The Official "The Cape" Thread

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The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:19 am

It seems we have a new superhero on our screens, trained by a group of Carnival theives.



"The Cape" premiered to US audiences a week ago with a two hour pilot (actually, the first two episodes.) We meet Vince Faraday (David Lyons of "ER" fame), an honest cop on the corrupt Palm City police force who appears to die in an explosion, he is rescued by Max Milani (Keith David), the ringleader of a group of circus folk who also rob banks. Forced to abandon his wife and son, rather than endanger them with his return to their lives, Faraday becomes "The Cape," his son's favorite comic book character, and it Milani and his circus folk who train him, arm him and help him in his quest to take back his life.

The villain of the piece is billionaire Peter Flemming (The Tudor's James Frain), who's literally bought the police force and privatized it as a division of his company. But Flemming has an even darker side: he moonlights as Chess, a twisted killer.

And then there's Orwell (Summer Glau), an investigative blogger intent to fight corruption in Palm City who serves an an on-again, off-again ally to the cape.



So, what's the fan reaction to this all new comic book superhero writ large?

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:26 am

Well Elliott and I actually enjoyed it. Yes, there are some plot holes big enough to drive a train through. Yes, there's a certain inconsistency of tone - but that will probably settle down as ther series progresses. But on the whole there's much more to enjoy than dislike as far as we were concerned.

Summer Glau looking stunning.
More than acceptable effects
An overall nicely judged genuinely comic-book tone
Yet another Australian actor in a US lead role. (Yay! For a refugee from "Sea Patrol")
James Frain as excellent as always as the central villain
A Midget strong man who duffs up Vinnie Jones
And the usual expected more than enjoyable performace from Keith David.

So yes, consider me aboard for the long haul.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Zoltar on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:28 am

Despite my general interest in superhero stuff, and Summer Glau as well for that matter... Very Happy I gave the show a pass. Nothing against it, it looks like it has a great cast. I'll keep my eye on this thread and see if it's something I might revisit later. Right now, I don't have time for another show.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:31 am

That's more than fair enough, Zoltar. I must admit, I only have time for it myself because I'm a sad recluse with zero social life. Very Happy
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:36 am

I spotted some of those plot holes, too, but as this was only the Pilot episode and Episode 2 ("Tarot"), I'm willing to cut them a bit of slack to see how they weave the overall story arc. Stylistically, it's very well crafted, with a clear line of distinction between the bright real world of Palm City and the (if you'll pardon the phrase) dark-n-gritty underworld of crime-fighting.

New episode tonight ("Kosmo") that from the description looks pretty good. Monday nights are about to become must see television with The Cape on NBC, Hawaii Five-Oh on CBS, and in a few weeks, a new series of Top Gear on BBC-America.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:43 am

Yep, agreed about the clear delineation of between the "daylight" city and its nighttime "underbelly". Oh, one other thing I failed to mention in the minus camp was the lead character's son. Both "E" and I thought that there was just sometime off in the performance. So much so in fact that for us the character veered dangerously close to creepy. So that's probably a purely subjective thing.

Abd yes, what with Five-0 and now The Cape, Monday is growing rather enjoyable.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:44 pm

HA! I have just...er...acquired the latest episode. I shall report my findings on the morrow.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:24 pm

I shall acquire it upon broadcast- in about three hours time.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:26 pm

Goody! We can compare notes. Smile
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:28 pm

Notes it is, then, in the morrow.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:30 pm

Indeed. Crossing fingers it's good.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:01 am

Well, episode three worked for me. Some nice development of the overall story arc. The introduction of what must surely be seen as The Cape's version of The Joker, conformation of the cape's mystical properties and a revelation about "Orwell" that surely came as a surprise to nobody.

So, all in all I'm more than satisfied with what we got. This show has passed my "three episode rule" and is hereby added to my weekly watch list.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:25 am

I rather liked episode 3, as well. We weren't treated to a lot of Chess/Cape fight scenes, as our bad guy Flemming seemed pre-occupied by a music box with a dancing ballerina inside. But we did get some nice back-story on the history of the Cape, and the fact that it's powers can be equally used for good or evil.

I especially liked Max's line "either you wear the Cape, or the Cape wears you."

Now, regarding Orwell, as a character (certainly not Summer Glau as an actress.) I'm finding myself thinking of her more and more often as Lois Lane, and that's got to be the wrong context, because Faraday already has a wife and child. Even paid a visit to both of them last night. I can't see Faraday dropping the wife and child and getting romantic with Orwell, so I'm not sure where that relationship will go.

However, I agree on the 3 episode rule, and it looks like episode 4 will feature a lot more Cape vs. Flemming enmity.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:34 am

I think it's best to think of Orwell as Oracle to the Cape's Batman. In which case it will eventually grown into more of a big brother/younger sister relationship.

I love the shows pulp/silver age comic book feel. It really works very nicely indeed.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:37 am

Well I must say this show is improving and growing more enjoyable by the week. Highlights for me included: The Cape finding out he has a fan - and his reaction to it. The outing of master villain Chess' secret identity - and the fact that nobody believes the revelation for a moment. The Cape and Chess having to work together for their mutual survival. And the fight with Vinnie Jones atop a speeding train.

Yep, you just have to admire a show that makes Vinnie Jone's "acting" skills actually work in its favour.

The kid's still creepy though. But the fact that our thought dead hero's wife's potential new love interest is the spitting image of Clark Kent is a subtly and wonderfully well-judged visual in-joke.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:22 am

I have to admit I wondered if Faraday giving his son, for his 10th birthday, a compass was too obvious a giveaway of the Cape's identity, given that flashback scene of the camping trip.

But Sid is right- you can get a palpable sense that the various elements are all in play and building to something big. The first murmurings of the fact Chess is actually Flemming have been introduced, and by Scales (an apparent associate of Flemming, who's supposedly been making payments to both Chess and Flemming.) The Carnival of Crime has no problem showing they are, in fact, criminals, and perfectly willing to cross The Cape if his aims and theirs are at cross-purposes, and given the array of villains about to be caught in the upcoming battles between The Cape and Flemming, you just know the Public Defender's office is about to come under a big criminal microscrope.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:51 am

Great stuff indeed. I wasn't overly worried about the compass being a giveaway. That kid is just too er...zombie-like to catch on. In fact the kid is still my biggest problem: he comes across as much younger than the character's supoposed age.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:52 am

I've just read the preview for tonight's episode of The Cape, and it seems interesting: our hero, Vince/The Cape, is put in the position of defending Flemming/Chess from a vengeful victim's daughter, because he realizes he needs Chess alive in order to destroy him utterly. I'm quite looking forward to it!

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:56 am

Sounds like an interesting plot. I'm really warming to this show in a big way. Interestingly, for Elliott it's become "must see" TV. Obviously there's room for a non too grim and gritty superhero show out there.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:58 am

I'm warming to it, too. Like you, all those details like the Clark Kent homage in the last episode are really clever touches that I quite enjoy.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:05 pm

Yep. The very fact that the production team are very unselfconscious and playfully knowing in their comic book homages is one of the shows very real strengths.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:34 am

And this show just continues quietly getting better by the week. Highlights this week included: the mystical overtones of Vince being predestined to take up the mantle of the Cape becoming reinforced. Vince realising that his detective skills are a powerful weapon in his arsenal. Great interaction between the Cape and Peter Fleming, and Fleming and American Beauty's Mena Suvari, as "Dice", a savant assassin with the power to see the future.

And most tantalising of all, a cameo appearance by Elliott Gould, which along with scene at the episode's end pretty much confirms that Fleming and "Chess" are two separate and distinct personalities sharing the same body.

The performances from the regulars are as strong as ever, particularly James Fraine who's obviously having the time of his life as the villainous, yet still strangely likeable Peter Fleming. A special nod to guest star Mena Suvari, who not only looked beautiful, but also turned in an excellently understated, subtle performance. I really hope the character of Dice makes a return to the series at some point.

So, all in all, I'm a more than satisfied customer. Roll on next week's episode.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Patrick on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:45 am

Not only is Dice able to see the future, she's apparently able to manipulate cause & effect: choose an outcome she prefers and set in motion all the variables, large and small, which lead to the inevitablity of that outcome. She'd make a powerful ally for The Cape, actually, and she's obviously well motifvated to take out Chess.

Sid, your point about the inevitibility of Faraday becoming The Cape is an interesting point: in a story which dealt heavily with themes of chance, probability and fate, the fact that The Cape was a variable Dice wasn't able to see around was quite telling.

I, too, am gaining in appreciation for the ways this very young show is stretching itself and building it's own internal world.

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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:21 am

Good call on Dice's use of her abilities, Patrick. It was interesting how similar her powers and their visual representation were to those of the boy in "No Ordinary Family", yet employed to much better effect here.

There's definitely strong hints that there are greater forces at work in the background of the Cape's world than suspected from the initial episodes.
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Re: The Official "The Cape" Thread

Post by Sid Seadevil on Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:19 am

Well this is far from welcome news...

"LOS ANGELES - NBC has cut the order for "The Cape" from 13 episodes to 10 after the struggling midseason drama's latest outing drew just 5.3 million viewers.

Starring David Lyons as caped crusader Vince Faraday, the series launched modestly in January with fewer than 9 million viewers tuning in for its two-hour Sunday premiere."


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