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My Take On: The Cape

NBC has given us a new “hero” to look up to, and he wears a pretty cool cape.

Vince Faraday (David Lyons) is a detective in Palm City with a loving wife, Dana (Jennifer Ferrin) and doting son Trip (Ryan Wynott), and BFF/partner Marty (Dorian Missick). He read Trip comic books of his favorite superhero – The Cape. He also loves to use a punching bag a lot. However, the Police Dept. he works for is full of corrupt cops and bad business. The main ingredient of the corruption is billionaire Peter Fleming (James Frain) who seriously wants to take over by privatizing the police force and prisons using his own ARK corporation. Let’s mention here that Fleming is “villain” Chess – who has been terrorizing Palm City. Let’s also note his terrible mask and chess-piece contacts. Not a good look, guy.

During a press conference, Chess kills the Police Chief using a chemical weapon of some kind. This isnt’ gonna be good. Vince tries to save him, but fails. Not one to give up, Vince learns from a mysterious blogger named Orwell (Summer Glau) that Chess is working with a smuggler named Scales (Vinnie Jones), who runs the biggest operation in the area. Did I mention he looks as if his face was run over by a semi wheel? Being the detective, Vince finds the same chemical weapon L-9 used to kill the Chief hidden inside a shipment of dolls, and calls Marty to the docks to see.  Uh-oh – Vince gets injected with something from behind. Guess what? Marty is bad. You backstabbing bastard!

Now our hero has been caught by Peter Fleming, who removes the dumb mask, revealing himself, and has it stapled to our hero’s head. Ha-ha – you will be Chess now –go outrun my ARK cops. Fleming then sets him loose for newly-appointed ARK police to  chase and catch (nice one) and they end up seemingly killing Vince by shooting a massive railyard tank car, blowing it up as Faraday’s family watches in horror on TV (because everything is on the news nowadays). Oh no, dad is dead! However, our smart guy used a sheet of metal to shield himself. We then see our hero being pulled out of the wreckage…..but by whom and where does he go?????

Cut to a Big-Top Circus. Yes. Vince wakes up being punched by small person named Rollo (Martin Klebba) and finds himself with a group of people who call themselves the “Carnival of Crime” (I can see the t-shirts now). They are professional bank robbers who live in this gross old circus tent. What. The. Frack.  The leader of the Circus O’ Criminals is a stage magician named Max Malini (Keith David) who guesses Vince’s weight (naturally). Oh, and there’s a monkey and circus music involved. After Max threatens to kill him, Faraday has no choice but to gain leverage over the kooks by letting them use his key card to rob some banks.

Now friends, Max knows Vince wants vengeance and his son to know he wasn’t a murderer, He tells Vince “You help me rob Fleming and I will help you get your family back”.  It’s a deal.  We then see a funeral service for Vince with Marty’s bastard ass consoling Dana as she throws a wreath into the ocean. More use of a punching bag, and he goes into Max’s room and finds a cape. Flashback to his son’s comic books. Hilarious cape shadowboxing ensues. A hero is born. Max comes in and tells him that dusty old cape isn’t good enough. He shows him a one made of spider silk, which is supposedly stronger than Kevlar. Max tells Vince he has broken 92 bones searching for the perfect illusion – and he will teach him 37 vanishing illusions using that cape. With the circus’ help, Vince trains in the art of concealment, hypnosis, fighting, cape bad-assery and escape tricks. Oh, Carnival Mortal Kombat against little Rollo also – Tap out! He is now ready.

First order of business is to get to Scales. Vince tries to fight Scales, but gets overpowered (really, aren’t you the hero?), gets wrapped in some conveniently placed chains and thrown into river. Faraday escapes using his newly-learned escapist moves a’la Houdini. Well done. He gets out of the water, and finds someone taking photos of Scales. Chase ensues, and he finds it is Orwell. They go back to her place – (side-note: nice car for an everyday blogger). Orwell suggests they start working together with him as the face, her behind the fancy PC. It’s another deal.

Chess takes Max for questioning, and Rollo calls Vince for his help in getting Max back. Meanwhile, Max is receiving a pummeling from Scales, until our magician frees himself and runs away, but not before getting shot. Scales chases after Max, until Rollo comes out. Scales – “yellow brick road?” Wow.  Rollo hits him in the kneecap with a wrench. “Say hello to Dorothy bitch!” Vince finally gets there and uses his fancy new cape powers to get the henchmen and get to Max. We think he is going to die, but thank goodness, he is alright. The Cape tries to get to Chess, but after a small, uneventful fight he gets away. However, not before dangling Vince by his cape over the water – threatening he will find out who he is and kill everyone he loves. I am sure this will end well.

We flash to two weeks later, and faraday is shopping in a hardware store when it is held up by some dumb robbers. He feigns being a scared shopper, and pulls out his trusty cape. Ta Da! Insta-hero! Vince whoops the robbers’ asses, and saves the day. After all, heroes gotta do other stuff than fight the main bad guys all the time. The store clerk asks what they call him. Vince replies “The Cape”. Eh, you can work on that, says the owner. Wow.

After all the drama, and using his new alter ego “The Cape”, Vince goes to his family’s house and tells his sleepy son that his dad wasn’t a bad guy. He explains to an amazed Trip that his father didn’t kill anyone, he will make the bad guys pay, and that he will see his dad again someday.

So, the show’s premise sets up nicely: Our caped crusader sets out to bring down evil bad guy Chess, get his good name cleared in the midst of a corrupt police force, and reunite with his loving family.

In episode 1, I already see a few similarities with the comic-book world. Here are a few:

  1. Carnival-type training: Okay, even I knew that Dick Grayson grew up in a circus, and then became our lovable Boy Wonder Robin.
  2. Vince is falsely believed to be dead stemming from an explosion and becomes a vigilante to fight crime: Denny Colt a/k/a The Spirit, is also believed dead after an explosion, and he becomes a vigilante.
  3. Orwell, all-knowing chick character: ummm Oracle anyone?
  4. Scales: How original. There are gross, deformed baddies all over comic books.

However, don’t go into The Cape thinking you will be seeing something like Smallville. Besides these similarities, and whatever I missed, think crime drama. I think this show is more cop-centric than it let on in the trailers. Let’s see how it pans out. What did you think of Episode 1 of this show- hit the comments.

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