It took seven episodes, but Cloak & Dagger, the superhero show airing on Freeform, finally referenced the larger Marvel universe.
Also Cloak and Dagger finally lived up to those names of theirs.
Most people’s biggest complaint thus far with Cloak & Dagger is how supremely slow the show has been. But after Tyrone and Tandy pulled a man out of an eight-year coma with their powers last week the show has finally begun to really embrace their abilities and started to feel like the superhero show it ostensibly is. So it makes total sense that this would be the week they actually mention the larger Marvel universe.
The reference comes courtesy of officer Brigid O’Reilly. We already knew O’Reilly was originally from Harlem before transferring to New Orleans to solve crimes. And this week, after Tyrone shows her he can transport himself at will, she mentions it isn’t her first experience with a powered individual before name-dropping her old friend Misty. As in Misty Knight from Luke Cage and The Defenders. Yes, it’s a little weird that she suggests Misty has powers—as a super nice prosthetic arm is in nowhere near the same category as teleportation and the ability to perceive people’s greatest fears with a touch.
Whatever—they’re in the same universe! Something suspected after O’Reilly was name-dropped on Netflix’s Luke Cage earlier this year. In addition to the confirmation that the show takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (presumably pre-snap), this week also marked the first time Cloak and Dagger well and truly lived up to their names.
Dagger, after spending countless lifetimes in that aforementioned coma patient’s mind, has become extremely talented with her daggers and used them to break into Roxxon and kidnap one of the men she holds responsible for her father’s death. She also briefly wore a tight white jumpsuit that is still 100 per cent more tasteful than any costume Dagger has worn in the comics.
Cloak, meanwhile, has repurposed his dead brother’s Mardi Gras Indian costume into a cloak. He claims wearing the beaded black and blue cloak lets him better control his powers, and he used those powers to scare a dirty cop into confessing to his brother’s murder. Those whacky kids finally got their revenge!
It’s been a very laborious march towards getting Tyrone into a cloak and Tandy flinging daggers. But that’s kind of been the show up until this point. Where most superhero series just ask that we accept characters have powers or fight crime or have silly names Cloak & Dagger has to pause and rationalise it all. See also the time Tandy had to explain her name that was terrible even in the ‘80s (it’s because her dad’s first PC was a Tandy).
The conceit is that Cloak & Dagger is trying to be grounded and real by taking its time to get to superhero shenanigans. But “grounded and real” is not worth it if it just means “boring and slow.” It’s okay to just ask us to accept that kids born in the 2000s are named Tyrone and Tandy and they used their colour-coordinated powers to fight crime on the streets of New Orleans. That’s the premise of the show! You didn’t have to spend eight episodes of your 10 episode season convincing us to accept the premise.