Welcome back to our coverage of Cloak & Dagger, the show that tackles the hot button issues faced by today’s teens: bullying, substance abuse, voodoo and developing superpowers thanks to a near-fatal accident you suffered as a child. This week I’ll be looking at the third episode of this inaugural season, “Stained Glass!”
1. Reunited, and it feels so good
This week’s episode picks up immediately where the two-part premiere left off. Tyrone has teleported in front of Tandy’s speeding car, popped off a shot and caused her to crash into a tree. The consequences of which are…well, mostly she’s fine, actually, besides a little mystical concussion we’ll get to in a little bit. It takes until the very end of this third hour (okay, forty minutes without ads), however, for the two to actually, intentionally meet up with each other and team up. If Cloak & Dagger continues at this sort of snail’s pace, I expect them to finally don their superhero costumes some way into the fifth season…
2. “You can’t keep doing the same thing! The ending will always be the same!”
Most of “Stained Glass” is taken up by an extended dream sequence which is heavy in symbolism of the most basic kind. The sensible, studious Ty accesses this shared dreamscape through a voodoo ritual set up by his classmate/would-be-beau Evita. Tandy, meanwhile, gets there purely by having been bonked on the head, which seems much easier. These scenes attempt some character growth and emotional catharsis: Tyrone is encouraged to relinquish his anger over his brother’s death, and Tandy is assured that running away isn’t always a viable option. The problem is that we don’t yet know these characters well enough to be in any way invested in such breakthroughs.
3. Let’s cool it with the cutaways
A not-insignificant amount of my “Suicide Sprints” recap was given over to clowning on the unintentionally hilarious scenes of a silent Detective O’Reilly investigating Tandy’s assault. This week Cloak & Dagger brings us a similarly pointless, supposedly “enigmatic” motif. Throughout the episode we frequently cut away from the action to show us a 3D printer printing…something. For forty minutes we’re kept in suspense of what it’s going to turn out to be, and at the end it’s revealed to be a tiny Tyrone, made by Evita’s voodoo-practising auntie. I’m not sure what this is supposed to signify, besides maybe this woman has a photographic memory for the exact dimensions of every teenage boy who wanders through her kitchen.
3. Everyone got real stupid all of a sudden, huh?
Speaking of which, they say the camera adds 10 lbs, but I think it might cause people to shed a few IQ points as well. Characters acting, well, out of character, and beneath their established intelligence, is a common gripe in serialised TV. Usually, it’s a symptom of the writer forcing the character to serve the plot, rather than the other way around. That’s very much the case here as Ty, who we’ve established as a sensitive, intelligent young man, loses all common sense. He passively potters through a voodoo ceremony without ever raising any protestations as to why he’s doing it, or how it might maybe contradict his Catholic schooling. At one point asks aloud if the sirens he can hear approaching the scene where he just shot at a car which subsequently crashed might perhaps be the police. I don’t know man, maybe!
5. Good cop, bad cop
And there are a lot of cops on the show this week. Detective O’Reilly shakes off her vocal cord issues and talks quite a lot, that crooked vice cop who killed Ty’s brother pops up again (apparently unshaken by the teen who tried to shoot him and disappeared into thin air recently), and in one of the more effective moments of the extended fantasy sequence, vengeance-minded Tyrone is continually surrounded by riot police. The bummer of that last part is that Ty breaks out of his dream by rejecting retributive violence against said crooked cop, and instead getting back at him through the conventional legal system — represented by his picking up a pair of cuffs, instead of a noose or a gun — which is a mixed message. The police in this show are clearly corrupt, yet you should still trust the justice system…? It’s like this superhero show doesn’t want to give us vigilante action!Continued below
I thought it was a pretty mixed bag, but what did you think of Cloak & Dagger’s third episode? Good? Bad? Meh? Wondering why they thought they could get away with dropping a quote from The Wire in there? Let me know in the comments below!