When TVLine spoke with Cloak & Dagger showrunner Joe Pokaski at the end of Season 1, he promised us that the Freeform drama’s take on Mayhem would “surprise the heck out of” us. And now that Thursday’s two-part season premiere has aired, we can confirm he was right.
Thursday’s two-part premiere introduced us to the new vigilante on the block, but rather than merely existing within Brigid O’Reilly — as the character has in the comics — Mayhem gets to exist as her own physical being. Just as Tandy and Tyrone were beginning to (sort of) adjust to their respective new normals, along she came to remind them never to get too comfortable.
Below, Pokaski discusses some of the larger developments from the Season 2 premiere, including what the future holds for Tyrone and Evita. (Ah, young love.)
TVLINE | I wasn’t expecting Mayhem to exist as her own entity.
That was a decision that the show made. We’ve seen the Jekyll and Hyde thing done a lot, and we wanted to do something different. Plus, our audience is ridiculously smart, so we wanted to try and pull one over on them at least once. We love leaning into the idea that it’s a Jekyll and Hyde story, giving the audience everything they need to think that, and then completely changing the dynamic. For some reason, it felt right in this day and age to tell the story of a woman who has her more docile side — and then another side that just wants to rip everything to hell. It’s also a testament to Emma Lahana as an actress. We wanted to see her on screen more, and this is a way to get that.
TVLINE | I’ve covered a few shows in which actors play multiple roles, so I know how taxing that can be. How did Emma Lahana take to it?
Emma is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. She studies very hard. She came in early, read the first three episodes in my office and asked a lot of really informed questions. When you watch later in the season, you’ll see scenes with Brigid speaking to Mayhem and you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s the same actress. She makes choices and commits to them to the point where you really feel like you’re watching two people speaking to one another. She also learned all manner of martial arts, including some krav maga. Because she’s a trained ballerina, she adapted very quickly. The stunt coordinators would be like, “Now, you don’t have to learn all of this at once,” but then she’d get the whole thing right on her first try.
TVLINE | Will we get a straightforward explanation of how Mayhem came to exist as a separate being, or is that sort of gradually explained throughout the season?
Episode 3 starts with a Mina Hess scene. It’s a fairly decent explanation as to what happened.
TVLINE | I feel like Mayhem isn’t a villain, but it feels too soon to call her a hero. Where does she fall on that spectrum?
We’re going to have no dearth of bad guys this season. The fun thing about Mayhem, at least in the first couple of episodes, is that she becomes a counterpoint between Tandy and Tyrone. One of them agrees with her and one of them does not. What Mayhem becomes over the course of the season is a good guy at times, a bad guy at times and both at times.
TVLINE | Is Mayhem going to drive a wedge between Tandy and Tyrone?
The most special thing about Tandy and Tyrone is that they’re the only people who can challenge each other on their own bull. The interesting thing about Mayhem is that they start off on the same page, but as things get more heated, there is some division. This season provides an interesting arc where they have some choice words, and then they have to deal with them for a couple of episodes.
TVLINE | What do Tandy and Tyrone both need to learn this season?
Tandy needs to understand where her father fits into her life. She hero worshipped the guy, then found out he was a jerk. She’s also trying to figure out where his abuse of her mother fits in, how much power he still has over her. She starts off skeptical about how powerful she can be, and then she becomes one of the most powerful beings — at least emotionally — in the Marvel Universe, someone who has a clear sense of herself. As for Tyrone, he was living in a gilded cage in Season 1, and then we took all that away. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to that. He’s really going to learn who he is. They’re both going on a journey of self-discovery that ends in a rather punctuated way in the finale.
TVLINE | I loved watching Tandy unleash her power in that big premiere moment. Will we see a lot of her and Tyrone discovering new abilities this season?
Yes. Part of the fun of Cloak and Dagger is that we’re just scratching the surface right now. And the fun thing about having teenagers or young people doing this is that their emotions are volatile. We get to explore a lot more volatile emotions by way of powers. They each have a few more tricks up their sleeves that we’ll get to explore, hopefully in a thoughtful way.
TVLINE | I’m also glad Tyrone and Evita are getting closer. I don’t suppose that could lead to some danger for her?
Absolutely. That’s what happens to boyfriends and girlfriends of superheroes. [Laughs] She can hold her own, fortunately, and I think a lot of her danger will be emotional. The writers looked back at last season and realized, “Wow, Evita did a lot of the work on her own, didn’t she?” So Tyrone is going to have to up his game and work for her a little harder. On this show, sometimes true love is not enough.
TVLINE | Lastly, is there any chance this season will be affected by the events of Infinity War or Endgame?
I am not allowed to say that as a contracted employee of Marvel Entertainment. [Laughs] They tattooed it to my arm and I have to say that every time someone asks about Infinity War.
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