The latest episode (that I’ve watched) of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger entitled “Call/Response” was quite interesting, and it seems that the series is finally getting somewhere. Episode Three, “Stained Glass” felt like it was more of the same as episodes one and two. “Stained Glass” helped viewers to get to know more about the characters and for Tandy and Tyrone to get to know more about each other. “Call/Response” meanwhile builds and works with “Stained Glass” and finally takes us to interesting places. Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t seen either episode.
We’ll have to accept that Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger is designed to be more of a young adult drama than an action-packed live-action superhero show like the stuff from DC and the CW, considering the type of channel it’s on. It’s also ironic that for one of the characters to be based on darkness, this series should be on Netflix. We’re not complaining (well just a little bit) as Marvel continues to experiment on various genres of entertainment and often succeeds. But seriously, the pacing could be a bit faster. At least the pair sporadically gets their powers activated to keep things interesting, reminding us that this is still a superhero show.
“Call/Response” is where Tandy and Tyrone finally get to know more about each other. They have more time to directly interact than when they did in “Stained Glass.” In “Stained Glass,” Tyrone engaged in a ritual cleansing bath to help with his inner demons with the help of his classmate Evita. This bath, however, didn’t answer his questions but instead gave him glimpses of Tandy Bowen’s life. The bath, which happened at the time Tandy was leaving New Orleans on a bus, indirectly affected Tandy who in turn had visions of Tyrone.
Tyrone tries to help Tandy who keeps running away from her problems instead of facing them while Tandy tries to steer Tyrone from his revenge mission against the cop who killed Billy. Their visions make them realize that they’re connected, so Tandy cancels her departure and Tyrone goes to the church to figure out their connection.
Episode four gives us an alternating narrative with the pair talking about themselves and their actions afterward. We’re left to deduce that their talk was not continuous. They talk about each other’s visions and their issues. Tandy helps Tyrone get over his fear of the police station in order to seek help against officer Connors. This action required the use of a bolt cutter which caught the attention of Tyrone’s father Otis who assumes that Tyrone is in trouble.
To steer Tyrone away from a wayward life, Otis takes Tyrone to his old seemingly criminal Mardi Gras tribe and manages to make a bond with his son. When I said this show was finally getting somewhere, we get a glimpse of the ultimate Easter egg which is actually the cloak that comic book Cloak uses, in the form of an unfinished beadwork cloak by Tyrone’s brother Billy. I actually have my hopes up that Tyrone would use it in the future. Otherwise, we may have to make due with Tyrone’s old hoodie which Tandy uses as a safety blanket.
Meanwhile, Tandy actually manages to bond with her mother’s boyfriend, Greg. Through her power, she sees Greg’s sincerity in helping them despite being married to someone else. Tandy’s mother was working with Greg in digging into Roxxon about the accident on the rig. About the accident, if the rig weren’t located in New Orleans, it would have tied nicely into the power plant somewhere in California in Agents of SHIELD Season 4 that had indirect ties with the Darkforce dimension.
Anyway, it was nice that Cloak and Dagger killed off the cliché of troubled teen hating her stepfather. Like Tyrone bonding with his father, Tandy warmed up to Greg as they discussed Roxxon. Unfortunately, Tandy’s mother broke up with Greg, and on the same night, Tandy witnessed Greg’s assassination.
Tandy and Tyrone’s final discussion seemed awkward and out of place. Tandy seemed to lose hope after Greg’s death, but it wasn’t clear if she discussed it with Tyrone. The dialogue led to Tandy’s thoughts on suicide which suddenly irked Tyrone who himself had a death wish before episode 3. They left each other on a bitter note but positive results with Tyrone seeking detective O’Reilly’s help and Tandy retrieving Greg’s secret files on Roxxon but not before actually trying to commit suicide in the river (which she escapes using her powers). Also, Tandy decides to shun the rest of her roofies after their separation but not after snorting one.
This aspect of Tandy broke me as I assumed those pills she was taking were anti-depressants. Tandy even goes so far as to sell them to make money. The original premise of Cloak and Dagger (pardon this purist) is that they’re crusaders against drugs. They’re supposed to destroy the Sith, not be one of them. Oops. I guess I can let this one slide as Tandy has yet to master her powers; if she eventually realizes her light daggers can cure drug addiction and not be literal daggers that can cut through rapists, ropes, chains and steel vaults. Hopefully, the series does get to that part about their anti-drug campaign.
It’s also strange that Tyrone’s darkness doesn’t crave Tandy’s light or shows any sign of weakness being on his own. In the comics, Cloak’s darkness hungers for light, and when deprived, he becomes weak or out of control while Dagger suffers from overload where she could actually die if she doesn’t release them. Tandy actually described how she becomes ‘hot and bothered’ prior to releasing her power while Tyrone described the feeling of Tandy’s power as initially pleasant. Now that we’re done with character exposition, we should probably be getting somewhere. Episode 4 just jump-started this series and made things more interesting.