A shapeshifting mediocre spy-thriller disguised as a Marvel action TV show.
So, I need to address my own personal elephant in the room first: the nature of taking a storyline that easily could have been it's own Thanos-level threat and making it a grounded miniseries focusing strictly on the non-super super spy side of the MCU. My biggest fear when this show was originally announced was that they wouldn't be able to make the stakes big enough without feeling too awkwardly empty of 'thems what do the Avenging.' Honestly, I haven't had those fears assuaged yet.
That said, our first episode, titled "Resurrection," does provide a fairly decent spy thriller featuring familiar characters. Nick Fury is called down from his position in space by Maria Hill and his green shapeshifting pal, Talos. Along the way, we meet a cheeky MI6 leader looking to smoke out some Skrulls, a plot set to trigger war between Russia and America, and more "hey do you remember that history we have together that either happened off screen or so long ago that we have to remind the audience about it" dialogue than you can shake an Adidas track suit at. The action was good, with some fairly well choreographed fight sequences; though, not as well executed as Marvel has done in the past. Samuel L. Jackson does extraordinarily well as Nick Fury, as always. He was born for this role, and I hope he knows it. Everyone else does fine, but most of the acting seems fairly muted. The characters barely seem like they want to be there, occasionally just mumbling lines almost inaudibly, and whole sections of dialogue just seem bizarrely confused as to what emotions the audience is supposed to take away from it.
As for the plot, the premise is fairly light. Skrull rebels are mad that they don't have a planet, decide to take earth by sowing chaos around the globe. Skrulls are immune to radiation, so I guess the plan is have America and Russia nuke each other into oblivion and then build a new Skrull planet on the ashes. Pretty shoddy plan considering what the world would look like after a nuclear holocaust, which I feel probably should have been researched during the development phase. I guess the nuclear power plant the rebels are hiding in doesn't have WIFI. Anyhoo, the rebels want to use a dirty bomb at a Russian cultural festival and somehow implicate the US in such an act. How they intend to do that, we haven't seen yet, we've just seen them explode a bunch of stuff and some Skrull played weird mind games with Nick.
Okay, I'm being harsh, but I do believe the series has time to improve. We just need to develop the story and the bad guys a bit more. Currently, they feel a little reminiscent of the baddies from Falcon & the Winter Soldier, in that their main motivation simply seems to be that they got mad at some point and couldn't shake it. Writers: people need more motivation than just being angry and/or slightly peeved (honestly most of the people in this show just look like they're wearing uncomfortable shoes). If moderate anger leads to terrorism, then the developer of Getting Over It would have been locked up years ago.
Overall, I'm luke warm to the series so far. Only one episode in, so time will tell, but it just wasn't a super strong start for me. Had some funny moments and great Nick moments. Some cool action. Beyond the little tidbits though, the real meat of the series just felt undercooked. Or half-cocked. One of those. And as for my initial fear I mentioned above, it seems like the response to making the stakes not big enough or too big to not be an Avengers level threat was to just make the stakes kind of... not exist in any capacity? Or feel very vague at least. Honestly, if you told me this script was written by ChatGPT, I'd believe you.
Speaking of: the AI intro was also garbage. Not worth cutting out paying jobs for.
Episode 2 comes out June 28th. We'll meet you back then to see if things have shaped up. Ha.
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.