Warning: This Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger article contains major spoilers for Cloak and Dagger Season 2.
That’s right, folks. As we learned in the season premiere, this is no mere Jekyll & Hyde situation. Mayhem is her own, distinct version of Brigid, with all of the same memories up until to the point of their split, and she’s on a very bloody mission to save the most vulnerable citizens of New Orleans.
Let’s talk Mayhem…
“They’re both real for me,” said actress Emma Lahana of Brigid and Mayhem—the two characters she’s been absolutely killing it as in Cloak and Dagger Season 2. “I mean Mayhem is Brigid; she’s got all of Brigid’s memories and everything up to [the point when they split]. But, at that point, she has all of Mayhem’s rage so that’s really what’s driving her.”
It sounds like Mayhem’s rage is only going to grow as the season progresses. “When your spending so much time and energy repeating the same thought, repeating the same thing,” explained Lahana, “you really strengthen those neural pathways. Those habits become very strong.”
Mayhem doesn’t have any kind of balance to offset the rage-driven thought patterns her brain continues to reinforce, says Lahana, so we’re “going to see that grow” adding: “The more she kills, the less it affects her.”
Thus far, we’ve seen Mayhem treat Tyrone and Tandy as more of a nuisance than a threat—a perspective Lahana confirmed.
“It’s almost like she just doesn’t care,” said Lahana of Mayhem’s feelings towards Tyrone and Tandy. “They’re kind of in a way, but they’re not even a factor to her, they’re not even a thought.”
While Mayhem not pay much attention to Tandy and Tyrone, we do see her continually seek out Father Delgado in the flashback scenes of “Shadow Selves.” Why is Mayhem drawn to the priest?
“We all have different friends that we go to and you kind of keep going to different ones until you get the answer you want,” said Lahana, describing Delgado as someone Mayhem can “bounce her thoughts off of.” “She’s kind of looking for a justification of what she’s doing and, because Brigid’s also Irish-Catholic, it makes sense that she would talk to a priest.”
Let’s talk Brigid…
While Mayhem may be the louder character at this point, “Shadow Selves” gave us some insight into this post-split version of Brigid, as well—mainly that Brigid is not doing well dealing with the immense amount of trauma she has experienced in the past few years.
But you shouldn’t count Brigid out of the fight just yet. Despite being in shock for much of Episode 3, Lahana said that Brigid has some strengths that Mayhem lacks.
“[Brigid]’s definitely a strong person,” Lahana said. “I think one thing that is Brigid’s strength is… she’s kind of hard ass, and she’s a little bit rough around the edges, but she’s compassionate, and she has empathy towards these people that don’t necessarily get a lot of that from [other] people.”
Lahana used Brigid’s relationship with Tyrone in Season 1 as an example. While other police officers didn’t even see Tyrone as an individual, Brigid saw him as a person who deserved justice, and took action.
“Even though Brigid’s rough around the edges, she’s not necessarily the type of woman that’s going to go in and embrace him and make him feel comforted,” said Lahana, “I think that [empathy] is a power that we all have as human beings.”
On femininity and power.
Cloak and Dagger is a TV show that subtly subverts some of society’s most stubborn ideas about gender and power—namely, the cultural trend that equates traditionally masculine traits like physical strength and emotional stoicism with power and traditionally-feminine traits like empathy and nurturing with weakness.
Refreshingly, amongst the three main characters, teen boy Tyrone is the most openly empathetic and nurturing. In “Shadow Selves,” for example, he is the one who puts his arm around a traumatized Brigid and tells Tandy to back off when she is interrogating Brigid about her double.
While Brigid may not be the type of person who openly comforts others, she is a more feminine tough cop character than we often see represented on screen.
“Even in [Brigid’s initial] character break down,” said Lahana, “even though her fashion is very much function over fashion, she’s not walking to the f–king police office looking great—she’s just bootcut jeans and whatever—but she’s still taking time to do her nails.”
We brought that element that a woman can be really good at her job and still be feminine. That, even though you’re living in a man’s world and you’re operating in a male-dominated industry, you can still have your version of feminine, whatever that may be for you … I feel like, a lot of times, when I read scripts with a female police officer, you can lose that part of it, and it’s a little bit more of a stereotype.
That refusal to downplay traditional expressions of femininity in powerful women characters has continued with Mayhem. One of the anti-heroine’s main powers is her ability to kill a man with her nails.
“We had talked about that being one of her quote-unquote ‘powers,'” said Lahana. “So, from the beginning, we always knew that Brigid would have red nails, Mayhem would have green nails, and that’s one way to distinguish it … If you go back to Episode 2 of Season 1, where Brigid first appeared, the first shot is of my nail.”
Enter the Darkforce dimension…
At the end of Episode 3, we see Tyrone send Mayhem to the Darkforce dimension, a place composed entirely of Darkforce matter. We saw Tyrone send Connors to the Darkforce dimension previously in Season 1.
“I know that I can tell you it’s pretty cool, that’s about all,” said Lahana of the other dimension. “Obviously, we’re never going to answer everything. You get some [answers] that I think will be somewhat satisfying. I feel like we always answer a few questions and then throw a few more out.”
Lahana said that cycle of questions-and-answers makes out for a roller coaster of a ride in Season 2, describing: “Every episode so far, every five, ten minutes, you’ll be like, ‘What the hell? What the hell? Oh my God. Oh my God. No.”
So, there you have it folks. A rundown of what to expect in the rest of Cloak and Dagger Season 2 from Emma Lahana. Personally, I’m worried about that “No,” but I am excited for all of it.