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The is our review of the second half of The Cape's two-hour premiere. To see our review of the first half, go HERE.
The Cape got off to such a terrible start that it literally had nowhere to go but up. The second episode is slightly better, but still awful in every single regard. The high point being Keith David’s scenes. Unfortunately he was used a lot less in this episode than in the pilot. On the other hand, Summer Glau was on screen more this time around, and nerds like to watch Summer Glau do anything. Nerds will tune in for an hour to watch Summer Glau alphabetize her spice rack. Alas, this show is filled with people who aren’t Summer Glau.
This episode has The Cape breaking into Chess’ apartment, where he promptly gets his butt kicked by a French supervillain, Cain. Note that everyone on this show has monosyllabic codenames. That would be NBC assuming that viewers are morons. Also, note that the villains are French. I have to point out that The Cape is not a comedy. This evil French chef character is supposed to be a menacing foe for our grim hero. There are a few light moments in each episode, but the show never actually commits itself to camp, or parody.
The Cape is poisoned, stabbed and plummets from a skyscraper. Even though he doesn’t have any superpowers, he still survives. His sidekick, Summer Glau shows up and drives him back to his secret headquarters at the Carnival of Crime. Keith David, the leader of the circus gang treats all of Vince’s wounds, then takes away his cape, leaving The Cape without a cape!
This launches our hero on a journey of self-discovery as he finds out who he is without his (Lame) superpowers. Basically, he’s Darkman. Remember that sequence in Darkman where Liam Neeson builds a dingy hideout, using abandoned equipment? Well, whoever wrote this episode remembers that, because Vince does the same thing.
All of this is done in an attempt to prevent his nemesis Chess from taking over the city’s prison system. You see, Chess runs a private police force (Exactly like OCP in the Robocop movies), and the audience is repeatedly told that Chess can’t be allowed to run the prisons too, for reasons that writer thinks are obvious.
We learn that the new villain Cain has a tattoo of a tarot card, which indicates that he’s part of a league of assassins based on the 22 cards of the Tarot Major Arcana. It also means that the first season of the show will probably use the “Villain of the week” formula, and Vince will be pit against a new quirky henchman each episode. I suppose this also means that the writers are vainly hoping that the show will make it to 22 episodes. Frankly, they should have based their league of assassins on the seven colors of the rainbow, because there’s at least a tiny chance that this show will make it to seven episodes.
Aside from the superheroism, there’s also a subplot about Vince’s wife and son. Remember, Vince has faked his own death, and let the world think he’s a criminal, all in the name of protecting his family. He’s also tricked his son into thinking that he’s a comic book character come to life, while NOT revealing himself to his wife. Mom now thinks that her son is crazy. Vince is here revealed to be both a terrible father and a terrible husband. All of his problems could be solved by letting his family live at the Carnival of Crime’s secret headquarters. Of course the writers are clinging to this “Protect my family” sub-plot just so that they can make their hero all tortured and dark ‘n’ edgy.
Ultimately, Vince regains his cape, then battles Cain. The good guys sort of win, but the Big Fight at the end of the episode ends with The Cape leaving Cain hogtied but still alive. When Chess discovers them, The Cape vanishes theatrically, leaving Chess alone with his henchman. I suppose the Director didn’t consider the possibility that Chess would just untie Cain, then go right on with their villainous plan.
It’s really futile to point out just that one plot hole. This episode was riddled with them, along with generally terrible writing, directing, editing, acting, and effects. The odd thing about The Cape is that it airs at nine o’clock. It would probably do much better in an earlier timeslot where it would be seen by very young viewers. That seems to be the problem with The Cape, the producers can’t decide whether or not they’re making a show for children.
Read our review of the next episode, Kozmo.