Thursday, May 23, 2019

REVIEW: 'Cloak & Dagger' - Tandy and Tyrone Try to Track Down Andre Before His Powers Increase in 'Blue Note'

Freeform's Cloak & Dagger - Episode 2.09 "Blue Note"

Tyrone and Tandy turn to questionable allies in their attempt to find and stop the villain behind the trafficking ring. Tandy learns more about Lia's past.

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 next episode of Freeform's Cloak & Dagger.

"Blue Note" was written by Alexandra Kenyon & Peter Calloway and directed by Ami Canaan Mann

This hour incorporates flashbacks in order to better flesh out Andre's villainous story. And yet, it doesn't actually reveal a whole lot of information the audience didn't already know about him. It mostly puts the action literally on the screen instead of him just telling Tandy about his past. That's not inherently a bad thing either. It just feels a little repetitive here especially because of the pressing business elsewhere to stop him from unlocking the full extent of his powers. It does reveal how he and Lia first met. She was actually his first victim. He used her fear and despair in order to ease his pain. When he woke up in the hospital, she was the one who helped him understand these new abilities. As such, he manipulated her until she was completely willing to help him. He was still more than comfortable just leaving her on the side of the road as he went after what he has always wanted in this world. He aspired to become a god long before it was physically possible for him to do so. He long saw being able to hit a certain note as the greatest musical accomplishment. The only thing standing in his way was his blistering headaches. Again, the show has articulated just how important that pain and suffering has been for informing his current actions. He believes that he doesn't deserve this pain. He just wants to play music and be worshiped like a god. And yet, he should not have any additional powers because of just how much despair and abuse he has done with what he has already been given. He has destroyed many people's lives. He has taken away their identities to the point where they are just empty bodies he can use as tools to level up his powers. That's absolutely despicable. When Tandy and Tyrone finally track him down, they see the humanity on display. They see the scope of the pain he has caused. They don't see empty bodies in a field. They see the people behind the faces who need their help. Now, the big reveal of Melissa being one of the victims doesn't quite work. It's not effective because she has disappeared from so much of this season. She simply hasn't been important. As such, it's not emotionally devastating when she finally shows up here. It gives Tandy a personal connection to stopping Andre for good. And yet, that task is only getting more difficult because he has unlocked his veve. It's absolutely outrageous that he didn't realize it was a song that needed to be played before now. That seems like the only conclusion that could be drawn based on his experiences and connection to music. All of his powers have been channeled through playing the musical moments that harken back to the painful experiences of those he touches. That's how he manages to steal away all their hope and fill it with nothing but misery. Tandy and Tyrone don't know how to play his game either. They try to revive Lia by giving some hope back to her. It's not enough though. Instead, they are reckoning with the debate over how to end this conflict with Andre. It's rather easy all of a sudden for Tyrone to force the gangs of the city to stop abusing women in order to earn a profit. That's how he tracks down Andre. That's a little silly and forced considering the season previously established the unintended consequences of his actions. And now, the show has a minor conversation about the morality of superheroes killing their villains. Both Tandy and Tyrone come to that conclusion a little too easily as well. But that's what should make the finale very exciting to see what the fallout will be against this looming and dangerous threat.