Still in Andre’s menacing clutches, a powerless Tandy plotted her great escape on Thursday’s Cloak & Dagger. But to make that happen, she’d need a little help — in front of and behind the camera. This week’s episode marked the directorial debut of showrunner Joe Pokaski, who also pulled double duty penning the script.
“We had some pretty sensitive stuff in there, and given what we were putting Olivia through — and Aubrey to a certain extent — I wanted to make sure that they both had me 100-percent as we were doing it,” Pokaski tells TVLine of his decision to get into the director’s chair. “The more we broke the story, the more I thought about having to play a game of telephone with [Olivia] through a director, and I worried that I wouldn’t have the perfect human to make sure she was being taken care of. I asked Marvel about it, and they were really cool and supportive.”
When asked if that’s indicative of the trust he shares with his cast, Pokaski says, “We’re decades apart in age, but we have each other’s backs and we all get along very well, which feels great. That’s not always the case with every show.”
Below, the first-time director breaks down some of the biggest (and most heartbreaking) moments from Thursday’s episode, then gives us a taste of what the season’s final few hours have in store:
TVLINE | I have to imagine you’ve thought about directing before. Is there something you’ve always wanted to bring to the experience?
Yeah. With our show, we don’t have the resources of an Avengers: Endgame. We’re just shy of that budget. But from a producing standpoint, I’ve always have conversations with directors who would say, “You can’t shoot these six pages in one day.” And it would drive me crazy, because all of those pages took place in one room. So this was an opportunity to test some of my theories about what our crew can do and where our limits are. Adina and Connors’ scenes in the house, for example — I decided to commit to doing all of that in one day. I was worried about losing the emotion and the intensity. If another director was there, they would have thrown me out. It was a tough day, but [Gloria Reuben and J.D. Evermore] both brought their A-games. … Artistically, there’s always been something that fascinated and frightened me about these motels. I like the idea of putting someone we know and love through this thing we never see, then taking our moment at the end to tear holes through it, and have Tandy and Tyrone do their version of a Daredevil hallway fight.
TVLINE | After everything she’s been through, it was really satisfying watching Tandy break down those walls.
We always say that our women save themselves, so that was important in crafting the story. We’ve put her through so much these past few episodes, this just felt right. … What we’re trying to do is give her a heroic purpose. She has really personified that, more amazingly than we all imagined.
TVLINE | You mentioned Adina and Connors’ kitchen scenes earlier — I think those were my favorite. I really didn’t know what she was going to do.
We actually had an intense debate in the writers’ room about [whether or not she was going to kill him], probably more than anything we’ve ever discussed. People definitely felt one way or the other, and it wasn’t along racial lines or sex lines. It was just a matter of who you are and where your moral compass is. Does she have a right to kill him? Was she righteous to not kill him? All I can say is that this decision of hers isn’t over in this episode.
TVLINE | I’m also fascinated by Andre and the journey he’s going on. Is it safe to say he’s this season’s Big Bad?
He is. Because it’s our show, you could say that society is always the Big Bad, but Mayhem is definitely going to seem like a hero compared to him. A lot of people on the internet have figured out that he represents another Cloak & Dagger deep cut. He’s based on a Marvel villain, and we’ve been teasing who that is, but it’ll become very clear in the next episode. If Tandy goes into your hope and Tyrone goes into your fear, he starts playing with your despair. He’s an interesting guy, and we’ll get an origin story in Episode 9. You’ll understand where he’s coming from, and it’ll all build towards an epic confrontation.
TVLINE | Saying as much as you can, what happened to Tyrone at the end there?
As a writer and as an artist, I think we make deals with our bodies. I call it the health bank. If I’m working on a season and I catch three colds, I’ll put them all in the bank. So the minute I’m done with work, all three of those colds will catch up. So the need to help Tandy caused Tyrone to overextend himself. He’s been powerful, but we haven’t seen him blow a gasket. That’s pretty much what’s happened. Between the need to get Tandy and the added boost Mayhem is giving him from the record store, by the time he finds her, he’s on 100-percent adrenaline.
TVLINE | I love the record store.
Isn’t it so much fun?
TVLINE | I mean, aside from the occasional tragic deaths.
Yes, save for Auntie sacrificing her life and Mayhem doing nothing. It was sad, but she’ll make up for it later, I promise.
Your thoughts on Thursday’s Cloak & Dagger? Hopes for the rest of Season 2? Drop ’em all in a comment below.