Previously on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, “Ghost Stories”
Although much was learned about who Tandy and Tyrone are as people - and what they’re willing to accept when things don’t go their way - viewers gained further insight about the depths of their resolve in Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger’s final two episodes of the season. As New Orleans steadily descended into chaos above and below ground, the myth of the Divine Pairing and Ty and Tandy’s station as the avatars for this generation remained front and center. Though they’ve stumbled a few times, and practically fell on their faces in “Ghost Stories”, the kids proved themselves worthy of their power and capped off the inaugural season with an energetic and hopeful conclusion.
Just when it seemed Tandy and Tyrone were finally going to celebrate a W, the Powers That Be (in this case the Roxxon Corporation and NOPD) easily deflected any damage from their efforts. After waiting for the perfect opportunities to take down Peter Scarborough and Officer Connors, they’ve nothing to show for it and subsequently regressed out of frustration and guilt.
For Tyrone, everything was wrapped up for the police with assistance from O’Reilly and Fuchs (Lane Miller). Connors admitted on tape that he killed Billy and that should have been enough to put him away… but of course, cops have to protect cops and the matter was going to be put under investigation. While Ty was understandably infuriated at the outcome, he was incensed that his parents appeared so calm during it all. While it was eventually explained later on, it was obvious why Otis and Adina remained collected at the station: the two already knew the details the past eight years. There’s no denying the police swept everything under the rug; the Johnsons simply didn’t know the details. Yet they still had a son to look after, and knowing how easy it is for cops to frame up anyone or make them disappear, for the sake of Ty they hadn’t caused a stir all this time.
Regrettably, Ty overplayed his hand and underestimated the pull Connors had in the department. As he was going through his emotions at school and receiving another poignant lesson from Father Delgado (Jaime Zevallos), Connors was putting in the wrong kind of work to frame Johnson for Fuch’s death, something he obviously couldn’t have done considering how the body was discovered. Nonetheless, once his name is associated with the term “cop killer”, every police officer in Orleans Parish had virtually signed Ty’s death warrant.
As for Tandy, after learning her father wasn’t the man she lovingly remembered, and how seeking retribution isn’t as fulfilling as she hoped, accepting Scarborough’s terms brought back the old grifter and something a little bit worse - a type of psychic vampire. Bowen had learned she could do more than observe a person’s hopes, she could interact with them and ultimately take them away and bask in the white glow of their cheeriness for herself.
It’s really difficult to empathize with Tandy during this episode as her reaction is far more destructive and ruinous for practically every person she touches. While she could get away with robbing the hopes and dreams of a mark, taking away Mina’s joy, after all she had suffered over the years, was downright cruel. While spiraling out of control and nearly taking away Liam’s hopes as well, Ty hits her with some truth about her behavior and how living a life of lowered expectations and disdain for others with only lead to further misery. Even with a light dagger at his throat, Tyrone is confident that he and Tandy will break their cycle. Damn the Divine Pairing, they won’t let life and any of its corrupt systems take them down.
Although “Back Breaker” reaffirmed Tyrone and Tandy’s motivations and continued desire to do what’s right amidst a world gone wrong, as a whole the episode felt a bit off kilter. Tandy and Tyrone had climbed past one obstacle only to tumble down the other side plenty of times during their inaugural season. Granted, the stakes were decidedly higher as they confronted their chief adversaries and revealed their powers to them. Still, something about “Back Breaker” felt a bit incomplete, and didn’t give viewers any definite urgency because all that happened to them was in the penultimate episode. Surely, they’d bounce back in time for the finale. Not to claim that all would tied in a pretty bow before we see Ty and Tandy again in season two, but there would be no way the duo would left in dire straits until next summer.
Thankfully by the time “Colony Collapse” kicks into high gear, the kids are back to their senses and realized the options forced upon them weren’t their only choice. Once more they found their resolve (with a bit of help from their parents) and made considerable strides amidst the madness unfurling around them.
In short order, Ty was on the run and eventually taken into custody with O’Reilly, awaiting Connors’ wrath, Tandy reconnected with Mina and discovered the compromised Roxxon pipeline will affect the entire city, and the calling for the Divine Pairing to restore balance in New Orleans required one of them to sacrifice themselves, per tradition.
Perhaps the least believable aspect in the final two episodes of the season was the influence Connors held over his brothers in blue. There’s no denying a rampant fraternity and staunch belief in law enforcement being a thin blue line exists, and loyalty is paramount between partners, within precincts and throughout The Force in general. But still… we’ve a dude that everyone knows is dirty and running the streets yet he has the pull to shut out his precinct and tell O’Reilly and Johnson with other cops present that he’s going to take them out and frame them up for each other’s murder? For real?
While Tyrone’s quest for justice had been a fulfilling journey until its apparent conclusion in “Ghost Stories”, it felt as though Connors was kept around a bit longer because the Terrors and Scarborough for that matter wouldn’t be able to hold their own during the finale. Perhaps he wasn’t the most enthralling antagonist but Connors certainly left an impression with his cunning, brutality and impassive manipulation of his fellow officers. We never had a chance to know if any of them (including Fuchs) was on the take, in fact we never knew much about Connors’ operation at all; nevertheless, his brashness in publicly beating the crap out of O’Reilly, calling an APB on Ty for Fuch’s murder and having other cops keep them in the storage room so he could drop them later was some god-tier confidence in action.
Even in the presence of Ty and Tandy with their powers in full display, Connors’ hubris went unchecked and it sent him straight into the Upside Down shadow realm from which Johnson’s powers may emanate. Before his unceremonious demise, Connors had one last encounter with O’Reilly and seemingly eliminated his rival by giving her some lead poisoning before she fell into the Mississippi. Of course we all saw how that ultimately turned out…
Without question Marvel and Freeform’s latest series was a bona fide hit that added another youthful vibe to the ever-increasing MCU. Both Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt provided the exuberance and frailty necessary to make their respective characters thoroughly engaging and for the most part, quite relatable. While the Divine Pairing is intact, throwing centuries-old tradition out the window, much needs to be done in the Crescent City after Roxxon’s debacle.
In spite of their inexperience and occasional capriciousness, Tyrone and Tandy have proven themselves capable to confront any challenge. Unluckily for them, the worse may yet to come.
Cloak & Dagger S1E9/S1E10 Review Score
"Back Breaker/Colony Collapse"
Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger - S1E9/S1E10 - “Back Breaker/Colony Collapse” | Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Gloria Reuben, Andrea Roth, J.D. Evermore, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt | Writers: Niceole R. Levy & Peter Calloway and Joe Pokaski | Directors: Jeff Woolnough & Wayne Yip