Episode 2: Suicide Sprints
Directed by: Alex Garcia Lopez
Written by: Joe Pokaski
Episode two transitions immediately after the revelation of Cloak and Dagger’s once dormant dark and light powers. While the pacing has not much improved over the premier episode, that is not to say there isn’t some plot progression.
Tyrone battles with being an athletic pariah at school, while also dealing with the burden of being the only surviving sibling. The lack of closure he and his family have endured to the present also act as a heavy burden for him to bare. But while Tyrone is haunted by his past, Olivia is haunted by her present, and her self-destructive and (subconscious) self-sabotaging tendencies.
What this episode highlights, and perhaps will be further explored as the series progresses, is that these nascent powers are physical manifestation of their deep-seated grief, guilt and PTSD, and allows them to lash out from their victim-hood and hopefully heal psychologically. There is also the auxiliary, psychically empathetic effect on the supporting cast through physical contact. This then acts as the impetus to push our main characters down their converging paths, which at present is very obtuse.
The well-developed supporting cast give excellent performances, particularly from Tyrone and Olivia’s moms played by Gloria Reuben and Andrea Roth respectively, who are just as multifaceted and flawed as their progeny. There are also the respective love-interests and helpful mentors that offer an alternative to the paths our angst ‘heroes’ are bent on taking. Meanwhile, peripheral forces are set into motion to intercept our heroes and hint at a conspiracy that will solidify Cloak & Dagger’s bond down the road.
While episode two continues the trend of a slow burn narrative with two separate main stories (sans any clear antagonist or goal), it’s still left to be seen if Freeform can stick the landing with an organic partnership in the episodes to come as Audrey and Olivia have only very briefly interacted three times at this point. But to its credit the supporting characters are not undervalued or underdeveloped here.
Cloak & Dagger has clearly positioned itself far removed from a run-of-the-mill superhero show. It is certainly a breath of fresh air, which may be too unfamiliar for your typical hardcore superhero-phile to enjoy. But remove the name and the loosely based source material, and you still have a captivating mature teen drama worth a look at.
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 videogames. 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.