Marvel’s television run is about as uneven as DC’s film attempts of late. While Agents of SHIELD is superb, it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. And its chronological predecessor Agent Carter was canceled after two seasons. Netflix’s franchises all suffer from too much of a good thing; while Fox seems to fare better with The Gifted and Legion. Finally you have Hulu’s hit Runways which targeted a younger demographic.
I’m guessing the success of the latter prompted the rise of FreeForm’s version of Clock and Dagger. The dark, 80s run about drug-addicted Tandy and Tyrone went through a rinse cycle to be appropriate for a Disney-owned audience. However with FreeForm’s move toward a more young-adult audience, (The Bold Type and grown-ish mark a thematic shift in the former ABC Family’s programming) the story of two grief-ridden teens in modern-day NOLA has struck a chord. Loud enough to bolster a second season.
Exorcising the outdated tropes of the comic, this new tale follows Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson’s lives after surviving a freak accident. This incident takes the lives of Tandy’s father and Tyrone’s brother. When their paths cross eight years later, their past and futures merge in the manifestation of remarkable powers. As they learn to master these gifts, they draw closer to a truth about their loved one’s deaths and their own fate.
Tandy (Olivia Holt) is a skilled con artist, surviving off the weakness of strangers. When a scheme takes a turn for the worst, she’s confronted with a past she’s tried to erase. Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) is consumed with guilt, allowing the circumstances of his brother’s murder to haunt him daily. Stricken with survivor’s remorse, his fight for justice forges a greater rift within.
The two are excellent on screen, sharing great chemistry and handling the every angle required of them with care. Whether sparring in a tight action scene, or delving deep in a dramatic scene, they convey the story perfectly. The duo is bolstered by a strong supporting cast, and a pleasantly, gradual plot that delivers.
The show also does a great job at handling the supernatural in reality. The science they’ve created thus far – an ancient energy older than oil bestows our pair’s powers – seems to check out. And being it’s within the MCU, focused viewers have linked this alleged substance to another series. The show has also name-dropped Stark, Rand and NY’s Misty to corroborate it’s within Tony, Danny and Detective Knight’s realm.
Apart from the superhero narrative being solid, its exploration of societal themes, specifically police brutality, has been beautifully done. Echoes of BLM and respectability politics ring throughout without feeling preachy. It displays how even with the powers of hope and fear, one cannot escape real-world consequences.
With one episode left, Cloak And Dagger has been a pleasant surprise in the comic genre field. Marvel and FreeForm have managed to create a strong, story-driven series that will land new and old fans. Catch the season finale Thursday August 2nd at 8 p.m. on FreeForm – or binge all episodes on demand.