'The Cape,' week two: 'You either wear the cape, or the cape wears you.' Riiiight...
The Cape continued to exert its super-heroic charm in its second week, as our hero faced a new villain: A wily escape artist who used to wield the mighty cape himself. “I’m here for the cape,” snarled Gregor the Great. But instead he got The Cape — Vince Faraday, that is, ready to snap his magical cloak to fight bad guys.
The episode, titled “Kozmo,” established the idea that generations of the possessors of the super-powered cape have been named… Kozmo. The most recent was Keith David’s Max, so naturally Vince (David Lyons) asked a tad nervously, “Am I the new Kozmo?” You could understand his trepidation: Last week, he left his family to assume a new identity, and he’s getting used to hanging around a seedy circus, a pushy dwarf, and a slinky techno-spy; now he’s got to share a name that raises the specter of Cosmo Kramer?
Fortunately, Max told Vince that he, Max, would be the last of the Kozmos. Also, Gregor the Great, a psycho-killer with a thick Eastern European accent (he orders his hot dogs “mit’ extra ‘kraut”), proved to be a nicely distracting bad guy. He killed a bunch of guys at a poker game by throwing playing cards into their throats. (I’ve seen Ricky Jay do the same thing, except with a watermelon as his target.) He brought the episode to a climax with what he called “Gregor the Great’s Carnival of Fear.” I loved this guy — whatta show-off.
I also enjoyed David Lyons’ performance as Vince/The Cape; the actor is succeeding in making this hero super while walking the fine line between entertainment and camp. The show maintained the presence of James Frain’s Peter Fleming/Chess character, as he ordered the death of Summer Glau’s Orwell. And Orwell turned into an intriguing character herself. Last week, I was afraid she was going to be just some cross between Smallville‘s Chloe and the comic-books’ Barbara Gordon (both overseeing high-tech command centers). Instead, this week she showed some distinctive personality, accepting a ride from small-person Rollo (Martin Klebba) to visit Max’s circus to find out more about Vince’s base of cape-operations. She also proved to be connected to Peter Fleming in a way I won’t spoil.
Sure, there was a lot of florid dialogue along the lines of, “You don’t deserve the cape!” and, “His weapon of choice? The cape!” But the show is pulling off its swirly-snarly cape action scenes, and takes unexpected plot turns with occasionally clever dialogue and line-readings by the clearly first-rate cast.
I’m still all in for The Cape. Are you?