Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger
“First Light” (Episode 101)
June 7, 2018
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, airing on Freeform, is the newest Marvel TV series to hit the airwaves. Based on the comic books created by Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan, and following in the footsteps of the most recent installment in the Marvel TV-verse, Hulu’s Runaways, Cloak & Dagger focuses on young superheroes just learning about, and simultaneously coming to grips with, the magnitude of their power.
Comic books shows have a mixed history when it comes to the quality of their storytelling and acting. So far, based on the first two episodes, Cloak & Dagger seems to be avoiding both of these deadly pitfalls. With a deliberate pacing that is in no hurry to rush our protagonists into spandex costumes and emotionally charged and believable turns by leads, Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt, Cloak & Dagger is coming out of the gate with a confidence that screams, “we know what we’re doing, sit back and enjoy the ride we are going to give you.” And so far, I am inclined to agree. Check out the recap of the Pilot episode (Spoilers Warning!) … After the jump!!
We open sometime in the past, following the lives of a young Tandy Bowen and a young Tyrone Johnson. Kids from the different side of the tracks, Tandy is an aspiring ballet dancer, trying to get a ride home from her dad, Nathan, because mom … didn’t show up. Tyrone? He is busy helping his big brother boost a car radio. In the car, Young Tandy watches helplessly as her distracted dad (put the cell phones down people) loses control of his car and takes them off a bridge into the water. On the proverbial other side of the tracks, Tyrone and his bro are being chased by the cops for the purloined radio. The chase culminates on a bridge and, for some inexplicable reason, one of the officers opens fire on big brother sending him into the water below. Tyrone, terrified for his brother jumps in after him.
Down, below the water line, Tandy struggles to free herself from the car as her unconscious (and maybe, probably dead) dad sits motionless. Meanwhile, in the same water, Tyrone is looking for his brother. Some sort of explosion sends a blue colored shockwave through the water zapping both Tyrone and Tandy. Shortly thereafter, a hand reaches down and pulls Tandy up into a fade to the Title Card. Welcome, to Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. What a cold open.
When we return, the episode has jumped an unspecified number of “Years Later” — I am putting the number at 10 years-ish. All grown up, Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) is now a high school basketball player who, after being pushed one too many times on the court, snaps and causes all sorts of problems for himself. Tandy (Olivia Holt) seems to be beyond school, instead spending her time drugging douchebag rich kids and ransacking their homes for items worth fencing. Also, she’s got a ride or die boyfriend, Liam (Carl Lundstedt), who assists her in her felonious activities. At home, Tyrone, escapes his parents fighting with music. On her end of the world, Tandy seems to live in an abandoned church and takes drugs to fall asleep at night. When she does head to her real home, she has to contend with a drugged out mom (Andrea Roth) and her periodic suitors. Neither of these kids is doing what you’d call, “great.”
At a high school kegger, Tandy and Tyrone have a meet cute which is really just a way for Tandy to smash and grab his wallet. Chasing Tandy through a cemetery, chasing Tandy through a cemetery, chasing Tandy through a cemetery. When Tyrone finally grabs Tandy’s hand, a blue light (similar to the one that we saw in the cold open), ignites between them blasting them apart from each other. When the dust settles, Tandy has the blue light sitting in her palm and Tyrone has a black smoke billowing off of him.
**Something … something significant just happened. If I had to guess, we just witness the birth of two super powered people. Or rather, the activation of previously dormant super power.**
The two confused teens try to figure out what happened and Tandy realizes that Tyrone was the boy from the beach … “after the storm” Tyrone finishes. She’s got to go but Ty wants her to stop running. The blue light returns to her palm and she takes the moment to flee. Ty has a confused, “Crazy white girl?!?” he calls. Later that night, Ty goes to sleep in his bedroom (in case its important later, I’ll note that he covers himself with a blanket) but wakes up on the roof of the Roxxon Corp. What.The.Hell?!?
When Tyrone makes his way down from the rooftop, he comes across a red haired policeman, name of Connors. Hrmmm. At the Bowen house, when Tandy makes contact with her mother, she sees a memory? of her mothers from when Tandy was young and in ballet slippers. Its very powerful for Tandy but its not clear what exactly this is. Memory is my best bet.
That night, Tandy attends the ballet with the tickets she stole from the rich douchebag kid earlier in the episode — unfortunately, he is waiting for her when the ballet gets out; him and two of his douchebag friends. Ruh Roh! At the Johnson home, Ty lays his head down on his pillow only to wake up in a trunk of a car. Double Ruh Roh!
In an alley near the ballet, gross, rich douchebag kid pins Tandy up against a wall while she tries to apologize and then begins to whimper. Rich douchebag kid goes pretty far towards straight rape … that is until Tandy strikes back – jamming a pure light dagger in his rich douchebag gut. No means no, dick swab.
Over in the car trunk, Tyrone gets his bearings and realizes that there are drugs in the trunk with him and someone is coming to open the lid. As Connors, who has been explaining (I think) his plan to shave some illegal drugs off the top and turn a profit, opens the trunk, Ty explodes from within blinding Connors with the drugs and giving him a good bashing with a tire iron. Run Ty, Run!!
Tyrone finds temporary shelter in a building but soon enough Connors catches him. When Connors wraps his hand around Ty’s throat, we flashback to the night of Billy’s murder. Older Tyrone is watching the aftermath of Connors shooting Billy, all panicked and saying that he’ll call his uncle — his uncle will “fix it.” Back in the present, the memory breaks and Connors is visibly woozy; Ty makes his escape and before Connors can put a bullet through him, Tyrone is able to disappear (literally). He appears in his room with the black smoke billowing off of him and Connor’s last fired bullet buried in his computer. Tyrone doesn’t know exactly what happened but he knows something has changed and he seems … pleased? Excited?
Episode Flashback 1. In the Bowen house, we see officials from the Roxxon Corporation seizing papers and items while Mrs. Bowen protests. Seems Nathan Bowen (Tandy’s dad) worked for Roxxon and was blamed for the oil rig explosion (the same explosion which sent the blue light shockwave from the cold open; the same explosion the dad was trying to prevent on his distracted phone call when they went off the bridge).
Episode Flashback 2. Young Tyrone tries to explain to his parents and the police that Big Brother Billy was shot dead by a red headed policeman; he was not hopped on drugs as is the official police story (the official story also includes that no officer fired their weapon that night).
Episode Flashback 3. Young Tandy and Young Tyrone lie on a beach, unconscious and holding hands. Young Tandy wakes up confused. After a brief look around, she grabs her bag and a black hoodie lying around, and bolts while Young Ty sleeps. I think this may be the first official “Tandy runs when she is scared” moment, it certainly wasn’t the last.
Episode Flashback 4. Young Tyrone wakes up and, finding himself alone on the beach, wanders over to a tree wherein he finds a single ballet shoe.
Episode Wrap Up Scenes. Alone in the church, Tandy is trying to summon the blue light at will. Frustrated, she wraps herself in the black hoodie she took from the beach all those years ago. In his room, Tyrone has the ballet slipper from the beach in his hand. The teens each smile as dawn breaks, something has changed – even if they don’t understand exactly what, they know, something is different.
And scene. See you next week for more Cloak & Dagger!