NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Cloak & Dagger” are present in this review

 

 

As I previously predicted, Cloak & Dagger takes audiences into the Darkforce Dimension in, “Rabbit Hold”, following Tyrone inadvertently absorbing Mayhem into his Darkforce at the end of the previous episode. It’s Tandy that decides to pursue Mayhem into the great unknown, since her intel is necessary to rescue the other captive girls in New Orleans’ human trafficking ring, but Tyrone quickly ends up facing his own unique challenge, after the surviving gangsters of the Uptown Block Kings chance upon his public identity through a ‘wanted’ poster at the NOPD station.

With its exciting branching narrative between Tandy and Tyrone, “Rabbit Hold” soars as an especially superb episode of Cloak & Dagger, one packed with excitement and unpredictable hazards. Tandy’s storyline is especially exciting, after she travels into the Darkforce Dimension, and ends up in a temporary partnership with Mayhem. It turns out that, because she’s merely a half-person, Mayhem can’t escape the Darkforce Dimension on her own. This seems a bit strange, since Mayhem has all of the memories of O’Reilly, and should logically have the same Darkforce Dimension experience, but I suppose that we wouldn’t have a storyline if Mayhem had a straightforward path out of the Darkforce Dimension, or if Connors did for that matter.

Yes, naturally, Connors awaits inside the Darkforce Dimension, having lived there for months, since the events of the Season One finale. After Tandy temporarily sacrifices her powers so that she can follow Mayhem, a toll for her being able to navigate the Darkforce Dimension’s secrets, Mayhem declares that she’s most concerned about punishing Connors, even if she concedes that she needs Tandy to actually escape the Darkforce Dimension. The idea of de-powering Tandy for her trip into the Darkforce Dimension is pretty interesting, and makes her feel all the more vulnerable, particularly when the Darkforce Dimension forces her to confront her tense family history, as well as her internal pain. It’s Tandy that gets more out of the journey than Mayhem, since Mayhem is purely driven by rage and violence, and doesn’t find much time to self-examine, but the many surreal moments with Tandy’s character are great throughout this episode, ironically making Tandy’s rescue mission more about Tandy herself than about Mayhem.

As creative and often unpredictable as the Darkforce Dimension can be however, it does also fall victim to a few plot contrivances, as you may expect. The Darkforce Dimension may be a fictional locale with no real basis in reality, but it still basically makes up its rules as it goes along. De-powering Tandy makes sense and works well within this storyline, but even when Tandy must re-summon her abilities in order to prevent Mayhem from killing Connors after he’s inevitably found, this act simply kicks her out of the Darkforce Dimension, and somehow takes Connors out with her. Why the hell did Connors escape the Darkforce Dimension because Tandy violated the, “Rules” of her subjective journey? Does this mean that Mayhem is still stuck in the Darkforce Dimension then? Connors escapes at the end of the episode, but Mayhem’s whereabouts remain unaddressed. Like I said, it’s too early for Cloak & Dagger’s second season to take away one of its main antagonists, so why did Connors end up appearing back in the real world with Tandy, yet Mayhem didn’t? Is it because Tandy was touching Connors at the time? Or did I miss something? The episode is frustratingly unclear here.

Something that also smacks a bit of contrivance, but at least benefits the story, is the fact that Tyrone is also de-powered throughout this episode, which he discovers the hard way, after he reunites with his mother, and has to tell her about the gangsters coming to kill them. Adina and Tyrone spend the episode going on the run from both the Uptown Block Kings and the NOPD alike, which makes for a very thrilling storyline, and one that works on multiple levels. While there’s innate appeal in Adina and Tyrone constantly trying to outwit two sets of pursuers, with Adina tapping into some of the skills from her more shady childhood and adolescence when she needs to, this also makes for an effective opportunity to reunite Adina and Tyrone under potent dramatic circumstances. The fact that Tyrone can’t just conveniently teleport both of them away also ups the thrills nicely, even if this does have a bit of the aftertaste of narrative inconvenience.

When things finally calm down, there’s an especially great moment where the episode cuts back and forth between Tyrone comforting his mother with a story from New Orleans’ folklore, related to smuggled women that were believed to be vampires, and Tandy, who talks about the modern sex trade with Mayhem in the Darkforce Dimension. This moment is just the calm before the storm though, as Solomon, the gangster that Tyrone saved the life of when he absorbed Mayhem into his Darkforce, corners Adina and Tyrone at gunpoint. Tyrone manages to disarm Solomon before anyone gets hurt, but the other gangsters still reach the hideaway, forcing Tyrone to summon the NOPD to his location. This does scare off the Uptown Block Kings, but the NOPD nonetheless arm themselves, planning to use lethal force on Tyrone, despite O’Reilly confirming that he’s unarmed. Fortunately, Tyrone’s powers kick back in right when the NOPD enter the area, giving Tyrone a good view of Connors escaping out the church window, right as the episode ends!

Even if there were definitely some storytelling stretches here and there, especially with the ever-changing rules of the Darkforce Dimension, “Rabbit Hold” is perhaps the strongest episode yet for Cloak & Dagger’s sophomore season! There were two strong storylines structured around Tandy and Tyrone temporarily losing their powers, both yielding two unexpected team-up efforts, and both being resolved in a gratifying way. Connors getting away again should lead into an exciting episode to follow this as well, particularly with the NOPD becoming more deadly than ever in their hunt for Tyrone! Tyrone is very close to clearing his name, but with Mayhem still presumably waiting in the Darkforce Dimension for now, New Orleans still has plenty of reasons to need the Divine Pairing, especially since the Uptown Block Kings are only going to get more aggressive with every defeat!

Cloak & Dagger 2.4: "Rabbit Hold" Review
Cloak & Dagger's second season hits a fantastic high note with, "Rabbit Hold", which temporarily de-powers Tandy and Tyrone, right as they both face very challenging obstacles!
THE GOOD STUFF
  • Tandy's surreal, emotional trip into the Darkforce Dimension
  • Effective de-powering of the two leads
  • Intense, dramatic hunt for Tyrone and Adina
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
  • The rules of the Darkforce Dimension can be a little contrived
92%Overall Score
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