Spoiler Level: High
More of a straight forward story than Part 1, Part 2 follows The Cape in his attempts to rescue Orwell from The Lich and stop The Lich's nefarious plan of gassing the Founder's Day Parade.
Voyt is moved into the background this time, so there's no deeper insights into his motivations here, although we do see him behaving like a good cop for the first time. When The Cape needs help to get in to jail to see the Linch's captured henchman, going to Voyt again doesn't even occur to Faraday this time; he feels the only person who can accomplish that is his wife. So at last, they get to see each other again, and I get to see the family reunited. Kind of.
I suppose I should just accept the conceit that since Vince Faraday is wearing a cape and a mask, no one is going to recognize his voice either. It's a bit old fashioned, but it's definitely the approach this show is taking. Now I suppose if I had seen my spouse blown up on TV and I heard a masked vigilante with her voice later, I might just chalk it up to wishful thinking on my part.
And the scenes with the two of them are great, especially their final shot together when The Cape puts his hand on the one-way mirror and it matches up with her hand perfectly. Dana and Vince both seem to have hope again. The romantic in me is pleased.
Orwell is a major focus of the episode, even though she spends most of it drugged out of her mind. Her dream sequences are of course revealing; an attraction to Vince, yet knowing it's wrong by its nature and can never be; her father being Peter Fleming; and learning that her real name is Jamie. It's also great to see her become more deeply acquainted with Max and Rollo. My only dislike of how she's handled is this episode is the scene where she turns the needle back on Lich's "handmaiden" Netta; wasn't Netta just drugged by the Lich as well? The drug was said to have a 70% fatality rate; now since she was one of the Lich's zombies, it stands to reason she was one of the surviving 30%, but does that mean she's guaranteed to survive a second dose? And in Orwell's defense, she was probably drugged up when the Lich mentioned the survival rate and probably didn't hear it.
Rollo's great in this episode, as always. He gets to kick some serious butt.
And then there's that final scene, where Orwell sees the "escape door" in the Carnival of Crime. This can mean many things...
(1) She's still drugged, or has suffered brain damage, and everything we've seen / will see from this episode on is a delusion;
(2) She's still recovering from the drug, and is just hallucinating;
(3) It's symbolic, implying to her that she needs to leave the Orwell persona and/or The Cape and/or the Carnival of Crime behind her;
(4) Max just likes to keep extra doors lying around;
(5) It's a message from the network, warning the cast to prepare their resumes;
(6) The writers just wanted to be mysterious.
And on a completely different note, this episode was directed by Roxann Dawson, who is known to the fandom community as B'Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager!
Okay, one last nitpick... there's absolutely no mention that the parade is now going to be safe. It is mentioned that The Lich has been captured and locked up, so presumably they were able to prevent his trucks from getting into the parade. Still, after all the build-up, a resolution line would have been nice.
Overall, I think the different approaches to parts 1 & 2 make the combined story stronger as a whole. Even though I wasn't totally keen on last week's episode, I think it compliments this episode well. The Cape continues to entertain, and I'll be sorry to see it go.
This episode will be available to watch for free with limited commercials at NBC's website at http://www.nbc.com/the-cape/video/ until April 2, 2011. It's also available to purchase from Amazon.