Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NBC's "The Cape" - Second Impressions

Episode 3 “Kosmo” starts out with an unidentified man making a spectacular escape from a Russian prison using a lock pick made from one of his teeth and contorting through a sewer drain. Roll credits! Meanwhile, Trip is having rouble fitting into his new school because some mean kids put a bunch of chess pieces in his desk. 

Just keep growing that Bieber haircut out and they'll eventually accept you.

Max lectures Faraday on using controlling his emotions, telling him “either you wear the cape or the cape wears you,” officially becoming “The Pheonix” from Mystery Men. That could be hilarious if this was a comedy, but the episode is quickly starting to lose the manic intensity that made the first two episodes so charming. We are introduced to Gregor the Great, the man who escaped from the Russian prison. He’s Max’s old pupil and he’s come back for the cape. The actual cape, not the person The Cape. Or the comic book “The Cape.”

Faraday investigates a murder, then interrogates and accuses Gregor in front of Max and the carnival gang. It ends with a death trap involving Rollo and Ruvi tied to a post in front a tiger cage with steaks strapped to their chests. It’s like the 60s Batman, but without any of the fun. It also makes little to no sense. How did he string them up? Is the rest of the carnival okay with this?
And the tiger was on fire. Just kidding! At least that would have been interesting.

It’s a pretty rough episode. In an attempt at character building, we learn that Flemming has a missing daughter that he’s searching for. And then at the end of the episode we’re pretty much straight up told that his daughter is Orwell. Wow. Don’t build suspense or anything, guys.

Even if this episode was good (which it was not), former cape owners and the villain’s daughters are the sort of things that either need to be paced out over the series and held onto until there’s more at stake. It really feels like the writers are trying to squeeze in as much as possible before The Cape gets cancelled.

Now episode 4, “Scales,” is a lot more fun. We learn that even though the public thinks Chess is dead, Chess is still operating as a crime lord and pushing Scales for a cut all smuggling deals. Faraday learns that Chess is taking another cut from Scales as Flemming, to hit him on the imports and exports. Or something. Now, I’m not criminologist, so I have no idea if that would actually work, but it’s a neat enough set up. The Cape shows up and tells Scales that Flemming is Chess, and encourages Scales to out Flemming during the “Heroes and villains” themed masquerade charity gala train ride.
A wicki-wicki Wild Wild West.

Oh my gosh yes. This is the sort of ridiculous set up that I love. Faraday even runs into the city official who’s life he saved in episode 2 dressed as, well...
Funnier than it looks but not as funny as it sounds. 

Orwell is there with a hidden camera to record Scales revealing Flemming's secret identity. Which he does. And nobody believes him. Aw, poor Faraday. I have to hand it to The Cape, it does a really good job of depicting a hero who has no idea what he’s doing. Also during the episode The Circus of Crime is trying to rob the train. After a Cape/Scales fight, Scales escapes on a disconnected caboose, so The Cape and Flemming team up to stop the runaway train by cutting the brake fluid line. Wait, what? What what what? I feel like there was very little research put into that plot point. Also, while The Cape is the only thing stopping Flemming from becoming train track soup, Flemming starts grinning like a maniac and asks him “Who are you?” to which the Cape responds, “Just cut the hose Flemming.” “Not till you tell me who you are!” Dude... not the greatest bargaining position. 

I can’t say The Cape has become unqualifiedly good; there’s a lot of plot points that just plain don’t make sense. But it’s full of intentionl and unintentional comedy, and occasionally features Summer Glau dressed as a flapper girl.


I'm a total sucker any "villains versus villains" plot, so if the show keeps up with the feud between Scales and Chess, I'll keep watching it. Verdict for now: watch at your own risk.

So, dear readership, should I post about The Cape every other week, or do you guys want weekly updates? Weekly until the inevitable cancellation, anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment