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TV Review: Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger S1E2 Suicide Sprints

Tandy and Tyrone try to grasp what has happened to them with their new-found powers, while Tandy’s past catches up with her and Tyrone becomes consumed with revenge. Meanwhile, Detective Brigid O’Reilly works an interesting case that has ties to Tandy.

The debut episode of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger was a bit of fresh air in its interesting characters, reworking of the source material, and the direction. The episode is great to look at and the acting by the leads Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt were engaging enough. While the episode is a bit slow, it’s engaging in its set up creating a show between Marvel’s Netflix series and Hulu’s Runaways in look and tone.

The second episode takes some of that momentum and chucks it to the side revealing a lot of the flaws.

The biggest issue is lead Olivia Holt who plays Tandy. While there’s some great moments, her performance is often wooden and stilted reminding me a lot of Elisha Cuthbert’s Kim Bauer in 24. This is very apparent in the beginning of the episode where some line readings are rather painful to watch. But, there’s other moments where she’s great which makes it all the more confusing. Compare that to Joseph whose performance is top notch and you can feel his pain and turmoil. Even while standing there you know what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling. How this gap plays out when the two are on screen together will be interesting and hopefully Joseph ups Holt’s performance.

The episode focuses on two tracks, the spiral of Tandy and Tyrone dealing with the discovery of his brother’s murderer. Tandy’s plot is ok as she mostly deals with the events of the first episode and attempts to get out of town. It feels stretched out and we get to learn a little more about her but compared to Tyrone’s story, it’s something we can see in so many other shows. Tyrone though is focused on the man who killed his brother which has him distracted and impacting others. This is the more interesting of the two plotlines as we can feel for him and Joseph’s acting is so good. His reaction watching teammates running or himself doing suicide sprints, we know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling and can feel empathy for him. He might not say a ton but out of the two, we have a better sense of him. This is partially a case of one character being good and the other bad but even in the bad characters we need a bit of sympathy to not write them off.

While the powers are kept to a minimum there’s some interesting directions of the episode as the series builds and it leaves us with some cliffhangers. Not a bad episode but in many ways a step back from the debut.

Overall Rating: 7.0

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