There are only two ways to see this episode, titled “B Sides,” and depending on the type of TV viewer you are, you either think this is a brilliant hour of television, something you absolutely wouldn’t mind seeing replicated, or a filler, slow episode in the midst of what has certainly been a very, very strong season 2 of Cloak and Dagger. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the two, but I admit I’m leaning more and more into the first of those possibilities, for now.
And I only say ‘for now’ because I’m not sure how the rest of the season will develop. It could certainly be true that the hour spent inside Tandy’s mind will come back to bite us later, that the show will need the time to develop some other things, that the resolution to this whole human trafficking issue and the shocking reveal of the season 2 big bad will feel rushed when all is said and done.
But for now, the episode only serves to underscore what we love about the show, and to give Olivia Holt a chance to shine.
Does she ever.
We live in a world of superheroes, a world of superpowers. From the MCU, to the Arrowverse, we’re used to villains that can do more than just wield a gun, so used, in fact, that we’ve become a bit immune to it. For me, however, the scariest villains have always been the ones who can manipulate your mind, a la Kilgrave, the ones who can get you to become your own worst enemy. Because is there anything scarier that a villain you can’t touch, can’t see and have no idea how to defeat?
Andre is such a villain, and “B Sides” gives us a taste of why that’s so scary.
Hope is a big, important thing, not only in superhero shows, but in life. And what happens when you’ve robbed of your last hope? How do you go on? Can you? That is the question this villain, and this season are apparently posing to Tandy. What happens when you lose the one thing you thought you could always count on? What happens when you lost your port in a storm?
Do you drown?
Tandy is no regular damsel in distress, of course. We know this well. She’s gone through tremendous pain in her lifetime, and she isn’t exactly oblivious to how harsh and cold the real world can be. In fact, you could argue that the fact that she’s not is what got her into this mess. She knows too much to let things go, after all. But Tandy has found comfort, she’s found hope, and she’s found companionship in Tyrone, and the thought of losing that, the thought of being alone again, breaks her.
You gotta understand how important that is, the formal admission, the way Cloak and Dagger isn’t pulling any punches or trying to add some mystery to Tandy’s feelings. This show has spent over a season setting up these two people as two halves of a whole, but very clearly not labeling the relationship romantic, at least not yet. And it doesn’t have to be, because what it is seems, in a way, stronger. What it is makes me think that there’s no way they’re not going to get there in time.
Because they’re soulmates. That’s it, that’s the tea. They’re each other’s person, irrevocably. Tandy’s subconscious proves it, by giving her Tyrone in each and every scenario, because with him around, it’s easier for her to find the way to make it through.
Note what I said – easier to find the way to make it through. Not perfect, not the solution to all her problems, and certainly not her knight in shinning armor. Just her partner. Her other half.
And then, when Tandy thinks Tyrone was taken from her, when she’s faced with the idea of going through life without him, that’s when she loses hope. That’s when she breaks. And that’s why Andre is such a formidable opponent, and his power so terrifying.
Is there anything scarier than losing all hope?
My answer is no. Thankfully though, despite what Tandy is seeing, Tyone is still alive, he’s still out there, and hope isn’t really lost.
Now, can it be next week?
Cloak and Dagger airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.