This review may contain spoilers.
With one more episode to go, the only real question on our minds is this: how low can The Cape actually sink? It’s only been two months of increasingly tedious stories and characters, with an almost admirable ability to ignore the obvious, but already, it feels like a lifetime. Even Dollhouse had actually started to improve by this point.
By comparison, The Cape feels like it’s running on fumes. With its 13-episode order cut down to 10, I’m clearly not the only person who noticed that they ran out of all their good ideas about three minutes into the pilot.
This episode starts with a drive-by shooting, which manages, entirely at random,to happen right next to where Vince’s family is going about their business. Luckily, The Cape turns up, following his family like a mental neighbour with a restraining order. Only, he doesn’t do anything about it.
You know, despite having a bullet-proof Cape and a family so dumb they don’t notice who he is when they’re actually talking to him, Faraday instead decides to let them stumble away. As you would, if you were the worst superhero in the world.
As it happens, the shooting is part of a gang war between our old pal Vinnie “Scales” Jones and Arc’s police force. Fleming strikes a deal with him, giving him a section of the city to run, accidentally putting him into conflict with, er, Max.
That’s right, Max. Strangely, after nine episodes, we also find out that, as well as being a bank robber and superhero mentor/sidekick, Max is apparently also a gangland ruler. It’s a good job he works at a circus, because that’s a lot of balls to juggle. Even more, in fact, because later in this episode he becomes The Cape to rescue Faraday.
Perhaps they’ve run out of ideas, but I’m starting to think they’ve actually just run out of budget to hire new actors.
Still, there is one new guy they can afford, this week’s new villain, Razer, a mad bomber whose ‘superpower’ is (apparently) complete ineptitude. Because about five minutes after he appears, the Carnival beat him up so that Faraday can steal his identity to infiltrate Scales’ operation, finally allowing Lyons a chance to use his own accent. Or rather, an hilarious exaggerated version of it (I hope).
And if one turf war wasn’t enough, there’s a second one going on. It seems that Chess, Fleming’s alter-ego, wants a permanent spot in the driving seat. What this actually means is that we get to see Elliot Gould back again, playing a psychiatrist with a mystery backstory that’s doomed never to finish, due to early cancellation. Or maybe they’ll stick it in a comic, if anyone cares. Indeed, maybe we can just make it up in our heads.
My speculation is that he’s an alien. From the future. Come to the past to help Chess rule the world. It fits all the facts! After all, we don’t really have any.
Speaking of characters whose plots are never going to finish, Orwell spends this episode being all morose about her recent experiences. She’s so upset, Faraday notes, that she hasn’t even updated her blog in four days, displaying a complete lack of understanding as to why blogs get updated. Although I will admit, the sight of Orwell playing solitaire in this episode was the high point.
As it happens, Faraday’s too good at pretending to be Razer, because he also copies Razer’s complete ineptitude. Not only does he put the fake scarring on the wrong side of his face, but he also massively fails to convince anyone that he is who he says he is, leading to his near-immediate capture (following a dramatic cake distribution scene where Scales reveals that he knows what’s going on through the medium of an impromptu birthday party).
It’s at this point that Max has to save Vince, using The Cape better than Faraday ever managed.
Between that and the final scene, which shows that Orwell has apparently gone off the deep end, it seems like The Cape’s operation is coming apart at the seams.
With one more episode to go, it remains to be seen whether we’ll get a proper resolution or not. And since the finale has been pulled from the TV schedules and is planned to air only on The Cape‘s website, I’m guessing that a proper resolution is the last thing on everyone’s minds at this point. Oh well.
Read our review of episode 8, The Lich: Part 2, here.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right her