For all its religiosity, The Envoys is simply irreverent.
“Five global terrorist strikes within the past year, each one claimed by a different group,” CIA Agent Prescod tells Agent Ross.
“It’s business as usual,” Agent Ross says, as if he couldn’t be bothered.
But Prescod is adamant. “That’s precisely what they want you to think!” He says, not sounding like a conspiracy theorist in the slightest.
His working theory? That such attacks are actually the work of the Skrull. Yes, the displaced reptilian shapeshifting race from Captain Marvel who’ve been hanging around while they wait for Captain Marvel and Nick Fury to find them a new home world (since their last one was blown up by the Kree).
“While you work to keep my world safe, Carol Danvers and I will find you a new one,” was the promise Fury gave the Skrull nearly 30 years prior.
Prescod is convinced that they’re tired of waiting, and they have plans to take over Earth instead. And you know what? He’s right. They’ve already infiltrated top positions in NATO and elsewhere, and they hope to ignite a conflict between the U.S. and Russia, exterminating humanity by getting the whole planet nuked. Then the Skrulls, immune to radiation, will have a plethora of lovely human homes into which they can choose to move—no new planet required!
Prescod marshals some pretty compelling evidence, not the least of which being his murder the moment he opens his mouth about his theory. In fact, there’s enough evidence that it’s convinced Nick Fury to investigate.
Fury’s been in space working on SABER, an intergalactic space station, for years, apparently heading up an aerospace defense system for Earth to prevent a Thanos-level event from ever happening again. What he apparently hasn’t been doing is fulfilling is promise to search for a Skrull home world—something that many of the invading Skrulls would point to as the reason for their invasion. It’s certainly yet another layer of guilt Fury places squarely on his own shoulders.
Because even though Fury’s back, he doesn’t have the same confident demeanor he once did. He’s never quite been the same ever since Thanos proved (in Avengers: Infinity War) that humanity could lose.
And that’s enough to cause anyone to doubt that the PTSD-ridden Fury will be able to keep up in the silent war that’s raging.
According to the Fallout game series, “War never changes.” The series obviously never heard of Skrulls, because when you’re fighting against them, war shapeshifts.
Secret Invasion arrives in its Disney+ library bringing all the paranoia of a spy thriller. Because the Skrull can instantly take the form of anyone, making even your closest friends and relations suspect. You might even find yourself having to answer for actions that you never did—because a Skrull did them in your name.
It’s a recipe that must be seasoned carefully. Skrull shapeshifting can make for an interesting watch, putting us in the same paranoid mindset as Fury. But its abuse can also lead to viewers feeling like they can’t trust the writers just as much as the characters, since a climactic scene can be undercut with a wave of the “it was actually a Skrull” wand.
Altogether, I’d give a rating of …eh… to the overall collection of Marvel television shows, and Secret Invasion has the potential to certainly clear that mediocre hurdle—plot wise, at least. But in terms of content, it might have a couple difficulties, with some moderate swearing and a number of violent scenes, both categories similar to the level seen in the third Guardians of the Galaxy film. That latter concern includes plenty of purple or red-stained headshots and a torture scene in the second episode where we’ll watch a Skrull’s finger get cut off.
Of course, be sure to check our weekly reviews of this series so its content doesn’t secretly invade your home!
Now equipped with a vial of Avengers DNA, Fury heads to confront Gravik. Meanwhile, the President of the United States seeks to start a war with Russia.
Plenty of Skrulls and humans alike are shot and killed with varying amounts of purple or red sprays of blood, some of which are quite graphic for an average Marvel story. We’ll see quite a few bodies laying on the ground as a result. A few others are tranquilized. Two superpowered people fistfight, smashing through buildings and causing mayhem. A person is choked. Someone is lasered through the stomach and stabbed through the heart.
Fury kisses a Skrull woman (who is actually his wife and who has been in human form for most of the series).
We hear three uses of “h—,” two uses of “a–” and one use of “d—n.” God’s name is used in vain twice, one of which is immediately followed by “d–n.” Jesus’ name is abused twice. Someone uses the British swear “bloody.”
Gravik’s soldiers begin to lose faith in him, and he decides to switch tactics. The footage of the Skrull “Fury” killing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill is released worldwide.
Many Skrulls disguised as humans are killed in a variety of ways. One is pierced through his abdomen by the wooden Groot-like arm of a mutated Skrull. Others are shot in the head or abdomen. One man is stabbed through the neck. Someone is choked with a plastic bag and hit with a sledgehammer. Someone has his throat slit. Through each of these, we’ll see spurts of purple blood.
A Skrull funeral is held, and the people in attendance pray over the body in accordance with Skrull tradition.
The s-word is used once. We hear three instances of “d–n.” We likewise hear one use of “a–,” “bloody,” “h—” and “b–tard” each. God’s name is used in vain twice.
Fury has an exposing conversation with his wife. Gravik tries to assassinate the U.S. president.
People are shot and killed in a gunfight. One man’s cheek is shot through, but his body heals the grotesque wound. People die in explosions. A helicopter fires missiles at a convoy of cars, and the helicopters are shot down.
A Skrull showers, though nothing is seen. A choir sings the spiritual song “Deep River” in a church. People drink liquor and wine. Someone comments about the smell of alcohol on a man’s breath.
The s-word is used once. We also hear a few instances of “a–,” “h—” and “bloody.”
The Skrulls attempt to shoot down a United Nations plane while Fury and Talos work to stop it. Meanwhile, Skrull leader Gravik suspects a traitor in his army.
Five people are shot and killed. One man is shot in the knee, and someone threatens to shoot him in the crotch, too. A Skrull in human form is stabbed through the hand with a butterknife, and he graphically drags his hand out from the knife (which remains embedded in the table). Someone is beaten unconscious. A child is taken hostage.
We see a woman picking up her dog’s poop, and Fury and Talos briefly discuss it. A woman drinks wine. Someone makes a crude reference to testicles. We hear an overarching theme of the Skrulls being compared to dogs.
We hear two uses of the s-word, “a–” and “h—.” There’s one use of “bloody” and “d–n.”
Following the attack on Moscow, the world demands answers to Nick Fury’s presence at the bombing.
A Skrull disguised as a human is tortured for information; his finger is graphically cut off onscreen, and he’s injected with a compound that makes his blood literally boil inside him. Some people are shot and killed, and blood sprays from the hits. One man is hooked on a meat hook. A Skrull lays dead with its purple blood leaking out, and we see a couple human bodies, as well. We’re informed that the bombing of the previous episode killed at least 2,000 people. A couple people make jokes about carpet bombing a meeting.
Someone jokes about masturbation. Fury references a girl with whom he used to have a “standing game of doctor.” Fury kisses a woman passionately. Rhodey (War Machine) asks Fury to not play “mine is bigger than yours” with job titles.
People drink wine and liquor.
“A–” is used three times, and we hear one use of “h—,” “b–tard” and “crap.” Someone says “screw this.” God’s name is used in vain twice.
Nick Fury returns to Earth to investigate evidence that indicates that the Skrulls are trying to take over the world.
We see many fist fights. Someone is hit with a metal pipe, and someone is choked. A Skrull is kicked through a concrete pillar. Three people are shot and killed. A man falls many stories, hitting the ground with a sickening thud; he eventually succumbs to his wounds. Someone else is hit by a car. Bombs explode, and many people are killed in the blasts. A man is kidnapped. We also see a hallway full of presumably kidnapped people held in stasis chambers.
A man and woman are seen kissing on a bench. Nick comments on the many clocks on a wall, asking if it is “some sort of clock fetish?” Nick and others drink liquor.
The s-word is used three times. We also hear a handful of uses of “a–,” “h—,” “d—” and “p-ss.” God’s name is used in vain twice, including once in the form of “g-dd–n.” Nick Fury uses an offensive slang word for Black people. The British swear “bloody” is used once.
Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”
For all its religiosity, The Envoys is simply irreverent.
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