Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Secret Invasion Episode 4: How Long Has [SPOILER] Been A Skrull?

Contains spoilers for "Secret Invasion" Season 1, Episode 4 — "Beloved"

In Episode 2 of "Secret Invasion," we learn that over 1 million Skrulls, the race of shape-shifting aliens who entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe during the events of "Captain Marvel," have assimilated into the human population. In Episode 3, former SHIELD director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) begins to suspect that Skrulls have even infiltrated the United States government and are planning to use their power to destabilize the planet by starting a war between the U.S. and Russia. These fears come full circle in Episode 4, when we learn that former Avenger and current presidential advisor James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) is a Skrull.

Rhodey's true identity is certainly one of the biggest twists on "Secret Invasion" — one that undoubtedly has fans wondering how long he's been a Skrull. Thankfully, Episode 4 gives us a few hints to help answer this question. Since Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) is unable to maintain his appearance after being critically wounded in the episode's climax, it's safe to assume that serious injuries can cause even the most powerful Skrulls to lose their disguise. This means that Rhodey has to have been human during the events of "Captain America: Civil War," when he crashes his War Machine armor and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. As such, we know that Rhodey is human in the "Iron Man" trilogy, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and "Civil War," though things become a bit murky after that.

Rhodey could have been a Skrull since Infinity War

Following his catastrophic injury in "Captain America: Civil War," James Rhodes remains relatively healthy during his subsequent appearances in "Avengers: Infinity War," "Captain Marvel," "Avengers: Endgame," and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," suggesting that he could be a Skrull during any of these projects. In fact, considering how comfortable and convincing the impostor-Rhodey is on "Secret Invasion," it's not out of the question that the character has been a Skrull for a while. However, it's also possible that this has been a short-term impersonation, similar to that of Commodore Robert Fairbanks (David Bark-Jones) in Episode 3, and perhaps the real Rhodey is still alive and hooked up to a memory machine in scariest villain in the MCU shows Gravik's (Kingsley Ben-Adir) headquarters.

Then again, Kevin Feige himself has teased that Rhodey is actually a Skrull in previous MCU projects as well, telling Marvel, "We like the idea of fans going back and watching some of the other appearances of Rhodey and realizing that that wasn't him." This certainly makes it sound like one or more of Rhodey's post-"Civil War" appearances are actually that of his Skrull impostor, though as of right now, it's impossible to say when the switch was made. In any case, it will certainly be interesting to learn what happened to the real Rhodey and whether or not his story will factor into the next few episodes of "Secret Invasion."