'Cloak And Dagger' Kicks Off A Strong New Season With "Restless Energy" And "White Lines"

Season 2 of Cloak and Dagger has us back in moody New Orleans with Tandy and Tyrone, and I'm excited for the ride we'll be on. Last season was such a revelation, and I'm hoping this season won't be any different. So far, what I've seen from the first two episodes, "Restless Energy" and "White Lines," prove that we will get even more of what made last season so good, plus some surprises.Here's how Season 2 is shaping up to be just as good as its predecessor.

Tandy and Tyrone are as soulful as ever

What we loved about the series in Season 1 continues this season. Tyrone and Tandy are still the same emotionally-distressed teenagers who are simultaneously trying to figure out their out-of-control lives and their powers.Even though we are one season in with these characters, we still aren't privy to a lot of scenes with them actually together. The series is still very much a character study of these two in their solitary moments, which does a lot to define these characters as separate, fully-formed identities instead of two dependent halves of a whole.I mostly love this style of storytelling the series is using. However, I feel like I'll eventually begin to have the same antsy feelings I did last time as we came to the middle of last season—I began to feel like we weren't getting enough of Tyrone and Tandy together as a crime-fighting duo. We'll see how things go this season, but hopefully since the two are maturing in their powers, they'll officially decide to become a real team, leading to more scenes with them saving New Orleans together.

Tyrone is now the risk-taker

In a change from last season, Tyrone is now the one taking bigger risks. This is mostly because he's now the one in Tandy's position—he's a teenager who is unstable, devoid of his support system of family and friends and stuck in the feeling wanting vengeance. As he should—he's been wrongly labeled as a cop-killer. But with as smart as Tyrone is, you'd think he'd concentrate more on figuring out how to clear his name than trying to take on New Orleans biggest gangs. But the gangs are what take up Tyrone's time, only causing headaches for Brigid, who is having months of her detective work go down the drain because of Tyrone's vigilantism.I actually like this boneheaded side of Tyrone, since last season, he was the collected one. It's cool to see this other side of Tyrone, who wants to change his community and predicament any way possible. It's also very much like an overzealous teenager with superpowers to act first and think second, so in that way, Tyrone's actions seem very realistic. Also believable is his desire to try to correct his wrongs by diving further into the deep end, only making a bigger mess of things.It goes without saying that repeating the same action and expecting a different result is a definition of insanity, or at the very least, poor decision-making. But his desire to rewrite the past speaks to his character. He's always been a person who has been stuck in the past, whether that's because of his brother's death or because of his own situation with the police. He wants things to go back to how they were, but since he can't go back in time, he tries to rewrite the past through his present actions. I'm sure we've all done something like that in our own lives, and we know how much that doesn't work, or even make things worse.

Tandy gets educated

Even though this season seems to focus more on Tyrone's out-of-pocket behavior so far, that doesn't mean Tandy's off the hook. She's also doing some vigilantism herself, even though she's in a much better place than Tyrone is right now. Whereas Tyrone started out the series as the one with the somewhat stable nuclear family and community support system, Tandy is now the one who comes to the church to visit Tyrone. She's reconnected with her mom, both of them are now involved in group therapy to deal with the trauma caused by her father and she's even back in ballet class. Everything should be going well for her.But it isn't. She, like Tyrone, misses the thrill of helping others in need. She also wants to take her dad to task for abusing her mom. But unfortunately, her dad isn't around anymore, so she's looking to vigilantism to fill that void. Like Tyrone, she still needs some education in the superheroism department. Whereas Tyrone needs to figure out when to move and when to stand still, Tandy needs to expand her worldview.One thing I do like about this show is that it's subtle in its exploration of white privilege. It recognizes a very nuanced place a lot of white Americans are at right now—they are good people, but they still need help recognizing when they're thinking in their own bubble of whiteness. That is to say, unlearning whiteness as a social construct is a task that will crop up in even the most well-meaning or seemingly innocuous statements. Tandy had moments like these last season and it seems she'll continue having those moments this season.Case in point: after Tyrone and Tandy find the gang members killed in the secret meeting room at the local club, Tandy blurts out that she feels that those who are victimized let themselves be victims. She feels that maybe the people they are trying to save don't want help at all.Tandy's feelings stem from Mikayla (Cecilia Leal), a woman who is in her and her mom's therapy group. Mikayla lives with an abusive boyfriend, but she seems unwilling to leave him. Like Tyrone, Tandy steps into the issue without grace or tact, and vandalizes the boyfriend's home in an attempt to get him to leave her alone. In fact, she literally carves out "Leave Her Alone" with one her light knives. But the move only makes Mikayla want to stay with her boyfriend even more since it gave the dude a chance to manipulate the situation for his own ends. Next thing Tandy knows, Mikayla is in the hospital from an overdose of cocaine. This leads us to the overarching mystery for this season—there's a private ambulance company in town that plans on trafficking girls. But it also acts as step one in Tandy's wake-up call. She can't save everyone with just brute force. Some problems require more time and patience because they are extremely complex.The second step in Tandy's wake-up process comes from Andre, another group therapist. He takes her to a side of town that appears to be forgotten about because it's a largely-Black neighborhood. They find a group of women singing around posters featuring the images of missing young girls—girls that will probably be put on those private ambulances. Tandy is disturbed and asks why there aren't any news reporters covering this hot topic. But Andre lays it out—they would be there if the girls looked like Tandy. But since they are Black, they aren't seen as valuable. Tandy then says that someone should be looking for them. Even this statement showcases how white privilege worms its way into almost every facet of life, because Andre's reply is that someone is looking for these girls—the women who are singing for them. Tandy doesn't mean to discount the women's efforts, but she does. I can't say exactly why she does, but I'd wager that she viewed them as powerless.I feel Tandy might have confused powerlessness with victimization because of her feelings about her life experiences. However, being powerless and being a victim are two different things. These women are victims in that their children are missing and the mainstream community at large isn't helping them because of their race and class. But they aren't powerless—they are still utilizing their personal power to bring about their own solutions. Since no one will help them, they have to process their grief in action. This could launch me into an essay about the development of the "strong Black woman" stereotype in the face of Black women having to always push forth through victimization—we don't generally get a moment to be vulnerable in this society—but that's an essay for another day. But my point is that being a victim doesn't always mean giving away your power. And being powerless doesn't always mean someone's a victim—you can give up your power without ever being in a compromising position by simply giving up on yourself.

Brigid versus Mayhem

The last bit of news we must discuss is the emergence of Mayhem. I'm going to have to do more research on Mayhem since I don't know if the character split from Brigid in the comics. But that's the situation we find Brigid in now—because of the Roxxon chemicals, she's somehow become two people.This brings us back to the night the gang members get killed in the club. Someone knew the meeting was going to go down and used it as an opportunity to get rid of them all at one time. The only person who could be capable of this is Mayhem—we see how easily she sliced that ambulance driver's neck.Mayhem is going to be a problem for Tandy and Tyrone, but I'm sure she's not a problem they won't eventually solve. It'll be entertaining to see how they develop into the heroes capable of being called New Orleans' protectors.