Releasing Fridays on Amazon Prime in the UK
Director: Alex Garcia-Lopez
Writers: Joe Pokaski
Essential Plot Points:
- The episode opens with a wedding car, abandoned and crashed into a tree.
- We see a female detective, Brigid O’Reilly, come up to the site of Tandy’s attack and investigate.
- Tandy’s plot this week is all about getting out of town. She confesses that she stabbed her would-be rapist to Liam (he has a name! Hi Liam!) and that means they can’t stay in town. Once he wakes up, she’ll be identified and once she’s identified, it’s over.
- So, they visit the local ‘laundry’, which is both a laundry and a criminal supermarket. The good news is that Elmer, their contact, can get her a full new identity. The bad news is it will cost 11 grand. Liam, because he’s pretty much instantly the nicest person in this show, offers Tandy the 5 or 6 grand he has stashed. She agrees to go and get her money too, which she’s hidden at her mom’s trailer.
- But not, it turns out, well enough. Mom and her new ‘boyfriend’ found Tandy’s stash and have taken the drugs and used the money to buy more. Murderously angry, Tandy gets into a stand up argument with her mom and runs off. She returns to the laundry and asks Liam to trust her. He agrees and she hands over the cash they do have as a non-refundable down payment and asks to borrow a dress…
- Tandy’s plan is to rob a high society wedding they bluff their way into. It’s fun, equal parts hard work and a night off and for a moment or two they forget their troubles. Until, when they dance, Tandy has another vision. Her’s seem to place her inside people’s hopes and dreams and she watches Liam dance with her and admit all he wants is to be with her. Her loves and trusts her completely. So completely she panics, pushes him away and runs into the bathroom.
- There, a wedding guest chats to her and Tandy, somehow, is able to be honest even under everything going on. The guest comforts her and Tandy leaves. Taking the guest’s money as she does. The woman who spoke to her was holding the tips for the staff. They’ve got the money they need and escape. In the wedding car we see at the start of the episode…
- Tandy dumps Liam, terrified about being with him and drives off. Almost as soon as she does so, Detective Reilly arrests him. Tandy’s not even out of town when Liam uses his one phone call to beg her to come home. She has every cent he owns and he’s going to prison without her.
- She keeps going until…
- Meanwhile, over in Ty’s plot, he talks to his dad about what’s expected of him. In a moment as pleasantly surprising as Lando praising his mother in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ty’s dad tells him to be more like his wife, and Ty’s mom. She’s dragged the family up into prosperity, is a tireless community organizer and has used the tragic murder of her other son as fuel for it all.
- Ty has a lot on his plot. He’s DEFINITELY a superhero and spends a lot of this episode playing with his powers and getting them endearingly wrong. Plus there’s Connors, the cop who murdered his brother, who he spends a lot of time watching and the price he pays for that. Ty inadvertently skips basketball practice, finds out the team have had to run suicide sprints for him as punishment and takes a beating from them in return. This is even after he runs the sprints himself, because Ty is, despite everything that’s happened to him, a fundamentally decent, good guy.
- Despite this, Ty can’t help but be drawn into the orbit of vengeance, despite a long, and very Daredevil esque, conversation with Father Francis Delgado, one of his school counselors. Even after the team beat him and leave him in the equipment locker, Ty takes a baseball bat, escapes and is all set to beat Connors to death but still…just…can’t.
- Matters come to a head for him when he asks his moment how she dealt with Billy’s death. In doing so, they touch and Ty gets a nightmarish vision of a supermarket where his mom loses both her sons, murdered the second they leave her side. He also gets a look at the gun locker she hasn’t told him about…
- Ty’s done. He steals the gun, kicks the door to Connors’ house in and pursues the cop upstairs. There’s a fight, Ty holds him at gunpoint, screams in rage and fires…
- Teleporting away the second he does so.
- To the road in front of Tandy’s car.
- The round hits, the car crashes and we’re back where we started. With both our leads in a whole heap of trouble.
This is just flat out brilliant. From the end-is-the-beginning structure to the parallel narratives and performances episode 2 of Cloak & Dagger is a startlingly strong hour of TV. It moves both central plots along, expands on the world and the cast and introduces some pretty major questions that look set to power the rest of the season.
Not the least of which is just what are their secondary powers? Tandy seems able to access people’s hopes and Ty definitely accesses their fears. Why? Is it involuntary? Triggered by emotion? The interesting thing about it is that it casts both their power sets as actively beneficial to others. If they can read the darkest fears and brightest hopes of people they can conceivably help avoid one and reach the other. Which one’s which depends on the person of course. But it’s looking possible, even this early, that Ty’s teleportation and Tandy’s light daggers aren’t their primary powers, they’re defensive ones. The idea of them being forces of active good, of healing people is one that’s explored in the comics a lot and while we’re a long way off some elements of that, it’s being introduced in exactly the right way here. We especially like how Ty’s powers don’t just take him where he needs to be, but this week take him away from where he shouldn’t be too.
The performances impress this week as well. Gloria Reuben in particular is great as is Carl Lundstedt. Liam is much more sympathetic now than in the first episode and we can’t wait to see just how, if at all, the relationship with Tandy progresses now O’Reilly has him. But, again, this is a week owned by the lead cast. Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph are both fantastic. Holt excels at brittle, determined and cold and we get all of those this week. Tandy is no one’s victim and the way she goes about getting out of town moves the show solidly into crime fiction in a fascinating way. Better still, the script makes it clear why everyone is doing what they’re doing. From Detective O’Reilly to Tandy’s mom and her boyfriend, every choice makes sense even if not every choice is the right one.
Likewise Ty who does the right thing again and gets punished, again. Aubrey Joseph excels at quiet, articulate emotional turmoil and when Ty kicks the door in this week you know he’s there to kill a man. The fact his powers don’t let him is a genuine surprise. Where it lands him is another. The thought of how the show will explore this further, still a third. Every element of the show is tied together neatly here and every single element is pushing in the same direction. It’s massively impressive, well-realized and gripping TV. We have no idea what happens next and we can’t wait to find out.
- Detective O’Reilly not talking until she makes an arrest is such a smart, weird and successful idea. We also love that the uniform cop who brings her coffee does the same thing, and leaves his phone number on the coffee cup. Smoothie.
- The format. There’s tangible dread to this entire episode as we wait for the awful thing to happen.
- In fact the script and direction are both brilliant this week. The script especially has far more energy than last week. We especially like the parallel narratives between Tandy and Ty and the scene with the choir all apparently bowing their heads but actually chatting via text during Mass.
- Both leads continue to impress every time they’re on screen. Aubrey Joseph is especially great this episode.
- Liam has a name!
- Gloria Reuben and Andrea Roth impress with two very different approaches to similar tragedies this week.
- Father Delgado is SUPER cool. After two seasons of Daredevil we’re always there for ‘well meaning no nonsense Catholic priest’ characters. The little moment with him apparently falling off the wagon says there’s a lot more to come there too.
- Honestly, nothing. This is a great hour of TV.
- Detective Brigid O’Reilly, in the comics, eventually became a superpowered vigilante (who died at least once) called Mayhem. For now though, she’s a cop and played by Emma Lahana. Lanhana got her start on Shortland Street and has appeared since then in Stargate: Atlantis, Hellcats, Haven and many more.
- Father Delgado’s struggles with his faith lead to him being an adversary to Cloak and Dagger at several points in the comics. Right now though he’s very much a force for good in the show and played by Jaime Zevallos. Zevallos has previously appeared in Jericho, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story and many more.
- Liam Walsh, Tandy’s boyfriend, is played by Carl Lundstedt. He’s previously appeared in Conviction and Gray’s Anatomy as well as several short films.
- Alex Garcia Lopez has directed for Luke Cage and Daredevil, as well as classic Channel 4 series Utopia and Misifits among others.