I knew this was going to happen. The one show I was SO excited for hasn’t lived up to expectations and the viewers are dropping faster than Charlie Sheen’s pants in a whorehouse. Courtesy of Deadline.com, NBC has reduced The Cape from its original 13 episode order to just 10. That’s never good news for a show. Production is currently wrapping up the 10th episode, so after they finish shooting, production will be shut down. I guess there won’t be any chance to wrap up the story (if anyone even cares.) Looks like the last episode of The Cape will air Feb 28th with The Event scheduled to return March 7th in the 9pm time slot.
This doesn’t surprise me considering the ratings have been horrible. What’s disappointing was that I had such high hopes for this show and even though the pilot was great, the subsequent episodes have really fallen flat. I thought this was going to be a really cool, different spin on a cop wrongfully accused of a crime and using this comic book character as an undercover way to clear his name yet still able to stay somewhat in touch with his family. It’s a great concept! But it wasn’t executed very well. The only thing really working for this show, is that we clearly know what Vince’s/The Cape’s end game is..clear his name, take down ARK/Chess/Peter Fleming, and get back to his family. As for everyone else, I have no idea. For example:
- Chess/Peter Fleming: we know he wants power and money, but really power. But why? What drove him to that? What made him the madman that he has become? And how is he so successful and rich and able to pull off a privatized police department? I know you don’t want to answer all these questions in 5 episodes, but SOME insight into Chess and his motives would be nice.
- Orwell: other than sort of, kind of figuring out that she’s Peter Fleming’s daughter, we have learned nothing about her. What are her motives and end game? How does she have all this money? What’s her real name? Why is she so interested in helping Vince? How did she get all this equipment to be able to spy on the police dept and ARK? We haven’t been clued into anything about her. I would rather have found out more about her motives now and her connection to Peter later.
- Max and His Crew: other than teaching Vince to be The Cape and all the tricks of the trade, why are they helping him? In the pilot, it was because Vince could get them easier access to robbing banks but that seems to be over with now. So why are they still around?
- Marty: jerk. But why did he set up Vince? Is it just because he feared for his family’s safety or is there something more? How did he get hooked up with Peter in the first place? Why would he betray his best friend and his family? Was his friendship with Vince even real from the start or was it all just a set up?
Like I said, not all of these questions need to be answered in 5 episodes but I think part of why people are tuning out is that there is too much going on with no clear direction. Not to mention, you have a new villain being introduced every week to make things even more confusing. Instead of bringing in these random people to give us more characters and connections to have to follow, I would rather The Cape have started out much simpler. Make this about Vince vs. Peter/Chess. Little by little, let us get to know each player and why we should be interested in their story. Then slowly build to adding more pieces once we have gotten our feet wet. But they introduced Cain, Scales, Dice, the Tarot people…it was too much. You start to wonder, which ones I have to pay attention to and which ones I don’t. Meanwhile, I still don’t know who the hell Orwell is and why I should care about her. Plus there was so much Farraday family filler. Vince, Dana, and Trip ( I should say the actors who played them) had great chemistry as a family. I believed right away that they all loved and cared about each other very much and that Vince was the great husband and father and his son idolized him and his wife adored him. But I didn’t need to see him reading the comic to his son or going on a date with Dana. I already know he is pinning for them and they are missing him. I get it. I don’t need that back story right now because I already get it. That was time you could have been explaining more of Fleming’s back story. And that is where these writers really missed the boat.
I’m sad for the cast and crew. I do think it’s a great concept and had it been executed more effectively, it may have been successful.