Spoilers ahead for season 1 of Cloak & Dagger.

Most superhero shows falter in their second season. First seasons are driven by origin stories, letting writers introduce the heroes and signature villains, and exploring the pleasures and perils that come from their power. But once evil has been punished and a crisis averted, the question is “What’s next?” Should the showrunners bring back the same threat and escalate it, or introduce a new one? Do the stakes need to be increased now that the heroes are no longer novices? And if so, will the good guys need to become even more powerful to face what’s next?

Every potential answer to those questions has its own pitfalls, and unfortunately, Cloak & Dagger seems to be struggling with how to navigate them. The Freeform show, which kicks off its new 10-episode season with two episodes airing back to back on Thursday, April 4th at 8PM ET, is struggling to balance the intimate character studies that made season 1 strong, while finding a challenge worthy of its heroes’ growing powers. That conflict has only highlighted the relatively subtle problems that were already present in season 1.

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