SECRET INVASION 1×05 “HARVEST” is probably the best episode of the series because it may not do much to fix the series’ many flaws, but it does at least have a bunch of things happening. These things may not be the best decisions they could have made with the show and yet another important character is confirmed dead for seemingly no real reason (the stakes are already sky high) but the episode is at least entertaining.
The premise is Gravik’s failure to assassinate President Ritson has resulted in the Skrulls under his command starting to lose faith in his leadership. Unfortunately, they severely overestimate how much that Gravik is willing to listen to their complaints and executes one of his men as an example to the others. This soon results in more rebellion from the men and an attempted assassination attempt that Gravik’s superpowers swiftly crushes. It does highlight that he’s lost all confidence of his people.
Nick Fury finds himself trying to protect the President against Rhodey (who is secretly a Skrull). Nick Fury doesn’t think to just tell the President, “Rhodey is a Skrull.” He does tell him not to trust Rhodey but it seems like this is something that would be far more useful in the long run. However, not only is Rhodey a Skrull but also the Secret Service so it seems silly they can’t just finish off the President now.
In fact, part of the problem is that we only now find out why Gravik hasn’t killed Nick Fury. Previous episodes suggested that Gravik just didn’t think Nick was a threat but now we’re having “The Harvest” introduced that is apparently a bunch of DNA of all the various superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Presumably, so Gravik could gain all of the various superpowers that his machine is able to graft onto Skrull biology. This is fine but Gravik had plenty of opportunities to go after Fury, kidnap him, and force him to give that up so it just seems inconsistent.
Really, the show seems torn between the fact that it wants to be a common superhero show with good versus evil, big theatrical bad guys, and saving the world versus a spy show that usually depends on using your wits versus cosmic powers. Captain America: The Winter Soldier managed to thread this needle by using Hydra vs. Shield but still had the latter morally compromised by their involvement in the military industrial complex.
The waste of Talos as a character is something that does get a decent coda in Gi’ah and Varra giving him a proper funeral. Still, I can’t help but think it’s another character being killed off for the sake of cheap drama. Talos was much more interesting when he was the sole voice of peace and believing in peaceful coexistence with humanity. A Skrull Charles Xavier if you will.
With only one episode left to wrap up the series, I’m afraid that the only way Secret Invasion is going to be able to wrap itself up is a pointless punch-out between superpowered CGI monsters. Which is something that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law already made fun of.