Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home
The final scenes of Spider-Man: Far From Home may have thrown Peter Parker's life into total disarray, revealing Spider-Man's secret identity... but it saved its biggest twist for Nick Fury. Not to mention the Skrull pretending to be Nick Fury, too.
By revealing that Nick Fury and Maria Hill have actually been Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and an unnamed Skrull the whole movie, everything fans know about the MCU has changed. That's even before the real Nick Fury is contacted aboard a massive Skrull spaceship. But believe it or not, there were clues to this Nick Fury/Skrull reveal dropped beforehand; careless mistakes at the time which now seem downright brilliant. Strange as it may seem, the official reveal of Skrull-Fury helps to close one of the weirdest and most unnecessary plot holes in the MCU. Even if most fans totally missed it in the first place.
Captain Marvel's Version is The REAL Nick Fury
What fans shouldn't question is the version of Nick Fury that was introduced to the Marvel Universe first--at least chronologically--in Captain Marvel. That remains the true, unquestionably confirmed version of Samuel L. Jackson's character. And considering how much that Fury sets into motion, or even makes possible in the future of the MCU, he would have had quite the legendary career even if Talos took over for him almost immediately.
Fury's heroism is established alongside the Kree warrior Vers a.k.a. Carol Danvers, and the final scenes show him re-naming the Avengers Initiative in honor of Captain Marvel. And the movie offers enough time with young Fury to show that Talos is doing one heck of an accurate impression, even if his later appearances in the Avengers films is a bit more self-serious. And sure, this change to the MCU's past timeline does create some plot holes later, suggesting Fury was lying to The Avengers about more than his Skrull heritage when in disguise.
But in their defense, the Avengers had no reason to suspect that Nick Fury was ever an alien in disguise. Even if they did, there would be no concrete evidence to confirm it. Because only Captain Marvel was given the key to spotting Fury's Skrull imposter... with a detail so small even most fans might have missed it.
The Avengers Sandwich Theory
Interestingly enough, the idea that Nick Fury is a Skrull in disguise is one that Carol has upon first meeting Nick, and hatches a plan to go about deciphering his true humanity. Since Skrulls can only simulate the recent memories of those they mimic (do not ask us how that's a part of their gift), Carol asks Nick to "name a detail so bizarre, a Skrull could never fabricate it." His response? "If toast is cut diagonally, I can't eat it." An unexpected, and yet somehow still completely enigmatic insight into the mind of Nick Fury... and a detail some fans caught as seriously problematic.
Sure, it's not the biggest MCU plot hole in Captain Marvel and its trip back through the 1990s, but a plot inconsistency matters no matter how big it may be. The revealing conversation between Nick and Carol is a strong one, and one of the few times Nick Fury has let his true humanity shine. But it didn't take long for one Reddit user to point out that, random as the preference might seem, Nick Fury ate a sandwich in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It happens after the heroes have fled to the home of the Barton family to lick their wounds, and Nick Fury arrives to have a secret meeting with Tony Stark. After joining the rest of the team in the farmhouse kitchen, Fury makes himself a sandwich. But since director Joss Whedon and Jackson were still years away from learning about Captain Marvel's insight, neither knew to take care with how Fury sliced his sandwich. Which also meant they didn't notice as he enjoyed his late night snack... after slicing it diagonally.
The inconsistency was taken to be a coincidence at first, but a seriously unfortunate one for fans of cohesive, well-planned continuity. In the scene with Carol, Fury could have revealed absolutely anything, any quirk, any superstition, or any random detail about his life or past. Yet for some reason, the filmmakers decided to choose the one eccentricity openly contradicted elsewhere in the MCU. The chances of that happening seem so insignificant, it begs the question that perhaps it's no mistake at all.
Fury is a Skrull in Age of Ultron, Confirmed?
Ordinarily, common sense and logic would suggest that a connection like this is purely coincidental, and certainly not planned beforehand. But consider this: over the course of the MCU films he appears in, Nick Fury making and eating a sandwich in Age of Ultron is just about the only 'normal' thing he ever actually does. And therein lies the one reason many audience members might overlook this crucial detail. Slicing bread is so mundane an activity, it could be misconstrued as a happy accident. But fans know better, thanks to Spider-Man: Far From Home.
To demonstrate our point, if Age of Ultron instead showed Fury brushing his teeth (an equally mundane, but far more noticeable act), and he then referenced brushing his teeth years earlier in Captain Marvel, few would think it coincidence. The intentional reference would seem obvious, and many would conclude that Fury wasn't really Fury in that particular scene. A theory explicitly confirmed in Far From Home: that Fury was secretly Talos in disguise, keeping Earth's heroes on their projected paths while the real Fury covered duties in outer space.
This apparent confirmation of the Nick Fury/Skrull/Sandwich theory does offer some good news for fans who don't like the idea of a 'false' Fury guiding the MCU, since it doesn't confirm a permanent switch ever took place. It does, however, set a precedent for Nick Fury to have been dealing with more than it seemed to audiences. New franchises like Eternals may seem to have developed overnight, but Fury has been there, too, planning for the next phase of the MCU... while Talos was blowing his cover eating lunch. No Fury scene will ever be viewed the same.