Secret Invasion Proves Marvel's Greatest Strength Isn't What You Think

Secret Invasion’s stars are having a lot of fun in the Disney+ series.

Originally Published: 
Olivia Colman as Sonya Falsworth in 'Secret Invasion' Episode 3
Marvel Studios
Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion Episode 3 is arguably the Disney+ series’ most successful installment to date. Indeed, while the episode suffers from some of the same characterization and plot problems as its predecessors, it also features more memorable interactions and scenes than either of the show’s first two chapters. It’s not hard to see why the episode, titled “Betrayed,” works as well as it does, either.

Not only does Secret Invasion’s third installment bring its interpersonal conflicts front and center, but it also gives its best characters the chance to actually interact with each other for more than just a few minutes at a time. In doing so, “Betrayed” reveals Secret Invasion’s greatest strength, and — spoiler alert — it isn’t its grotesquely AI-generated title sequence or its central Super Skrull plot.

No matter what show they’re in, there’s something undeniably fun about watching Ben Mendelsohn and Samuel L. Jackson spar together on-screen.

Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s characters have always been exceptionally well-cast. To be clear: That doesn’t just mean the franchise has hit the nail on the head by casting Chris Evans as Captain America or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Not only have the MCU’s heroes all been played by actors who were uniquely well-suited for their roles, but the stars themselves have all had pretty great chemistry with each other.

2008’s Iron Man succeeds largely because of Downey Jr.’s romantic and comedic chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow, and the same can be said for the chemistry between Evans and Hayley Atwell in Captain America: The First Avenger. Most of the MCU’s best moments have, consequently, involved little more than memorable interactions between its stars. In Secret Invasion, that’s proving to be especially true.

Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Olivia Colman have all been saddled with some unfortunate exposition dumps and retroactive, off-screen character developments, but that hasn’t stopped them from having the time of their lives in Secret Invasion. The three actors have chewed up and spat out basically every scene they’ve been given, turning up their respective charisma levels as high as they can go. In “Betrayed,” all three get the chance to actually engage with each other, too.

Whether it be Colman and Jackson’s brief but legitimately funny phone call or the latter’s numerous arguments with Mendelsohn throughout its second half, the episode rides high on the chemistry of its three most accomplished stars. The result is the most enjoyable and purely entertaining installment of Secret Invasion that has been released up to this point.

Nick Fury and Talos prove to be a pretty formidable duo in Secret Invasion Episode 3.

Marvel Studios

Halfway into its six-episode run, it seems unlikely that Secret Invasion will be able to miraculously fix all the narrative problems that have plagued it, especially as it continues to commit to characters (Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik) and plot points (Nick Fury’s self-imposed space exile) that feel half-baked. Therefore, if there’s one thing Secret Invasion Episode 3 proves, it’s that the show’s cast is the best thing it has going for it.

The same has been true about the MCU for the past several years. Even when its projects fall short of the mark, Marvel always seems to be able to rely on its stars to do some heavy lifting of their own.

New episodes of Secret Invasion premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags