Wow, all that goodwill from last week just went right out the window. I hate to be so mean to NBC’s series The Cape week after week but they aren’t doing themselves any favors. This week’s episode, the concluding chapter of The Lich, had sloppy characters, some pretentious storytelling and just an air of hilariousness when there shouldn’t be. I really enjoyed how the writers set things up last week but they knocked it all down with this concluding episode.
Vince (David Lyons) is racing against the clock to save Orwell (Summer Glau) from the evil clutches of Conrad Chandler aka The Lich (Glenn Fitzgerald). Orwell, paralyzed due to the Lich’s paralytic agent, finds herself the bride of not only Conrad’s world but a dream world of her own that sees her marrying Vince. With time running out Vince turns to Dana (Jennifer Ferrin) for help.
This might be one of the more ridiculous episodes to come out of this season and that’s truly saying something. I again enjoyed some of the guest appearances this week. Kudos to giving more time to Tom Noonan and Ileana Douglas who was hilarious with her one-liners about Orwell being a “tramp.” I’m not sure if they were meant to be so funny but her delivery of them made me chuckle every now and then.
Sadly, there is just too much to ignore about this episode. Let me just cut to the chase and say how does Dana NOT KNOW Vince is The Cape? She doesn’t even recognize her husband’s voice, because Vince didn’t try to hide it at all. I could maybe understand Trip (Ryan Wynott) not realizing but his own wife didn’t recognize it? Wow, the writers need to explain this away and fast. Other than that this episode played like a 1960s Batman episode. A lot of it was due to the laugh ability of Fitzgerald’s character The Lich. His makeup effects were a blatant take of Heath Ledger’s Joker and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. On top of that his lumbering walk and ripping of lilies in an open field was so laughable I expected a little girl to show up to recreate a scene from Frankenstein. The Lich didn’t even seem like a threat at times as he just talked to Orwell and planned his macabre wedding ceremony. This whole subplot felt like The Puppetmaster storyline from Heroes, anyone get that feeling? Also what was up with the hypnotizing sequence with Noonan’s character, did I miss something or did Vince hypnotize him? That seemed like really poor storytelling with no explanation whatsoever. On top of that we got Orwell’s/Julia’s bizarre dream sequence that had her marrying Vince, having Chess (James Frain) be her father and alluding to something he did with her mother? It felt so pretentious and was used as a means of getting the audience to figure out the symbolism like an episode of Lost. No I just found it stupid and by the end when it’s revealed Orwell’s visions aren’t gone (at least that’s what I think they were going for) I didn’t care at all!
That’s truly the sad thing about this series as week after week I find myself not caring about these characters at all. The storylines continue to be over-the-top and just borrow from more successful stories as an apology to the audience. It’s easy to see why The Cape’s numbers are dropping as spectacle is turning to plagiarism. Oh well, until next week!