The Cape is Unconcerned with Even Basic Narrative Coherence

Late in the first half of the Cape's 2-hour pilot event the main character, John Cape, discovered Vinnie Jones unloading goods from a tanker. Presuming, correctly, that they're moving something evil, he decides he's going to stop them. John, however, has the attention span of a gnat, and immediately gets distracted by a woman taking his picture:

He believes that this is a problem because he's supposed to be dead, and his family would be at risk if anyone found out he was a superhero. Why would a picture be an issue? It seems that John Cape doesn't bother wearing a mask:

Despite the fact that his entire persona is, confusingly, based on a comic book character that exists within the world of the show. A superhero who does, in fact, wear a mask:

Let's just pause for a second here to consider how bizarre it is that the show wouldn't allow its main character to become an original superhero. I mean, it's not like this is a world without costumed freaks in it - the villain, one James Frain, dresses up in a suit for no reason, since basically no one ever sees him, and all of his subordinates already know he's an evil mastermind.

Hell, he even calls himself 'Chess', despite there being no chess theme to his costume or crimes.

Also, Vinnie Jones is playing a fake Killer Croc, so there's that.

Not to mention how contrived it is that there's already a famous cape-themed comic book character in the world of the show, and then, when John Cape has to go on the run from the law he falls in with a group of people who can teach him how to be a cape-themed superhero. Did no one during the writing process notice how awkward this is? It seems like the only reason they wouldn't have had him create a superhero persona based on his available training (and magic costume) was because they didn't want their main character to be the kind of person who had a creative bone in his body.

My point is that this refusal to embrace the conventions of the genre (having a character actually develop their own superhero persona) suggests a level of embarrassment with the whole idea of being involved with superhero fiction. Not the best foot to be starting off on there, guys.

Although, really, what am I expecting from a show where, at the end of his training montage, the grand triumphal moment is establishing that John Cape is now strong enough to beat up a midget.

Where was I? Oh, right, the boat. So, distracted by the photography, John Cape chases down the photog, who turns out to be popular internet journalist 'Orwell'. Ignoring the whole 'boat full of explosives' situation, he travels with her back to her hideout and strategizes what they should do next.

Meanwhile, James Frain has figured out that The Cape was trained by Keith David, so he sends his henchmen over to Keith's hideout to grab him. This process goes so smoothly and easily that literally two edits later Keith is tied up on the boat of death.

So John runs back to the boat to rescue his mentor, and gets into a fight with Frain, who plans to blow up the city's entire dock district by detonating all the explosives left on the boat at once. How can the Cape stop him? By demanding that 'Orwell' shut down all cellular communications in the dockyards. Let's pause again, to remember that, for all John knows, Orwell is a hacker and internet journalist - he has no reason to believe that she has the ability to simultaneously disrupt all cell signals in the area. Yet she manages to accomplish this, without a fuss, in just moments.

His plan foiled, Frain escapes a beating by jumping from the deck of the boat into the murky water below. Then the show wraps up, acting like the day has been saved.

Except there's still a boat full of explosives on the dock, not to mention a few train cars full, that Frain can plant detonate basically any time he wants, since I'm sure the cell companies are quickly getting their grid back online. Also, Frain knows where the superhero's hideout is, and the superhero is hanging out with known criminals, and he's in charge of the police, so he's free to arrest and/or kill them basically whenever he wants.

The End.


Anonymous said...

Not that I am in any way defending this show but to his credit Chess does have chess themed contact lenses. Don't think that actually counts as a costume, but hey, it's kinda like he's trying.

Vardulon said...

Is that what they were supposed to be? Man, I didn't get that at all! I thought he just wanted to look like a cat/lizard hybrid.