This Cloak & Dagger review contains spoilers.
Cloak & Dagger Season 1, Episode 4
It happened! Tandy and Tyrone finally had a proper chat! As you might have expected from their previous engagements, it wasn’t all marshmallows and rainbows. These two come from very different life experiences and both have about a google walls up. That being said, as we saw in last week’s episode, they have also shared aspects of themselves with one another (mostly unwillingly) that have created an intimacy these characters have with no one else.
Cloak & Dagger continued its tradition of structuring the parallel stories of Tandy and Tyrone in similar ways. Using their conversation of the church as an anchor, with the scene disbursed throughout the whole episode, we followed both characters in the wake of their big talk, as well. I am continuing to enjoy the way this show plays with time and structure. The mainstream viewing audience, especially “the youths,” are savvy TV watchers. They can handle a little structural mayhem in the name of narrative creativity. More shows should trust their audiences like this one and start experimenting with story structure.
The most powerful aspect of Tandy and Tyrone’s conversation is that they are able to determine that they’re not crazy—or at least they’re not crazy alone. Both of them have been experiencing some weird shit. By being in the safe space of Tandy’s church and talking to the only other person in the world who can truly understand, Tandy and Tyrone are able to talk through their powers: Tandy can see people’s hopes and Tyrone can see people’s fears.
They’re also able, for the first time in a long time, willing to stop running from their problems. For Tandy, this means sitting down and talking to her mom about her dad—who he was and what happened to him. “He was a scapegoat for a greedy corporation,” Melissa tells her daughter of the case she and Greg are trying to building against Roxxon.
“If hope exists, I don’t think that looks like Greg,” a reluctant-to-care-about-anyone Tandy tells her mother. Turns out hope does look like Greg—at least for a little while. Using her ability to see people’s hopes and dreams, Tandy realizes that Greg truly loves her mom and wants them to be a family. She decides to trust him, which is a major frakking step for this girl. Tandy becomes Greg’s helper both for making dinner and in building a case. Sadly, this new partnership isn’t meant to last…
Poor, doomed Greg. In another example of Cloak & Dagger zigging when you think it’s going to zag, Tandy’s mom’s lawyer boyfriend turns out to be a real mensch. He also appears to be pretty great at his job—or at least competent enough to make the Roxxon Corporation sweat. I am assuming that’s who hired an assassin to kill him while Tandy watched from across the street. (Man, this kid really cannot catch a break. She has endured more trauma that most people four times her age.)
Tyrone’s journey in this episode is seemingly about getting smart in his quest to bring Connors to justice, but ends up giving him an even deeper direction. Upon Tandy’s suggestion, Tyrone pretends that his bike has been stolen in order to get inside of the police station and observe. On the first attempt, he fails. “I’m a young black man in the south. They see me, they see a thug,” Tyrone says of his extremely justified fears of going to the police station. This is the institution that killed his brother as he watched, then covered it up; it’s a wonder Tyrone even makes it through the front door.
Tyrone eventually makes it back to the station to file a missing bike report, but it takes some quality time with his father to get him to that point. Worried about his son and what he might be getting up to, Otis brings Tyrone to visit what appears to be the community he grew up in, located in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.
As we get to know the Wild Redhawks, the Mardi Gras Indians krewe Otis is a part of, we understand another part of this character and this world. Otis references being a “Spy Boy” for the krewe, whose job it is to go ahead of the Big Chief’s procession during the parade. Here, however, the role of Spy Boy feels even broader and more important.
“A Spy Boy travels fast and across great distances,” the Big Chief tells Tyrone. “He runs out into the unknown, unprotected, where nobody can see, looking for trouble so we all know what’s coming.” Tyrone’s brother was training to be the next Spy Boy before he died. Will Tyrone take up the mantle next? Will this be the structure and purpose that guides his power? And how does the Roxxon Corporation affect this Ninth Ward community… because you know it does.
Of course, as all interactions between Tandy and Tyrone eventually tend to do, these two end up pushing each other away. When Tandy admits that she thinks about suicide and Tyrone goes off on her, Tandy gets defensive, too, calling Tyrone out on his economic privilege and the emotional stability of his family. “Let me check your privilege,” Tyrone snaps back. “You can walk into any room in this world and never be questioned … This whole country’s trying to kill me everyday.”
Comparing privileges and pain as a competition never ends well, but it’s a helpful discussion to have. These two both have their own flavors of systemic oppression and bad deals to endure. They both maybe have a death wish. But when Tandy actually tries to kill herself by weighting herself down and jumping in the water, her dagger of light appears and she saves herself. In the same episode-ending montage, Tyrone walks into the police station. These two aren’t done fighting and, hopefully, they’re not done healing, either.
“You wanna die so bad? Why don’t you just do it?” Geez, Tyrone. Maybe don’t challenge someone to suicide.
“Not my spy boy. My spy boy know where home is. My spy boy don’t wear no shoes like that. Must be from that 7th Ward. Highfalutin.”
“Just wondering who this new Tyrone is.” “Who’s to say this isn’t the real me?” Tyrone continues to hang with Evita—this time, in their school’s dark room. But will he tell her about his powers?
“Fizzy bubble bomb for the soul?” Tandy’s descriptions of Tyrone’s cleansing bath is pretty amazing.
“I remember he told bad jokes… but I don’t remember any of them.” Tandy’s recollections of her dad, who made her feel safe, are so vague, and it’s so sad.
“Give me your wallets.” “Why don’t you just steal it again.” Classic Tandy/Tyrone banter.
Tandy gets the most important documents from Greg’s case against Roxxon out of his safe. This puts her in serious danger, but also gives her some serious power.
When Tandy and Tyrone touch, they are thrown apart. “That was nice… at first.”
When Tandy compares her powers to sex, Tyrone desperately avoids eye contact hard, while also radiating vibes of “yeah, I’ve totally had sex” in every general direction.
Tandy doesn’t tell Melissa about what happened to Greg, but her mom is going to find out soon enough, right? This will be the second partner Melissa has lost to the Roxxon Corporation. I kind of want her to develop superpowers and take them down.
Tandy describes Tyrone as “strong, wily, and honest.” Tyrone thinks Tandy is “smart,” “knows how to live in this world,” and “believes in hope.” Aww.
“The universe keeps pushing us together.” “The universe keeps pulling us apart.” Yeah, I’m into this.