fact that Gravik is a brutal villain who deserves brutal elimination, not sympathy.

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