I feel like reviewing "The Cape" is an exercise in futility at this point, since NBC has cut the show's order from 13 episodes to 10 and rumors are swirling that they've shut down production. It's unfortunate, because the show has so many things to like about it, but the simple fact is that at the end of the day, it's just not a good show.
Monday's episode, "Dice", featured another villain with special powers who both knew that Peter Fleming -- the show's primary villain -- is Chess, and wanted to take him out. But if that happened, then Fleming couldn't clear Vince's name, which is the main reason Vince became The Cape in the first place. Meanwhile, former cop Vince is still wary about helping out The Carnival of Crime (in this episode, he got them their police records, which they promptly burned), but needs them to help him be The Cape. It's all a convoluted mess, shrouded in a layer of psuedo-camp.
Mena Suvari did a solid enough job as the villain of the week, a savant who called herself Dice because she was able to break down probabilities so well that it bordered on precognition. It's an interesting premise, but one that "Fringe" did worlds better earlier this season. Plus, by tying her past into Fleming's, while also making her brain the template for Fleming's new invention, it added unnecessary layers to the villain's motivations -- a problem of many modern superhero movies too. Then when you consider that on top of that Orwell is Fleming's estranged daughter, it's like there's this whole massive conspiracy affecting the entire world that somehow revolves around five people.
I honestly think at this point that a show about "The Carnival of Crime" screwing up Fleming's master plan on a weekly basis would have been a better show than what "The Cape" really is, in large part because the scenes with Vince's family are among the worst each week. But at this point it's probably too late to change what "The Cape" is, and after a few more episodes, it'll be relegated to the dustbin of TV history.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.