Thursday, June 14, 2018

REVIEW: 'Cloak & Dagger' - Tandy and Tyrone Learn More About the Other's Hopes and Fears in 'Stained Glass'

Freeform's Cloak & Dagger - Episode 1.03 "Stained Glass"

Tandy is on the run as Detective O'Reilly closes in on her, but the detective may not be after her for the reasons Tandy thinks. Tyrone is desperate for answers and turns to Evita and her Auntie Clarisse, a Voodoo priestess, for help.

Cloak & Dagger understands that Tandy and Tyrone don't necessarily want to be together. They just see the other as this mysterious person who has somehow completely changed their lives. They don't appreciate it because these powers are making them go insane. All it took was one touch to change their lives. And now, they are running into each other in so many different ways. When Tyrone wanted to kill Detective Connors for what he did to his brother, his powers instead teleported him away to stop Tandy from leaving town once again. He fired a gun at her car which forced her to spin off of the road. Yes, there was damage both to Tandy and the vehicle. But there isn't any real concern to be had about either of them. Tandy is willing to ditch this vehicle as soon as it serves its purpose of getting her away from her latest con. The police following her may not even be after her for the reasons that she fears too. But she is still running. She won't change her mind just because Tyrone has mysteriously shown up again. In fact, it's absolutely terrifying to see him again because he is holding a gun. She just sees a man who fired at her car and forced her off the road. She wants to get out of there as quickly as possible. She is afraid but her powers don't act up again. That's notable too. It seems like the powers are trying to tell Tandy and Tyrone that there is no reason to be afraid of each other even though they absolutely are. They quickly go their separate ways again. And yet, the universe wants them to understand that they need to be together right now. In the first two episodes, the forces of the world brought them physically together. And now, the tactics are changing up a little bit in "Stained Glass." This time they each go on their separate journeys where they are able to explain what the other needs to do in order to get what they want. Tyrone wants justice and Tandy wants to run away. Both actions will only end with further chaos and heartbreak. As such, they need to make these rationalizations to understand that there has to be a better way to go about things. That means having to have a conversation with each other in order to understand what is going on with them and how their powers are connected.

Tandy is running away but she still visits her mother's house one more time. That could be completely nonsensical and unnecessary. It appears to be nothing more than a convenient storytelling device in order for her to become aware that the police are looking for her as a victim instead of as a criminal. Detective O'Reilly comes to the house looking to get Tandy's statement about what her would-be rapists was going to do to her and how she defended herself. That continues to be a significant story because it's clear that there is so much corruption in this town. There is no reason for O'Reilly and Connors to interact. And yet, that's what occurs here. It's a merging of the stories. Again, it may be nothing more than convenience so that the show can only focus on a handful of characters in the early going. Both of these detectives are important to the overall show. One represents the corruption of the world where the other represents the hopefulness of fixing the system. It's a parallel journey to the one that Tandy and Tyrone are currently going on. But it's much more blunt as well because O'Reilly and Connors are just supporting characters of this show. It's still important though that Connors makes all of O'Reilly's investigation go away because of who the guy's family is connected with. They have power and influence in this community. As such, that emboldens so many people into taking actions that are absolutely despicable. The show is building up those threats so that it's understandable when the protagonists push back in whichever may they choose to handle things. Tandy does so here by choosing not to run.

And yet, Tandy does get on a bus that is heading out of town. She does so with a splitting headache that appears to be setting up the reveal that she suffered a concussion from the car accident. That's Tyrone's big fear after he realizes what has happened. He didn't want Tandy to get hurt like that. The bullet was meant for the man who killed his brother. However, that doesn't appear to be what's going on at all. Instead, it appears to be signaling that she's about to go on this epic vision quest. It could be her entering another dimension. Perhaps, it's the same force that gave her and Tyrone the powers to begin with. Either way, it's a dimension void of people completely and surrounded by this white light. It's similar to the other visions she has experienced. But it's different as well because there is no one for her to see and experience their hopes. She has to journey out until she finds a young Tyrone. It's through that interaction that she is able to experience a memory of his. It appears as if she is going back into his world and what he wishes would have happened in this relationship with his brother. He wanted Billy to just stay and play basketball with him. Instead, Tyrone felt the pressure to follow Billy and his friends and get involved in their plans. He wanted to prove that he was worthy of hanging out with them instead of being the child that had to be watched at all times. Then, Tandy is jarringly brought to a scenario where Tyrone is contemplating all of the ways that he wants to kill Connors and the various consequences that will bring. She sees him figuring out that each way of killing him would only lead to his own arrest or death. Those are powerful images that the audience and Tandy are seeing. It makes her feel connected to his story while highlighting what he truly wants from the world right now. She is able to see the solution that would bring him and his family peace. But she will have to stay around in order to tell him that she understands his journey and would like to help.

Elsewhere, Tyrone is praying to his brother. He wants a sign that he is not going crazy and that he isn't cursed. That's how he is feeling right now. He is burdened by these powers that he can't control. They keep forcing him onto this mission that could be forcing him to do things that could completely change his life. They brought him to Tandy and Connors. And now, they are almost all that he can think about. He is mystified by what he should do because his powers keep pulling him away in situations where he doesn't want them to. When he does want them to work, he is stuck in his current reality unable to do anything. His new friend, Evita, tries to bring some clarity to him. She invites him further into her own world and family business. She shares that her family practices voodoo and that she gives tours throughout the city about some of the notable landmarks and the powers that still reside here. It's a way into the world of mysticism that also makes sense for this world. Evita doesn't completely believe into it. But she also understands that voodoo can work whether one believes in it or not. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive either. It can enhance one's own understanding and appreciation of faith. It doesn't have to be all-consuming to those who believe in the powers. She wants to help Tyrone find some peace and understanding with what's going on in his life right now. As such, he needs to be cleansed. That's an act that he does that then forces him onto this visual journey. He seems to be in control of making it happen unlike Tandy. That's a clear distinction. And yet, the value of what he is seeing is the exact same. He is learning more about Tandy's memories and fears. Those have shaped her into the woman she is today.

Tyrone wants to protect the young Tandy who appears before him. She too is in a familiar environment doing an activity that doesn't belong. It seems as if Tyrone's own fears are infecting this world. Young Tandy is at her ballet class but she is physically on top of the building across the street from Connors' apartment. Tyrone saves her from being electrocuted. He does have that interaction with her. But then, he is sent to another reality as well. He is soon seeing Tandy's greatest fears she is experiencing right now. She is personifying the idea that her father was made into an unknown accomplice for the dangers and corruption of the company that got him killed. She blames them for everything that happened. They are monsters. And yet, all she knows how to do is run away. She's terrified that if she sticks around she will only see more pain and heartbreak. But running away eventually leads to her being absolutely stuck in her life. She is unable to move or make a difference at all. Tyrone is trying to break inside of this box and help the man currently being tortured. It's the right and sensible thing to do. He has no personal connection to Tandy's father but he needs to do something because this is wrong. He doesn't understand how Tandy doesn't feel the same way given the trauma she also experienced. All of this fuels her desire to be afraid of the world and what she is capable of doing. She needs to stay. And Tyrone needs to figure out the right way to help. Tandy is afraid that everyone who comes to her will eventually die because of her. But Tyrone is making that first step in coming to her knowing that they need to talk. They have both gone on these profound journeys. They understand each other better. And now, there is hopefully the tease that more answers will be forthcoming shortly about what's actually going on in both of their lives.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Stained Glass" was directed by Peter Hoar with story by Ariella Blejer & Dawn Kamoche and teleplay by Peter Calloway.
  • Did the show need to replay the same scene but from the different perspectives of Tandy and Tyrone? It seemed a little unnecessary simply because of how repetitive all of it was from Tyrone's side. When it was told from Tandy's perspective, the audience could already tell that Tyrone was worried about her health and wanted to get her to a hospital even while hearing the police sirens. Those didn't need to be seen again with him being able to hide when the police car drove by.
  • The episode also makes such a big deal about someone making a 3D printing of Tyrone. It's played as this very mysterious element where it's unclear what exactly is being built for the longest time. That reveal comes in the end as well as who is creating it. But the reveal is completely lackluster because it just turns out to be Evita's aunt who understands that there are mysterious forces happening within Tyrone.
  • Tyrone is also worried about hurting his parents and being ripped away from them should he do anything to make Connors pay for what he did to Billy. He doesn't want them to suffer like that again. And yet, that fear has also put so much pressure on him to succeed in this world. These new powers are only adding to the secrets and uncertainties for Tyrone. He doesn't know how to handle any of it.
  • O'Reilly really has no patience for the narrative of this guy just being beaten up by a random mugger who took the weapon away with him. That's the story that ultimately gets the case closed. But she is aware enough to note the significance that his pants were undone and there were defensive scratch marks on his face. She knows that this guy is trouble and abusive. But he also has the influence to avoid those consequences.
  • Of course, how did O'Reilly actually make the connection to Tandy and Liam? She has been able to make quick progress of this investigation. She knew that Tandy was the likely victim who needed to come forward to make a difference with the case. But she also knew that she had to arrest Liam for his crimes. And yet, there isn't any real resolution as to what's happening with Liam and why he was arrested either.