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Secret Invasion Episode 2 Easter Eggs – 7 Things You Missed in ‘Promises’


Gareth Gatrell/Marvel Studios

Marvel’s new spy thriller limited series Secret Invasion continued this week in its second episode as Nick Fury attempts to deal with the aftermath of the Skrull attack in Moscow–and as those rebel Skrulls make the next big move in their secret war of conquest against humanity.

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the second episode of Marvel’s Secret Invasion series on Disney+.

This week’s episode opened with a scene that, frankly, should have been used last week: Fury, in 1995 in the wake of the events of Captain Marvel, recruits a group of Skrulls to help him police Earth in exchange for giving the Skrulls a new home to live on (theirs was destroyed by the Kree). Gravik, the leader of the Skrull rebels in the present day, is in this scene as a boy–albeit a boy who’s been through some rough stuff.

In the present, things are looking very dire. Nick Fury and Maria Hill (RIP) are catching the blame for the attack in Moscow that killed more than 2,000 people. In the wake of the attack, Gravik pulls a power move on the Skrull leadership and pulls the entire Skrull civilization on Earth into the war, with himself in charge. And it turns out that “the entire Skrull civilization on Earth” is actually basically all the Skrulls in the universe–millions of Skrulls, secretly posing as humans.

And, just for good measure, Jim “War Machine” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) fires Fury from his job–making the former leader of SHIELD officially a rogue operative. Fortunately, he’s got a Skrull wife to go home to. But does he know she’s a Skrull? (Of course he does.)

Let’s get to those Easter eggs.

1. Emperor Drogge

When Talos tells Fury early in the episode that all the Skrulls came to Earth when he put out his call for refugees, he delivers one caveat: All the Skrulls showed up except for the ones at “Emperor Drogge’s colony.” This is a fascinating name drop. While there’s no “Emperor Drogge” in the comics, there’s an obscure Skrull character named Dro’ge Fenu Edu who was basically the Skrull equivalent of a nation’s science minister. But this isn’t just a cute and obscure reference. His significance is actually tied to a different Easter egg from near the end of the episode. So we’ll do that one next.

2. Those DNA samples the Skrulls have been collecting

Near the end of the episode, we see G’iah snooping around in parts of the secret Skrull base she’s not supposed to be in–and she discovers that they’re attempting to use alien DNA to enhance themselves and turn the rebels into Super-Skrulls. These DNA samples come from various corners of the MCU: Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, a Frost Beast from the Thor movies, Thanos’s lieutenant Black Dwarf (aka Cull Obsidian) from Infinity War, and the Extremis-powered baddies from Iron Man 3.

In the comics, It was Dro’ge who came up with this Super-Skrulls formula, though in the books he used the DNA of the members of the Fantastic Four rather than these random other bits. Since the Fantastic Four hasn’t actually been introduced yet in the MCU beyond that Reed Richard cameo in the last Doctor Strange movie, that change makes sense.

3. FXN News

Christopher McDonald plays a faux-Fox News talking head, though it’s not quite 1:1 with the real world. In the show, McDonald’s character is opposed to Russia’s posturing toward the United States after the Skrull attack, whereas in the real world Fox News leans pro-Russia enough that Russian state media has used their broadcasts for propaganda purposes. But McDonald’s character is a member of the secret Skrull council who at that point was opposed to the war, so at least there’s a story reason for it.

4. The only reading of human history

When Gravik confronts the Skrull council after his big attack, the big debate begins, with Gravik mocking the council members for being so effectively human. “Playing the man’s game, using the man’s fork and knife,” Gravik quipped.

“Better to behave as a human than as a dog,” a councilman replies.

“I quite like dogs,” Gravik declares in response. “In fact, I prefer ’em. Dogs aren’t hypocrites. And they don’t lie. They don’t lock each other up in cages. They don’t pimp, poison, and they don’t go out of their way to degrade and destroy their own habitat.”

The councilman isn’t into this rhetoric: “A naive reading of human history,” he said.

Gravik scoffs.

“It’s the only reading of human history.”

This is a reference to the well documented real-world phenomenon of humans being so awful and uncaring toward each other and the environment that we’ve ushered in the era of man-made climate change without doing nearly enough to compensate for that change. Thus: heat domes. Very topical.

5. A new Skrull general

During this same meeting, the British prime minister–apparently a Skrull who was already secretly aligned with Gravik–makes a proposal: “We need to streamline our chain of command. Democracy is fine for peacetime, but whilst at war, we need a single commander whose war power is total and unchecked. Therefore I nominate Gravik to the post of Skrull General.”

This isn’t a concept the PM made up on the spot–in the MCU, this is a thing the Skrulls do, akin to ancient Roman dictators who would be given unlimited power over specific spheres of influence in order to put an end to a crisis situation. But this isn’t a thing the Skrulls do in the comics, which makes this a historical Easter egg.

Interestingly, we learn later in the episode that Talos was the last Skrull general prior to Gravik–he held the post when the Kree destroyed their home.

6. Bring in the superheroes?

There have been many instances in standalone Marvel movies and shows where it sure seemed like maybe the heroes could have and should have gotten some help from some of the other random superheroes who we know are around and not busy. But Secret Invasion has given us one of the rare times when the characters in the story actually address that possibility and provide a reason for why they shouldn’t call them in.

Gravik, for his part, straight-up tells the Skrull council that he has a plan ready for if the Avengers make a move. And Fury, for his part, tells Rhodey that if they brought in the big guns, the Skrulls would simply pretend to be them while doing bad things–a scenario that would make everything a lot harder to manage.

7. Alexander Pierce

During his meeting with Rhodes, Fury has a fresh dig for former HYDRA/SHIELD boss Alexander Pierce, played by Robert Redford, who was killed during his attempt at global domination in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

“Every ounce of power we wrestle from the vice grip of the mediocre Alexander Pierces who run this world was earned in blood,” Fury pleads with Rhodes, trying to get his support for this secret war with the Skrulls. Rhodes doesn’t buy it though–he fires Fury then and there.

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