Thursday, May 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Cloak & Dagger' - Tandy and Tyrone Support Each Other as They Face Their Fears in 'Level Up'

Freeform's Cloak & Dagger - Episode 2.10 "Level Up"

Tyrone and Tandy head to the Loa dimension to stop the evil force threatening New Orleans. To finally put an end to it, they must come face to face with their own personal issues that have been holding them back. Mayhem and Evita do their best to hold off the dangers in the real dimension.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season finale of Freeform's Cloak & Dagger.

"Level Up" was written by Joe Pokaski and directed by Philip John

Tandy and Tyrone are an effective team. This season has shown how they rely on each other even when it seems like they have nothing else in this world. At times, that has been a strong driver of story. It hasn't always been effective though because of just how opaque some of the plot complications and mysteries have been. And yet, it is meaningful when the season ends with the two of them confronting their deepest fears just in order to make it to the final showdown with Andre. Of course, Tandy facing off with her father is a lot more significant than Tyrone facing off his inner demons rooted in his search for perfection. The finale also articulates that they have to defeat these demons by themselves. They may understand the other better than they do themselves. As such, it's very exciting to watch as Tyrone battles Tandy's father while Tandy battles Tyrone's mirror image. They can explain what the other is feeling in this situation in a way that gets to the root of their core identities. However, it wouldn't be satisfying if their bond was the thing that ultimately led to them prevailing over these internal struggles. It's an interesting way to externalize these conflicts. It does take up a lot of time in this finale. As such, the ending overall feels a little rushed. One moment, Andre is powerful and continues to play with Tandy and Tyrone's minds. It takes a little while for them to even get to him in the new room he has unlocked in the record store in the Loa dimension. They eventually make their way to that destination and see all of the innocent people he is collecting just to erase his own sense of pain. But he is mostly a powerful and effective villain when he needs to be for the story and easily defeated when the time ultimately comes. That doesn't make him a very satisfying villain. He just exists in order to talk about how easy it is for despair to thrive in this world. No one even has to be in these characters' minds for them to have doubts about what they are capable of doing. Tandy and Tyrone continue to come to each other's rescue when the time requires it. They are both stubborn and can stand in their own ways. However, their partnership has really flourished and allowed them to see the world as it really is. This season had moments where they no longer felt confident as heroes. They have lost too much and haven't really been able to use their powers to make the world a better place. In fact, they may have only caused more problems. Tandy and Tyrone both believe that their families are broken because of what they have done. And yet, this finale does cement them as heroes who once again rescue the citizens of New Orleans from a monstrous attack. This threat comes from an actual physical foe. Andre's motivation may be a little too simple with justice only presenting itself by Tandy playing his own record and forcing him to recall his own pain. That should be a fitting conclusion. However, it doesn't really feel as sweeping and moving as it could have been. Plus, all of this is building to Tandy and Tyrone leaving the city to investigate some new mystery happening elsewhere. It again points out that their bond is stronger than anything else in this world. However, the moments of catching up with all the supporting characters in this world doesn't really feel earned or necessary. It's not important to see Delgado return to the priesthood or Conners' body being found with Adina not getting into any trouble for killing him. As such, the ending is a little lackluster. But the core connection between Tandy and Tyrone remains strong even though the future is unknown at this point.