Cloak and Dagger Canceled or Renewed? What We Know and Our Verdict
Is Cloak and Dagger canceled or renewed? Fans of the teen-focused series on Freeform are probably asking that question right now with fear or hope in their hearts. The second season ended in May, but since the finale news about the series is scant. When the show first premiered, it drew the largest Freeform ratings since the finale of Pretty Little Liars. Even more impressive, the network claimed that with streaming numbers factored in, 7.3 million people watched the first episode. Yet, like many Marvel series, the show took its time actually pairing to the two heroes together. The focus stayed on the characters and their individual drama rather than their burgeoning friendship and super-powers. The second season saw way more action, but still, emotional character stories drove the narrative.
Cloak and Dagger Canceled or Renewed: Ratings, What’s Official and What’s Rumored
Despite the slow pace of the first season, Cloak and Dagger is a better show today than it was when it premiered. The series tries to tell ambitious stories about trauma—both physical and emotional—coupled with the coming-of-age stories common in superhero tales. Also, the relationship of the titular duo sits at the forefront of the series. While the comic version of their partnership involves romance, the series examines their connection on a deeper level. Execution aside, the type of story Cloak and Dagger tries to tell factors into the decision about whether it should be canceled or renewed. Put another way, there’s really nothing else like this show on regular television.
When considering the question if a show like Cloak and Dagger should be renewed or canceled, there are many factors to consider. Atop that list comes ratings, which determines for networks how successful a particular show is in attracting viewers (and advertising dollars) to their channel. Of course, the quality of the show also matters a great deal. Many networks will “save” a critical darling even if the ratings don’t achieve the heights they hope for. Similarly, the deal for the show itself plays a role. Cloak and Dagger is a Marvel television show that airs on Freeform. Both Marvel Television and the network itself belong to parent company Disney. This means the show might be less expensive than other, more popular shows they have to license from other studios.
At the time of this writing, there is no official word if Cloak and Dagger is canceled or renewed. No news is not necessarily good news, because some shows, like Agents of SHIELD or Amazon’s The Boys, earned renewals before the latest season even aired. It’s clear that deciding if whether Cloak and Dagger is canceled or renewed involves more difficult considerations. Still with Disney behind all parties in the discussion, it seems like Cloak and Dagger have a better chance at getting renewed than another series in its position. Yet, is this a series worth investing in on Disney’s part, especially since it is underperforming?
Should It Be Canceled Or Renewed?
So, in order to determine how the executives will rule when it comes to Cloak and Dagger being renewed or canceled, let’s evaluate these things. On the ratings front, the show disappoints. They only earn a little more than 300,000 viewers on the day the show airs. Yet, this doesn’t factor in streaming numbers for the show on the also-owned-by-Disney Hulu service. When NBC/Universal still owned a partial stake in Hulu, strong streaming numbers earned the acclaimed series 12 Monkeys more seasons after netting modest ratings on SyFy. In today’s changing media landscape, ratings are not as important as they once were. If the series features strong streaming numbers, it could come back as a Hulu exclusive just like Fox’s The Orville will. In terms of quality, and how that plays into whether Cloak and Dagger should be canceled or renewed, the show certainly deserves more episodes.
As the second season wound to a close, the two central characters really came into their own as both superheroes and a duo. Conflict is central to making any story compelling, and the storytellers threw a lot at Tandy and Tyrone this season. Tandy dealt with the fallout of her mother’s addiction which itself stemmed from years of abuse at the hands of her late father. Tyrone ended up on-the-run for the suspected murder of a police officer, distanced from his family. They also spent most of the season battling, individually, extensions of their individual problems. Tyrone worked to help clean up his neighborhood, fighting gangs and drugs. Tandy advocated for and tried to rescue other traumatized girls. Let’s dive deeper into each of our leads’ performances.
Aubrey Joseph as Cloak
Aubrey Joseph’s performance as Tyrone alone justifies Cloak and Dagger’s renewal. And this is not because he’s the only character in the series to wear anything close to his comics uniform. He really balances the dual roles of a traumatized teenager out of his depth and a badass hero who has dimensional powers. Watching Cloak rescue a group of terrified girls from a human trafficking gang or dispatching a room full of henchmen to strike a deal with their boss are the most cheer-worthy moments of the series. Also, the smoky effect of his Cloak powers is perfect.
If Cloak and Dagger ends up canceled, not seeing him in action will be one of the greatest losses for fans. When paired with Holt’s Dagger, the two are even more electric together. I’d want to see a season where they get to work as team throughout, because when they do the show is at its best.
Olivia Holt as Dagger
Olivia Holt’s portrayal of Dagger struggles in comparison to Joseph’s Cloak, but that’s likely be design. The second season especially saw Tandy broken and isolated, up against forces she both didn’t understand and couldn’t really combat. When it comes to tearing through a drug warehouse full of bad guys, she’s untouchable. Yet, once the terrors became more psychological, Tandy ended up overwhelmed. In order for her character to end up isolated like this, she had to push everyone away. So, that unfairly leads people to complain that Holt makes Tandy “unlikable.” Still, there is no question she’s doing exactly what’s been asked of her.
Her storyline is heavy, arguably heavier than Tyrone’s struggles throughout seasons one and two. Yet, when she’s there to lift up Ty or vice versa, is when the show finds its emotional heart. Without spoiling anything, the second season ends with both Tandy and Ty in a good place emotionally. This means that if Cloak and Dagger ends up renewed, we’ll get to see Holt’s Tandy truly come into her own. After two seasons of emotional and character drama driving the series, it’s exciting to think they’ll have to solve some real superhero problems.
Supporting Characters and Dangling Storylines
One thing that dragged the series down a bit comes not from the leads but rather the supporting cast. This is not to suggest that they are doing bad work, just the opposite. The actors playing Tandy’s and Ty’s families all do incredible work, especially given the intensely emotional scenes they are called upon to play. Yet, the storytellers used these characters as wedges between Tandy and Ty. In the comics, Tandy and Ty only really have each other, and the series shows this by allowing their individual family drama to be what pulls them apart from time to time. If Cloak and Dagger ends up renewed, the third season should focus less on this supporting cast and so we can spend more time with Tandy and Ty. If anything drags the show out for viewers, it’s these detours with their families.
The rest of the supporting cast, particularly the villains played by J.D. Evermore and Brooklyn McLinn, are superb. The way the storytellers brought the character D’Spayre, real name Andre Deschaine, to life worked marvelously. It allowed the show to explore the “dark dimension” that Cloak has access to in an interesting way. The subplot with Evermore’s detestable Officer Connors ended up being more problematic than satisfying. Still, both of their additions to the second season helped get Ty and Tandy to where they need to be. If Cloak and Dagger are canceled, bittersweet though it may be, this is a fine season to end this version of these Marvel heroes.
Our Verdict: Cloak and Dagger Should Be Renewed
It would be a shame if Cloak and Dagger ends up canceled. This series deserves at least one more season to tell their stories, because the show just seemed to hit its groove by the end of season two. The characters finally resemble their counterparts from the comics, sufficiently freed from their ties to their old lives. Leaving their old lives behind them, this duo can truly thrive as the power duo they are meant to be. However, one element that may be controversial to comics fans is that they show should keep their relationship platonic for the moment. As friends, they were able to be fixtures in each other’s lives that they did not have before. Adding the romantic element could tarnish that, as well as give way to the “Moonlighting” curse that sees series with a will-they, won’t-they couple decline in quality if the leads couple up.
Still, if Cloak and Dagger is to be renewed, they will likely need what fans they have to be very vocal about wanting more stories. A “save Cloak and Dagger” social media push could help convince Marvel, Freeform, and Hulu that the series has an audience out there that’s loyal and eager for more. At the very least, Holt and Joseph deserve to take these characters out for a final spin in order to give fans the fully-realized heroes they’ve become.
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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.