Review of THE CAPE – Kozmo (2011)

Not every battle is about money and power, sometimes it is just about a cape

In a funny twist of fate, this episode focused not on Vince Faraday’s (David Lyons) vendetta against Peter Fleming, a.k.a. Chess (James Frain), but rather in a tug-of-war for the cape itself. Apparently, Faraday is not the only one who sees the full value of such a unique device, and Gregor the Great (Thomas Kretschmann) broke out of a Russian prison just so that he could make claim to the cape. It was as if the cape has taken on a life of its own with its seemingly supernatural abilities. For in this battle it was not just a tool and a disguise, it was the prize.

So, as Gregor made his intentions known, Max (Keith David), Faraday and Orwell (Summer Glau) watched warily and waited for his next move in the deadly game. Fortunately, Gregor was intent on only one goal: to find the cape and make it his again. It was a bit simplistic, but it taught Faraday a valuable lesson: the cape will corrupt your soul, if you let it. Absolute power corrupts – and the cape seems to have the ability to see into your soul. Or, perhaps, it is like any other lethal weapon, having such extraordinary power at one’s finger tips gives one the illusion of invincibility — and a license to wreak as much havoc as necessary to attain one’s heart desire. In the wrong hands, it leads to death and destruction; but, in the right hands, it is an extraordinary tool for good. Thus, the heart of the one who wields it determines the fate of the cape.

While Faraday and Gregor danced around each other, Orwell made overtures of forsaking her loner ways and tried to assimilate into Max’s circus troop. Along a similar path, other discoveries came to light as Fleming revealed his stealthy pursuit of his missing daughter, and Dana Faraday (Jennifer Ferrin) found a witness claiming that her husband was set-up.

This episode was a detour in Faraday’s quest to clear his name and reunite with his family, but he needed to learn that he cannot fool-heartedly pursue Fleming without a better game plan.  After all, Fleming is a master at chess (hence his apt criminal alter-ego name, Chess) and he is better prepared to deal with a self-appointed superhero seeking to pierce his impenetrable grip on Palm City. Faraday needs to not only be physically prepared, he needs a master game-plan of his own — and to align his allies in order to strike a killing blow against Fleming’s empire.

Points of Interest

1.            It is incredible watching how many tricks the cape seems to have up its sleeve, so to speak. It does seem a bit impenetrable as it does not rip or fatigue, which was aptly demonstrated when it was used to topple Max in a full tank of water.

2.            How beautiful was it watching Orwell as she began to learn to dance in the ropes? And where in the world did a self-proclaimed expert in computer hacking learn to move like that?!

3.            Then, as horrifying as it was, it was still kind of fascinating how easily Gregor killed each of the card players with one flick of his hand.
What Worked

Oddly enough, Gregor made for a more intriguing villain than anything Chess has demonstrated to date. In fact, he was rather appealing, even in his unhinged state; and he made a formidable foe for Max and Faraday. For one, he had already figured out who his enemy was and where to find them. He had breached their cloak of invisibility simply because of his prior association with Max. Thus, it seemed rather rash for Faraday to make his presence known and to challenge an enemy whose strengths he had not yet assessed. Even a bottle of vodka did not seem to slow Gregor down and only enhanced his finely-tuned perception.

There was also an uneasy way that Gregor evaluated each person he came into contact with. It would have been fun to see him disappear only to come back when Faraday least expects it.

Max also rose to the occasion and always seemed on guard around Gregor. He knew that there was a vicious viper in their midst and never seemed to take Gregor for granted. If the Gregor storyline had played out longer over several episodes, it may have been interesting to see what other tricks Max had up his sleeve – particularly as he was the one responsible for having Gregor locked up 20 years ago.

Orwell was in fine mysterious form as well. There was simply no reason for her to make her presence known to Max and his troop, but she willingly chose to meet them and become a part of their world. What motivated that change of heart is curious.

Finally, Faraday began to show the strain of his chosen path. It feels more real that he is already struggling to be a superhero. For it is not easy to set aside one’s anger, fear and frustration when someone has taken your life away from you. To err is human and it is good that Faraday is learning that, even with the cape, he is just a man. He will have to learn to resist temptation to abuse the power the cape provides him and the anonyminity of being The Cape.

What Didn’t Work

It is about time for Dana Faraday to stop trusting Marty Voyt (Dorian Missick). With her instincts and her heart telling her that her husband was innocent, she should be more distrustful of those around her. Plus, it is hard to watch her naivite when she should be portrayed as a more intelligent and insightful woman.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Kozmo” was written by Craig Titley, and directed by David Jackson. “The Cape” stars David Lyons, Summer Glau, Keith David, James Frain, Dorian Missick, Vinnie Jones, Martin Klebba, Jennifer Ferrin and Ryan Wynott. “The Cape” airs Mondays at 9:00 pm on NBC.

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