Cloak & Dagger two hour premiere is another win for Marvel


Cloak & Dagger is another hit for Marvel and signals a new direction for the network.

From the opening sequence, Cloak & Dagger is easily the most polished show on Freeform. The directing, acting, and editing are all look closer to Netflix’s Marvel Universe than The CW’s Arrowverse. While the first two episodes are far from perfect, it’s certainly a solid entry for Marvel Television.

Similar to Hulu’s RunawaysCloak & Dagger is in no rush to unite its characters. Unlike the comics, Tandy and Tyrone are not homeless teens on the run but two kids who suffer tragedy. The two of them end up with powers after fate pushes them together.

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Tandy is first seen as an innocent ballerina who enjoys class despite her stumbles. When her mother forgets to pick her up (due to a pill addiction), her father leaves work to get his daughter in the pouring rain. Meanwhile, Tyrone steals a car stereo after overhearing his brother gets too scared to do it. When the cops see the brothers, the latter two attempt to escape by hiding on the docks. Unfortunately, one of the cops shoots Tyrone’s unarmed brother at the same time as Tandy’s dad crashes the car.

While young Tandy is terrified since her father won’t wake up, she seems to resign herself to death. Yet, a mysterious explosion by the Roxxon Corporation triggers their powers. Tyrone reaches out towards Tandy’s light while she holds onto his darkness.

Flash forward to years later, Tandy’s a con artist living in an abandoned church while Tyrone is subjected to unrealistic expectations by his parents. They’re worlds apart, but Cloak & Dagger always show just how similar their lives are. Side-by-side shots show the two teens doing the same thing or using music as a coping mechanism.

However, this is also the biggest drawback of the series. Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt have such great chemistry which makes it hard to get invested in any of the other characters. It’s frustrating to not see the two share more scenes together in the premiere. Even when they do finally reunite after years, it’s only for a short moment before Tandy runs away.

Keeping them apart certainly feels like Marvel is making the same mistakes they did with Runaways. Hopefully, this series doesn’t wait until the season finale to finally get the characters in on the action. There are only ten episodes in season one, Cloak & Dagger doesn’t need to waste any time setting up the world outside of this premiere.

The first hour ends with both kids using their powers for the first time. Tyrone is transported across town to find the cop who shot his brother. Meanwhile, Tandy is assaulted by one of the boys she conned and a light dagger appears. It feels gratifying to see Tyrone get the opportunity to face the man who’s haunted his life. Tandy’s scenes are uncomfortable but they’re supposed to be. Her attempted rape is something plenty of people deal with every day and it’s an effective way to trigger her powers.

In the second half of the premiere, Cloak & Dagger wavers a bit more. The show puts a little more focus on the respective love interests, neither who are all that interesting. Luckily two characters do shake things up a bit. Tyrone’s priest seems to be the angel on his shoulder but a scene in a liquor store shows him dealing with his own demons. Meanwhile, a female detective seems to be outsmarting everyone in only a matter of hours.

She manages to catch Tandy’s boyfriend just as she skips town which makes the girl turn around and return. However, I can’t help but hope the detective takes the lost girl under her wing considering how terrible Tandy’s mother is. On the opposite end, Tyrone’s mother is a figure of strength for him. When his teammates beat him up, he returns home just in awe of her ability to power through.

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Cloak & Dagger ends the episode with Tyrone attempting to shoot the cop but transporting in front of Tandy’s car. It’s unclear if the two will team up yet, but they definitely have a few things to talk about. The show is definitely off to a good start despite a few missteps, but overall this is another win for Marvel Television.