Cloak and Dagger seems to be very fond of using one character’s talking to narrate the actions of several others. That comes up several times in this episode. It works as narrative device if it’s done well, and I have been continuously impressed by the writing on this series. It may be my favorite currently running hero show, and there are a lot of unexpected developments in “Alignment Charts.” That’s usually an astrology term, but in this episode, it might work just as well for character alignment in Role Playing Games like Dungeon and Dragons. Because of the twists and turns in this episode, there are going to be some spoilers.
Much of the episode is narrated by Tandy, who is dressed up very nicely and telling a parable about a farmer and a viper in deep winter. For the opening montage, we see Tyrone’s father Otis working on what looks like a new version of the classic Cloak from the comics, Brigid continuing to not do well at the firing range, and the newly returned Detective Connors visiting some of his supply caches. With some nice layering, Tandy talks about being face to face with the viper in her story just as Connors picks up a pistol.
Back at the church, our titular heroes try and sort out what just happened, with Tyrone’s last minute teleport and the unexpected return of Tandy and Connors both. Neither of them are happy about the way things turned out. Tandy finds out she has a string of texts from her mother, and jokes there’s no cell reception inside Tyrone’s hoodie. Tyrone urges her to go check on Melissa, since they’re out of other leads at the moment in terms of both finding Connors and getting anywhere with the missing girls. The Bowen reunion is tense, as Tandy starts snapping at her mother, harping on her theme about how easy it is to leave a bad situation. For all that she’s seen, Tandy is a bit naïve in some areas.
Brigid is at home, flinching at her own tea kettle, when Tyrone comes by to warn her about Connors being back. Tyrone has plans to find the crooked cop, but Brigid deals him some surprises. After they argue for a few minutes, he tells her to remember this moment the next time she wants to lecture him and ‘ports away. He also texts Tandy a lot, and gets no answers. Poor Tyrone is doing what he can to get help, and life isn’t cooperating. While Connors stalks around, Tyrone roots through his impressive collection of loot from his raids on the gangs and makes a special veve on the floor. Tyrone teleports again, focusing on “the bastard that killed my brother,” ends up in front of Connors facing the wrong way, and Connors points his gun at Tyrone’s back. What looks dire for Tyrone, or at least like a set up for a nasty fight, takes a weird twist I did not remotely see coming.
As Tandy continues her narrative tale, Tyrone is stunned to learn that Connors is a changed man, deeply shaken and transformed by his time in the strange limbo Tyrone’s power sent him to. Tyrone looks on, stunned, as Connors outlines the best way to make a case against himself. Very understandably, Tyrone is suspicious and not exactly accepting Connors’ conversion at face value. After her fight with her mother, Tandy goes back to the counseling center, talking to Andre about the missing girls. He tells her several were rescued by “a girl that looked like an angel and a boy that moved like a shadow,” which I think is a great line. Tandy, relentless as usual this season, wants to interview the rescued girls, but Andre won’t hear of it. He does let slip that Leia, the counselor that runs the group Tandy and Melissa are in, might know something.
Brigid checks out the apartment Mayhem set up, going through her files and clothes. She finds a very unexpected newspaper clipping that takes her by surprise. Otis is with his brother, who is ranting about Target, when someone hammers on the door. They pull knives and go to see who it is. Otis is doubly shocked to see Tyrone there, and that he’s brought Connors with him. Otis isn’t exactly welcoming. Even in the face of this, Connors is calm and accepting and sad. It’s a really huge change in the character. The scene splits again, as Connors talks to the Johnson family and Tandy spins another story for Leia. Connors is giving useful information to the Johnsons, and Tandy is telling Leia about a guy she knows who brings out both the best and the worst in her. She asks Leia to come and be near her when she confronts him. Brigid sits on the bed, tearily reading the newspaper, and then pulls something surprising out of Mayhem’s big trunk.
As the other Tandy continues her strange story, “our” Tandy meets up with Tyrone. They talk about her mother and some of the developments with Connors. Tyrone, justifiably paranoid, picks up on Leia watching them, and Tandy finally shares what she’s up to. Tyrone is miffed and eventually leaves in a huff, which upsets Tandy and, ironically, makes it easier for her to sell the story to Leia. Leia bonds more with Tandy and talks about some of her own abusive past.
Leia shares her story with Tandy, and it’s ugly all right. They cut back and forth between Leia and Tandy in one place, and Tyrone and Otis talking about justice for Connors and what that might mean. Connors does a voiceover for Tyrone taking the first steps he needs to secure the evidence to clear himself while Tandy manages to draw out some details from Leia about her nasty ex who just might be a link in the chain about the missing girls. Tyrone’s success is a combination of his powers, acting like he belongs, and taking advantage of the invisibility racism creates. Connors mentions he’s going to need a distraction, and we see the beginnings of that taking shape.
Brigid helps Tyrone with his petty larceny, although I wonder if that’s going to come back on her later. Tandy infiltrates the ex’s building and shows she’s picked up some tricks along the way. She puts up a hell of a fight, and uses her light-knives really well. One of the bad guys pulls a nasty trick on her, and she gets very creative with the use of her powers. Victorious, she demands information about the missing girls, which seems to confuse the thug more than anything else. Tyrone pulls off his minor crime under Connors’ voice over and gets away.
Tandy’s story has a surprising moral to it, but it’s a good one. Tyrone’s mission didn’t quite go as planned, and he grabs a surprised Connors out from under Otis’ nose. Bringing him back to the church, Tyrone vents his anger and shares what he found. This seems to be news to Connors, so something is amiss somewhere. Tyrone’s rage triggers one of his visions, and he sees inside Connors’ mind. Connors himself is resigned, even accepting, of Tyrone’s fury and wants to face judgement. Tyrone won’t allow himself to judge the man, but brings him to someone Tyrone believes to be qualified.
Tandy makes it outside, clearly a bit shaky, and has a surprise meeting with someone. One of the ubiquitous ambulances turns up, and Tandy gets a big shock. There’s an epilogue to the story she’s been telling throughout the episode, and it turns out be some weird vision or dream or alternate reality. Things end darkly for Tandy, and the two last things we see are her starting her story over like at the beginning of the episode, and a tip line about human trafficking. They’re being very good at providing a way for people affected by their stories to get help this season.
What I liked: The surprise with Connors I didn’t remotely see coming, but it was brilliantly done and made perfect sense. Brigid is trying hard to find her way with the changes she’s been through. Tyrone and Tandy are both very focused on their quests and doing some impressive things to carry them out. Otis’ new project is interesting, and hints at the mysticism around Tyrone’s powers we’ve seen glimpses of before. Melissa is making big strides in accepting her faults and trying to move on. I’m very curious about the story behind Tyrone’s mission failure and what will happen with the “judge” he brought Connors to.
What I didn’t: Tandy is being really naïve about a few too many things. I’m not sure Brigid’s inability to shoot straight really makes a lot of sense. I don’t like how Tandy used Tyrone in this one. Mayhem being stuck in the shopping mall from hell is something they need to get to, and I’m not sure why they didn’t try and get her out.
I’m really enjoying this season and series. They are consistently impressing me, and not just because the show is set in one of my favorite cities. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5 for some of the well done surprises and twists they did.