In the season finale of Cloak & Dagger we see a mad dash to the finish line as the show attempts to wrap up all remaining loose threads, but to varying degrees of success. We see the consequences of Roxxon’s meddling and poor environmental practices. Tandy and Tyrone escape the predicaments from the last episode just in time to save the city. But even though the finale offered a resolution to the season, it raised more questions that should have been answered. One of the biggest fears going into the show is that it would be a melodramatic teen drama. And at this point, I think it’s safe to say that Cloak & Dagger (surprisingly) avoided most those pitfalls. But it perhaps fell into some other and unexpected problems. And those problems seem to have been driven to the forefront in the finale.
The episode begins with more history of the divine pairing that arises when New Orleans needs them the most. And throughout the episode, Auntie Chantelle explains to Evita that one of the pair always dies. We then pick up with Tandy as she defends her mother from the Roxxon assassin. When she goes to see Mina, Tandy finds her hiding from those infected with the “terrors.” Tandy saves her and the two of them go to Roxxon and confront Scarborough. We then get some beautiful poetic justice when Tandy puts Scarborough into the same catatonic state that Mr. Hess was stuck in. She and Mina are later found by the Roxxon assassin and then surrounded by a hoard of those infected with the “terrors.” They retreat into a warehouse, but Mina is soon infected and Tandy finds herself trapped.
Meanwhile, Tyrone and O’Reilly are arrested and held captive by the corrupt police officers. Apparently, Connors now has control over the police force and can compel them to cover up several murders. In Daredevil we saw the terror that Wilson Fisk inflicted on the city. It made sense that there are corrupt cops on Fisk’s payroll willing to look the other way. It was well established and a big part of the story. But we’ve seen nothing like that from Connors. We know he’s involved in a drug ring and isn’t above murdering his street dealers, but he’s not a Kingpin. And if he is, we’ve never seen it.
So why are these cops so willing to go along with him and murder O’Reilly and Tyrone? It seems like Connors was trying to frame them for Fuchs’ murder. But O’Reilly was dating Fuchs so why would they believe Connors instead of her? There may be an explanation to all this, but unfortunately it’s never established within the story. And we’re left to come up with our own explanations for these glaring potholes. But it’s not just the situation with Connors.
When Tandy asks Scarborough what’s in the ground that’s so important, he replies saying, “Power. And with great power comes even more power. And in this day and age you need to keep up with the Jonses. As well as the Stark’s and the Rand’s.” Unfortunately the fan service and references don’t cover up for not actually answering the question. Perhaps this is something they’re building toward with season 2, but if that’s the case it leaves season 1 feeling incomplete. With Jessica Jones for example, we were confronted with a mystery about Jessica’s past and her relationship with Kilgrave. And we got answers. But at the same time it set up a mystery surrounding the mysterious IGH pharmaceuticals. Jessica Jones (and other shows) prove you can set up a second season without neglecting the first.
However, the sequence in the police station where Tyrone use his powers to cage up those infected with the “terrors” was really cool. We see him rapidly teleporting around and executing a really smart plan. We also see the cop that he had a heart to heart with earlier help Tyrone and O’Reilly escape. And that scene between Tyrone and the cop did a good job of showing Tyrone’s intelligence. He’s not only able to use his power to take down bad guys, but he can talk to them and get them to see things from his point of view.
The climax of the episode comes when Tyrone and Tandy get to the core where everything is going haywire. They’re initially unsure of what to do, but Tandy says that the power released when they touch might be enough to stop what’s happening. So they join hands and we see them surrounded by black and white energy as their combined powers are released and thus saving the city. Because of the ambiguous nature of their powers, the corrupting energy, and the power Scarborough is obsessed with, the climax of the season didn’t really make much sense. It was really just a visual representation of their powers joining to dispel the bad energy (which we know nothing about). Personally, the Roxxon and corporate conspiracy that the season seemed to be building toward was much more compelling than the citywide panic we saw in the finale.
The last we see of Tyrone and Tandy is the two of them planning to live together in the church. They seem to be embracing their outcast status and living as fugitives. Tandy and her mother get closure when Roxxon’s corruption is made public. And Tyrone’s mother knows he’s okay when she finds his clothes mysteriously missing. It was also nice to get some resolution between Tandy and Evita. Things weren’t left off that great between them in the last episode, so it’s nice to see them getting along.
We also have to address the end scene which confirms O’Reilly’s transformation into the villain Mayhem. At this point we only got a glimpse of what she’ll look like, so we really don’t know that much. But from the ominous look she gives, it seems like her personality will be altered quite a bit. O’Reilly has been a very consistent character all season and I hope the show continues her development rather than turning her into a generic villain. But we’ll have to wait and see.
3 out of 5. Even though the show hasn’t been extraordinary it also hasn’t been the teen drama we were all afraid it would be. It faithfully introduced two compelling and beloved characters from Marvel comics, but it also fell short in a few places. And a lot of those shortcomings came to light in the finale. A lack of explanation for why things were happening beyond plot convenience can only be overlooked so much. So unfortunately the strong moments, like Tyrone talking the cop, are brought down by some of the contrivances within the plot.
- One plot line that I hope gets explored next season is Tyrone’s ability to send people to the dark dimension. We got a glimpse of that with Connors in this episode, but it’s definitely something that could be explored more.
- I liked the pep talk that Tandy gives Tyrone when he puts on his old hoodie. She tells him that he needs the hoodie now more than she does, even though he didn’t really need it to use his powers.
- What happened to Mina?! And everyone else who was infected?
- The conversation between the cop and Tyrone was also pretty powerful. But if the cop is sympathetic to what Tyrone was saying, why was he willing to go along with Connors in the first place.
- When O’Reilly was sniping the people with the “terrors” it did hit me that they’re all very innocent people. They’re definitely portrayed like mindless zombies, but it seemed kind of weird how casually they were getting killed.