• bchismire

Cloak & Dagger - Series

Updated: Jul 25

WARNING

This review will talk about elements of domestic abuse, police brutality, and sex trafficking, all of them pertaining to the show it will critique. Read at your own risk.


Batman. Superman. Wonder Woman. Spider-Man. The Hulk. Iron Man. They all popularized the superhero genre for many years thanks to their stylized action scenes and complex, sophisticated storylines.

Some superheroes, however, showed off tremendous potential based on what they promised, and somehow got lost in the shuffle despite pulling it off so well. For me, one of the first superhero team-ups I stumbled into as of late that felt so compelling both in concept and in execution was Cloak & Dagger.

Based on the Marvel comics by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan, this pair of superheroes employed the forces of light and darkness to fight off bad guys. However, as proud as they were of their powers, they were ashamed of them because they were forced onto them after going through traumatic experiences. These two characters made their debut under the wing of Spider-Man, and like him, they also explored the themes of great power coming with great responsibility. And the execution and exploration of those themes were presented most minutely and profoundly here in their TV show.


Cloak and Dagger as they appeared at various points in the original comics. - © Rick Leonardi and Terry Austin

Let's dive further into the story...for the TV show, I mean. Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were both kids when they each experienced major travesties at the same time: Tyrone witnessed his brother, Billy, get murdered by a policeman, while Tandy, on her way home with her father, had to escape from a car accident that ended up killing her father. And the one thing that occurred during both those times was an explosion going off on the seaside Roxxon Oil Rig. As they both tried to handle the dilemmas they were in, they both sensed each other's presence thanks to being hit by incoming streams of Darkforce and Lightforce, both of which stemmed from the Roxxon explosion.

Many years later, as teenagers, they ran into each other again, each of them having different goals of their own. Tyrone, despite living a healthy, wealthy life with his family, still had an urging to track down the policeman who shot his brother, whose name was Connors, sometimes with the help of newcomer and local detective Bridget O'Reilly. Meanwhile, Tandy, as she and her mother tried to survive in their poverty state, tried to track down the head of the Roxxon corporation, Peter Scarborough, to even the odds with him over her father and unjust actions he did to him. But as they each tried to settle their scores with the people they hunted down, they noticed a strange presence stemming from each other that started to draw them closer together every time.


From there, they both had plenty of bigger fish to fry. Tyrone had to think about how tracking down Connors would have labeled him in the eyes of the police force. Tandy had to deal with dark secrets that were to stem out for her out concerning Roxxon and her father. In the first season, they had to understand what caused humans to go berserk whenever they were subject to the energy that gave Tandy and Tyrone their powers, or as those humans came to be known, Terrors, and what connections they had with Roxxon. In the second season, they had to investigate the whereabouts of several girls in New Orleans who were kidnapped by drug dealers and sex traffickers alike and pinpoint the mastermind behind it all. And most importantly, Tyrone and Tandy had to find out why the powers they felt were drawing them closer together, as well as where it all came from.

Now, because this review talks about all two seasons of the show, there are going to be spoilers afoot.


SPOILER ALERT


The music, particularly the songs, was expressed with a nice diversity and, in most cases, it heightened the emotional tensions in the show. A few soul tunes were used to emphasize the melancholy circumstances being shown, hip-hop tunes were used to tie into the social aspects of New Orleans, and blues tunes were added to deepen the spiritual, contemplative aspects occurring in each given moment.

Something I thought was interesting about this series is that it hopped from New York City in the comics to New Orleans in the show. Whenever I think of Cloak & Dagger in New York City, the setting emphasized the crime-fighting action, kind of like it did with Spider-Man or Gotham City with Batman. But as for Cloak & Dagger in New Orleans, it emphasized the mysterious nature of the show, mostly as far as Tyrone and Tandy's powers were concerned. It also heightened the sense of dreariness whenever criminals came around the corner. On the other hand, though, this only made it more awesome every time either Tyrone or Tandy rose and engaged in superhero action and crime-fighting.

Unlike most other Marvel or DC properties, which mostly colorfully presented their stories, here, it mostly felt murky and gray. It was really neat to see since it highlighted the morally gray areas of the city and its people. The more I think about it, it's also pretty clever since gray is a mix of both black and white.

When you look at Batman: The Animated Series, it was mostly dark in color schemes and tone, emphasizing the realism of the crimes and action scenes, as well as heightening the noir aspects of the show. Sometimes, however, it also was a little colorful to throw some comedy and fun elements in the mix. The same applies to Cloak & Dagger; it's gray in the most uncertain of circumstances, while also throwing in a hint of color every once in a while, to boost the more jovial moments in the characters’ lives or even the more traditional natures of New Orleans. New Orleans, as portrayed in this show, shared a slight connection with the main characters, too, down to their struggles; it was shown as a structurally and socially flawed yet traditional and ultimately resilient city that knew how to recover from any disaster thrown at its way.

One of the show's greatest strengths was its sociological portrayals. Tyrone Johnson, an African American guy, lived a normal life with his family, but the murder of his brother compelled him to track down the bad apple in the police force with O'Reilly. Very apt, considering the number of reports that came about over the past few years concerning police brutality on young African Americans. Meanwhile, Tandy Bowen, a white girl, had to deal with her and her mother's poverty state when she knew that Roxxon had allegedly mistreated her father’s good image. And, she was willing to continue to do what she set out to do, even if not everyone would've taken her seriously.

At this rate, both Tandy and Tyrone were almost social misfits, which only made the camaraderie between these two a lot stronger and full of nothing but promising things to come for them.

Let's talk about the characters. Tyrone was a pretty modest guy who sometimes struggled to fit into his social circles, especially when he's in high school. He had his moments when he showed fear in pursuing bad guys like Connors since he knew he was from the police force, but other times, he showed fierce determination when dealing with other bad guys. I also like how he was conscientious of his actions, and that he was willing to look out for the best in people, especially…

…Tandy Bowen, who was a fierce young lady, and yet wasn’t without her moments of tenderness, such as when she was looking out for her mother. She was more of a loose cannon than Tyrone and was pretty fierce in her determination to seek justice against those who wronged her, or her mother, or even other people at times.


Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson and Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen

In the comics, Tandy Bowen was raised in a privileged family, while Tyrone usually lived in the streets with his family with criminal activities just around the corner. And, at first, it was kind of like that for Tyrone and Tandy here in the show when they were kids. But after that fateful explosion at the Roxxon Oil Rig, the tables have since turned. Tyrone was the privileged one, being raised by a wealthy family, going to St. Sebastian's - a Catholic high school - participating in basketball games, and even having a girlfriend, Evita. However, Tandy lived a life of crime, being a con artist and pickpocket who robbed anyone she ran into, mostly with her partner-in-crime, Liam Nelson.

Liam felt sort of like a generic guy who just thrived from his criminal life and even hoped to be devoted to Tandy after the many crime sprees they pulled off together.

Tyrone's friend from school, Evita, was written with some interesting qualities to her. Among them were her suspicions over the secrets Tyrone hid from her, such as his powers and his engagements with Tandy. Now, this was interesting because I noticed how many people wanted Tyrone and Evita to be together, despite knowing his inevitable relationship with Tandy. I consider myself more in the group that feels like Tyron and Evita would’ve made a great couple but at the same time, Tyrone and Tandy were equally meant for each other, just on a platonic level.

Another thing that made Tyrone's friendship with Evita intriguing was that her aunt, Chantelle, was a local voodoo priestess, and she could easily have suspected if something was a little off with Tyrone, or both him and Tandy together. Sometimes, she would even have attempted to let Evita know about it, as well as engage her with some of her voodoo activities for that reason. This was what lent the show its traditional and cultural edge.


One of the first links to Roxxon that Tandy met, Mina Hess, was a slightly bubbly but likable scientist who was perceived as the ‘what-if’ version of Tandy if she stuck to working in Roxxon as a scientist, like her father before her. But she was far more than that, and more than just another witness in Tandy’s quest for clarification: she had some delightful quirks, she was alert on the wrongdoings in town, and she established herself to be quite sufficient as a scientist.

The policeman who shot Tyrone's brother, James Connors, was an interesting, despicable character. Sometimes, he would've been prone to show his more aggressive and manipulative side, such as when he tried to get back at Tyrone and O'Reilly for trying to bust him for the murder of Billy. And yet, in the grand scheme of things, there's also the side of Connors who was aware of his wrongdoings and not only was guilty about it but at the same time, his inner demons too easily prompted him to take extreme measures when push came to shove. He also happened to have had an uncle who was the State Senator of Louisiana, and whenever a situation came up that could potentially have left him behind bars, he prompted him to cover it up every time.

Detective Bridget O'Reilly, the cop who was onto the case concerning Connors and the death of Billy, was compelling since she acted as the more vigilant cop in the NOPD. Her determination, her quirks, her convictions, they all helped her become a slightly interesting ally to Cloak & Dagger and helped overcome her more standard personality. Her conscientious nature also helped, even if some things about her weren't as explored to the nth degree like with Tyrone or Tandy. But when she came face to face with her ‘bad half’, Mayhem, starting in the second season, her journey only got even more interesting.

O'Reilly confronting Mayhem, with Tyrone and Tandy present to see it

Instead of O'Reilly simply transforming into Mayhem, like in the comics, Mayhem was manifested separately from O'Reilly's likeness, not to mention a simultaneous amount of Darkforce and Lightforce harvested onto her from one of the Roxxon pipes. This occurred when O’Reilly was shot down by Connors in the Season 1 finale, and she attempted to unleash the Darkforce and Lightforce onto Connors, only for them to instead affect her. Mayhem was undoubtedly unnerving in the comics, but to see the show take a more "Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde" approach on O'Reilly and Mayhem was, I think, a big improvement. O'Reilly may have already been a decent character throughout the first season, but with Mayhem in the picture, O'Reilly's insecurities and limitations were brought into the spotlight, even if it’s because Mayhem herself was O'Reilly's insecurities incarnate.


Mayhem was a chaotic character who showed no remorse for her actions and exhibited nothing but pure vengeance against those who wronged her before, like Connors, and against who she knew was guilty of the crimes they committed day in and day out. The way she shared the same principles as Tandy, Tyrone, and O'Reilly, only for her to push them into uncomfortable, almost savage degrees, made her a super compelling character and a worthy foe for them.

I don't think it would've worked if O'Reilly transformed into Mayhem in the show like in the comics, because while Tyrone and Tandy would have been properly challenged by Mayhem, introducing and slowly building up O'Reilly only for her to be axed off then and there would've felt manipulative and - no pun intended - like a cop-out. So, by having Mayhem be a separate character from O'Reilly, it was not just Tandy and Tyrone being internally challenged by her ideas of justice, but O'Reilly, too.

Father Delgado was a decent character made more compelling when you look at his background as a priest. During the first half of the show, he was trying to discipline Tyrone about not participating in school and about engaging in disassembling criminal activities. But then, when their arguments over Tyrone’s actions boiled over and left Tyrone to get a brief glimpse into Delgado’s possible traumatic memory thanks to his powers, Delgado was rocked to the core and gave up his title of priest…until Tyrone's mother tracked him down to hand him information uncovered about Tyrone that could have potentially cleared his name.

Though not much was done with them, both Tyrone and Tandy's parents seemed like respectable people. Tyrone's parents, especially the mother, Adina, were both well-meaning parents who prioritized their commitment to keeping Tyrone safe from harm ever since the death of Billy. And considering that they come from wealthy backgrounds, their thoughts on the social prejudices exhibited against African Americans, regardless of their social level, was pretty interesting to see brought to attention by them.

Tandy's mother, Melissa, given her moments when she was reliant on drugs or other men to solace her in times of stress, made her look like a pretty tragic character since it seemed as if she was still reeling from the death of her husband and Tandy's father. Not helping her case was the multiple criminal activities in which Tandy partook, so she also lived her life concerned about her daughter’s well-being.

And then, you have the biggest villain Tyrone and Tandy ever faced in the series, Andre Deschaine, or, as he turned out to be, D'Spayre. A music aficionado and professional horn player, he originally suffered from massive migraines before discovering ways to maintain his energy by feeding off of the hopes of his victims. It left them with nothing but despair, and he harvested records made out of his victims’ memories. His ways of plotting his heinous crimes and manipulating other people with his false promises in his hunger for power, like with Tandy, made him quite a stylishly devious villain whose nature only got to a point where he made even Connors look tame.

Before I forget, I ought to talk about how both seasons of the show played with the characters’ journeys, as well as with their aesthetic appeal concerning superhero ethics. The first season did a pretty nice job of allowing itself some time for Tandy and Tyrone to discover bits of pieces of their potential with their newfound powers. Tyrone, with his Darkforce, allowed him to see the fears of whoever he touched, whereas Tandy, with her Lightforce powers, allowed her to see the hopes of whoever she touched. However, later on, she discovered that she could have done more than just see the hopes of whoever she touched. In one case, she stole the hopes of those she touched and left them feeling changed for the worse. This was an interesting detail added onto her character, and the way I saw it, it would only have come back to bite her once she got intertwined with D'Spayre's nefarious plots. And, it added to her and Tyrone's dynamic of how opposite their personalities, backgrounds, and power aesthetics were, yet their troubled insecurities, their goals to do what's right, and their shared backgrounds added fuel to their relationship.

Of course, this left me scratching my head over Tyrone's powers and what he had in terms of seeing other people’s fears. Could he have stolen fears from them, and made them better people? Who knows?

By the end of the first season and the beginning of the second season, only then did they discover the full intention of their powers. Tyrone, with his cloak, could've teleported himself, and sometimes others, from one place to another. And, when he was put in absolute jeopardy, his Darkforce powers opened a portal into a dark dimension where whoever entered it would’ve experienced absolutely nothing but their darkest fears and nightmares. In the comics, this was called the Darkforce Dimension, and here in the show, one of the first of such unlucky victims to go in was Connors. In the second season, Connors did make it out – by accident – but he was so distraught by what he witnessed there that he went as far as to help Tyrone get the evidence he needed to clear his name and finally put Connors in his place. For Connors to come in when he was at his absolute worst only to come out this contrite, it would’ve left you with the impression that the Darkforce Dimension was the fine line between prison and Hell.

Tandy, with her light powers, could've conjured up daggers – sometimes, even swords - made out of light and used them as weapons against their enemies. And, starting in the second season, Tandy also had the power to conjure up a ball of light between the palms of her hands, where she continually allowed it to build up its energy until she unleashed it onto whoever and wherever she aimed it to. Although, I found that a little weird. Did Tandy have that kind of power in the comics? Because it looked too much like something out of Dragon Ball Z.

However, as they soon discovered by the end of the first season, if they touched the same person by each hand at the same time, they can see their innermost thoughts and memories.

The first time they witnessed that capability, they intentionally did that on Ivan Hess, Mina’s father, just so they could investigate his involvement at the Roxxon Oil Rig and his knowledge of Nathan Bowen since they both drew the original blueprints for the original Roxxon Oil Drill. The next time Tyrone and Tandy did that was unintentional, and it was on Melissa Bowen, where they cracked open a horrifying truth about Nathan Bowen: he was prone to beat his wife on more than one occasion, shattering all the perceptions Tandy had of her father. Before then, she was setting out to restore his reputation and good name, but once she discovered this truth that Melissa had hidden from Tandy, it turned out that he may have been confiscated of his work by Roxxon, but he turned out to have had no good name worth clearing after all.

Some of my favorite episodes from the show included those that dealt with Tandy, Tyrone, or perhaps the two of them, experiencing something weird yet ethereal and mythical as if they entered a state of deep translucent explorations of the psyche, the inner psyche, and those of others. This included ‘Stained Glass’, where Tandy and Tyrone saw each other's “life stories”, and the episode, ‘Locus Eaters’, where Tandy experienced the situation with her father in the oil rig in Ivan’s head over and over again just so she could speak with him on the phone. Another reason this episode stuck out to me was that this was the first episode where Tyrone and Tandy engaged in full-scale combat against the bad guys, so to see them in action after so much buildup was exciting.

There’s also ‘B-Sides’ from Season 2, where Tandy encountered a variety of what-if scenarios concerning her, her family, her friends, and even Tyrone, while in reality, she was kidnapped by Andre and taken to an out-of-reach motel where other girls like Tandy were brought over for prostitution. Those episodes were very neat, well-articulated, and made you feel like you were in a trance during each episode.

'Back Breakers' from Season 1 also felt fascinating because, after Tyrone, Tandy, and even O'Reilly witnessed what they did by the end of the previous episode, they mulled through life as if they had completely hit rock bottom. They tried to wrap their heads around what went wrong in their lives as they picked up bits and pieces of things they saw that either helped them or continued to fuel the mockery they felt by others around them. It was even framed quite effectively by Father Delgado's teachings of the Hero's Journey, particularly the section where the hero had hit rock bottom and felt like there’s no way out other than attempting to either revert to their old lives or give in to their despair and become something more sinister. And frankly, the one who I thought came the closest to giving in to that despair was Tandy. When she started to attempt to get back to her old life after discovering the bitter truth about her father, I saw it as her trying not to believe it. But by the time she started going around seeing and robbing other people of their hopes, including Mina, I started looking at her like she was about to go off the deep end.


The culmination of the lesson of The Hero's Journey that Father Delgado delivered by the end of that episode was also very enlightening. Fiction may seem like generic pastimes to while away the hours with, but when all is said and done, with the intents they have on the message they want to share, and the way they do so through the heroes, or the villains, or the situations, it makes them tools, tools to strengthen, and, in some ways, even repair, our human intellect.

I also liked how 'White Lines' played out. The jaggedness of the scenes, the simultaneous, yet scattered buildup of O'Reilly and Mayhem, it sort of reminded me a bit of Pulp Fiction, where the scenes that may have had nothing to do with each other turned out to have shared a lot in common; it just would have taken some digging to discover how they're connected and which scene took place before or after which scene. It’s just interestingly woven out.

Funny. Peter Scarborough and Andre Deschaine, both of them the main villain of each season, they sought the power that would have made them feel like gods, and they did so by unleashing the very power they sought onto all of New Orleans. And whereas Scarborough wanted power only to be seen as, in his words, up there with the Starks and the Rands, Deschaine wanted the power of a god for more complex and more understandable, if also warped, reasons. Another thing that's funny about all of this is that both times, out of the main duo, Tandy was the most closely connected to each of these scenarios. Sometimes, it left me feeling a bit bummed out that there was no particular situation where the biggest obstacle to overcome in the season involved Tyrone. However, at the same time, his biggest dilemma spanned the entire series, and even I acknowledge that that’s no laughing matter. So, I’m fine with how it all turned out.

Now, as fantastic as this show was, there were a few things about the show that just didn’t do it for me.

The first was that the acting was a little too flat sometimes, especially from Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone, and it all was just good at best, monotone at worst.


Emma Lahana as Detective Bridget O'Reilly

Although I will admit, Aubrey Joseph’s facial expressions when Tyrone was in perilous or heated situations truly spoke volumes, and Olivia Holt as Tandy allowed her emotional sides to help us empathize with her character. I was also very impressed with Emma Lahana as Bridget O’Reilly, especially during her time in the second season. I was in awe over how convincingly she managed to flip-flop between giving O’Reilly a respectable and confident demeanor and making Mayhem look like the craziest woman alive. And whenever these two characters were together, watching her performances from there was a blast.


The second gripe I had with the show was, to be honest, the last three episodes of the first season. They're by no means bad; I found them very well told, well-directed, and thought they gave the first season a satisfying finish. But it's just that I found them to be the hardest to watch in the entire series. Maybe it had to do with the dilemmas the main characters had to go through, and how it felt like they perpetually got short ends of the stick all the way through. Even when many things got resolved, I still finished the first season not feeling like there were as many resolutions for the main characters as I wanted there to be. Of course, I knew there was going to be another season by the time I wrapped it up, but the pathos and discomfort I felt from these episodes were a little too overwhelming.

And this leads to the third and most glaring problem that kept popping up on my radar: the portrayal of the NOPD.

Here’s what happened: starting at the end of the first season, when Connors was busted for the murder of Billy, he decided to kill off O’Reilly’s boyfriend, fellow NOPD officer Kenneth Fuchs, and put the blame on Tyrone through the NOPD as payback, since his family ties with the State Senator left him with a level of authority. The NOPD did his bidding, but that's it. They never once blinked an eye or questioned his motives when this all occurred. But it got a little more frustrating in the second season, especially when Connors was still missing at the time. At the end of Rabbit Hold, O’Reilly tipped off the NOPD and notified them about the drug dealers, that Tyrone reported their whereabouts, and that he was unarmed to boot. And as soon as the NOPD came for the drug dealers, what did they do? Come in with firearms for Tyrone, too.


O'Reilly: I told you, he's unarmed!

NOPD Chief: Uh-huh. So was Fuchs.


Congratulations, NOPD of the MCU. You officially made the Twin Peaks Sheriffs’ Department look like the Knights of the Round Table. Why? Because you blindly followed orders from Connors, a then-convicted police chief whose motivations savvier people would’ve seen as suspicious, and whether he was even around or not, you still lunged after the alleged suspects without a second thought.

There are two words I would find myself not wanting to use to describe the New Orleans Police Department: incompetent and gullible. But the way those guys did their own 'job', whether it was related to Tyrone or not, just left me rethinking it each time.

Normally, I would find this portrayal a little worrisome as anyone stumbling into this show might automatically assume that the NOPD in the real world is just like those guys in terms of a general lack of thorough investigatory skills. That's not to say this couldn't happen; I remember reading an article detailing how a police commissioner in Baltimore expressed outrage over the seemingly degrading portrayal of the Baltimore Police Department in The Wire. But even then, the idea of fiction - although Cloak and Dagger, in its case, was a superhero show - vitally talking about real-life issues, even if it might mean stepping on the toes of others to make their point clear, it called me back to the culminating message Delgado shared about the Hero’s Journey in Back Breaker.


Heroes make mistakes because we do. They do things they regret because we do. And like most any story told, myth is a mirror. One we hold up to see ourselves more clearly. But that is the catch-22 of the human condition. The inability to see ourselves for who we are. We can often only do it through someone else's eyes. And when we do, we may not like what they see. So as we watch the rise and fall of our heroes, the question we ask should not be, will they be greater? Can they ascend? No. When that rubber hits the road, and that tire blows, the question we should ask is, will we be greater? Can we ascend?


And like I said, this is true of any work of fiction. Do I like seeing the NOPD perform so carelessly in their professions? No. Do I like watching the heroes suffer? No. Do I enjoy watching Tandy being forced into prostitution in Season 2? Definitely not. Do I like how things fell apart for Tyrone, O'Reilly, and Fuchs at the end of Season 1? The hell I do! But referring back to the purpose of fiction, situations like this are like bitter medicines to take to feel better and less bogged down than ever before. For that reason, this sort of softened the blows I felt from both the NOPD and the ending of the first season.

One of the many problems that people had with the show - mostly in the first season - was that it was too slow. There just wasn't much in terms of action, but instead, it was constant character exposition that seemed to continually build up to something grander. Well, I didn't mind the slow pace. Au contraire, it helped the show develop its characters steadily and thoroughly, and I just love that.

The two seasons felt a bit different in terms of their approach to the story of Cloak & Dagger, and yet, the steps they took as they went on concerning the development of the characters and the circumstances was natural, very well played, and added up to a comprehensive, exhilarating TV show. The first season played out kind of like a social drama, with bits and pieces of superhero power and crime-fighting added into the mix, whereas the second season felt more action-packed and got Tyrone and Tandy more in touch with their superhero powers.


For the record, the two bars on top are each signified with a more resolute beginning, middle, and end. Those are what make this show for me.

You know the general saying tossed around nowadays about serialized TV shows, and how they play out like multi-hour movies? Like, say, how Breaking Bad is a 62-hour movie or that Game of Thrones is a 72-hour movie, or even how watching Season 1 of Russian Doll is as easy as watching Gone with the Wind? Well, watching Cloak and Dagger felt like watching a 20-hour movie. When I look at each of the show's seasons individually, they felt great, yet just a tad imbalanced. Whereas when I look at the show from beginning to end, suddenly I saw a much clearer, more balanced story being told, and the experience I had felt much richer by then.

The way Cloak & Dagger played with opposites was also intriguing, and I don’t mean just in its two seasons. The first season had Tyrone coming to save Tandy from being stuck in a delusional state concerning her father, whereas the second season had Tandy coming in to save Tyrone from being stuck in a video-game frenzy inside the Darkforce Dimension. The first season dealt with chaos being unleashed on New Orleans through scientific means, whereas the chaos to be dealt with New Orleans in the second season was done with more spiritual, almost magical qualities. Each season could very easily have been seen as totally different from each other, but their placement, the way they complimented each other, the way they told the story, it all just came together.

Unfortunately, at this point, these two seasons are all we have of this show, with Season 2 ending with Tandy and Tyrone leaving New Orleans to venture into other parts of the country for more crime-fighting adventures, starting with a beach area in California. This, of course, was hinting at their eventual arrival in the fellow Marvel series, Runaways, where Cloak and Dagger had a brief role in its third season. Even though I didn't see the episodes in which Tandy and Tyrone appeared in Runaways, I still found it pretty cool for Marvel to develop such intricate little webs of connectivity between them, being that these shows were part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, the way I see it, letting both of these shows exhibit some further connections with any of the movies and other current shows would've been welcomed. But for now, I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that Tandy, Tyrone, and all the other characters introduced to us through the small screens under the MCU umbrella will make even more appearances in the future.

In retrospect, and in an ironic, bittersweet way, I am a bit relieved that Cloak & Dagger wrapped up after Season 2, when it ended with such a firm bow, while still slightly leaving things open for Tyrone and Tandy on their adventures. It just felt like the right way to end the show, because as much as I would've liked to see a third season of the show, I just can't imagine the show going to so many different places episode by episode after the first two seasons were so firmly rooted in New Orleans. And for what we got, this show was still very insightful, engaging, interesting, nicely played, and it did a tremendous job of toying around with opposites in certain situations, mostly through Tandy and Tyrone.

What complimented it further was its balance of sociological discussions and superhero action, its balance on character and aesthetic appeal, and its balance on realistic and fantastical situations. It is just a well-balanced show. Its short run on the air was a dark spot, but what Cloak & Dagger itself pulled off during then made it a bright spot for me.


Season 1: B+

Season 2: A-

Series: B+



Additional Thoughts


*SPOILER ALERT* The way that O'Reilly's boyfriend, Fuchs, was killed - and that was by him being stuffed inside a refrigerator - was actually a twist on the popular story meme called 'Women in Refrigerators', which made its debut in a Green Lantern comic in August 1994. In it, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner came home to find a note saying there's a surprise waiting for him in the fridge. But when he opened it up, he saw the frozen corpse of his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, stuffed inside. This was subject to much mockery from feminists, who complained that in fiction, the innocent, vulnerable girlfriends are the likliest to be killed to propel the hero further on his journey. There's even a website devoted to that. You can see it for yourself right here.


WORKS CITED


Mantlo, B., Leonardi, R., Austin, T., Oliver, G., & Bruzenak, K. (2017). Cloak and Dagger: Shadows and Light (Cloak and Dagger). New York, NY: Marvel Worldwide, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, LLC.

The illustrations came from this collected volume of the Cloak and Dagger comics.


O'Neal, S. (2011, January 18). Baltimore police commissioner slams The Wire, David Simon slams Baltimore police commissioner. Retrieved from https://news.avclub.com/baltimore-police-commissioner-slams-the-wire-david-sim-1798223663

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