REVIEW: Cloak & Dagger S1 Eps 1&2 – First Light/Suicide Sprints

Boy. Girl.

Basketball player. Ballerina.

Fighter. Runner.

Darkness. Light.

Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger hits the ground running – literally – in the gritty streets of New Orleans as it follows the journey of two teens who have an undeniable connection despite a world of differences between them.

Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) is a pretty white girl from the wrong side of the tracks with a strong affinity for “jacking rich kids of their rich kids stuff.” Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) is a handsome young black man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and the disposition to match. They are two people fighting against the odds to survive in a world that is designed to take them out.

The first two hours of the series, artfully adapted for the small screen by Joe Pokaski (WGN’s Underground), lays the foundation for a compelling story that intricately weaves the lives of Tandy and Tyrone together. Their stories orbit each other and intersect briefly at different points in ways that will leave the audience longing to see their next interaction. They are thrown together by tragedy at a young age but kept apart by the circumstances surrounding them.

He carries the burden of living a life of privilege in suburbia while also struggling with the guilt and pain of losing his innocent brother to police violence. She carries her bitterness and disillusionment as a shield protecting her. She moves in silence stealing everything she can in pursuit of a better life, reminiscent of the one she had as a child.

Along with the compelling backstories there are brief glimpses of ‘Cloak’ and ‘Dagger,’ respectively, but as of now those glimpses are few and far between. The powers that have been showcased are impressive; however, the draw is the unfolding of the story as the dots connecting Tandy and Tyrone in the past and in the present are revealed. It is intriguing enough to keep you guessing and wanting to know more.

Surprisingly, Cloak & Dagger was a bit darker than I was expecting, because it gives a very frank portrayal of police brutality, drug use, and sexual assault. However, these occurrences were essential to the enhancement of the plot and not just done for shock value. Some scenes were tough to watch, but because they served to push the plot forward and better explain various characters these actions never felt unnecessary.

Overall I was very impressed with the first two episodes of Cloak & Dagger. It feels like a very strong start to a series that has the potential to grow into an impressive addition to the Marvel universe.