Cloak and Dagger Season Finale Review

The season finale of Cloak & Dagger has come and gone, and I can honestly say that this show has been a blast to watch. Each week, the series seamlessly weaved New Orleans culture with Marvel’s comic book flair, creating something wholly unique to the Marvel TV universe. The trend continued this week with “Colony Collapse.” The big climax of the season was Roxxon’s valves erupting and putting New Orleans in danger. But, in true Cloak & Dagger fashion, it happened during Mardi Gras, one of New Orleans’ biggest holidays, and brings the African spiritual implications of the Divine Pairing to its head.

Even more interesting is that in order for Tandy and Tyrone to save society, everything must be flipped and turned around, which could create more chaos later on. But for right now, it’s what our superheroes need to do to save the world.  

The history of the Divine Pairing, turned on its head

Throughout the episode, we’re treated to Auntie Chantelle’s recount of New Orleans’ past and its relationship with the Divine Pairing. As she tells us (and as the episode visually tells us via flashback), every Divine Pairing has had to sacrifice one of its own. It’s expected that the new Divine Pairing, Tyrone and Tandy, will have to do the same – one will have to die in order to bring peace to New Orleans. Cleverly, we’re led to believe that in the midst of the Mardi Gras Terrors breakout, Tyrone will have to be the one to sacrifice himself. Each half of the Pairing designated for death usually have a mark of some kind on their arm, whether that’s a birthmark, needle marks, a black armband, or in Tyrone’s case, a huge gash.

For a millisecond, I was led to believe that Cloak and Dagger would follow in the path of so many other shows that have had black characters sacrifice themselves for the good of the world. In recent years, Sleepy Hollow and Into the Badlands have done this exact thing before, but they’re not alone. Countless other shows and films have done this – how else would the “black guy dies first” trope become a joke among movie fans? Or what about The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, which has killed off countless black people as sacrifices or for a cheap emotional pull? For a split second, I was concerned we’d have to see Tyrone die on screen, even if he’d somehow be brought back (we do have a second season to account for, after all).

However, I quickly remembered this show is run by Joe Pokaski from Underground. If anyone wouldn’t pull such a stunt, it’d be him. This show is in safe hands. And sure enough, Tyrone didn’t die and come back as a zombie (but someone else does!). Instead, we get a play on that aged trope.

Thanks to Evita, Tyrone and Tandy get a clue about what could be their fate. And after Tyrone gobbles up Connors and sends him into the Darkforce Dimension (which I will touch on later), Tyrone believes his ability to be where he needs to be means he’s the only one who can stop the Roxxon leak. He’s got the gash on his arm and everything, of course it should be him! But after he evaporates into the building and is attempting to shut down the core by himself, Tandy uses her daggers to break in, declaring that if he’s going to die, she’s going to die with him since this is both of their responsibilities. It would seem that Fate agreed, since she was knocked back into a steaming pipe, receiving her own mark, a burn on her arm. After realizing the Roxxon chemical looks just like their powers, they combine their forces and send the chemical into the atmosphere.

The reason they were able to save New Orleans without one of them dying has to do with that exact same chemical. The night the rig exploded, not only did countless people including Tandy’s dad die and Ivan Hess was forced into a catatonic state, but the chemical infused itself with Tandy and Tyrone. They were probably already meant to be the chosen ones, but the chemical altered their fates, making them not cows for slaughter, but a super duo who must stay together in order for their powers to work.

This is a clever rejiggering of the comic book canon, in which Tandy and Tyrone are experimented upon, gaining their powers through a scientist’s trial and error to make a new type of synthetic heroin. Even better, the entire episode is also a clever reworking of an old trope that does need to die a swift death.

Tyrone, hero on the run

Another topsy-turvy moment is that we began the series with Tandy living in the abandoned church and end with Tandy moving back in with her mother and Tyrone living in the church as a fugitive, framed for Fuch’s murder by Connors. Of course, by the end of the episode, Connors has been absorbed into Tyrone and is now floating somewhere in the Darkforce Dimension, so who knows if Tyrone has now been framed for Connors’ death as well. But it’s definitely a change from what we expected.

In a way, one could argue that perhaps having Tyrone on the run does buy into a little of the black guy needing to sacrifice something. That’s a fair statement and, if we’re going by the Cloak & Dagger mythos in which one person has to be sacrificed, Tyrone does end up sacrificing something – his freedom. But still, we are talking about Joe Pokaski, who knows all about how to handle a show with heavy social and racial themes. Tyrone will be vindicated at some point, but for now, he must lie low until true justice can be served. Hopefully, his parents figure out his powers and, more importantly, figure out a way to communicate with him.

In any case, Tandy moving into her mom’s home will be an interesting turn. If anything, I’d love to know if Tandy will reckon with her mom about her dad’s true abusive nature. It’s going to be a hard conversation, but it’s one we desperately need, and it’s one I wished we had gotten in the series. I guess we’ll just have to wait.

Mina, Connors, and O’Reilly

The stinger for the series is that O’Reilly, who we thought was killed by Connors, is actually alive! When Connors thought he’d gotten O’Reilly, Connors’ bullets also hit the Roxxon valve, hurting O’Reilly in the process. Instead of O’Reilly being merely dead, she has returned as Mayhem, and she is back for blood and vengeance!

According to the comic book lore, Mayhem is a superhero who can force her victims to tell the truth. But the only person I can see Mayhem going after is Connors. But Connors is now, effectively, dead. So who will she go after next season? Will she go after the entire New Orleans police force? Will she figure out who Connors was working for and how Tyrone’s name can be cleared? Questions that currently have no answers.

Also currently unanswered is Mina’s condition. Last we saw her, Mina and Tandy escaped into a bunker during the Mardi Gras Terrors fiasco. But Mina got touched by one of the Terrors, turning her into one of their kind. Terror Mina was just about to get Tandy before Tyrone evaporated into the bunker just in time to tase Mina into submission. But we don’t see how she recovered from her Terror state, if she recovered at all. Hopefully, she’s not one of the casualties of the day, since she just got back in touch with her father. But who knows; she could wind up like Mayhem and resurface as another superhero to join the Cloak and Dagger squad.

My biggest question from the episode is what will happen to Connors. My hope is that next season will finally give us a look at what the Darkforce Dimension is like for someone who isn’t welcome. We’ve seen what it’s like for those who can traverse it, like Tandy and Tyrone. But for someone like Connors, what happens? Is their reality like what Ivan experienced, reliving the same moment over and over again, or is it something even more hellish?

My guess is that it must be something even worse, since Tandy was able to put Scarborough into the Darkforce Dimension in her own way. Instead of absorbing him, she showed him how his biggest hope is actually is biggest fear. However, she didn’t take him out of the Dimension; she left him in, transforming him into a catatonic state similar to Ivan’s.

Whatever is going with Connors, though, we can be sure that it’s not pretty, and for what he’s done to Tyrone’s family, it’s much deserved.

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