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Secret Invasion: Did Maria Hill Know Who Killed Her? Cobie Smulders Weighs In

"Secret Invasion" Episode 1 ends with an unexpected tragedy. After failing to prevent a Skrull-run terrorist attack in Moscow, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) finds herself on the receiving end of a deadly bullet. In case that wasn't heartbreaking enough, it comes courtesy of a rebel Skrull leader named Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), who does so while impersonating her longtime friend, boss, and mentor, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Gravik's ruse is revealed when the real Fury stumbles upon Hill, who looks up at him with confusion and fear in her eyes before dying in the center of a Moscow square.

The moment is undeniably tragic and partly because it's unclear whether or not Hill thinks that it really was her friend who shot and betrayed her. "Secret Invasion" star Cobie Smulders, for her part, seems to think that Hill does realize what happened just before she dies. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the actor revealed as much while delving into the intense emotions at the center of her fan-favorite character's potentially final scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"To have Fury see himself, to know that Hill thinks that Fury shot her — that's the pain of that moment," Smulders told the outlet. "I like to think that she, by the time she passed, knew it wasn't him. Initially, it's terrifying and so confusing. But I'd like to think she got there."

Cobie Smulders thinks her Secret Invasion death is the end for Maria Hill

Whether or not Maria Hill realized who actually shot her isn't the only mystery currently surrounding the character's final scene in the "Secret Invasion" premiere. There's also the matter of whether she really is dead now. Over the years, the MCU has brought back certain characters from the grave, including Vision (Paul Bettany) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), so it wouldn't be the most shocking thing if Hill were to somehow rebound from her seemingly fatal gunshot wound.

For now, Smulders seems fairly confident that "Secret Invasion" does represent the end of the line for her MCU hero. In the same interview with Vanity Fair, she acknowledged that Marvel Studios may have plans for her character that she doesn't know about yet but insisted that she thinks Agent Hill has taken her last breath in the MCU. "There is a multiverse now, so anything is possible. But I'm pretty sure this is it," the actor said. Smulders went on to note that she thinks about her character's "Secret Invasion" death in surprisingly grounded, visceral terms. "Maria Hill's passing is very real, and it's shocking, and it feels very human," the star explained.

With five episodes left to go before "Secret Invasion" ends, there's still plenty of time for the Disney+ series to throw out more twists and surprises. It is, therefore, possible that the MCU thriller will find some way to eventually recontextualize or erase Hill's apparent death. For now, however, it seems like Marvel fans should start coming to terms with the fact that they may, indeed, have just seen the last of the former SHIELD agent.