NBC premiered the new series The Cape on Sunday night bringing another take on a superhero story to network TV. Essentially coming across as a replacement for Heroes it has potential going forward but failed to capitalize fully in the first two episodes.
The Cape is centered on the character of Vince Faraday, a cop who is framed for the killing of a new Chief of Police in the fictional Palm City. Presumed dead he is taken in by a group of bank robbers who together strike a mutual agreement to steal from and get revenge on Peter Fleming who runs ARK Corporation and set up Faraday to take the fall for the murder. Fleming is building up ARK as a privatized police force to take over the city but also masquerades as the masked villain â€œChessâ€. Faraday becomes â€œThe Capeâ€ in the process.
There are elements of the show that I enjoyed and others that bothered me quite a bit. What intrigues me is the story and that’ll keep me watching at least for a few more episodes. Instead of fighting crime, Faraday is working towards a specific goal of not just taking down Fleming but ARK as well. There is also a concept that seems to be forming of working through a series of killers that belong to a secret society. It makes me think of a video game in that sense, taking on mini-bosses before getting to the â€œbig badâ€.
That could do well to sustain the show over the course of an entire season. Where Heroes fell apart after the first season was in its ensemble nature and scattershot method of story telling. The Cape can keep the focus on Faraday and his mission rather than spreading everything too thin. The idea of being more of an illusionist than having super powers is a good angle to take here. It’s just a matter of whether the writers can pull it all off.
Despite that there were a limited number of cringe-inducing moments that stood out which was somewhat to be expected. Some of the dialogue was corny and there were cliches like him showing up to his own funeral. It was also insulting the number of call-backs there were to earlier in the episodes. I really didn’t need a flashback when â€œChessâ€ took off his mask to tie him to Fleming from earlier five minutes earlier, same with the assassin that has a tattoo that matched a tarot card. The audience doesn’t needed to have that stuff thrown in their face.
Everything advanced really quickly, and what bothered me the most was jumps in logic and time. Faraday went face-to-face with Fleming on two different occasions within the first hour. How is the tension going to ramp up now? The relationship between Faraday and â€œOrwellâ€, a loner working against ARK, happened way too suddenly as well. They meet and within seconds really they are working together and trusting each other completely.
There were too many holes in the first two episodes of The Cape and that makes it difficult to buy into. While I like some of the concepts at play it will need to do a much better job of keeping consistent tone, pacing, and developing logical scenarios and relationships for audiences to stick with it if they haven’t bailed already.