Warning: This Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger review contains spoilers.
Cloak and Dagger Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2
While both Tandy and Tyrone may have emotionally-volatile when we first met their teenage selves in Season 1, for most of the first season, Tyrone had much more of a support system than Tandy. When we catch back up with these characters in the two-hour Season 2 premiere, the opposite is true.
As Tandy learns to reconnect with the communities in her life, through ballet class and group therapy and cooking with her mom, Tyrone is more isolated than ever as a result of being framed for Fuchs’ murder at the end of Season 2. While Tandy works to heal the part of her that loves and trusts, Tyrone is forced to watch the people he loves and trusts from afar, knowing that to spend time with them is to endanger his own life.
But Season 2 Tyrone has something Season 1 Tandy did not: he has Tandy, and she knows what it is like to live alone in an abandoned church. She sets up movie nights, encourages Tyrone to talk to Evita, and, when she finds out he has been going after drug dealers on his own, reminds him that she is there to help. Tandy and Tyrone may still have a lot of stuff—both of the superhero and the non-supernatural variety—to deal with, but they also have each other, and that is worth more than—wait for it—any Cloak or Dagger.
Together, Tyrone and Tandy come to the decision that they can’t sit back while vulnerable people without superpowers are taken advantage of by the most ruthlessly greedy and power-hungry. For Tandy, this means going after Jeremy, the abusive boyfriend of Mikayla, one of the young women from her group therapy. For Tyrone, it means stealing money from drug-dealing gang leaders whenever he gets the chance.
However, as is often the case with this show (and in real life), problems are not so simply solved. They have complex constructs, and therefore often need complex solutions. When Tandy vandalizes the abusive boyfriend’s house, he turns it into a sob story that convinces his girlfriend to return to a dangerous situation. And when Tyrone tries to record a meeting between gang leaders in the hopes of saving O’Reilly’s op and putting these bad guys in jail, it turns into a mysterious massacre with no one left alive.
It seems likely that the culprit is Mayhem, a character we learn in the closing minutes of tonight’s two-hour premiere is not a Hyde to Brigid’s Jekyll, but rather an entirely different human. After all, if we know anything about Mayhem, it’s that she is a character who refuses to wait for the complex solution. She would much rather the “simple” solution of immediate violence and murder, vengeance against the kinds of people who are stealing young black girls off of the streets they live on.
It’s hard not to sympathize with Mayhem’s cause, at least at this point in the story. But what does her existence mean for Brigid, who gets tied up in her own apartment by Mayhem during the course of tonight’s premiere? And what happens when Mayhem’s brand of vigilantism takes on more ethically-complex targets?
At the close of tonight’s premiere, Tandy and Tyrone have so much working against them. They’re just kids, still learning how to use their powers. Their best ally is not only suffering from PTSD, but has a vigilante alter ego with a violent, if somewhat relatable agenda. Tyrone’s parents seem to be separated, and he can do nothing to comfort either of them. Tandy is in group therapy, but still has a long way to go in reconciling the nostalgic, childhood vision she had of her father and the person he actually was. Life is hard, y’all… even when you’re not a superhero.
That being said, as cheesy as it sounds, Tandy and Tyrone have each other (and other people who love and support them). They have Zorro movie nights when they need to blow off steam, and calling each other out when it’s necessary, and having each other’s backs. Most of all, they (along with Brigid and, it seems, to some extent, Mayhem) have the same, noble-as-hell mission: to save the city’s most vulnerable from the city’s most cruel, to make the world a little bit better in whatever ways they can, in whatever ways are in front of them.
Get ready, friends. The best superhero show on television is back.
I love that Evita called Tyrone out on the idiocy and cruelty of not letting her know she was alive… especially given he can teleport.
What do we make of the vèvè, the mark Tyrone and Tandy found on the floor at the club massacre? Evita’s aunt said it is used for summoning a saint or god. Could it have some kind of power over Mayhem? Or is it something else entirely?
It was cool to see Tyrone’s powers progress so much in this episode and during the hiatus, while still having their limits (which are so important in any superhero narrative). Not being able to return to the ambulance to help the scared woman must have bene torture for the empathetic Tyrone to endure.