Heroes rise and fall and even become villains if they live long enough. Superheroes having ups and downs and sometimes dragging the people around them is no different with our teen heroes Cloak and Dagger.
In the last two episodes of Cloak and Dagger, we see our heroes continue to evolve into their comic book counterparts. But apart from Lotus Eaters, we have yet to see the dynamic duo work together. However, in the episode Ghost Stories, we finally get to see Tyrone turn into comic book Cloak, actually wearing and using his brother Billy’s cloak in an effort to bring Officer Connor to justice with the help of O’Reilly. Hopefully, Tyrone will continue to use Billy’s cloak.
We see the pair somewhat turn into the heroes we know in the comics, but there has to be that time in the story which spoils that momentum and gives the characters that terrible point in the time of their lives, and us viewers that dreaded bad moment. Even as a writer I forget what that’s called where some antagonist really gives the lead character/s a hard time just when things are getting good. That time is tackled in the episodes Ghost Stories (8) and Back Breaker (9).
In Ghost Stories, Tyrone succeeded in bringing Connors in with the help of O’Reilly and Tandy finally confronts Roxxon’s Peter Scarborough on the death and dishonor of her father, Nathan Bowen. In the comics, Nathan wasn’t much of a father to begin with. Tandy’s image of her father is only from her younger self, but Scarborough hints she doesn’t know her father too well. It’s also suggested in Lotus Eaters that Nathan is much to blame for the rig incident as per the repeating experience of Ivan Hess. It also suggests a little negligence on Nathan’s part for letting little Tandy wait out in the rain. Peter Scarborough offers Tandy cash in exchange for Tandy’s collected evidence, but she declines. Despite her more selfish motive, and the fact that she declines a boatful of cash which she and her mother desperately need, bringing Scarborough to justice for the deaths of the people in the rig makes Tandy a hero.
However, she experiences a shock when she finds out how abusive her father really was, destroying the good image of her father in her mind. When you lose what you fight for, you tend to lose yourself and the hero goes in a downward spiral as what Father Delgado is teaching in his class which is the theme of the episode. Tandy ends up accepting Scarborough’s offer in spite; and later crashes and burns and practically becomes a villain as she drains various people of their hopes, seemingly becoming addicted. Can she do that?
Again, in a twist to the source material, it turns out that Tandy can technically drain people of their life force, their ‘hopes.’ By draining their hopes, it leaves her victims physically weak and distraught while she gains an almost orgasmic experience. In the comics, Tyrone is the one that does the draining, the one who craves for the light and grows weak without it. Tyrone drains has victims of their ‘light’ while subjecting them to their greatest fears at the same time. Tandy/Dagger replenishes that light in case Cloak/Tyrone goes overboard. The writers and producers have certainly made Cloak and Dagger quite interesting by playing with their power sets. Should the whole series become a hit, could these changes make it to the comics as well? The reversal of their powers already happened at least twice in the comics but not the way the TV show depicts.
Tandy returns to her life of crime victimizing young rich men. She then bails out Liam and addictively victimizes him too but not before draining Mina Hess despite Mina’s good intentions of getting Tandy employed at Roxxon. What she does suggests an addiction, almost without thinking but full of jealousy and resentment to Mina’s happiness. In the case of Tyrone, there’s no real draining, at least for now. Tyrone simply physically and emotionally lashed out at the people around as all his efforts in bringing Officer Connors to justice seems to have gone to waste, thanks to the seeming indifference of his parents whom he expected to be happy, grateful and celebrating. It’s quite easy to relate as I myself put great value in appreciation of effort. Besides, he literally put his life on the line.
Tyrone gets called to detention by Father Delgado due to Tyrone’s brutal involvement in a fight and gets into an argument with the priest. He accidentally sees Delgado’s fear, and at the same time Tyrone accidentally stumbles into Tandy’s dimension and stops her from draining Liam. This quells Tyrone’s anger with a dose of sympathy, further lowered when Evita confronts him, and his mother explains to him the reason why they weren’t so ecstatic with his good news. Tandy arrives while he’s talking with Evita, Tandy touches Evita to get back at Tyrone, but Evita is attuned to Tandy’s power and pushes her out. She also figures out that Tandy is the other half of the Divine Pairing.
It’s pretty tough seeing Tandy really bitching out in this episode over one scene involving her parents. But disappointment, another emotion I can relate to, really hurts the brighter the appointment torch burns. Can we really blame her? It seems shallow of her to take everything out on the people around her because of one scene, but teenage minds and emotions tend to be volatile. Seems cliché but the way our heroes acted in Back Breaker is realistic.
The narrative around Back Breaker episode 9, centers around Delgado’s lecture to his students about the rise and fall of heroes. The intense personal challenges they face that become turning points to failure or villainy. What disappointed me here is that Delgado never acknowledged neither the Avengers nor the Defenders. He talked about historical heroes, and I was really hoping for a name drop of any of the MCU’s stars. Connected, really? Anyway, as Delgado talks, the other hero in the equation, O’Reilly also suffers from what happened to Fuchs. She also gets led to a party, where Connors suddenly shows up to beat her as the other cops watch, suggesting how deep the drug and corruption problem already is. Could she turn vigilante and become the character Mayhem before the season ends?
And just to be consistent with this spoiler ‘review’, Liam leave with Tandy’s stash, probably to get back at her and since he no longer hopes of marrying Tandy. Mina Hess meanwhile witnesses the same darkforce leak that Tyrone and Tandy saw in Ivan’s mind. The leak infects a couple of Roxxon employees which will surely spell trouble for the citizens of New Orleans. Tandy goes home and finds her mom being assaulted by the woman who killed Greg. I really dislike cliffhangers because I can’t wait for what happens next. Agents of SHIELD may be out till next summer, but Cloak and Dagger is keeping us entertained.