This Cloak & Dagger review contains spoilers.
Cloak & Dagger Season 1, Episode 5
Cloak & Dagger may be about Tandy and Tyrone fully coming into their powers, but that process is inextricably intertwined with their respective motivations: For Tandy, that means clearing her father’s name and taking down Roxxon. For Tyrone, it means bringing Billy’s killer to justice. This may be a story about two teenagers who inexplicably get superpowers, but, for them, those superpowers are first and foremost a vehicle through which they can seek justice in an unjust world.
For Tyrone, taking the next step in his pursuit of Connors is mostly accidental. When O’Reilly suggests he try being a kid and leave the detective work to her, he does just that, focusing on his big basketball game. It’s against the school from his own neighborhood, a fact we learn when Tyrone inadvertently transports himself to the garage Billy’s old friend, Duane, now owns. It’s a moment of connection, a time for Tyrone to reconnect with his past, with Billy, and with the part of his identity that will always be a black kid from a “rough” neighborhood.
When, during the basketball game, the ref begins to call unfair fouls on the other team, Tyrone sees the kind of systemic racism and classist assumptions at work. Even if he happens to benefit from the racism and classist assumptions, the injustice of it makes him so angry. He misses the final shot of the game, seemingly intentionally letting the team from “the wrong side of the tracks” win. It may not be much, but it’s something. If he’s going to win, then he’s going to win fairly. This is how he honors his brother: not by winning a game, but by trying to uphold justice in a world that so actively eschews it.
Evita sees it. She sees Tyrone, as she tells him again (making the viewer wonder if she sees Tyrone’s powers, too). The two grow closer here, a bright spot of optimism and levity in Tyrone’s confusing, pressure-filled world. Evita doesn’t ask Tyrone to be someone he isn’t. When she looks at him, she doesn’t see his brother or a basketball star; she sees Tyrone. And, for once, Tyrone sees that, too. He gives her his varsity jacket and the two spend the night together following the big game. Yep, I ship it.
It’s nice that Tyrone has something good in his life because it isn’t long after he reconnects with Duane that he finds out he is the one behind New Orleans’ drug problem. Not only that, but he is working with Connors. From the conversation Tyrone overhears upon inadvertently jumping into Duane’s garage, it seems that Duane not only works with Connors, but knows that he was the one to kill Billy. Tyrone has some tough choices to make because, if he takes Connors down for drug-trafficking and police corruption, he will most likely take Duane down, too.
Tyrone might not have a choice in the matter now that O’Reilly is on the trail. We learn more about the detective in “Princeton Offense,” in what is probably the episode’s strongest element. We learn that she is sleeping with some random police officer who is hot, but she doesn’t seem that into emotionally. We also learn how far she will go to take down the bad guys. She literally does coke in front of Connors to get him to believe she can be trusted. What has happened in this woman’s past for her to play so fast and loose with her own career and life? I’m not sure, but O’Reilly is a badass.
While O’Reilly does her job as detective, Tandy plays detective on her own, filling the floor of her cathedral-home with Roxxon evidence that makes most TV characters’ crazy walls look like a kindergarden’s fingerpainting.
Tandy’s adult-like life has always been hard to swallow, but it’s at its most ludicrous here as Cloak and Dagger plays fast and lose with time in a messy way. Tandy fabricates a fake identity, gets a job at a fancy Roxxon Corp party, goes to said party where she finds out who the man behind the curtain is, pretends to break down outside said man’s house, and decides not to kill him as he changes her tire all while Tyrone plays one basketball game. I get that Tandy is street smart, but there were points in this episode when Tyrone and Tandy felt like they were in completely different shows (Tyrone is in Friday Night Lights and Tandy is in Alias.) This is the first time the dual storylines featuring Tyrone and Tandy haven’t worked for me, and I hope it remains an exception to the rule of how great this show is in paralleling its main characters’ lives.
In the course of her Sydney Bristow-ing, Tandy learns that the man behind Roxxon’s terribleness is named Peter Scarborough… and that he is seriously evil. Like, as in apparently has no morals and basically has dreams about drowning kittens. When Tandy takes a peak at his hopes, she sees only money and murder—as in, the guy enjoys murdering his employees in order to get money. Killing isn’t an unfortunate necessity to him; it’s an added bonus. It’s horrifying, enough to throw Tandy off her game. She decides not to kill him, or perhaps she never truly intended to. Unlike Peter Scarborough, Tandy values human life—even if she sometimes pretends not to.
Has Tandy told Tyrone about Greg? The fact that the murder Tandy witnessed didn’t come up at all seems like a weird, unnatural oversight for this show.
We get another Liam sighting. Poor guy’s still in jail after giving Tandy all of his money.
In other news, Tandy meets Mina Hess, an environmental engineer working for Roxxon. The corporation put Mina through school following her father’s death, but is she drinking the corporation’s Kool-Aid, as it appears, or is she an inside agent who might help Tandy in her quest to take them down? I hope it’s the latter.