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October 9, 2015

'The Cape' Season 1, Episode 5 Recap

by Ryan McGee, posted Feb 1st 2011 8:05AM
'The Cape'['The Cape' – 'Dice']

When 'The Cape' began, it had quite a bit of promise. Sure, it was tightroping the line between cheese and earnest action, but it managed to start out with the right footing. But as we reach 'Dice,' the show seems to be looking down, not unlike Vince Faraday, and flailing about a bit for some sort of through-line that connects comic book heroics with a father's search for justice. It's about as plodding as the metaphor I've strewn throughout this introductory paragraph.

Ideas generally aren't the problem on 'The Cape' so much as execution. Having a person who can essentially see into the future? A fine idea. It was also a fine idea a few months ago over on 'Fringe,' but that iteration of the tale managed to wrap that particular version around some compelling human drama. Tonight's take featured two villains playing a game, with Vince Faraday left dangling (sometimes literally) off to the side. Faraday need not be the center of every episode, but 'Dice' essentially carted him off to make more room for guest star Mena Suvari.

Suvari's savant seemed awfully good at creating Rube Goldberg-esque devices of doom for the man that killed her father, but spectacularly inept at figuring out any interference by Vince. The show explains him away as a sexually exciting loophole in her otherwise perfect future vision, but rather than exploring that tension, the episode simply used it as a crutch to explain away any time that Faraday undoes one of her plots. Getting in some Batman/Catwoman-esque tension could have been fun, and potentially caused some friction between Faraday/Orwell. Alas.

Another love/hate relationship that fared slightly better: Faraday/Fleming. Setting aside the fact that the world's smartest super villain can't figure out that The Cape showed up right after Faraday's death, each confrontation between these two should be another test by Fleming of Faraday's moral code. 'Dice' teased this out, with Fleming's delight at Faraday's disgust at being the former's knight in free-flowing armor. Given Fleming's ability to seduce people by appealing to their basest instincts, it would be fun to see him further try and psychologically beat Faraday down throughout the rest of the season.

Speaking of Fleming, we got more insight into the love/hate relationship he has with Chess. As I theorized after watching the pilot, Fleming isn't exactly an Eagle Scout, but he's also not completely in control of his alter-ego, either. How that Sméagol/Gollum relationship functions on a practical level is still unclear, but what IS clear is that his personal physician knows all too well about Fleming's cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs flights of fancy. It's less clear if Fleming actively loathes Chess or simply doesn't know how to turn him on/off. This story line suggests that in the finale, Chess will potentially put down The Cape only to have Orwell appeal to his "good" side, thereby saving the day. That's not really a spoiler so much as the type of thing this show telegraphs a few miles down the road.

But it's useful to look back as well as forward, with 'Dice' taking a few new peeks at events from the pilot from new perspectives. Most bizarre? The map in Max's room that apparently tells the future in much the way that Dice does. I'm not sure this show's mythology can actually handle ancient prophecies concerning the titular piece of fabric, but maybe it's so out there that it will work. It'll certainly be more interesting than watching Trip and his Justin Bieber haircut endlessly mope.

A few bullets about tonight's episode ...

*** Upon seeing the letters "T.R.A.C.E" onscreen, I immediately thought of the W.O.P.R. from the movie 'WarGames.' Fitting, in that the computer suggested a game of chess in the finale of that movie.

*** While having what appeared to be a real-time tracking shot of The Cape rushing to save Fleming from the Chandelier of Death could have been ridiculous, it did visually call to mind comic books in a way that the show almost never attempts. More, please.

*** Another week, another scene set in a makeshift casino. Does Ark sponsor the World Series of Poker or something?

*** Dear 'The Cape': you cast Summer Glau. She's pretty awesome. Please let her be awesome on your show and not simply Pouty Exposition Girl.

Still on board with 'The Cape'? Or are the odds stacked against you watching anymore? What do you think about Max's prophetic parchment? Leave your thoughts below!

'The Cape' airs Mondays, 9PM ET on NBC.

Check out the full episode here:

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I watched the Cape a couple of weeks ago. That's an hour of my time I'll never get back.

February 02 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll keep watching if nothing else there really isn't anything else to watch on Monday.

February 01 2011 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Finally we got a useful Orwell. We saw her doing some investigative work, saw her tapping into security cameras. I thought that was cool. I laughed at her zapping the guy. Twice. Poor guy. :lol: And she got some revenge! Dice slapped her with a gun, so she repaid the favour by punching her, and hand-cuffing her in the stairwell.

This is the Orwell I've been waiting to see. It's nice that the writers finally work up! I'd like to see this Orwell for the rest of the season.

Summer Glau rules!

February 01 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fleming's character just got so much more creepy/interesting. I definitely saw a lot of Multiple Personality Disorder in him. The talk of his "old friend", and his last scene... I think that is where they are heading. It will be very interesting if it's true.

Dice was a neat character. At first I wasn't sure about the seeing into the future thing in the episode, it just seemed out of place. But looking at it like a comic book, it's fine.

Vince just can't catch a break. Having to work with Fleming, then now having to save his life... twice, it's gotta hurt.

Can't wait to next week episode!

February 01 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lack of lots of Summer screentime aside, I thought yesterday's episode was the best one so far. We see some dark sides of Vince, how he thinks Fleming getting justice isn't good enough.

We really get some insights into Fleming, how he's trying to suppress Chess because he really does fear his alter ego (Fleming's in the dark, saying "Who's there" when he changes). This still means there's hope that he gets turned at the end of the season, assuming we get that far.

Orwell goes actual legit spy here, tazering the guard (twice :) ) and going through all the systems. Also, yay for catching Dice, sure beats what happened in Tracey's apartment.

February 01 2011 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is something about this show that I truly love.

February 01 2011 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the show. As for her not being able to see Cape's interference, it just shows that her calculations aren't 100% infallible.

February 01 2011 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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