Cloak and Dagger Two Player Review

Okay, Cloak & Dagger fans—we need to talk.

This week’s episode, “Two Player,” is the episode that finally rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s quote what I said last week:

“I have a lot of questions that I hope will be answered next week. But there is one thing I hope Auntie Chantelle’s death doesn’t lead to—Tyrone and Evita’s breakup…Yes, I know Tyrone and Tandy are supposed to end up together anyways, but I don’t want Tandy pushed into Tyrone’s arms because of Auntie Chantelle’s death. I want her death to mean more than just being a mere plotpoint for teen romance.”

And guess what? The episode did exactly what I didn’t want it to do. It did use Auntie Chantelle’s death as the catalyst for Tyrone and Tandy to come together by taking Evita out of the equation. This is just one of the many things I found annoying about this episode, so let’s discuss.

Evita’s sacrifice

I guess it can be considered a blessing that the show didn’t make Evita Tyrone’s enemy like I thought it would, but still, was literally marrying Evita to Papa Legba like a nun the only way to make Evita and Tyrone not be together again? I’m not going to say that it’s another case of a Black woman sacrificing herself. BUT. It still is the case that two Black women had to give their lives in two different ways to save someone else. Let’s remember that Evita wanted to be a doctor and save lives her way, not Auntie Chantelle’s way, which was to pledge her life to the Voudon gods. It’s another case of dreams deferred and a figurative fridging of a character as a sacrifice for someone else.

But, is there another way the writers could have made Evita separate from Tyrone without either devolving their relationship into a terrible argument or making Evita pledge her life to Papa Legba? I’m sure there is. Maybe Evita’s new duties as the head of her aunt’s business would have taken her away from Tyrone long enough for them both to realize that their relationship has run its course. Or maybe she might realize that she doesn’t have a lot in common with Tyrone; maybe she could come to the understanding that Tyrone’s world with Tandy as vigilantes will always be different than her world. I feel like there was something that could have been done over the course of the season that would have gotten us to this point in Tyrone and Evita’s relationship without Evita having to sacrifice her dreams and goals to save Tyrone.

Also, what did Tyrone’s potential death have to do with Evita marrying Papa Legba? How would that have saved him when Tandy was already on the road to saving him by helping him win Baron Samedi’s game? Baron Samedi had literally given Tyrone the chance to leave even after he and Tandy failed to finish the arcade game, right? Wasn’t it just Tyrone that was hesitating? If serving Papa Legba is like serving as a nun, then doesn’t Papa Legba have enough wives already? Why would Auntie Chantelle’s death mean another nun had to take her place? Basically, what I’m getting at is that there were too many questions surrounding this abrupt importance on marrying Papa Legba to make me believe it as a plausible choice.

However, with all of this said, it’s amazing that I can even have this discussion about a show that propels Voudon to the forefront in this manner. This is the first show that I’ve seen uplift this spiritual tradition, and it has demystified it for viewers in a way that I think it might be helping to mend a cultural and spiritual divide between the practitioners of Voudon and those of the Abrahamic religions that rule the U.S., a divide fueled by stereotypes and racism.

More dullness

If I wasn’t questioning why Evita had to give up her life to save Tyrone, I was trying to stay invested in yet another episode that seemed to spin its wheels as it tried to drum up any ounce of story it has left in the tank. It honestly seems like there is no more story to tell, at least for this season. Why? Because in this episode in particular, several plotpoints were either rehashed yet again or were killed off.

In the case of the former, we had Tandy and Tyrone once again battle in the spiritual realm for one of them to gain clarity on a situation. This time, it was Tyrone, but I’m not even sure why he would be so close to willingly give up the ghost. He had saved Tandy, so why was he ready to give her up by joining Baron Samedi in the Darkforce Dimension? Out of all of the things he has to be depressed about in his life, he’s going to fall down the deep-end because he cut Tandy out of his life, a decision she helped him come to by using him for her own subterfuge with Lia? Granted, Tandy was kidnapped and became a victim of human trafficking right after Tyrone let her go. But it was also Tandy that chose to pursue the case without Tyrone, so again, I ask what amount of guilt does Tyrone possess that is reasonable, and what amount is part of his martyr complex?

In the case of the latter, Connors was killed by Adina in her bathroom, lined in plastic just for this specific purpose. I’m guessing Connors’ death is what Adina and Otis were preparing for when she took him upstairs. Even though they came back downstairs arguing, that argument could have just been a ruse to throw Connors off.

At any rate, Connors’ death gives Adina a lot of gratitude since she killed him the same way he killed Billy—with two bullets. But Connors was also a much-needed monkey wrench in the show. He provided some spice the season was lacking until now, even with Mayhem. We didn’t know what Connors’ M.O. truly was, and it was interesting to worry about if he was actually going to turn and throw Tyrone further into the lion’s den. But now that one of the two unpredictable characters are gone, what now? What about his powerful uncle? Don’t we need his expertise to bring his uncle and the others like him down?

Similarly, Mayhem’s re-integration back into O’Reilly means we have less “mayhem” to look forward to each week. I knew this re-integration was going to happen eventually. But Mayhem was our second unpredictable character. She was the wild child who was going to throw everything at the wall in order to take down the corrupt. She was undisciplined yet had strong morals, an explosive combination of character traits. But now that she’s back inside of O’Reilly, we can expect more discipline, but will the amount of fire be the same? Or is she boring now?

More complaints

This brings up another thing–is the show getting boring to anyone else aside from me? I can’t believe I’m at a point where I’m glad we only have two episodes left, because I think I’ve had enough of how much of nothing this season is saying. We had a storyline about human trafficking and somehow that was made into a boring, longer-than-necessary story arc? Even the arcade game, despite its admittedly cool graphics, was boring because of how the storyline treated it. Heck, even Lia’s death this week at the hands of Andre was boring, because that meant we had to see him go back into his evil record store and put on records of her terrible memories. We didn’t even get to see her memories, for goodness’ sake! Shouldn’t we at least know how she got to be in this position with Andre?

To sum it up, we have two episodes and no resolution to the human trafficking case as well as no clue about how Adina’s plan to rope in Father Delgado will help make Tyrone’s case of innocence to the police. We are no closer to the two things this season seemed to promise us—a tighter focus on vigilantism and on clearing Tyrone’s name. On top of that, Melissa has gone back to drinking and using drugs because of the harsh words Tandy said and her absence.

While the mystery of Melissa’s mom just hangs in the air, we the audience are just left feeling annoyed and frustrated after we’ve had to see our main characters muck about in the most boring representation of the Darkforce Dimension once again, dealing with feelings and nothingness. I would like some hardcore action to make up for the wishy-washy aspect this season has been struggling with.

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