Cloak & Dagger: The Princeton Offense


Tyrone shakes hands with, if not the devil, at least a Judas

Cloak and Dagger continue their first season with “The Princeton Offense.” The show opens with a man making a commercial for Roxxon, pushing the public service aspects of the company. As he praises the corporation, Tandy spreads out the documents she recovered from Greg’s safe all over the floor of her church/hideout/home to figure out what the company is hiding.

We get something of a look at Detective O’Reilly’s personal life, and she’s not quite the straight arrow she seemed at first. She’s doing something that would get her fired from most police departments, and the other cop involved has a beard, which is also forbidden by every agency I know of but something the movies and tv shows can’t seem wrap their collective heads around. Her diversion gets interrupted when she’s called to come into the station to meet with Tyrone in what seems to be an excuse to talk about something more important. We get a bit more background on Connors’ weird situation, and O’Reilly very clearly tells Tyrone to not go play hero. Because of course he’s going to listen to that.

Tyrone goes to school and sees his locker decorated for the big game. Distracted, he doesn’t notice that Tandy has turned up. I guess that’s fair enough since he keeps dropping in on her with no warning, granted usually because of his out of control powers. Tandy is amused and jokes about seeing Tyrone in his “natural habitat.” She also shows him that she’s gained a lot more control over her powers. There’s banter about stolen computers and Starbucks, basketball, and then Tandy tells Tyrone about the work she’s doing on the Roxxon papers she has. Tandy shares how she got a handle on her powers, and compares their visions to being the only ones able to take books out of a library. I love that analogy, both because it works so well and because I’m a book freak.

Tyrone is part of a big rally about the team, there’s a jock/cheerleader moment that Tyrone and Evita watch, and Tandy gets some supplies the only way she knows how. O’Reilly studies the file on Billy’s death and gets talked to about her being so standoffish with the other cops. She gets some hints that New Orleans doesn’t work the way Harlem does (there are rumors O’Reilly has some kind of tie-in with Luke Cage) and she ends up coming to Connors’ attention.

At home Tyrone hears his mother on the phone, and we learn Roxxon is one of her biggest clients. I suspect that’s going to be an issue down the road. She’s skipping a big event to go to Tyrone’s big game, which speaks well of her. Tyrone takes down a picture from the wall and they talk about Billy and basketball and the old days. Apparently that’s enough to trigger his powers again, and he teleports to Duane, an old friend of Billy’s. They talk about old times, moving ahead, and that they both miss Billy.

Tandy studies her papers and figures a way in to the big Roxxon gala. She’s slick, you have to give her that. Evita meets with Tyrone in the priest’s office and they have their own little ceremony that’s really kind of sweet. The show does some really clever cuts back and forth from Tyrone’s game to Tandy’s party, and the game’s announcer’s lines are written brilliantly to apply to both scenes. While the two title characters go about their night, O’Reilly leans on someone to get some info about the drug scene.

Tandy uses her powers a lot at the party, and they go a great job showing that she and Tyrone are linked by more than just an origin story. Tyrone gets some visions of his own from contact during the game and finds out why some of the calls in the game are very questionable. There are some weird scenes showing the link between Tyrone and Tandy, as well as Tandy’s visions from the Roxxon party. Tandy pushes her powers one time too many, and Tyrone takes an unexpected trip during a break in the game.

Tandy pulls Tyrone aside and comments on his timing. She really does get some of the best lines this episode. Tyrone gets in a few good ones of his own, carrying the library analogy forward. Tandy finally figures out who a man she keeps seeing is and his connection to her, before taking a drastic approach to kick-starting Tyrone’s powers and getting him back where he’s supposed to be.

In very different ways, Detective O’Reilly and Tandy pursue their respective investigations. Tyrone gets a lot more visions during the game, which is clearly bothering him and shaking up everyone he touches. The game is a close one and doesn’t go how I expected on a few fronts. Tandy meets up with her mystery man, doesn’t follow through with her original plan, but gets a clue to follow up on.

There are several surprises in the last few scenes. Tyrone goes home and has a very unexpected guest in some familiar looking clothes. He gets a dream come true for many teenage boys, I’ll say that much. O’Reilly shows she’s even further from the stereotypical good cop than I had thought, but it’s enough to get Connors starting to trust her. Tyrone’s morning after gets interrupted by another unexpected teleport, and he learns something disappointing and disturbing. Tandy finds something new and unsettling about Roxxon, and goes to follow up on her new lead.

What I liked: This show in general is really impressing me. O’Reilly is getting more interesting as we learn more of her dark side. The game/party back and forth was done well. Both leads got some great lines. I like that Tandy is digging in and fighting, and her getting Tyrone’s power working was great. Tyrone’s post-game scene was surprising and well done.

What I didn’t: I guess the entire first season is an origin story. We’ve fairly far in and neither one has a code name or a costume yet, although Tyrone came close at one point.

I’ll give this a high 3.5 out of 5. I’m intrigued by the newest discovery about Roxxon.