We’re back with our recap of episode four of Cloak & Dagger, the Marvel show hip to hot teen trends like bath bombs, faking bike thefts and Snapchat; we’re yet to see hide or hair of Fortnite, but surely it can only be a matter of time. This week, “Call/Response” brings Tyrone and Tandy together properly for the first time. Do sparks fly? Let’s find out together!
1. Land of the Loa
In a nice structural choice, this episode cuts between the titular twosome’s meeting in a moodily-lit New Orleans church, and the after-effects of that meeting in the days which follow. Their discussion is wide-ranging, chatting about the shared dreamspace from last episode where they witnessed each other’s damaged psyches; finding some new leads for their respective mysteries; and establishing that Tandy and Ty’s powerset includes the ability to see people’s hopes and fears, respectively. Following this epochal natter, Tandy finally gives her mom’s new drug addict boyfriend/lawyer a chance. Seems like a nice guy! Hope nothing bad happens to him.
2. “Don’t be a thug, be a victim”
Tyrone, meanwhile, is given the confidence to not only mack on Evita in the school darkroom, but also to begin a more legitimate line of vengeance against the crooked vice cop who shot his brother dead. This is partially triggered by an iffy moment where, after Ty shouts out the elephant in the room — as a young black man in the South, approaching the cops isn’t necessarily in his best interests — Tandy suggests that he wouldn’t be treated that way if he popped into the local police station styled as a “victim” instead of a “thug.” It’s a moment of tone-deaf respectability politics of a piece with some of Ty and his father’s discussions in the premiere, and which runs through much of the Marvel TV universe (cc: Luke Cage).
3.The universe keeps bringing us together/pulling us apart
While the non-chronological structure of the episode allowed for some compelling momentum and character development, it did ultimately result in the Cloak and Dagger of the title again flirting with the idea of teaming up for real this time…and then parting once more. It’s frustrating that actors Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph have clear chemistry when they’re on screen together, yet the show is so intent on keeping them apart, as the pair talk through their issues and then part to deal with them on their own.
4. “Character is what you do when nobody else is watching”
A quote from Tandy’s deceased father may be instructive here. Annoying though the continued separation of Tyrone and Tandy is, a couple of key scenes where the actors perform solo are amongst the strongest of the show so far. Ty initially flees from the police station he’s blagged his way into, the overwhelming noise, activity and traumatic memories piling on top of each other in an effective bit of sound design which authentically mimics a panic attack. Meanwhile, Tandy’s attempted suicide at the end is handled far less sensitively (or realistically), but the image of her returning to the surface with one of her light daggers in hand was genuinely cathartic as well.
5. Corporate Espionage Action
Less convincing was the reason for her despair. In the space of one episode she had learned to accept Greg, the lawyer taking on her mom’s case against ROXXON, as a potential new father figure. She also started knuckling down and helping with the case. Naturally that couldn’t last, with her mom inexplicably dumping Greg, followed swiftly by his being executed by (presumably) someone on ROXXON’s payroll…in full view of Tandy, who was stood across the street. While I’ve never been involved in a vast corporate conspiracy (that I will admit to unless under oath), I tend to think they’re a teensy bit better at covering their tracks than that.
That’s another week over, another step towards unravelling this ROXXON thing, and Tyrone is down a bike. A satisfying episode of Cloak & Dagger, or one that left you wanting? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!