Cloak and Dagger Episode 6 Review: Funhouse Mirrors

Tandy and Tyrone become interns—at Roxxon and Duane's drug business, respectively—in the pursuit of information.

This Cloak and Dagger review contains spoilers.

Cloak and Dagger Season 1, Episode 6

What could have been if Tandy’s father didn’t die that fateful day when the rig exploded and Tyrone’s brother hadn’t been killed by Connors? When I first read the description for “Funhouse Mirrors,” I worried that Cloak and Dagger was going to do a straight-up “What if?” alternate reality episode, which would have felt a bit forced this early in the show’s run.

Thankfully, “Funhouse Mirrors” is much more nuanced that a straight-up alternate reality episode. It recognizes that, while Tandy and Tyrone’s lives changed in massive ways that day, it didn’t fundamentally change who they are. Tandy is still the little girl who geeks out about her father’s science experiments and who can read a blueprint better than the adult who is paid to be able to read a blueprint. And Tyrone is still the kid who punches above his weight and who doesn’t let go of his plans so easily.

For me, Tandy’s storyline was the real winner in tonight’s episode, and much of that has to do with the unexpected delight that is Mina Hess. Mina, as we learned in last week’s episode, is the daughter of Ivan Hess, Nathan Bowen’s former colleague. Unlike Tandy, Mina doesn’t seemingly want to bring Roxxon down, but rather use their resources to make the world a better place. She is choosing to work within the system to help the environment. For now, her own moral compass supports this compromise, though rumblings of a super-fuel much more powerful than oil that Roxxon is digging for certainly sounds ominous and the sort of thing that would not only wipe out the bees, but all of New Orleans.

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Mina and Tandy might seem like very different people on the surface, but they have a lot in common—not just their engineer fathers, but their intelligence, their determination, and their willingness to do whatever it takes to meet their goal. They’re also able to see through others’ bullshit. After spending one day with Tandy as her fake intern, Mina calls her out on her lies, identifying her as Tandy Bowen. It’s pretty impressive, and the kind of superhero genre subversion that Cloak and Dagger is doing so well.

It was unfortunate we didn’t get to see more of the immediate fallout from Mina’s confrontation of Tandy, but, if I had to choose one post-identity reveal scene, it would be the one that happens beside Ivan Hess’ non-responsive self. Tandy follows Mina to the facility that is looking after a catatonic Ivan Hess. It’s heartbreaking to see Mina try to reach her father with the same scientific enthusiasm and sense of wonder that no doubt once linked them. It’s a different kind of separation than the one Tandy has from her own father, but it’s still so very sad.

Unlike Peter Scarborough, Mina is no villain. When she sees how upset Tandy gets over losing this possible connection she might have had to her own father, Mina empathizes with it. I truly hope these two will continue some kind of relationship. While I don’t know if Tandy can completely trust Mina, these are two young women who understand each other in a way that no one else can. We’ve seen a side of Tandy in her interactions with Mina that we’ve never gotten to see before. I’d love for them to foster their friendship, and for Tandy to foster that scientific mind of hers.

While Tandy poses as a scientist, Tyrone poses as a drug dealer. I find it hard to believe that, even if Billy hadn’t died, Tyrone would have ended up a drug dealer. Billy never would have let that happen. However, it does make some sense that Tyrone would have stayed in the neighborhood he grew up in. He wouldn’t be a semi-stranger to the people he used to call neighbors.

Seemingly, Tyrone’s motivation in getting to know Duane’s drug business is his ultimate goal of bringing Connors down, but, as the episode progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that, while Tyrone definitely still cares about bringing Connors down, he is also desperate to understand how Duane could work with the man who killed his best friend. (In parallel, Tandy’s goals are much more complicated than they initially appear. We’re led to believe she just wants to get information on Roxxon, but, really, she wants to find out more about her father. Really, both Tyrone and Tandy are kids grieving the people they have lost.)

When Tyrone finds out that Duane was there the night Billy died and didn’t come forward to support young Tyrone’s story, he is furious. Tyrone’s own parents don’t believe that Billy was shot. Tyrone has been completely alone in this for so very long. While I understand where Tyrone is coming from, I also don’t blame Duane for making the choice he did. He doesn’t believe in a system that has continually failed the black people of New Orleans. Why would he risk everything for justice that, from his perspective (and, often objectively), is “only for white people from somewhere else”? Tyrone may be from the neighborhood, but he has spent many of his formative years with economic and academic privilege. He knows what it is to be black in America, but he doesn’t know what it’s like to be economically desperate.

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Tragically (and somewhat lazily, from a narrative point-of-view), Duane and Tyrone never have a chance to finish their conversation. Connors, desperate to get O’Reilly off his back and away from the drug trade he has going with Duane, stages a shooting. He gives Duane a gun and tells him to shoot O’Reilly when she comes in, but she gets the shot off first, shooting and killing Duane in self-defense.

This is the second time Tyrone has had to watch someone he cares about shot and killed by a police officer. It’s also the second time the blood is on Connors’ hands. Running from Connors, Tyrone jumps to Tandy’s church where he breaks down. She is desperate to comfort her distraught friend, but their powers’ magnetic repulsion keep her away. She can only watch as he puts his head in his hands and cries, powerless. This may be the best Cloak and Dagger cliffhanger yet, and it has nothing to do with action and everything to do with emotion.

Additional thoughts.

The frame tale for “Funhouse Mirrors” featured Evita (wearing an awesome jumpsuit) watching as her Auntie Clarisse does a tarot card reading for the city of New Orleans. It’s unfortunate that Evita and Clarisse’s relationship so far has only been presented in the context of Tandy and Tyrone’s powers. Like, doesn’t Clarisse have interests outside of her tarot card-reading and voodoo doll collection? Every piece of dialogue between these two in tonight’s episode felt like a) my horoscope, b) trailer voiceover, or c) both. I’m not here to see Auntie Clarisse fall into the Magical Negro trope.

Clarisse’s reading revealed to Evita that Tyrone has powers. Evita probably has her doubts still, but I wish this revelation had been part of the Evita/Tyrone relationship evolution.

Clarisse tells Evita that either Tyrone or his partner in the divine pairing has to die and you can already see her making plans in her head. Someone has to look out for Ty.

O’Reilly’s bootie call actually seems kind of concerned about her. What’s this dude’s story?

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Connors clearly saw Tyrone use his powers. Has he seen anything like this before? How is this going to affect their dynamic, if you can even call it that, moving forward?

When Tandy looks inside of Ivan Ness’ hopes, he is trapped behind some kind of door. When she tries to go through it, black smoke similar to Tyrone’s keeps her from going in. Does this mean that only Tyrone can see what is inside of his head—perhaps because it is not a dream, but a nightmare? Or do they have to do it together? Will Mina actually be able to get her father back?

Stan is kind of perfect as the villainous minion we all love to hate. Fifty percent of that is because his name is Stan.

Up until this episode, Tandy has been much more willing to use her powers to look inside others’ minds, but, here, we see her hesitate, choosing not to violate Mina’s privacy, and Tyrone go for it when it comes to scaring away Duane’s drug stooge.

Did you know that New Orleans is a survivor? Did you know that is a parallel to Tandy and Tyrone’s own skill at survival, despite the tragedies they have both suffered? Did you know that bees are like this, too? I love you, Cloak and Dagger, but pro tip: with thematic analogies, less is more.


3.5 out of 5