This week, the Skrull Invasion has finally begun! Will the Avengers be able to pull themselves together and stop the green menace before it’s too late?

On an interstellar AIM base, a yellow-suited scientist (do they always wear the silly helmets?) approaches the Scientist Supreme about the readings he’s been taking from a new AIM weapon. Remember that wormy nerd scientist from last week’s episode, Dr. Lyle Getz? He’s been infiltrated by the Skrulls as you remember. The scientist asks Getz about the weapon. He’s just discovered that the weapon is capable of destroying all human life on the planet. “Including us?” he asks Getz. Getz smiles and whips out a Skrull gun, shooting the scientist. He takes out everyone else on the ship and morphs back into a Skrull. “As it is written.”

All the Skrull infiltrators are falling into place: Henry Gyrich at SWORD, Agent Quartermain at SHIELD, and, of course, Captain America in the Avengers Mansion. Skrull-Cap leaves some sort of Skrull cube device floating in the mansion before leaving. Gyrich, Sue Storm, and Quartermain all activate a countdown in their respective HQs. On the helicarrier, Maria Hill approaches Quartermain only to find that he’s overridden the entire system. “I’ll require SHIELD’s full surrender.”

On the stolen Skrull ship, the real Cap and the rest of the crew are trying to make their way back to earth, figuring they’ll have to refuel at SWORD Damocles base, even if it’s compromised. When it is recognized that the ship is Skrull, SWORD personnel are teleported off of the ship. Maria watches as every last one of her agents become skrulls and orders that any remaining human evacuate immediately. Quartermain says that she could have held a position of power among the “human slaves” had she cooperated. “When all of this is over, I’m gonna have a t-shirt made. Know what it’s gonna say?” The Skrulls shoot her only to find that she’s been replaced with an Android. Robot-Maria sits up and smiles. “It’ll say ‘Nick Fury was Right.'”

Speaking of Nick Fury, we go back to the mess at his secret hideout, where Queen Veranke has all of them capacitated and Tony appears to possibly be dying. “Without you,” she taunts, “The Avengers were so easy to eliminate one by one.” The countdown at all bases ends and the Skrull devices all detonate- The Avengers Mansion, the Baxter Building (in which Reed and the rest of the Fantastic Four finally realize Sue is a Skrull), Damocles Base, and the Helicarrier. Maria watches the broken helicarrier fall into the river. “I’ve had the same car since I was 19, never had a problem. Yet this thing falls out of the sky every other Thursday.” Everything seems to be in place except for the Wakandan contingency.Queen Veranke realizes that the remaining Avengers must have survived, but doesn’t worry. She wants them sent to Washington so they can see what’s about to happen. Behind her, TV monitors show Skrull-Cap about to deliver a shocking message to the world. Tony finally realizes who the Avengers infiltrator was.

The remaining Avengers pilot the quinjet to Washington DC. “We need to call Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four and-” Jan insists. “And what?” Clint interrupts. “And if they help us, they’re the good guys!.” They land in DC to find it abandoned. From above, a Skrull ship touches down and the remaining Avengers, Wasp, Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel, are surrounded by a bunch of elaborately costumed super-skrulls.

Queen Veranke is about to take out Nick Fury when Maria busts in and saves the day, also taking out the last Skrull bomb, which would have destroyed all of Fury’s evidence. Maria tells Fury about the full destruction of the helicarrier, as well as the entirety of the Skrull Infiltration. But if they’re gonna help the remaining Avengers, they have to save Iron Man first. Tony tells Fury to remove his arc reactor (aka his heart) and the suit begins to short circuit. Meanwhile, it’s not looking good for the Avengers as they get pummeled by the Super-Skrulls, who seem to be really flashy amalgamations of different kids of Avenger and Fantastic Four super-powers. Nearby, the press corp is getting the battle on tape. “Easy, we’re all friends here.” Skrull-Cap says to the group, and they all realize who the infiltrator was. Skrull-Cap tells a reporter to broadcast his message.

“This message is for all of humanity. My name is Captain America. I’m one of you. I’ve spent my entire life fighting for freedom, for liberty, for the human right to live. But something has happened. An alien race has traveled across the galaxy to come here. They’ve made contact with the government, and they’re not here to hurt us. They’re here to save us from ourselves. They realize out planet is on the brink of destruction but they also see the potential in us. The Skrulls, they want to help. Where we’ve failed, they’ll succeed.They’ll eliminate poverty, hunger, disease. The Skrulls will save the earth itself, and all we have to do is let them. This is what they offer. Our ways aren’t working. I ask you now, my friends. Embrace change.”

(This is all set to people all around the world watching in shock. Yeah.)

“They’re good.” Nick Fury says, watching the speech while Maria is rewiring Tony’s arc reactor. He passes out before he can finish telling her what to do, so she takes a blind guess on which wire to use as she puts it back in. Luckily, it works. “What now?” “Now we go take out every Skrull on this planet. After I call a friend.” In DC, the Queen, disguised as Mockingbird, arrive to take out the captured Avengers, which Clint isn’t too happy about. Just when things are looking grim, the real Cap arrives with the rest of his crew. Iron Man arrives next. “You are all outmatched and outnumbered.” the Queen taunts, when lightning tears into the Skrull ship hanging in the sky. Thor (!) comes down to join the team. “Avengers, assemble!”

Thor obliterates the Skrull mothership, overloading the power core. “FOR MIDGARD!” I missed you, big guy. The Avengers get to work taking out the super-skrulls. The two Captain Americas go at it for a bit. “You! You lied to the Avengers, to the world. USING MY FACE.” Cap. is. pissed. When the Queen senses that the Skrulls may lose, she tells them to activate the AIM device to kill all humans. Only Thor and Iron Man are unaffected. Thor flies into space to take out the satellites that the Skrulls have hijacked. Skrull-Cap tries to taunt Steve, telling him that he shares his skill and strength. “There’s more to humans than just our minds and bodies. Something you’ll never have- our spirit. We never surrender. We never give up. Ever.” With that, the Avengers triumph over the Skrulls.

Iron Man forces the Queen to surrender. “I don’t understand, it was written! How can this be?” Carol takes out the Queen with a photo blast. “Write that.

We get a brief overview of the recovery in the post-Skrull world. SHIELD was reinstated and helped secure the world’s capitals, the Baxter Building was sucked into another dimension but Sue Storm was able to fix it, Abigail Brand is leading the remaining SWORD agents to find any Skrulls left on the planet, and the super-Skrulls are being kept in a special area at 41. But the Avengers definitely are still reeling from the damage that came from their broken trust.

(No one picked up the Hulk? Well, that’s just depressing.)

The Skrull Invasion is over, and, of course, the good guys won. Watching all those pieces fall into place for several episodes was pretty fun, and that kind of execution is rare, especially on a program intended for younger audiences. (Which may be why the show is getting canceled, but who’s to say.) They also managed to slip in some of the best parts of the original Secret Invasion story without making it too heavy. Who wasn’t thrilled by the inclusion of “Nick Fury was Right”? If I had one complaint, it would be that the final battle was a little short, but honestly, if they had dragged this out any longer, I may have lost interest. And where the heck did Thor come from all of the sudden? I mean, glad to see him, they certainly needed him around, but what happened to Surtur and the fire demons and all that mess that was tearin’ up Asgard? I wonder if that will be resolved by the time EMH is, sadly, gone for good.

The beatdown between Caps was pretty great, and  I hope Cap doesn’t mope too long about the whole no-one’s-gonna-trust-me-anymore issue. What I’m really starting to wonder now- is the superhero registration act going to come back? They hinted at it at the beginning of the season and with all the mess with the Skrulls, Red Hulk and all that, I can see the push to want to keep tabs in superhero identities more relevant than ever. And with next week’s episode bringing your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man into the mix, you’ll have all the key plays. What did you think of EMH’s take on Secret Invasion?

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: Infiltration’ recap to catch up.