Secret Invasion is here and Nick Fury is already having a terrible time. The show’s first episode brings him back to Earth as a war between humans and a Skrull collective is brewing. To make things worse, Nick is not the same self-assured boss following the events of the Blip. He reunites with Talos and Maria Hill for a mission to stop a Skrull act of terrorism. Maria (among others) isn’t quite sure that Nick Fury is ready for what’s coming and mentions that something terrible could happen. Sadly, her words come to fruition in the final moments of the first episode. Maria Hill dies at the end of Secret Invasion episode one. And this Secret Invasion‘s death is one MCU loss that we’ll feel for a long time.

Marvel

Right before Maria Hill’s death in the first episode of Secret Invasion, Nick is tracking Gravik, a Skrull leader who changes form in front of him several times. Fury is hesitant to shoot or jump into action, and things go awry as bombs begin to explode. In the midst of the chaos, Gravik morphs into Nick Fury as Maria approaches him. She clearly believes it is her close friend, but instead, he shoots her in the chest. Nick eventually makes his way to her and is horrified as she struggles to speak to him. Maria Hill dies, and he must evacuate the scene, leaving her body bleeding on the ground. Hill’s death is a sobering moment that will surely affect him for the rest of the season.

Marvel Studios

Of course, the MCU isn’t a place where the dead stay dead. But, if Maria Hill is truly dead in Secret Invasion, this is a strong indicator that the Skrulls are a powerful threat. Nick will have to stop being an old man and get some new tricks to figure this one out. It will be sad to lose Maria considering she’s been a part of the MCU for so long yet never really got her chance to shine. However, death is often (for better or worse) used to push a narrative forward and bring a situation’s stakes into focus. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what this devastating Secret Invasion death brings to the show.