The Cape – Season Premier
The Cape has a lot of good things going for it, so much so that the good inevitably removes traces of the bad and will leave its nerdy viewers satisfied. Unlike Heroes which took the X-Men premise and tried to normalize it with real settings and shoddy writing, The Cape borrows from several comic book heroes and situations and humanizes it by using the family angle a la Spawn. The CGI is not impressive (the cape itself looks pretty bad), the scenes are obviously limited in scale and the story isn’t original but the people behind the characters makes for a team that you want to support, regardless of how bad the show will get if it goes the way of Heroes.
The people that I am referring to would be Keith David, the renowned voice actor who plays Max Malini, Summer Glau who plays Orwell (you may remember Summer from the failed hit series FireFly as River Tam and The Sarah Connor Chronicles where she was the terminator, and the only reason to watch that show). Fans of HBO’s True Blood will recognize James Frain who plays Peter Fleming and many other familiar faces from failed favorites of the past.
The premier starts off with Vince Faraday (David Lyons) a good cop amongst a corrupt collective who setup their new Chief to be blown up by a new explosive built by a company called Arc. When Vince gets too close to Arc’s empire they frame him for the murder and he narrowly escapes with his life after lying dormant beneath an exploding trailer. His wife and son witnesses his demise on television but Vince had fallen into the tunnels beneath the street and is rescued by an odd team of circus performers who introduce him to their leader Max Malini (Keith David). Max has Vince prove his worth to him as a bank robber and helps him train to become a super hero using all the tricks that a circus offers – this included vanishing, throwing knives, escaping death and using hypnosis. With the skills he acquired Vince sets out to take on Peter Fleming (James Frain) and meets a rich and mysterious woman by the name of Orwell (Summer Glau).
Vince is not as good as he needs to be as a superhero, taking on the name of his son’s favorite character “The Cape” he eventually runs into Peter’s second identity “Chess”, his side-kick Scales (Vinnie Jones) and his poisonous associate Cain. The Cape fights, loses and escapes to try again but in the end he is made to realize that the way back to his family is almost impossible, and the only way through was to take down Arc and clear his name.
While a solid set of episodes, I took issue with the Cain series where Vince is poisoned and saved by Max Malini and his leeches. Vince goes back to his lair and procures vials of poisons to try and build immunity to all within the span of two days… the likelihood of him getting these vials between the time of his recovery and the time he has to save the politician is largely improbable. Also the presence of old, monochrome monitored CRT computers in contrast to Orwell’s Iron Man inspired holograph screens was a bit silly in the span of it all. It’s hard to associate a computer that we now see as old with one that hasn’t been developed yet into reality. Still these were minor things, there are plot-holes all over and conveniences at every turn but if this isn’t the way of comic books then what is?
The Cape was impressive as a new show and shows great hope to become a mainstay on television. Keith David as Max was a very impressive character, you get his huge sense of humor and his scenes with David Lyons were the best in the first episode. Visit the official website at NBC.com/the-cape to get the latest episode and stay tuned on Mondays coming at 8:00 PM for this show, it is definitely one that you will not want to sleep on.