Episode 10: Colony Collapse
Directed by: Wayne Yip
Written by: Joe Pokaski
As predicted in my last review, our protagonists drastically reverse emotional gears from their destructive self-loathing to become the heroes they are meant to be; albeit spurred by the radical circumstances of last episode’s epilogues. Tandy and Tyrone both becoming brave, noble and self-sacrificing is a stark contrast to where we left them just (in-story) a couple hours ago. Tyrone’s more personal persecution by an absurdly corrupt police force is interrupted and superseded by Tandy’s Resident Evil-esque plot. Let me be clear. I understand this is a premier TV series with a limited budget and so I cannot fault the show’s creators for not being able to fully realize the scope and scale of this credible, although cliché, city-ending threat.
The episode is further marred by the heavy-handed exposition by Evita’s aunty about the history of New Orleans and how two individuals are called upon during times of great peril and distress to bring an end to it all, supernaturally, through the self-sacrifice of one of the pair. As foreboding as this reoccurring prophecy may be, it loses its teeth the moment one realizes we’re talking about “Cloak & Dagger” here. I liken it to the scene in “Black Panther” where Killmonger tosses our hero T’Challa over the waterfall. Yes, for the characters this is emotionally heart-wrenching, but for the audience, you already know everything will be ok, robs the moment of its suspense and impact.
Another fatal error of the season finale is that everything is overly convenient and forthcoming, meaning our heroes are never really in danger or have a genuine struggle to surmount. And it also goes without saying that outside of O’Reilly’s participation in the last episode, all other reoccurring side characters make inconsequential cameos here. Honestly, if they were all cut, even O’Reilly’s involvement, you would have ended up with the same outcome with minimal changes in the narrative.
After permanently and creatively dispatching their respective nemesis, there is a last ditched effort to form the unbreakable bond between Cloak and Dagger. But by this point in the episode, they have underwhelming sentimentality. It is sad to say that such a crisis needed to be experienced to bring matters and them together like this, making it feel forced rather than organic. The end, however, is not without its not-so-subtle nod to the pair’s first interaction in the waters over that bridge on that fateful night, which was a nice way to visually tie the last episode to the first.
Ultimately, “Colony Collapse” is so fast-paced and energetic that it’s a complete contrast to the entire season as a whole. It bemoans me to say that the season finale fulfills all the expectations of a contemporary superhero property on TV. But at the same time feels like an utter betrayal of the deeply personal, poignant stories of our two protagonists that have been the cornerstone and intent of the show since its inception. So while it may satiate fans of this obscure Marvel IP, those who had come to love the show for its other noble qualities and message may feel let down.
Hailing from the eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados, Fabian Wood has long since been fascinated by the power of storytelling to inspire and invoke emotions – whether in film, comics or video games. No longer content to be just an avid comic book reader and videogamer, he’s eager to exercise his literary acumen as an aspiring writer and reviewer.