“Watch the special unaired episode, coming soon to NBC.com”said the pop-up ad at the bottom of the screen toward the end of tonight's The Cape. They make it sound like it's something awesome and special, when in reality, it's the second part of tonight's two-parter, which NBC deigned not to air next week. That's right, they're making it looking like a good and exciting thing that they've all but canceled the show. Yay, NBC?
It's actually a bit of a pity, because tonight's episode was, dare I say it, vintage The Cape, with the proper level of crazy and, happily, no annoying flashbacks and virtually none of the family that's been such a drag.I was somewhat saddened by The Cape's cancellation a few weeks ago, as I was reasonably certain that they'd pull out some entertainingly insane shit for the finale. Apparently, I was mostly right.
The COLD OPEN: My antenna was on the fritz briefly, so I turned it on just in time to see a bunch of goons shooting guns at The Cape's family. My only real thought was that yeah, they've seen the rest of the show, too. Unfortunately, they've got the Palm City version of stormtrooper rifles and can't hit much of anything.
ORWELL is NOT WATCHING: Dana's unhappy with the cops and calls the detective who pretends to care about the gang warfare above her head. “You people are corrupt and incompetent!” This doesn't seem to encourage him to help her out. Vince is watching and decides to pick up a backpack at the scene of the crime. Is it his son's, or relevant in any way? I didn't see it for the rest of the episode. Tolstoy would be pissed off at you, The Cape.
Scales and Fleming are having a deliciously nasty meeting, where Scales tells Fleming “Your taste for blood is your one redeeming feature.” After various threats, Fleming makes Scales an offer: “Let's be enemies but on terms that help us both.” Scales doesn't like this, but Chess starts getting into Fleming's mind, telling him to let Chess take over. As soon as Fleming agrees, Scales agrees with the plan. Is Chess a telepath or something? It makes no sense, but you know, The Cape.
Orwell and Vince are having one of their little meetings, but Orwell isn't very helpful, preferring to play solitaire on her computer. I found it pretty funny and actually kind of a good character moment that Orwell, with all her computer expertise and high-tech equipment, plays solitaire to get away. I'd have pegged her for a Dragon Age: Origins girl, myself. Maybe Left 4 Dead 2.
She leaves, muttering about having married a corpse so she wants her honeymoon, when Raia bursts in, telling Vince that Rollo got beat up. There's a lot of tension in the Carnival of Crime, as apparently, Scales is trying to push them out by bringing some jerk named Razer in. “Makes bombs. A real artist” declares Raia sarcastically, although the sarcasm seems out of place. Some circus folk want to make a run for it: “We live in a tent for a reason!” Max isn't ready yet. Raia asks, “Are we pulling up stakes?” “Not yet, but we're not going off half-cocked,” which Keith David savors and lets roll from his mouth. It can't be that often that you get to say that line on network TV, after all.
Dr. Elliot Gould is still working with Fleming, who's whining about Chess getting in his head. So Gould wants to talk to Chess directly, which Fleming seems to think is a bad idea. Meanwhile, Rollo is feeling good enough to walk and go to war over turf, or whatever, and wants The Cape to join in, on the grounds that the “real” Cape would get involved, because he's read the comics. It's either deliriously stupid or delightfully meta. I'm going to go with “stupid” because when Raia asks why Rollo is up and about, Vince responds “He was... walking...”
The main reason tonight's episode was better than normal, other than the lack of Trip, was its focus on the villains. Scales and Max have a sit-down, and it's much more fun than normal Capey nonsense, especially when Scales brings in another villain named P-p-p-p-p-pokerface. Yes, really. On the bright side, Max has a fucking awesome hat and says “Don't screw with a magician. It's not a fair fight” before disappearing in a puff of smoke, as Scales says, “I love it when he does that.”
Rumi starts arguing with Max about Max wanting to stick around and help Vince pretend to be this new Razer villain, because that's not what they do, man. They're criminals. Max convinces him that he's not doing it to be good but instead, because of “Devereaux.” It's good enough for Rumi, I guess. So, he helps the Carnival and Vince find Razer being driven to Scales, and... how the fuck did they know which car was which? The whole point was that this guy was unknowable? And suddenly, they're there, kidnapping Razer and replacing him with an industrial/gothed up Vince.
RAZER: Scales is pissy at Vince-as-Razer, giving him a big long thing about how his sister's dead and it's probably Razer's fault. Vince calls his bluff nicely, to which Vinny Jones says, grinning at his crew, “And I gave him my best Raoul snakeface!” Jones is having fun in this episode, which is good, because he has to carry it. David Lyons is doing an aggressively over-the-top Aussie accent for this whole thing, which is kind of funny, because he's actually Australian. I can see a director yelling at him “No, that's not right! Make it more Australian!”
Meanwhile, the real Razer is aggressively creepy at Raia, eventually convincing her to give him some gum. Yeah, that's not gonna cause any problems. Especially not since he's a bomb-making genius, and the camera focuses on him being ominously happy about the gum. Back in the C- or D-plot, Fleming has agreed to let Chess take over if Dr. Gould leaves the room. He then takes out some giant contact lenses.
The CAPE STRIKE: The Joker's thugs are in a warehouse, stealing a batch of cars, as Batman grabs them one-by-one, knocking them out and disarming them, until he gets to their leader, to give him a message to take back to his boss. Wait... this isn't the non-union Mexican equivalent of The Dark Knight? Are you sure? Because this was the exact same scene... bah.
The black leather Vince, trying to spy on Scales, gets a rock remix of The Cape theme. It's actually kind of cool. He's seeing and recording the ARK flunky talk to Scales about their alliance. Scales is getting pissy, and the flunky asks “Are you sheddin' skin or something? Is it that time of year?” Cute.
In the other villainy side plot, Dr. Gould is trying to make a deal with Chess against Fleming, not realizing that Fleming is just wearing Chess eyes. This is actually kind of interesting, and, dare I say it, classical. In The Iliad, Homer described the various Greek and Trojan heroes as being possessed by deities when they were especially wise, or violent, or charming. The feeling I'm getting here is that Chess is somewhere between a second personality and just a difficult-to-control aspect of Fleming himself. And that's a lot more fun than simply a second personality. Oh yeah, pity it's the end of the show, huh?
There's a meet-up between Scales and P-p-p-p-p-pokerface and various other gangsters, including a generic black gangsta who screams “Snitch! Bitch!” at Scales which is always fun. Vince puts turpentine in Pokerface's eyedrops, causing him to scream in pain, and it's actually possibly the coolest thing he's ever done.
SCALES SMELLS a RAT: The real Razer uses the gum to bust out of his cage, unsurprisingly. Rumi's the first one there, and he says “Oh, Vince.” Not “HOLY SHIT THE INSANE SUPERVILLAIN WE KIDNAPPED IS FREE AND PROBABLY WANTS REVENGE AGAINST US WHO ARE ALL RIGHT HERE!” Just “Oh, Vince.”
He shouldn't worry about Vince, because Vince-as-Razer is in the best scene of the series. Scales pulls together his crew, having, as the chapter heading states, “smelled a rat.” He decided that he's going to figure out who it is, by putting a cardboard box on a table of villains in funny hats and making them guess what it is. It's a fairly tense scene, as Vinnie Jones successfully chews the scenery, and then he pulls the box away, shouting...
“Then allow me to present to you... a cake!”
And it's a cake. Which is not a lie. It's a real cake. He passes out the slices to his crew as a reward for being a crew, with Vince-as-Razer and “Noodle” as the last two remaining. Then the real Razer shows up, Vince gets dragged away, and Scales yells “NO CAKE FOR YOU!” But Noodle gets some! Hooray Noodle!
The WHITE ROOM: I have to say, I'm unhappy with the title of this chapter, since the little girl from the White Room in Angel is starring on that other superhero show, along with Darla and, occasionally, Fred. The Cape only has the one-episode guest star of Summer Glau.
At any rate, Scales is TV-torturing Vince, with drowning, plastic bags, punching, and being generally jerky. He decides to call him “black bird” and yells “I'm gonna pluck your feathers! Black bird!” Then Max shows up with the cape and kicks all their asses, saving Vince, who talks shop with him afterwards. “How did you do a double wrap with the lights out?” “You can't teach style.” No, The Cape, you can't teach style.
The series apparently ends with Orwell being insane in her house, having painted everything white, thus giving the chapter its name.
- What are The Cape fans going to mail to NBC? I hope they mail capes. That would be awesome.
- This isn't the end of our The Cape coverage. At the very least, I'll be posting something soon comparing it No Ordinary Family.
- Also, if the final episode does come to NBC.com, I'll try to review/recap it.