The Writers' Room

The Writers' Room
ReCape: Watching The Cape

Elizabeth Grunewald | 10 Jan 2011 21:00
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THE BIRTH OF A HERO

Vince is bumming around the Carnival's hideout when he finds a cape. He picks it up and is instantly whirling it about himself like some demented Phantom of the Opera, never tangling it around himself or spinning it at a weird angle or hitting himself in the face. He's got a natural gift with capes! Max shows up, and between telling Vince "I've broken 92 bones in pursuit of the perfect illusion" and picking up a wineglass with his scarf, insinuates that the real way to become a superhero is to dramatically give yourself, "body and soul," to thieving carnies. That's what Bruce Wayne did, right?

So the cape is "stronger than Kevlar but thinner than filament," and if you spin, spin, spin, then snap it at something, it will pick up objects in a flurry of bad CGI. Under the tutelage of the Carnival, Vince learns hand-to-hand combat, which he never learned as a cop, hypnotism (which is always played as a gag involving women's underwear, as that is the crux of crimefighting), and how to extinguish candles and throw stage blades with his cape. He's ready.

SCALES

Scales is a villain with a skin condition, very Dick Tracy. It's interesting to note that none of the big-time villains -- not Chess, not Scales, and not the not-yet-introduced Cain -- is from the United States; they all have either British of French accents. So Americans can't be bad guys, but they can totally be heroes? Well, too bad, viewing audience -- David Lyons (Vince Faraday) is Australian. Ha!

Back to boring, scaly Scales. We're by the docks again, moving more L-9, and The Cape picks off Scales' henchmen in a scene directly lifted from Batman Begins. Scales catches our intrepid hero, wraps him in chains, and tosses him underwater. But The Cape was trained by circus folk! As long as his predicaments are perils Harry Houdini would willingly face, he'll escape just fine.

The Cape finally, literally bumps into Orwell, who carries with her flyers advertising her secretive presence. That's right: Orwell is a lady, more specifically, Summer Glau. They drive her kickass Mercedes back to her lair, which has fancy image-projected, screenless touchscreens, but is made a bit less secretive by the fact that she leaves the garage door open during their entire ensuing top-secret conversation. Anyway, they make a pact to take back the city. I'm sure it's intended to be very inspiring, but seriously, shut the damn door.

Oh, and of course, Max has been captured by Scales, who rejects the showman's offer of a sideshow job rather vehemently. It all makes perfect sense. Commercial!

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