Releasing Fridays on Amazon Prime in the UK
Director: Paul Edwards
Writers: Joe Pokaski & Peter Calloway
Essential Plot Points:
- And we’re back. In the past on the morning of the explosion. Mina bakes her dad a cookie in her EasyBake oven with a ‘secret ingredient’ and he sets off to work on the rig. There, he discovers the heat shielding he ordered never came. He heads to his office, demands to speak to Nathan Bowen and that’s when the alarm sounds…
- In the church in the present day, Ty is devastated. Duane wasn’t just his friend, he was the only way to get to Connors. Tandy is sympathetic, but is also fiercely honest; she’s found Ivan, and from what she saw, Ivan is the only one who can clear her dad.
- Ty is understandably freaked out but he can’t argue with Tandy’s logic. They visit Ivan, each touch one of his hands and…
- appear in the vision Tandy saw earlier. They open the door and appear on the rig. A worker stumbles towards them, their eyes dark and Tandy reassures Ty they can’t be seen.
- Right up until he swings at them.
- Tandy stabs him and they flee into Ivan Hess’ office. Who can see them and is overjoyed at FINALLY having someone to talk to.
- It soon becomes apparent that something is very very wrong. Ivan has no memory of who he is and has been watching a baseball game in his head for the last eight years. Tandy realizes where they are just as Ivan calmly explains they have 1 minute 40 seconds to live before the rig explodes. Ivan explains that the explosion could be stopped by going to the Core room and shutting off the kill switch and then the valves controlling flow through the rig. They run for it and are instantly surrounded by armed workers. They beat them, are surrounded again, there’s a flash of light and…
- they’re back with Ivan.
- They ask him how many times he\s been through it and admits that he lost count around 100,000. There’s a rending noise and he leads them out into the break room. He explains that the initial explosion infected the entire crew, apart from him and turned them into ‘Terrors’, homicidal maniacs who seek out and kill anyone else. They hide from the Terrors and Ivan inadvertently reveals he was the one who talked to Nathan on the phone the night he died.
- And then the phone rings and Tandy realizes she can talk to her dad. She gets a moment of grace with him before the explosion and…
- Reset. And Tandy can’t quite resist the idea of being able to talk to her dad again. Ty teleports to the Core Room alone, sees the first two workers taken over and teleports clear. Only for them to find him again.
- Tandy talks to her dad again as Ty fights off an endless wave of workers. He gets to the valves, shuts the rig down despite it all and…still nothing. Reset. Ty persuades Tandy to leave, and they agree to both release on 3. Ty counts, releases and…Tandy doesn’t.
- Ty goes back in and finds, to his horror, she’s forgotten who they are. She’s also learned how to throw her daggers and is obsessively waiting for her dad’s phone call. Ty hangs the phone up for her and tells her she has to get clear. It shakes something loose, and not in a good way. Tandy remembers she was homeless and friendless and manipulated everyone. In a moment of self awareness, Tandy admits she likes this place, and who she is here, much better than the real world.
- They reset and Tandy asks what Ty would do if he had the chance to talk to Billy again. She pulls a dagger on him and he yanks the phone out of the wall. She loses it, hurling daggers at him as Ty teleports out of the way. Finally, Ty tries something else; asking if she’s told her father the truth. He asks what her father would think of his drug addict daughter and she pops two daggers, screams and sprints at him as the rig resets.
- Ty says he’ll leave her alone on the condition she asks her dad a question Ivan couldn’t possibly know. The phone rings and, sensing what’s coming, Tandy picks up.
- She asks who’s in the back of the car. The voice replies ‘nobody.’
- They reset. Tandy snatches the cookie from Ivan’s hand and explains how responsible a father is for their daughters and how his daughter made him the cookie. The phone rings. Tandy hangs it up. She explains about the EasyBake oven. About the cardamom. About Mina. Ivan eats the cookie. And, finally, wakes up. He asks where Mina is and Tandy explains she’s been visiting him every day. He’s desperate to leave but is trapped. Ty figures out he needs to be the one to close out the Core Room and Tandy and Ty are the variables that are going to make the difference.
- They make their run, Tandy and Ty fighting off the Terrors as Ivan closes off the final valve and…
- Wakes up and demands to see Mina.
- Mina arrives, with a bag of cookies and is reunited with her dad. Tandy and Ty watch the reunion from outside, Tandy clearly conflicted about the fact she can’t heal herself that way but happy that she’s been able to help.
- The two return home. Ty goes through a box of his mementos from Billy and finds a voice recorder.
- Tandy’s phone rings. It’s Ty. He explains about the recorder and the message on it and without saying it out loud, makes it clear he’s frightened to hear it. Tandy asks him to press play and they listen to Ty and his brother, eight years ago, beat-boxing. They smile and Tandy asks him to play it again.
So we’ve had six weeks of an increasingly fast, complex noir mystery with Cloak & Dagger. You’d expect a time loop episode would be a needless distraction, right?
Nope. This is the best episode of the season so far and demonstrates what makes these characters exceptional.
Cloak & Dagger are characters whose abilities are inherently defensive. Tandy’s lost everything and can’t stop manipulating people. Ty is consumed by guilt and rage and is terrified that’s all he is. This week, as they journey into the mind of Ivan Hess, both of them get definitive answers that they are more than they think they are.
Ty first as this is a relatively light week for him at least at first. Here he’s given the opportunity to be the thing that no one else seems to let him be: grounded, sensible. Ty is the anchor that brings Tandy back to the world and for a kid who 7 episodes ago made the point that no one trusts him, that means an awful lot. It’s also indicative of his growing confidence. Note how quickly he volunteers to go to the Core Room alone. Note also the payoff with the tape recorder. Without ever saying it out loud, Aubrey Joseph makes it clear Ty hasn’t played that tape because he’s not sure he’s strong enough to. Calling Tandy at the end of the episode proves not only that he is, but that he’s also strong enough to trust someone else now. That’s a massive step.
As is everything Tandy processes this week. The process begun last episode, of her realizing that Mina is one choice away from being her, evolves here in two entirely understandable ways. The first is her desire to stay in the time loop forever, talking to her Dad in the way she never thought she’d be able to again. The second is the almost impossible level of bravery needed to ask the voice on the phone a question, and the courage to do what’s right once she knows the answer. Just as Ty never feels centered in his life, Tandy is stricken with guilt that she always makes herself the center of things. This week, like Ty with the basketball game last week, she did something unquestionably, undeniably selfless.
Both of them find themselves shouldering responsibility and in turn, helping Ivan Hess to do the same. The time loop not only gives the amazing Tim Kang a chance to have a little fun but also cleverly emphasizes just how much new ground Ty and Tandy are breaking. This is their first time working as a team and this is complex, difficult stuff they’re dealing with. The fact they get lost, and the fact they find their way out, just makes them all the more heroic and the episode’s emotional payoff more powerful. And trust us this one will have you reaching for the tissues.
Inventive, original, brave. This is yet another brilliant episode in the best new show Marvel have. Watch the entire run if you haven’t already, Cloak and Dagger is that good.
- Hess’ nicknames for the other workers. Wrenchy, Axey, Chainy and Monsieur Flambe.
- Both leads excel this week. They’re both always good but Olivia Holt in particular is superb as she takes us through Tandy’s worst moments and out the other side.
- TIM KANG, ladies and gentlemen. One of the best character actors of his generation who steals the show this week. The most difficult moment in the entire episode is when Ivan realizes who he is and Kang just knocks it out of the park. The transformation from pleasantly vacant trauma victim to a determined father is perfect.
- The conversation between Mina and her dad at the start is SO cute.
- Female and non-white rig workers! Wooo!
- The look on Tandy’s face when she realizes she can talk to her dad. And the look, later when she hangs up on what she thought washer dad.
- Tag team superheroics! We hope this extended foray into mind space is going to mean our heroes’ skills stay leveled up.
- In retrospect it feels a tiny bit jarring to go from Ty losing one of the last ties to his brother to the mind of Ivan Hess, but only a little.
- Tim Kang, who steals the show this week as Ivan Hess, is a prolific character actor. He’s appeared in A Wrinkle in Time, Madam Secretary, Chicago Justice, The Vampire Diaries and voiced characters in Prey and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. He’s best known for his work as unflappable FBI agent agent Kimball Cho, in The Mentalist.
- Paul Edwards has directed for Designated Survivor, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, The Blacklist and many others.
- Joe Pokaski is the show runner for Cloak & Dagger. He’s also written for Underground, Daredevil, CSI and many others.
- Peter Calloway wrote ‘Stained Glass’ for Cloak & Dagger as well as two episodes of the first season of Legion, several episodes of Under the Dome and others.
- ‘What do we do now?’
‘I dunno…count to three?’
‘You making this up right now?’
- ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen? It doesn’t open.’
‘I can think of a LOT of worse things that can happen.’
- ‘Hope you got better at your thing.’
‘Yeah, me too.’
- ‘Absolutely. Eventually.’
- ‘Why are you such a good liar?’
- ‘You’re stuck in the mind of an insane catatonic mud man!’
‘What’s so bad about that?’
‘EVERYTHING! Everything I’ve just said in that sentence is ridiculous!’
- ‘I’m right here, pumpkin.’
‘No you’re not.’
- ‘Where do you think this cookie came from?’
‘Well if that isn’t a theological question I don’t know what is.’
- ‘Actually, there are exactly two variables you haven’t factored in yet.’
- ‘You, my dear are your father’s daughter.’-OH GOD IVAN, OUR FEELINGS