I remember when I was binging the first four episodes of Cloak & Dagger and the moment I got to episode 4. It was the moment where, for me, everything changed. In a much different way than the pilot episode, which ignited a literal spark between our two star-crossed lovers.
While the pilot and subsequent episodes left the door cracked open, “Call/Response” essentially kicked the door wide open in a way that we hadn’t seen this show up to this point. This was the moment where Tyrone and Tandy stopped being just individuals and began being a pair. Granted, not the romantic pair we know is coming. But this was the first time where they actually had a conversation — a deep, meaningful, and eye-opening conversation — that was the beginning of their friendship.
Cloak & Dagger’s mystery continues to surround Tyrone and Tandy and their individual journeys. They’re not only teeangers, they’re people that have been lost for a very long time and are struggling to find some sense of clarity. And now that the connections to their past tragedies are surfacing, it’s igniting the flame within them and pushing them to take action. Tandy is searching for answers in her father’s death and stability that she feels is unattainable. Tyrone is searching for justice in his brother’s murder and an inner peace that seems out of reach.
I continue to love how Cloak & Dagger continues to allow Tyrone and Tandy’s individual storylines to shine even amidst such a pivotal episode that brings them together for legitimate conversation for the first time in this series. Because as much as this show is about Tyrone and Tandy as a pair, it’s also about Tyrone and Tandy as individuals. Before we can start exploring that connection in a truly deep and complex way, we have to get to know these characters as individuals — and Tyrone and Tandy need to understand each other in that same way.
Let’s talk a little more about “Call/Response,” including the universe pushing Tyrone and Tandy together and pulling them apart, the individual anger they possess, and their individual battles.
The Universe is Pushing Them Together & Pulling Them Apart
Even if everyone hasn’t read the comics or have any background knowledge about comic canon, we all know the gist here. Tyrone and Tandy are connected. They’re mystically linked by a greater power that continues to push them together while also pushing them apart. This show continues to lay the groundwork and the backstory for the eventual pairing up we all know is coming.
This was the episode that, for the first time, brought Tyrone and Tandy together and allowed them to talk — to really talk — about what the hell is happening to them. This was where they also got to talk about what they saw and reveal the feelings they’ve been feeling. This was the beginning of their friendship.
Cloak & Dagger is in no rush to put these two star-crossed lovers together. They’re slowly building their relationship from the ground-up really allowing these characters to figure out themselves along with each other. And in slowly bringing them along, it leads to moments like “Call/Response,” which allows these characters to take such big steps in establishing their relationship in a way that they can’t do with anyone else.
In slowly opening up and revealing their dark truths, they’re understanding each other in a way that, as they said, no one else can understand. This bond they have, they’re starting to realize that it’s giving them a chance to open up when they’ve felt they couldn’t before. Instead of suppressing that anger and hate and sadness, they can share it with someone else because they know, in some way, they’ll understand.
“The universe keeps pushing us together,” Tyrone says.
Ever since that night in the cemetery when they jump-started their connection, the universe has been pushing Tyrone and Tandy together. That night in the road. The visions. The present. You name it. Tyrone and Tandy are starting to realize that there’s a greater force at play that’s not only giving them abilities but that their abilities and themselves are linked.
“The universe keeps pulling us apart,” Tandy adds.
While the universe is pushing them together, it’s also pulling them apart when they try to push together. From the first moment they touched in the pilot, their powers pulled them apart. When they tried to get close again, the same thing happened. If the universe is trying to push them together, then why is it also pulling them apart? I’m sure those answers will come as we continue to unravel the mystery of Cloak & Dagger in a series that’s nothing short of subtle surprises and satisfying payoffs.
The Anger Within
We’ve known for a couple of episodes that Tyrone and Tandy each possess anger about their given situations, which stems from their respective past tragedy that took something from them. We’ve seen it simmering and showing signs of breaking. And I feel like in “Call/Response,” where Tyrone and Tandy finally talked about what was happening to them and their individual situations, that we saw the floodgates break. Because in finding each other — the only people they can talk to about what’s happening with them — they’re talking through their thoughts and feelings to eventually get to a place of clarity.
In the final minutes of this episode, we saw their true feelings burst. When Tandy revealed that she thinks about killing herself, Tyrone just broke. “What the hell is wrong with you? Your life isn’t that bad.” What could be so bad that you’d think about killing yourself?
Tandy immediately pounces wondering how horrible Ty’s life could possibly be when he has a house and two living parents that care so much about him that it can feel suffocating. Tandy, meanwhile, lives in an abandoned church, doesn’t have a father and it feels like she doesn’t have a father. And the man that could’ve been her parental figure was just murdered by Roxxon.
But Tyrone lays it down when he starts talking about white privilege. How Tandy doesn’t realize that she can walk into any place and not be questioned. Meanwhile, “this whole country is looking to kill me,” Ty tells her. She doesn’t understand what it’s like to be black in society. But she’s also quick to judge just by looking at the things she doesn’t have and someone else does and immediately assuming their life must be pretty easy.
They both get into a massive argument pinpointing hard truths about the other. While they’re truths are hurtful, they’ve also proved just how well they’ve gotten to know each other through their visions and the conversation they shared in this episode. This series ultimately is about the bond between Tyrone and Tandy. How are they going to get to that place where they’re so connected that they know each other better than anyone? Through conversations like this, including the really tough ones. While it might not be pretty, this was the beginning of what can be a beautiful friendship. And they’ll help each other through the anger.
“It’s Dangerous to Get Close to Anyone.”
Tandy has lost a lot in her life. Her father, her mother (in a way), any sense of peace and security that she once had. She lives her life believing that she has to take back what’s been taken from her and that “it’s dangerous to get close to anyone.”
We know that Tandy is an untrusting person. And she’s especially untrusting when it comes to Greg, her mother’s married boyfriend that promises he’s in this for the right reasons, so to “Bachelor” speak. Why should Tandy be trusting? She’s seen this before. Mom falls for a married guy, married guy leaves, things get ugly. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But when Tandy touched his hand, she saw his hopes. And his hopes involved being a family — a happy, loving family — with Tandy and her mom. This was what he wanted. And you could see Tandy begin to look at him differently. She decided to work with him in learning more about Roxxon and what they were covering up with her father.
The more Tandy works with and talks with Greg, the more she allows herself get attached. She starts to see how his “hope” could come to life. Her mom wants it, Greg wants it, and Tandy wants it. Maybe she can have nice things?
That is until her mom starts to doubt. That is until her mom breaks up with him. That is until Tandy witnesses Greg shot in the head and murdered by, presumably, someone from Roxxon. You can see Tandy melt into heartbreak and hopelessness all over again. Just when she thought she’d found something, someone that made her hopeful, he’s killed. Just when she thought she’d found someone that could help make her family whole, he was taken from her. Because she was helping him find stuff on Roxxon. Because she’d gotten close to him. And what’s her motto? “It’s dangerous to get close to anyone.”
Tandy has tried so hard to protect herself from the pain that came with losing her dad, her mom, and her once happy life. Then when she thought she’d found someone that could bring light into her life, she let herself believe it. But once she lost him, it reaffirmed what she’s convinced herself: That to get close to someone spells heartbreak. And you could see the walls go up again.
“I’m Trying to Make Up For Two Lives.”
Tyrone has been fighting since that fateful day when his brother was murdered. He’s been fighting for justice for his brother Billy. He’s been fighting to find an inner peace that seems impossible. He’s been fighting to stave off the fears that he’d meet a similar fate as his brother.
This episode did a lot to highlight how Tyrone has been living in his brother’s shadow. How his parents have been sheltering him from any trouble. How his parents have been trying to give him a life they wish Billy had been granted. In a way, Ty didn’t only lose his brother. He lost the chance to live his life without an almost suffocating protection from his parents.
Ty’s father is so terrified that Ty is destined to follow his brother’s footsteps — get involved in trouble and die as a result. You start to understand why his father has been doing what he’s been doing. Why Ty’s parents have been sheltering him in the form of suffocation. They don’t want to lose another son to the same tragedy. Tyrone’s father tries to instill a sense of awareness and control in Ty. “If you can’t control yourself, you can’t control a damn thing in this world,” he tells his son.
Everything falls back to Billy’s death. Does Ty feel guilty? Yes. That’s what the checks in Tandy’s vision were about. It was a metaphor. For feeling like Tyrone didn’t deserve anything good in his life. Like he’s atoning for something. And Tandy wasn’t wrong.
“I feel like I have to be perfect,” Tyrone says. “Like I have to do everything right. Like I’m trying to make up for two lives.”
And that’s exactly it. Tyrone isn’t just working towards a life for himself. He’s working towards the life that his parents wanted for both him and Billy. Tyrone gets a chance to live, and he’s going to make sure that he lives for himself and his brother. But with that comes this immense pressure to be perfect. To do everything right. To not make a mistake that could derail everything. And that’s too much pressure to put on one person, yet alone a teenager dealing with what he’s dealing with.
Cloak & Dagger airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.