This Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger review contains spoilers.
Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger Season 2 Episode 4
“Rabbit Hold” picks up right where “Shadow Selves” left off, and is all about the truths that we try to keep from ourselves.
For Tyrone, this means facing up to the knowledge that his powers have the capacity to send people to another place. He did it with Connors last season and now he’s done it with Mayhem. Just once and in the privacy of himself and his transportee, and he might be able to keep it quiet, but Tandy witnessed the latest display of this power, and she wants answers—not only for herself, but for Tyrone.
All of this time, Tyrone has been living on the lam because, as Tandy thought, everyone assumed that he killed Fuchs when it was really Connors. With Connors missing, there was no way to clear Tyrone’s name. And now Tandy finds out that Tyrone has had a hunch about where Connors might be all of this time. Tyrone has been avoiding the possibility of the path to justice and a return home in favor of hiding out in Tandy’s church.
The other truth that Tyrone has long been avoiding is just who his mother is and how she may be involved in the corrupt ways of the city and the Roxxon Corporation. When the gang that Tyrone and Tandy freed the girls from last week identifies Ty from his wanted poster in the police station, Tyrone’s mom is put at risk, forcing Tyrone to talk to Adina for the first time since his escape from his house at the end of Season 1.
While Adina is so happy to see Tyrone, she is also pissed. The fact that Tyrone is still in the city puts him at risk. Let’s remember that she doesn’t know about his powers, and Tyrone actively chooses in this episode not to tell her, implying that he doesn’t totally trust her on some level. He may be right now to.
While Adina would never intentionally put Tyrone in danger, she would definitely make choices that are “for his own good.” As is constantly demonstrated in this episode, Adina still thinks of Tyrone as a kid who needs protecting. To be fair, he is a kid, but I’m not sure I would want a mother like Adina making decisions for me, as we’ve seen from previous episodes that her ethics are compromised. What was in the file that she didn’t want Tyrone to see?
Meanwhile, Tandy is forced to face her own set of truths when she travels through Ty and into the Darkforce dimension to find Mayhem and Connors. Once there, she finds Mayhem and a record shop complete with a catalogue of all of the missing girls… and a catalogue of herself, including some of her most repressed memories.
In a clever and creative narrative device, each record represents a foundational memory of Tandy’s. The shrink-wrapped ones are the ones that Tandy has chosen to forget, pasting them over with far more innocent, simplistic, and happy versions of life before her dad died.
When Mayhem and Tandy play the records, however, it becomes clear just how much trauma Tandy suffered as a young girl whose father was abusive towards her mother. The final “shrink-wrapped” memory-album has the visual motif of a doorknob. It’s the doorknob for the door that Tandy chose to walk through the first time she ran from the truth of her family and her life. She has only just started learning ways to not choose that doorknob.
Sometimes, however, running makes sense. This is the case for Tyrone. In order to avoid the local gang who is actively looking for him, he calls the police, planning on turning himself in so he can stop hiding and start trying to rebuild his life. Of course, it quickly becomes clear that this is not an option the police are willing to give to him. Despite Brigid’s assurances that Tyrone is unarmed, the police bring the cavalry, guns ready to take down the “copkiller.”
Tyrone runs, and it is the smart decision. This isn’t the sort of situation when all you have to do is face your fears and it will all work out all right. This is the sort of situation when you face your fears, find out they are justified, and die because of it. That sort of thing only works when the monster under your bed isn’t real. Here, the monster is a well-armed institutional force. They don’t need a reason to shoot Tyrone. We’ve learned that again and again in the real world.
The moment of Tyrone’s probably-almost-murder not only demonstrates the institutional racism of the police department, but also the institutional sexism. Brigid has to literally let off an air horn to get her colleagues’ attention and let them know where to find Tyrone. Then, when she lets them know that Tyrone is unarmed, they don’t care. Brigid may be a cop, but her power is severely limited within the institution.
Tyrone jumps away and back to the safety of his church just as Tandy escapes from the Darkforce dimension, a bearded Connors in tow. He has been living for months within the Darkforce dimension, effigies of Tyrone in his makeshift home.
When Mayhem tries to kill him, he apologizes, but she doesn’t care. Do we believe him? Does it matter? Now, he is back in the real world and he knows where Tyrone is living. Connors may represent a solution for Ty, but he also made things a lot more complicated. Now, Tyrone has nowhere to hide.
“Give this up? To head into uncertain doom without the only thing that keeps me safe.” “It’s not the only thing.”
Mayhem sees the St. Peter character at the entrance to the Darkforce dimension as Fuchs; Tandy sees him as little Tyrone. Interesting.
“Sometimes, the status quo is OK.” “Yeah, and sometimes girls are stolen and thrown into slavery. Oh wait, that’s all the time.”
“I haven’t been a kid in a long time.” What has Adina seen? What has she suffered? How has she accumulated the power that she has?
“When it comes to men, they have their own power structure and they do not need your help propping it up.”
Tyrone’s story about the Casket Women was both horrifying and thematically-rich, a reminder of the historical cycle of the exploitation of vulnerable girls and women.
Tyrone’s mom doesn’t like Tandy. “Something wrong with that girl.” “Tandy’s just complicated.”
Etch this Britney Spears cover on my tombstone.
“You wanna be a big man? Come at me. My son hasn’t had a chance to live… not for a long while.” It’s interesting to see the class tensions between Tyrone/Adina and the boy Tyrone saved in last week’s episode.
“They could kill you.” “I’m gonna shoot for capture best as I can.”