This review may contain spoilers.
And so, we reach the tenth and final episode of The Cape. Will Faraday take down Fleming? Will Orwell reveal her mysterious secrets? Will Vince’s family discover that he’s alive?
The answer is no. No to everything. The Cape ends its run on an almost entirely pedestrian episode, although cancellation did appear to have spurred them into action on at least one front. After all, they remembered to make something actually happen in this one, as Vince’s friend, corrupt Police Chief Marty, takes a bullet for The Cape and dies.
It does beg the question of why, when faced with a gunman, Faraday’s reflexes were so dull that his friend could jump in front of a bullet before Faraday could wrap his bullet-proof cape around them both, particularly given that he performed precisely that feat to save Marty’s life no less than 30 minutes earlier. But to be perfectly honest, there are far more pressing questions to ask about this episode.
The most pressing of which has to be this: just how dumb is Dana Faraday? She spends almost the entire episode standing a foot away from her dead husband, a man whose face is only partially covered and whose voice is completely undisguised, and yet she doesn’t twig even a little who he is. I know Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne have gotten away with worse over the years, but the present-day movies take great lengths to make it look like their disguises seem credible. The Cape doesn’t even try.
Hilariously, the episode even ends with Faraday revealing his identity to Marty by simply taking down his hood. He actually leaves his mask on when he does it, which illustrates just how ineffective it is if you’ve got even half of your neurons firing. We must simply assume that Dana has recently received a double lobotomy.
Speaking of double lobotomies, the same condition appears to have afflicted Vince, who spends most of the episode a foot from the wife who thinks he’s dead, and yet he resists the temptation to reveal his identity to her.
At this point, the rationale for keeping the truth from her, that it would make her a target for Fleming, has been completely dismantled, because she’s already a target for Fleming. And yet, when it looks like he’s about to remove his mask, Max stops him. Why? For some reason. That’s why.
If this were any other program, someone (I don’t care who) would have had the common sense to reach over to The Cape at some point and rip his mask right off. Instead, we get the most tediously drawn out tease in the history of television, and one without any payoff.
The double lobotomy actually appears to be contagious, because it’s also got Summer Glau, who spends most of this episode in an apparent daze (and, for that matter, a terrible, impractical looking minidress, which was, frankly, the most interesting thing about the episode). Given that her weird freak-out last episode was the one intriguing development The Cape ever managed, it’s difficult to describe the depths of my disappointment that this plotline was brushed aside without explanation. Great. Fantastic.
What do we get instead? The comeuppance of Scales! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, presumably. At least, if through some combination of blackmail and satanic ritual, The Cape were to return, Vinnie Jones might actually be written out of it. So, there are some small victories in this episode, after all.
We may never know what happens to The Cape and those surrounding him. We can probably guess, though, because The Cape was never less than the most blandly predictable genre show on TV. I wanted to like it, I really did. I even saw potential in its 40s-inspired pulp approach to superheroics. But it squandered that goodwill by making the entire cast as dumb as a sack of hammers, and the show’s internal logic inexplicable.
Even now, there isn’t time to talk about all the stupid things that happened in this episode. Like the moment where Faraday used his ‘illusionist’ power to teleport four people away from a giant crowd. Or the bit where the Carnival of Crime casually introduced the fact that they own a train, which they can use to help evacuate some of the cast. Or the bit where seconds after Fleming proclaims The Cape an outlaw, a reporter at his press conference asks the question: “Ordinary citizens are coming forward with Cape sightings. Can you explain that?” as if it made sense.
Still, I think by this point, we’ve spent enough time on The Cape. Maybe we’ll find out the answers to the unresolved mysteries, maybe not. Probably not. Somehow, I doubt it’s going to keep me awake at night.
Read our review of episode 9, Razer, here.