This post contains mild spoilers for CLOAK AND DAGGER ‘First Light.’

Freeform’s new Marvel series CLOAK AND DAGGER airs June 7th, 2018! Geared towards young adults, CLOAK AND DAGGER is in the vein of a teen romance drama. Here is our review of the first episode, titled ‘First Light,’ where we meet Tandy (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph), two teens already struggling even before having powers.

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A Story-Driven by Connection

‘First Light’ opens hard and heavy, starting right out with showing how Cloak and Dagger get their powers. At young ages they coincidentally both find themselves in the same accident resulting in them getting their abilities. Both living in New Orleans, Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson live very different lives.

She lives as a thief, while he struggles with the pressures and frustrations of high school. They come into contact with each other, again by happenstance, at a party. When Tandy tries to take his wallet, he chases after her.

When he grabs her arm, a connection is made and they fly backward. The result is that her hand begins to glow white, and his black. She asks him if he’s that boy from the beach, realizing that what’s happening might be connected to that night. He seems to think so as well. She runs away, leaving him to wonder what just happened.

First Light
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This first episode is all about introducing two people who are about to be thrust together as a result of fate. Scenes cut back and forth between Tandy and Tyrone, accenting this idea that while they lead different lives, more connects them than either of them know. It seems like this will be the overarching theme of the season: a fated connection between two people.

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Tandy Bowen Becomes Dagger

As previously stated, Tandy works as a thief, stealing from rich kids. She appears to have a boyfriend who also aids her in her misdeeds. Later she goes to an abandoned building, puts on a large black sweatshirt, crushing and taking pills. After she makes contact with Tyrone, she begins to discover her powers.

It seems as though she’s able to know a person’s thoughts and feelings through physical contact. Also, she learns that she can create blades made from light, which she uses to defend herself.

FIRST LIGHT
Check out CLOAK AND DAGGER on Comixology!

I like Tandy. So far, I feel as though she has more going on dynamically than Tyrone. She steals, she has a drug addiction, and she overall wants more from her life. She seems very headstrong and stubborn, most likely a result of a hardened upbringing. It appears as though she doesn’t want help, even if she might need it.

Tyrone Johnson Becomes Cloak

Tyrone lives life as a student, playing high school basketball. He struggles with the other players beating him down, as the referee remains passive, not making any calls. He gets into a fight with one of them during a game.

First Light
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Later, after he makes contact with Tandy, Tyrone discovers his powers. He also has the ability to see feelings and thoughts through physical contact. Furthermore, He begins to discover that every time he falls asleep, he wakes up somewhere else. While has yet to master his new ability, Tyrone can now teleport.

Tyrone’s main struggle comes from the pressures he feels from his parents to do well in school. It seems as though his tendency to get in fights causes them a lot of worries. His parents seem to stress him out, wanting him to always do the right thing. For this reason, he’s reluctant to participate when he gets an invite to attend a party.

Hopefully, Tyrone will get some more dimension to his character beyond just pressure from parents. While this is relatable to a lot of teens, it’s not as dynamic or interesting as the situation Tandy is in.

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Positives from ‘First Light’

‘First Light’ is all about introducing these characters as well as not only their connection but also their contrast. These are both characters that are dealing with some real issues. They carry with them a lot of pain and anger, which leads them to differing solutions for self-medication.

She does drugs, and he picks fights. Combined with the visual look of their powers and you can see the stark contrast and connection between what they can do and who they are. This is what this episode does best and I hope it continues going forward into the season.

First Light
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I think that Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt (who play Cloak and Dagger respectively) do a great job at depicting their characters well, providing performances that do a decent job of showing real struggles teens have. Viewers should expect them to carry the season and be the show’s strongest foundation.

FIRST LIGHT
Check out CLOAK AND DAGGER on Comixology!

I do appreciate that it seems as though the power-giving accident involves an oil rig belonging to Roxxon. Roxxon is an oil company that’s featured in MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER, where it’s second season sees them dealing with energy from the Darkforce Dimension. In the comics, Cloak is able to teleport by briefly traveling through this dimension. Hopefully, this will be a comic thread that gets picked up.

Negatives from ‘First Light’

There are some lines of dialogue, such as ones from Tandy that don’t land so well, as they carry too much drama for what is happening. Tandy’s frustration with the lack of profit from her theft is one such example. It just seems like she shouldn’t be that dramatic about the circumstance. Another scene between Tyrone and his mother is the same way. His mom’s responses seem way too melodramatic.

First Light
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This is a teen drama, however, so it’s understandable that there might be a few scenes having too much of it. Not every scene can be a winner, and the scenes mentioned are fairly minor in reference to the rest of ‘First Light.’

All in all, ‘First Light’ does what a pilot episode should. It provides a glimpse into what we can expect from the rest of the season and entices interest going forward.

CLOAK AND DAGGER airs this June 7th, 2018 on ABC’s Freeform

CLOAK AND DAGGER ep. 1: "First Light"
Plot
Characterization
Mise-en-scene
Summary
'First Light' does a great job of introducing these characters with room to improve. Tandy and Tyrone make an unlikely connection due to fate.
87 %
A Decent Intro

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