My heart is full again. And that’s because Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger has finally returned after a phenomenal freshman season that reminded us exactly what superhero television shows are supposed to look like. Where this show is so much more than the superheroes it’s telling origin stories for. Where it’s about who these characters are as individuals, rather than just their hero counterparts. And it’s exactly why Cloak & Dagger is as good as it is.
Usually when a show is as good as Cloak & Dagger was in its first season, it’s hard to believe that the show can keep pace in its second run. But this two-hour premiere was a calling card for anyone that doubted that Cloak & Dagger was a one-hit wonder. There’s plenty of story left to tell. There’s plenty of character development to be had. And there’s plenty of more chaos on the way.
In season one, Tyrone and Tandy were growing to understand exactly who they were becoming — and dealing with the bombshell that comes with being a Divine Pairing that is destined for heartbreak. They also both made strides in addressing personal vendettas of their past. And in handling their past, they’re able to move forward with the present. At least, so they thought.
In the season 2 premiere, Tyrone and Tandy have switched roles. With Tandy’s family exonerated from Roxxon and justice served, she’s helping her mom on the straight and narrow. She’s even taking ballet again. Meanwhile, Tyrone finds himself accused of a murder he didn’t commit — the murder of Officer Fuchs, who was killed by Connors, who is still at large. Ty finds himself confined to the same abandoned prison Tandy had called home, and he’s cut off from everyone he cares about. Except Tandy, who’s around for company and the occasional movie night.
The first hour of the premiere does a great job illustrating how Tyrone and Tandy are struggling with new truths. While Tyrone is dealing with the anger of being forced into hiding because of another man’s mistake, Tandy finds herself unable to get past the rage with comes with learning that her father abused her mother. Tyrone is trying to do right — by taking down gangs — and Tandy is trying to help women in need — by keeping them away from their abusive boyfriends and spouses. Both of them realize that they can’t stay out of things. Not anymore. It’s what they’re meant to do.
The second hour takes on a more specific focus, which is setting up a season-long storyline involving human trafficking. That much was teased about season 2’s arc, and we got a preview of it when Mikayela, the woman Tandy is trying to help, is kidnapped and drugged with a ton of heroin and left for dead at a hospital. But it’s not just Mikayela. There are other girls that have gone missing. And their fates might not be as good as Mikayela’s.
Oh, and, there’s also a little something known as Mayhem that has emerged. Aka, O’Reilly’s twin? Alter-ego? Shapeshifter? Whatever the hell Mayhem is, it’s about to cause some chaos.
Let’s break down everything that went down in the first two hours of Cloak & Dagger’s second season:
When we pick up with Tyrone and Tandy, eight months have passed since the season finale, where Tandy got justice for Roxxon ruining her life, while Tyrone found himself paying for another man’s mistake. While there’s been a role reversal between the two — Tyrone hiding out and Tandy mending things at home — there’s one thing that they both seem to be missing.
Being the heroes they’re meant to be.
I found it interesting that in the beginning Tyrone and Tandy are determined to focus their anger on their predetermined evils. Tyrone is focusing on trying to take out the gangs that plagued his brother’s life — and countless others — Tandy is determined to take out her anger on the evil bastards that dare put their hands on women.
Tyrone is confined to that abandoned church with nothing but his thoughts and a determination to make a horrible situation just a little better. And while Ty’s intentions were good — taking the drugs out of the hands of addicts and the money out of the hands of dealers — he ended up causing quite a mess for O’Reilly and the police.
Meanwhile, Tandy has been channeling her anger towards her dad by trying to help women that are in the kinds of situations her mother was. In her support group that she attends with her mom, she meets this woman named Mikayela, who is trying to leave her abusive ex. And we get the sense that Mikayela isn’t the first woman Tandy has tried to help. Tandy sort of takes things into her own hands — going to the creep’s house and etching a message into his wall to “leave her alone.” But, much like Ty was trying to do the right thing, it completely backfires and Mikayela starts to sympathize towards her abusive ex.
Another interesting thing to look at is how Tyrone and Tandy fared on their own, which was not well. Tyrone was blindsided and could’ve died if not for Tandy tracking him down. Tandy wasn’t able to get through to Mikayela.
The difference between being effective and ineffective is this: strength in numbers. At this point, we know that Tyrone and Tandy are stronger together.
Like I discussed in the previous section, Tyrone and Tandy faced adverse situations when tackling issues on their own. When Ty goes out to take on another gang, he finds himself trapped and in trouble. Luckily Tandy tracked him down and is able to save him. The only thing that prevented disaster was Tandy’s assistance.
When they get back to the church, Tandy is hurt. Not because Ty is out there taking on drug lords and street thugs. She’s hurt because he didn’t ask for her help.
Why? Because Tyrone didn’t want to get in the way of the good in Tandy’s life. She’s rebuilding a relationship with her mom, she took down Roxxon, and he didn’t want to jeopardize any of that.
If there’s one thing we’ve already learned over the course of one season it’s that Tyrone and Tandy are stronger together. They balance each other. They provide strength. They provide support. They’re the Divine Pairing.
There’s a good conversation that the two of them have, after the fact. Tandy is upset that Tyrone lied to her about going out and playing hero. But Tyrone doesn’t think she has a right to be upset because she’s been doing the same thing. He’s been keeping an eye on everyone he cares about, and Tandy falls square in that category.
While Tandy leaves storming out of the church, Tyrone later goes to apologize, thank her for saving his ass, and — what she wanted — asks for her help.
Together, they infiltrate a club where a deal is set to go down. O’Reilly told Ty that the only thing that can help them put these guys away is a recorded confession. So that’s what Ty intends to do. And while ultimately things don’t go as they’d like, there’s no denying that Tyrone and Tandy make one hell of a team.
“That’s why you have me.”
“I’m glad I have you.”
A New Evil Emerges
While Tyrone and Tandy fight their own internal struggles, there is a new evil that’s come to New Orleans and is responsible for more than a dozen missing girls. While this two-hour premiere served as an introduction for the larger plot for the season, it’s a reminder that Cloak & Dagger is doing the grounded superhero thing the right way.
The great thing about this show is how it’s able to seamlessly blend the aspects of superhero genre and grounded reality in a nice little mix. Here, we have two teens with abilities that just so happen to be using them in order to stop a great evil — and evil that’s not supernatural; an evil that is so very human.
When Tandy came across the posters of those missing girls, she was shocked that there wasn’t an outrage that they were missing. But as Mr. Ducane, one of her counselors, so perfectly puts it: “When poor brown girls are in trouble, no one pays attention.”
This scene is a great example of how Cloak & Dagger is using its platform to raise awareness to social issues such as this. Not only is this a human trafficking issue, it’s a racial issue. And this show, once again, proves how knowledgeable it is of the world we live in and how people come to this show wanting transparency and honesty.
Tyrone is faced with one of life’s most difficult battles: the battle within. And it’s something that throughout this two-hour premiere that he’s trying to get ahold of.
Ty is stuck. He’s confined to the abandoned church and barred from seeing anyone he cares about, lest he be arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. So he has to stay hidden. He has to stay away. And yet, he can’t. Because there’s only so much one guy can take of confinement for eight months.
Sure, he’s had movie nights with Tandy. But being forced to stay away from your parents and your girlfriend and the life that you used to know, that has to be tough on the mind, body, and soul.
Tyrone finds himself controlled by a crime he didn’t commit. So he wants to take control. And he finds himself afraid of the toll that this desire to take control will have on him.
When Tyrone is going out there trying to rid the streets of drugs and the thugs that condone it, he’s doing it because he wants to do some good. But it also serves as a distraction, it’s something to do, it’s a way to be the hero that he misses being.
The internal conflict within Tyrone isn’t one that can be fixed with a quick bandaid. The answers that he’s searching for are inside of him. And it’s clear that this is going to be a season-long journey.
While Tandy might’ve gotten justice for her family and the pain Roxxon inflicted on her life, things are anything but great for Tandy. While Tandy is finally starting to rebuild her relationship with her mom, she can’t escape the truth that she learned about her dad and how he used to abuse her mom.
Tandy is pissed. She’s more than pissed, she’s infuriated. It’s not something she can get over. Even when we find her eight months later, she is carrying this internal anger and trying to find a way to alleviate it.
She can’t take out her anger on her dad, so she’s looking for other people to alleviate her aggression. So she’s targeting men that are hurting wives and girlfriends. While we don’t know for certain how long Tandy has been doing this, it’s safe to assume she’s been doing this for awhile in the last eight months.
Her latest victim? Jeremy, an asshole boyfriend that assaulted his girlfriend, Mikayela. Tandy is trying to save Mikayela from being another victim. And while it appears her plan might just work, it entirely backfires on her and she finds herself with even more anger because she can’t find a way to help her.
Like, Tyrone, this is definitely an issue that we’re going to see Tandy struggle with all season. As she continues to try and help women that are being hurt by men, as she continues to feel this unbridled rage towards her dead father, as she continues to keep it bottled up inside. Hopefully she can turn to Tyrone to help alleviate the anger that’s eating her whole.
As if Brigid O’Reilly doesn’t have enough to worry about, she has a violent alter-ego (or twin? Or something?) that is standing in her place and in her way. From the start, it’s clear that O’Reilly is not in the right frame of mind. She’s been cleared to return to work, and she’s trying to distract herself from the mess that has unfurled around her.
Only, it’s not working.
O’Reilly’s best friends have become the booze and bartenders at her local bar, and she’s busy drowning herself in misery. Doesn’t help when Tyrone, albeit with good intentions, is making her job at work more difficult.
While O’Reilly is busy feeling sorry for herself, enter Mayhem, her alter-ego or twin or imagination, I don’t freaking know. But Mayhem has a different approach from O’Reilly. She’s got the fire, the passion, and the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that makes her a force to be reckoned with.
The thing about Mayhem is that she might not actually be a villain. I know it appears that way, but just because her methods are unorthodox doesn’t mean that she’s the bad guy. After all, she helped Tandy catch one of the creeps that kidnapped Tandy’s friend and dropped her drugged self at the hospital. Sure, she slit the guy’s throat when Tandy turned her back. Sure, she’s not a law-abiding citizen. But she’s someone that found the bad guy and delivered her own brand of justice.
And something tells me that Tandy isn’t necessarily against what Mayhem is doing.
Cloak & Dagger airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.
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Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Managing Editor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.