Warning - This article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Secret Invasion.
After a lengthy 54-minute episode, the climatic attack on Vossoyedineniye Square, led by Skrull rebel Gravik, left fans shaken by a fan-favorite's death.
In classic a Skrull fakeout, Nick Fury appears in front of Maria Hill then shoots her directly in the stomach. Of course, this wasn't actually Nick Fury, but Gravik disguised as him.
This death was a gut punch and felt even more real when the credits begin by calling actress Cobie Smulders a "Special Guest Star" - all but confirming she won't return.
Cobie Smulders Speaks on Maria Hill's Death
After joking that she "didn’t know I was an alien in Spider-Man (Far From Home)," Smulders said she doesn't believe she will be back in the MCU:
"There is a Multiverse now, so anything is possible. But I’m pretty sure this is it.”
She denied any appearance in the upcoming The Marvels film, but said it still "feels strange" after Maria Hill's death, calling it "a sad day:"
“It felt and it feels strange. Maria Hill’s passing is very real, and it’s shocking, and it feels very human. It was a sad day.”
Smulders had to keep her impending character's death a secret for over a year, she said, "I’ve been well trained—yeah, I’ve had to keep secrets."
The actress added that throughout her career she had never died on camera before Secret Invasion:
"I don’t think I’ve ever died on camera. I got a real death scene!”
The emotions of the scene were high, especially considering Hill's greatest ally in the MCU, Nick Fury, who initially believes shot her.
Smulders hopes that Hill knew before she passed away that it was a Skrull, not Fury:
"To have Fury see himself, to know that Hill thinks that Fury shot her—that’s the pain of that moment. 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."
The Severity of Secret Invasion
No one is safe in Secret Invasion, and that was the point of episode one, "Ressurection".
Not only did Maria Hill truly die, but a Skrull impersonating Martin Freeman's Everett Ross was killed as well. This puts into question, where is the real Agent Ross? And for how long was a Skrull acting as him?
Moving forward in the next five episodes of the series it will be fascinating to see if any other characters die, and how permanent those deaths appear.
Hill's death feels real, in terms of within the MCU, even with the multiverse possibilities, it feels like a long shot that we will ever see her again - which would make this episode historically impactful.
Fury has lost another agent, over a decade after losing Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers.
How will Fury grieve her death? Find out when episode two of Secret Invasion release on Wednesday, June 28.