REVIEW: Cloak & Dagger S1E7 – Lotus Eaters

To say that this week’s episode of Cloak & Dagger is trippy is an understatement.

It begins with a chipper Ivan Hess going by his normal day to day routine. He has cute banter with his young daughter, Mina, before heading to his job on an oil rig operated by Roxxon Corp. The day goes south pretty quickly once Ivan finds out that the oil the rig had been pumping is too hot and the conductive shielding tile he ordered to help combat that isn’t coming in. A good day turned bad becomes downright awful when the oil rig malfunctions and explodes.

That was 8 years ago.

In the present Tandy is convinced that Ivan Hess, the one and only survivor of the rig explosion, was the key to clearing her father’s tarnished name. The only problem with Ivan as a witness is that he’s been in a catatonic state since the day he was fished out of the water. Tandy knows that she can get in his mind with her powers; however, his thoughts are locked behind a door that she can’t go through. Luckily for her, she knows someone that can.

Tyrone, who is still reeling from seeing his brother’s friend shot by a cop, is enlisted by Tandy to help her infiltrate Ivan’s mind. She tugs at all the right sympathy strings, and despite Tyrone’s discomfort at touching a catatonic man he doesn’t know, he goes along with her plan. At the hospital they both touch Ivan at the same time and they are transported into his mind. They find the door that Tandy previously couldn’t get through, but Tyrone can open it with no problem.

Once inside the structure they are greeted with flashing lights and a loud siren. They run to take cover in an abandoned room and they find Ivan Hess.

Within just a few seconds of talking to Ivan it’s clear that he’s not okay. He doesn’t remember his name or even the fact that he has a name. As he rambles about how lucky they are to have names a phone starts to ring. He picks up the receiver and slams it back down before explaining that he may not be able to stop the inevitable from happening, but he does have control of the ringing that happens halfway through. Tyrone catches the halfway reference and he asks Ivan what that means. Ivan’s calmly responds that it’s the end of everything.  

This is the moment that Tandy and Tyrone realize exactly where they are and when they are. Ivan, in his creepy calm voice, tells them that they have a minute and forty-seven seconds until the rig goes boom. Tyrone demands to know how to stop it and Ivan tells him that the only way to stop it is to go to the core room and hit the kill switch button and turn off all the shut-off valves. Easy peasy, right? Wrong, according to Ivan. That’s how they would shut down the rig if they could…but they can’t. So, unfortunately, they are all about to be blown up.

And they are.

After the rig goes boom time resets itself. Tyrone and Tandy are in Ivan’s office and the sequence of events starts all over again. Tandy demands to know what’s going on and Ivan tells her that this is what always happens, over and over again.

Tandy tries to appeal to Ivan’s sane side by mentioning his daughter, but he has no recollection of any daughter. In fact, he doesn’t remember anything outside of that rig. Tandy refuses to give up and she tells him that his daughter is finishing the work he started with Nathan Bowen. At the sound of that name Ivan perks up, and he tells her that’s the name of the man that calls him over and over again. Tandy is understandably stunned.

Once Tandy realizes that it’s her father on the phone all plans for escape fly out the window for her. That leaves Tyrone to wonder how and if they’ll be able to make it home. At first Tyrone lets her have her conversation with her Dad as he goes to the core room to try and stop the explosion. He successfully completes the steps but the rig blows anyway. After the time resets he tells Tandy that it’s a lost cause and they have to leave. Tandy pretends to agree, but when Tyrone lets go of Ivan in the real world he realizes that Tandy didn’t do the same and she’s still trapped in Ivan’s mind.

Reluctantly, Tyrone goes back under to save Tandy. When he gets back a significant amount of time has lapsed. So much so that Tandy barely remembers his name. All she’s worried about is getting her phone call with her Dad, and she’s willing to fight or kill Tyrone to get it. Tyrone is not willing to give up on Tandy, but he promises to leave her alone if she asks her dad a question that Ivan Hess wouldn’t know the answer to. If he gets it right then maybe he’s real, if not then he’s clearly a part of Ivan’s mind and therefore not really there. Tandy does as he wishes and she asks her Dad who was in the back seat of his car the night of the explosion. He doesn’t know the answer, and that’s what finally snaps Tandy out of the mildly obsessed trance she’s in.

Once she’s back on track they try to get Ivan to snap out of it. She pushes him to remember his daughter and thankfully, with the help of a cookie, he finally does. That was the motivation Ivan needed, and he’s finally prepared to escape his personal hell. With Tyrone and Tandy’s help, Ivan manages to flip all the necessary switches and shut off the valves. Unlike before with Tyrone, these actions aren’t in vain. They’re trapped in Ivan’s mind, so he and only he can be the one to get them all out.

This week’s episode was one of my favorites. It relied heavily on the fantastical elements of the show, and the creepy vibe of the episode kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Cloak & Dagger airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Freeform.