Review of the Cape (with SPOILERS)

Last night I watched The Cape, the pilot and first episode, Tarot.

Summer Glau has really matured as an actress, and in The Cape ably pulls off a new character (for her). It’s been a pleasure watching her mature as an actress, and slowly expand her range.  I’m also thinking through the years she’s had some very good voice coaching, as there has been a big improvement from her appearance years ago in The Unit (her voice back then did fit the character of River).

As for The Cape, I really want to like this series. The concept is OK, but everything else so far is underwhelming. The best thing I can say is that beside Glau (Orwell) I like the midget. Sorry . . . little person.

The lead actor’s performance was mediocre at best, and even that only in comparison to the bad guy’s portrayal by an actor whose name I cannot be bothered to look up, but that I have not seen in anything I liked.  However I can’t fault either of them much, as I am sure they are not responsible for either the writing or direction.

Said bad guy (Chess !?!) suffered from the writer’s clumsy attempts to build him as some sort of super villain. The efforts fell well short.

And so did efforts to build up The Cape as the hero. Seemingly nearly anyone could get the better of him, and did for 99% of the time. I guess he’s meant to grow into the hero part.

The editing was also annoying, especially with respect to the plot’s timeline. In the second hour of the two hour pilot (or pilot, and first episode) they spoke of a 2 or 3 days timeline before someone was going to get killed.

During that time span, The Cape got poisoned, is saved, is nurtured back to health, breaks up with his mentor, goes out on his own, finds himself an abandoned space, gathers electrical equipment, computers, tools, and build himself a lair.  He then proceeds to do poison research and testing, presumably to give himself immunity from future poisonings (no indication he had a chemical or immunology degree – he just reads a book; apparently it was the right one), then interrogates bad guys as to Cain’s whereabouts, then meets with them, etc. etc. and then goes on to save the intended victim from being poisoned.

I presume he did not sleep much, nor did he do to the restroom, eat, or visited his Facebook page.  Oh, yeah . . . he also bought a comic.

And as upset as he is with the bad guy (Chess !?!), he totally ignores the friend that set him up to begin with (a plot for a future episode, no doubt).

Glau’s car was nice, although when she says she cannot afford to be discovered, I wanted to suggest a less conspicuous ride.

Ostensibly the star of the show, The Cape underwhelms as well. Note to the writers: there is no way a cape, even one made of spider silk (stronger than Kevlar !!!) is going to slow down a man falling from a tall building. The poor bastard is going to hit hard, and a car’s steel roof is not going to “cushion” the impact.  Watch Kick-Ass for a more accurate representation of such an event, and of the end result.

I’ll keep watching for a while, but things better pick up fast, or at least they will have to give Glau much more screen time. I think she has the making to become one of the classiest actresses out of the current batch of Hollywood offerings, but right now one of her jobs here is to keep the geek crowd entertained with her short skirts until the writers get it together.

One final thing (SPOILER) . . .

. . . The Cape spends the second hour of the pilot chasing Cain, and at the end leaves him tied up for the other bad guy he’s been trying to find (Chess !?!).

Chess (!?!) happens to control the private police in charge of the town.  So, there is Chess (!?!), a tied up Cain, and The Cape  . . . all alone in the kitchen of a restaurant.

The Cape then smiles, and disappears in a puff of smoke leaving both Chess (!?!) and Cain in the kitchen of the restaurant.

WTF?  It seemed to me Chess (!?!) would have just untied Cain, and they would have gone back to kill their intended target while The Cape smugly slinked away back to his lair.  Which, by the way, they could have easily shot, blown up, stabbed, shredded, or bored the intended victim to death in the time The Cape was building his lair, all without resorting to the elaborate poisoning plot.  Like, as I said, they can still do after The Cape disappears.

I hope the writers get their act together, and quick.

P.S. To The Cape. If you are concerned for your family, don’t keep their picture on the wall of your lair. Sheesh.