Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Cape - "Tarot"

Spoiler Level: High

Not quite as good as the first episode, but still enjoyable.

This episode starts off with Vince Faraday trying to innocently buy some supplies at an Army/Navy store, and then a couple of crooks attempt to rob it.  So Vince takes the opportunity to don his Cape and kick some badguy butt.  Now as a former small business owner, all I could think of was "Yikes!  He threw him into the vending machine!  Replacing that glass is gonna cost the shop owner at least a hundred bucks!  Oh no, not the display case!!  Those things are like five hundred, easy!!  Geez, it would have cost the poor guy less if he'd just handed over the money in the register!!"  But luckily the shop owner doesn't see it that way and is thrilled to have had The Cape catch the bad guys.  Maybe his insurance covers super hero battles.  And seriously, it is a much more enjoyable and heart-warming scene played this way, with him gushing, "You're a real super hero!"

The second episode is also continues The Cape's origin story, as Faraday learns the need for a mask to go along with the cape and sets up a new headquarters.  I hope this doesn't mean we won't be seeing the circus gang anymore, because they're pretty cool.  As far as helpers go, this episode focuses much more on Summer Glau's character than Keith David's.  I guess that's why NBC chose to run both episodes for their premiere; the first episode may have been The Cape's origin story, but this episode fine-tunes it.  Hopefully Orwell will open up to Max soon, and we'll have more of a team.

As the title suggests, this episode also sets up Tarot, a league of assassins.  It's a good step; while Chess is a good villain, by necessity of the set-up he needs to be playing it low key so everyone still thinks Faraday was Chess.  So this way Chess can be pulling the strings as he sends in his minions.  Or I guess a more accurate metaphor would be sending in his pawns.

The only real complaint I have with the episode (my earlier bit about the damages to shop owner doesn't count; that's a nitpick based on my previous career.  It would be like an airplane pilot going "But that's not how you actually land a plane!!" when he sees it happen on TV.  For the average viewer it's just meant to be drama, so I realize that's just me being picky.  But as I was saying, the only real complaint I have with the episode) is that I don't like how The Cape burned Cain's face against the grill.  Just a few seconds earlier we're shown Cain pushing The Cape's face towards the grill, heat waves rising up off of it, which lead me to think "Wow, what an evil, evil man!  How horrible!"  Then The Cape gets the upper hand and does the exact same thing.  I've said before how I like my heroes to be heroic, and acting the same as the villain doesn't do it.  Now of course we get to see Cain tied up after wards and we see the burns on his face are light, so that's somewhat redeeming; I'm sure Cain would not have been as merciful when the situation had been reversed.  But the entire scene just makes The Cape come across as very unheroic.

And lastly, I have to comment on the commercials that NBC streamed during the episode.  Partially because they don't have very many and I was watching the same commercials over and over during each commercial break.  First off, I'm not a dog person, and it may just be because I had to watch him six times, but the puppy in the Beneful dog food commercial may be the cutest puppy in the world.

And secondly, after seeing the Nicorette commercial about six times, I began to wonder if this is what fanboys use to rate stuff:
(You see that, Warner Brothers and ABC?  Not only am I sitting through the commercials, they made such an impression that I felt I had to mention them.  Those could have been your commercials.  Just pointing it out.)

If you'd like to see these commercials-- oh yeah, and The Cape too-- this episode was still available as of this writing at

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