For those hoping that a series like “Secret Invasion” might help the Marvel Cinematic Universe beat the all-too-common allegations of relying on formula, well, this isn’t likely to help. Sure, the MCU movies have had a much tougher time juggling the needs of a shared universe, the expectations of four entire quadrants of moviegoers, and perfecting the blockbuster model that could lead to consistent box office success. But when Marvel President Kevin Feige first announced the production of several Disney+ Marvel shows, a common narrative sprouted up that the streaming space would provide the chance for the studio to flex its creative muscles and deliver the kinds of stories audiences had truly never seen before.
Unfortunately, the results have been somewhat inconsistent on that front.
The rather mixed audience receptions for “Hawkeye,” “Moon Knight,” and “She-Hulk” largely speak for themselves, but the sense of flat-out disinterest surrounding “Secret Invasion” only makes this recurring trend of uninspired cliffhanger endings stick out that much more. Less is generally more when killing off major characters, especially in comic book adaptations, but “Secret Invasion” has shown no signs of pumping the brakes on that anytime soon. Gravik might be shaping up to be one of the deadliest antagonists in the entire franchise, but there’s much more to a well-rounded villain than a penchant for murder. And if the only trick this series has up its sleeve is either faking viewers out with unsatisfying explanations or relying on the “Game of Thrones” strategy of shock tactics, well, it’s hard to imagine “Secret Invasion” making it feel somewhat worthwhile by delivering on its own Red Wedding, at the very least.
With only two more episodes left to change the narrative, “Secret Invasion” certainly has its work cut out for it.