I know I should like a broken record every Monday evening but I discovered something new about the last few episodes of NBC’s “The Cape.” One, that the writing is getting sloppier and two, the writers haven’t found a way to balance the story of Vince Faraday (David Lyons) with the stories of everyone else. It became painfully obviously in this week’s episode entitled Razer. The previews made it seem like Vince would be forced to save wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin) and son Trip (Ryan Wynott) from some type of gang standoff. Instead said standoff lasted the first twenty seconds before being tossed aside in favor of “Vince going undercover.” This episode had no clue where it wanted to go and became a scrapbook of cobbled stories with no clear-cut answers.
When Peter Fleming (James Frain) makes a deal with gang thug Scales (Vinnie Jones) to divide up Central City, Vince becomes obsessed with taking them down after Dana and Trip’s lives are threatened. When it’s discovered a mysterious bomb maker named Razer (Grant Bowler) is in town and is doing business with Scales, Vince sees a way to destroy Scales’ operation from the inside. See no one know what Razer looks like so Vince kidnaps the villain and impersonates him to gain access to Scales’ crew. Meanwhile, Peter tries to control Chess once and for all with the help of his long-time doctor (Elliot Gould) while Max (Keith David) is being blackmailed by Scales. Orwell (Summer Glau) is slowly descending into madness after the events of last week.
Anytime you have an abundance of Keith David in an episode of The Cape the series is instantly elevated. I’ve been saying this since the series started that he is by far the most interesting character and the way David relishes his role was so apparent in this episode. The way he tried to convey the image of “the mayor of Trolley Park” was hilarious and fun right down to the crazy leather top hat he was sporting. Rollo (Martin Klebba) is also taking a leap forward in the last few episodes, at times becoming a more dominant figure than Vince, no pun intended. Rollo’s confrontation with Vince about how no matter what he is the Cape and all he does is sit around painfully seemed aimed what the audience must be thinking about Vince’s character. Rollo is the audience at times and here he took a stand and literally told Vince to get up and do something or he would! Can’t we just retitle this to Melini and Rollo or something?
Other than the two actors this episode was literally all over the place in terms of story. The first twenty seconds were the only appearance from Dana and Trip, thankfully, but considering how misleading the trailers for this episode were you’d figure they’d get more than a thankless scene of Dana posturing to a cop and Trip whimpering. This brings up the question I have about how selfish the Faradays’ were in this episode. Dana’s rant was solely focused on herself and how her “son’s life was in danger” not at all worrying about anybody else on the street. Mind you this opening drive-by shooting takes place in the middle of the afternoon and the only people on the streets are Dana, Trip and two cops so I really wouldn’t consider it a sign of a “gang war” as everyone else did. These selfish sentiments are mimicked by Vince who shouts at Rollo that he isn’t the Cape and he only donned the costume to make his son happy! Doesn’t that seem to contradict all those motives he espoused in the pilot after Orwell convinced him to use the Cape for good? He’s now only doing this to make his son giggle? Other WTF moments included a thankless subplot about Peter’s multiple personality disorder and Elliot Gould talking to Chess, a supposed sociopath, like a six-year-old with comments on “playing” and “secrets.” The weirdest moment involved Scales, a hard-core gangster, playing cat and mouse with Vince and rewarding his men with cake? Yes, because nothing will instill fear in a man impersonating a bomb maker like telling him he’s not getting a slice of your cake?!
This series is losing ground by the second. I know the writers and creators are saying the show is intentionally campy but this is becoming all sorts of ridiculous. When you spend more time laughing at scenes instead of being invested in the story then you know it’s bad. The final scenes had Orwell going Black Swan on us, having supposedly spilled a lot of ink…that isn’t what the scene was? Well if someone can explain it to me there’s a hiatus next week so there’s plenty of time for me to understand.