NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Cloak & Dagger”, including a major character death, are present in this review

 

 

It’s time for another trip into the Darkforce Dimension for our heroes, as Tyrone lies unconscious in the church, with Tandy calling in O’Reilly and Evita for further support. “Two Player” once again involves Tandy and Tyrone finding a way to come together against overwhelming odds, facing darkness itself to reunite and return to the real world. Meanwhile, Andre and Lia struggle to plan their next move, and Adina talks to Father Delgado about exonerating Tyrone, now that she’s heard Connors’ testimony of events following Billy’s death. There’s certainly a lot to unpack here, but once again, the standout drama of Cloak & Dagger doesn’t disappoint!

There’s still a few storytelling shortcuts put in place to keep moving Cloak & Dagger smoothly toward its second season finale, but thankfully, the storytelling is tightened here, in contrast to the previous episode. We get another fun and rewarding trip into the Darkforce Dimension to start, with Evita saying a prayer to a Loa to open a path into Tyrone’s spiritual cloak, allowing Tandy and O’Reilly to jump into the Darkforce Dimension together. Evita somehow not noticing her aunt’s corpse before being called to do this is one of the bigger stretches of the episode though, since Chantelle’s body is clearly in plain view. It’s rendered moot anyway though, since Evita uses some shells to learn that her aunt is dead regardless. In that case, why not just have Evita discover the body to begin with?

That aside, Tandy and O’Reilly quickly become separated in the Darkforce Dimension, with O’Reilly predictably reuniting with Mayhem in the mall, while Tandy is led to Tyrone, after trading some candy to the late Chantelle’s Loa ‘husband’. O’Reilly’s trip to the mall finally allows her to properly confront her darker half again, who has weirdly been a much smaller part of Cloak & Dagger’s sophomore season than its marketing would initially have you believe. Regardless, O’Reilly and Mayhem discussing the two sides of O’Reilly’s past, along with her fractured perspective on the world, allows O’Reilly to realize that sometimes Mayhem needs to be in charge. The two bodies thus merge together, and O’Reilly is eventually allowed to escape the Darkforce Dimension, now with Mayhem as a part of her. Sure, O’Reilly returning to the real world that easily is pretty contrived, but whatever. It’s clear that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s rules with the Darkforce Dimension aren’t very well-defined at this point, so what can you expect?

The more interesting Darkforce Dimension storyline obviously belonged to Tandy here, as she encounters one of the most well-known figures of voodoo lore, Baron Samedi, the guardian spirit of the dead and dying. Since Tyrone has become consumed by worries, Tandy is forced to play an arcade-style beat ’em up game with Tyrone called ‘Duel of D’Spayre’, which is the first in-universe confirmation that Andre is indeed supposed to be the MCU’s version of classic Cloak/Dagger villain, D’Spayre. The arcade game is another cute little story experiment, one that even has some pretty amusing Easter eggs related to the much weirder Marvel Comics origin of Cloak and Dagger, such as deriving their powers from radioactive heroin, and having to fight the drug pusher that was conducting that experiment. When Tandy encounters Andre as a boss however, complete with his Marvel Comics costume as D’Spayre, she finds that she can’t go on, instead begging Tyrone to stop playing and face the real world again.

The idea of Tyrone submitting to fear and suddenly becoming too overwhelmed with being a fugitive is certainly interesting, but it’s all kind of rushed and underdeveloped. It makes sense to a degree, since Tyrone is a teenager that’s been forced on the run, and would logically be in over his head pretty quickly, especially considering how famously terrible he’s been at staying out of the public eye throughout this season. Still, Tyrone suddenly being dominated by Darkforce came right out of nowhere, and had no clear catalyst. Likewise, Evita having to be the one to save Tandy and Tyrone, by agreeing to succeed Chantelle as a new voodoo priestess, was another rushed turn that didn’t really land with the proper impact. It not only rendered Tandy’s trip into the Darkforce Dimension almost entirely pointless, but also provided a lame excuse to thanklessly dissolve Evita’s romance with Tyrone, now that Evita has to marry a Loa in order to complete her succession of her dead aunt. I suppose that Tyrone and Evita inevitably weren’t going to end up together anyway, considering that Cloak and Dagger are a very famous superhero couple in Marvel Comics lore, but is this contrived breakup really the best excuse that the show could come up with to tear them apart?

Once again though, the subplots really excelled in this episode. Andre and Lia got a good chunk of screentime, as they attempt to flee and formulate a new plan, but Andre’s worsening headaches make him struggle pretty extensively during the effort. Eventually, Andre talks Lia into allowing him to take pain from her, and after he gets enough to thrive again, he abandons a seemingly unconscious Lia on the side of the road. Again, it’s interesting that you always almost feel bad for Andre, but he still consistently does just enough to cement himself as the villain in the end, doesn’t he? Fortunately, a more effective morally ambiguous story arc also plays out with Adina in this episode, as she finds Father Delgado in rehab, and hands over the evidence to clear Tyrone, which can be protected by a priest’s confession. Delgado may have seemingly walked away from being a priest, but the evidence could be solid motivation for him to take up the collar again, especially when Adina’s confession culminates in her revealing that she did actually murder Connors in the end! Seeing Connors find himself in a plastic-covered bathroom, only to be quickly shot by Adina during a flashback, was nicely shocking and dramatically powerful, exceptionally proving that Adina got justice for both her sons in one fell swoop!

“Two Player” still ironically did better by some of its supporting cast over this show’s titular characters, but even if Cloak & Dagger still clearly has to squirm out of some storytelling corners, it still provided a more consistently smart and gripping selection of drama than the previous episode managed to do here. The quick and shocking death of Connors at Adina’s hands is the easy storytelling highlight, even if it was very quickly shown in flashback. Andre abandoning Lia to save himself is something that will likely carry some interesting consequences for this season’s conclusion too, assuming Lia ever actually manages to wake up in the end. The cute video game sequence with Tandy and Tyrone in the Darkforce Dimension is pretty entertaining as well, even if it’s also quickly rendered moot by Evita’s hasty spiritual sacrifice, which seemingly paves the way for the Tandy/Tyrone romance that Marvel fans are likely expecting. With Andre now appearing to be out of allies however, and O’Reilly merging back with Mayhem to become a whole badass detective again, Cloak & Dagger can start fully moving towards a big finish for Season Two, with no more distractions!

Cloak & Dagger 2.8: "Two Player" Review
Cloak & Dagger takes another interesting trip into the Darkforce Dimension with, "Two Player", even if the subplots still seem to be delivering the best drama.
THE GOOD STUFF
  • Amusing video game sequence with Tandy and Tyrone
  • Adina's brilliant confession and murder of Connors
  • Andre exploiting and abandoning Lia
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
  • O'Reilly somehow falling out of the Darkforce Dimension with no real explanation
  • Evita having to succeed her aunt feels too rushed and unsatisfying
81%Overall Score
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