Secret Invasion Episode 5 Review: Widow’s Peak

In the penultimate episode of Marvel's Secret Invasion, "Harvest", Nick Fury has something that Gravik wants.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in Secret Invasion
Photo: Marvel

This review contains spoilers

If there’s one thing that the MCU has taught us about Nick Fury, it’s that he’s pretty damned good on his own, but when he gets a team together who work towards his cause, whether it be Skrulls, SHIELD agents, or Avengers, he’s a lot better. Secret Invasion has compounded this theme throughout, revealing that some of Nick’s greatest achievements would never have happened without his worker bees. And in its fifth episode, “Harvest”, Nick’s new team begins forming in order to help him deal with the Gravik situation, even as he maintains he’s the only one who can really resolve the conflict and clean up the mess he made.

To that end, the “good guys” are split off into pairs ahead of the show’s climax . G’iah (Emilia Clarke) and Varra (Charlayne Woodard) meet to deal with both Talos’ body and Gravik’s kill squad, while Nick (Samuel L. Jackson) and Sonya (Olivia Colman) set off for Finland to retrieve The Harvest – all the Avengers’ DNA Nick managed to get scraped off the battlefield at the end of Avengers: Endgame thanks to Gravik and his Skrull clean-up crew. Nick posits that Gravik even dreamed up the idea for Super Skrulls after seeing the blood samples collected during the mission. Okay! Sure, why not?

But of all the ludicrous things in Secret Invasion, the montage that follows this revelation somehow takes the cake. It shouldn’t be funny that Nick “suits up” by getting a coat, an eyepatch, and a gun out of high tech storage in a mausoleum, but the fact that he had them all in separate compartments had me roaring. They would easily fit in one! Easily! I don’t know why this sent me, but it did. It’s just so silly.

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Speaking of things fitting inside one container, the opposite feels true for The Harvest. Is all the Avengers’ DNA sort of just …smooshed together in a vial there? Or is this just one person’s? Is this some DNA combo already whipped together into one convenient shot? Who did Nick even have working on that? Why would he create a DNA superweapon, even accidentally? Has he learned nothing?

I have a lot of questions about everything, honestly. Gravik’s plan to start WWIII seems to have been forged entirely around his reluctance to kill Nick Fury, a man he clearly hates, so that he has the leverage to acquire a newly-revealed MacGuffin from him. I suppose we have to accept that his was either his plan all along, or a last ditch effort to get the upper hand? Either way, it makes the nature of Gravik’s cause pretty messy and his efforts convoluted, and it’s hard to see how bringing The Harvest to Gravik works in Nick’s favor.

Does Nick genuinely believe that footage of him killing Maria Hill of all people is gonna make a dent in the news when the President has just been attacked and the world is on the verge of nuclear war, let alone make him the “most hated man on the planet”? On a sliding scale of news stories right now, that’s going in the “and finally” section along with a local squirrel someone’s taught to ice skate.

Why didn’t Sonya suspect Rhodey was a Skrull? Could Nick not have told her that when they were making plans to meet up? And Varra refuses to escape her execution because she doesn’t want to leave her nice house? If she gets G’iah killed during her last stand, well, that’s fine? This show is filled with smart spies doing incredibly dumb things, often simply killed off or yoinked from the brink of death just so we can get to the next episode. Still, at least this one didn’t end with another person being shot or stabbed for dramatic effect, and gave us more Olivia Colman being fabulous.

But even Colman cheerily shooting someone in the head does not a great episode make, and episode five sags considerably from lack of poignancy in its build-up. Nick does not grieve the loss of Talos, just as he did not really grieve Maria. Devastating events have happened, and their ramifications are just observed via brief news clips. Nowhere do we feel the impact of the Skrull invasion nor Gravik’s terrorism, not even in the hearts of our main characters, who sort of look glum for a moment and then move on to the next scene.

Meanwhile, if you thought we were done with the Black Widow references after Nick’s wife Varra dropped her “Dreykov” easter egg earlier in the series, you were wrong. In “Harvest”, the Widows’ tech and their connections continue to support Nick when he travels incognito. O-T Fagbenle reprises his role from Marvel’s Black Widow movie as Rick Mason, the “private contractor” who helped Natasha when she was lying low and on the run from Thaddeus Ross. We also see the return of the Widow’s Veil, a mask that will change your facial appearance to whoever you want, although Nick stresses that he doesn’t have the new version of the tech. We’ll have to use our imagination when deciding how he got the old one.

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We’ve seen in a trailer for the last episode of the series that G’iah will eventually explore the site where Gravik is keeping the humans that his Skrulls have copied, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that one or more of the humans kept in storage will be a shock reveal. We expect to see the inert bodies of James Rhodes and Everett K. Ross, but I still think Secret Invasion has a few surprises for us in its finale next week, and I’m interested to see how all this plays out. Are the Black Widow nods teases, or red herrings?

Let me know in the comments who you think will be retconned as a Skrull imposter in episode six!


3 out of 5