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Headscratchers / The Cape

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  • I know that, as The Cape is in the superhero genre, I shouldn't expect this show to be overly realistic. And, understanding that, I can let a lot of unrealistic things from the first two episodes (aired as a single two-hour block) go, within the conventions of the genre. Except one: towards the end of "Tarot," we have a fight between characters in a restaurant kitchen. Specifically, as was established just a few minutes before, the kitchen of a restaurant that is completely full. Yet the kitchen is empty—there are no cooks of any sort in there, no waiters picking up dishes, in fact no food visible at all: no plates waiting to be picked up, no half-finished dishes, no food in the process of cooking or being prepped. There is a hot grill, but there's no food on it. Maybe I watch too much Food Network, but this was the one thing that broke my suspension of disbelief in the initial two episodes.
    • Ark apparently owns the place. Knowing Cain's modus operandi, they could have given all the other waiters the night off. Less witnesses. That also explains the lack of food; they expect that this is the last meal they'll need to serve.
      • One of the waiters walks up and whispers something to Fleming, instead of yelling "HOLY SHIT THERE'S A DEAD GUY", so it's safe to assume this is the case.
    • Yes, but this just doesn't make sense. One, why would ARK, being Private Military Contractors, own a fancy restaurant? Two, the usher guy told disguised!Orwell when she entered the restaurant that they were fully booked, so presumably there would be a lot of staff there to keep things running. Three, several kitchen staff are clearly seen milling about when Cain takes Orwell into the kitchen, but then they just disappear. And four, it was an ARK policeman who whispered something to Fleming, not a kitchen guy. As for explanations, I'd say that the kitchen staff ran out the back door or something, that ARK doesn't own the restaurant, but perhaps the mob or something, which works with ARK, and that they were able to cover it up somehow. I'd pass it off as ill-conceived or rushed writing.
  • In part 2 of The Lich, one of the clues Orwell gets that she's in a dream is that Vince doesn't know her name...but the real life Vince says he's going to "look for Julia" after he drops the cabinet on the Lich. So does he know her name or doesn't he?
    • If memory serves, she was referred to as "Jamie" in the dreams.
  • The Cape is actually wearing a cloak. Nitpicky, I know, but it bugs the heck out of me.
    • Marvel has its own hero called "Cloak", so maybe it's a copyright thing. Now, why they didn't just think of a different hero in the first place...
    • It's not so much a "cloak" or a "cape" as it is "a long strip of stylish cloth that can be whatever Vince damn well wants it to be."
    • More importantly, "The Cape" isn't named after his costume. He is named "The Cape" because he represents return to the old-school heroes of the Four-Colour Silver-Age comics. He isn't an ambiguous figure, he's a true hero fighting against a murderous super-villain from the position of an underdog. He is named after just that sort of hero that was, in the eighties and nineties, mocked both for being morally simplistic and for wearing things like capes and cloaks. His Cloak essentially has superpowers so that the writers can legitimately have his cape be not just not a problem, but actively a solution to many problems.
  • Fridge Logic: In the pilot, why did Chess try to blow up the boat while he was still on it?
    • The explosive was shown earlier to take a while to actually detonate, so he may have had time to get away. But seeing as they said it would take out half the city, yeah...
      • That was probably just hyperbole. The gas doesn't seem to be that powerful. It would probably be comparable to a MOAB or something similar, not a nuclear weapon. Ark wants to control the city, not necessarily destroy it.
        • Er... as far as most people need be concerned, the different between a MOAB and a nuke is like the difference between getting stabbed 3 inches and getting stabbed 3.4 inches. It's a big enough wound that you're getting toasty unless you've got a really big head start.
    • He had that submarine on stand by, perhaps he thought he would be safe underwater?
    • Since he's apparently the one who invented the explosive, if he thinks its safe underwater, it probably is.
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    • Pure Fan Wankery but in the case with the police chief, it looked like the explosive essentially superheated the air or otherwise caused the pressure to increase. Thus it may only be effective within a certain set of situations with water being something it's ineffective against.
  • Did none of the Innocent Bystanders notice in the first episode as Chess—a serial killer/master criminal with an easily recognized mask—first got into and then stepped out of the car of the police chief? There were tons of reporters there, yet apparently they didn't see him (or even the guy who owns the corporation intent on taking over the entire police force for the city?)
    • They probably did. Chess has enough money to pay off reporters and police. Also, Chess was controlling the Chief's security detail; they could have covered him while he exited the car.
    • I believe it is mentioned that the only local media Flemming doesn't own in Palm City is Orwell.
    • It's also unlikely that he wore the mask in public; he probably only put it on when he was in the car. And as a major company exec, he may have shown up to show his support to the new chief. It wouldn't be out of the question for him and other public figures to be there.
  • Where do I begin? The kid doesn't recognize his dad's voice when he meets "The Cape" outside? He's hiding out from the main baddie to protect his family, but the first time he goes out, the only thing he wears to hide his identity is basically a long jacket with NO mask? They've brought it up a little in the series, but what about that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing?
    • Chess controls everything but the prisons. The police answer more or less directly to him. Also, everyone thinks Vince is dead, so there's some security there. I don't know about the kid not recognizing his voice. Personally, and this is just a single example, this troper cannot tell the difference between a recording of his own voice, his brother's voice, or his father's voice. A good amount of people just can't place sounds that precisely. If the Cape kept to the darkness, and kept his inflection neutral or muffled, he could get by without being recognized.
      • Plus, Trip is a pre-teen who hasn't heard his Dad's voice in months. Remember all that training? Even just the time it would take to learn to use the cloak as well as he did would be a very long time from the point of view of a child.
    • They explain the "innocent until proven guilty" thing: Vince was never tried by law. Yes, Chess set things up so that if the case actually did go to court, Vince would likely get burned, but the point of killing him was so that he wouldn't be able to defend himself and would be convicted in a trial by media.
    • Also, at least when talking to Trip, Vince tries to alter his voice Batman style ie talk low and gruff. As far as recognition, given that most people think he's dead, it's unlikely people would bother trying to remember what he looks like. They might think he looks 'sorta familiar' unless they really take the time to compare. This is the reason police are wary of eyewitness testimony in real life; people's memories and attention aren't as good as they believe it to be and both can/are very easy to mess up even unintentionally.
  • Small JBM by why did Vince expect Scales outing Fleming on the train to actually work? Putting aside that Scales is Scales and Fleming is Fleming, I'd imagine he'd have some sense to think that people wouldn't simply believe someone was a major supervillain just because someone said so out of the blue with no evidence to back it up.
    • A supervillain's Secret Identity is notoriously hard to expose in comic books. Heroes seem to suffer the opposite problem. Any nut-job with no evidence can say, "Vince Faraday is the Cape!" and there will always be significant threat of exposure. Peter Fleming just has to laugh along with the crowd and threat goes away in less than a minute.
  • At the end of "Goggles and Hicks", Hicks asks Vince and Orwell where Goggles is. Orwell tells him that they took him to Owl Island prison. So........they just dropped him off at prison and that was that? Vince used to be a cop and Orwell is pretty damn smart, so I would assume they would both know at least a little bit about due process...
    • To be fair, they also both know that most of the police force is corrupt and the lawyers/judges/etc could be just as bad. Plus, being that this is Tarot (which doesn't legally exist most likely) and it'd be hard to prove any crimes (plus Cape and Orwell being dead or a fake persona, evidence isn't really admissible), any attempt to put a Tarot member through the justice system is likely to fail. Portman (secretary of the prisons), at any rate, probably pulls strings for the Cape since he's fanboy/Genre Savvy enough to know that if the Cape is dropping off people on his door step, they're probably pretty bad guys. Plus, being a comic book inspired show, it's part and parsel with the source material; you almost never see anyone Batman busts on trial.
    • Between Orwell's hacking skills and Portman's cooperation, putting Goggles behind bars without due process should actually be fairly easy. And while Vince was a cop, he's currently a vigilante precisely because justice and "due process" in Palm City is whatever Fleming says it is.
    • Also, given that this show is hearkening back to the Silver Age, dropping the bad guys off at the prison is a Genre Convention.
  • Early on, Max gives Vince two options, stay and try to clear his name, or leave town with his wife and son, and put everything behind him. But there was an easy and obvious third option which none of the characters even bother with. Have the wife and son hide with the Max and the troupe while Vince does his hero work. This would have been so simple, and no one would have batted an eye, everyone would assume that they left town on their own to get a fresh start somewhere else. Heck, them STAYING in Palm City is just odd. This would solve a number of problems, wife and son believing Vince to be dead, all the teasing and fighting Tripp gets from the other kids, his wife still friends (at first) with the man who betrayed Vince. This really comes back to bite them in the butt when the wife learns of witnesses to what happened in the trainyard, only to tell the wrong person about it. Bad news for Vince and family, but REALLY bad news considering what probably happened to all those 'witnesses'.
    • I would have to think Vince is not being logical here. He has a rather low opinion of his "friends" and hopes for his family to live normal lives until he can find a way to get back to them. Having them stay where they are IS stupid but a doting father and loving husband wouldn't have it any other way. The Carnival of Crime and Orwell are a part of his life he wants to leave behind as soon as possible. Not people he would want to introduce his wife and son to.
    • Also keep in mind that Max offering to send Vince and his family out of town was a Secret Test of Character to determine whether Vince was willing to stick around to fight or not.
    • But why don't Dana and Tripp leave of their own accord? Does Dana have no living parents or siblings whom she could reach out to, to help her get out of a city where her late husband is believed to have been public enemy #1 and her son is mercilessly tormented at school for it? When one's spouse dies, it's not unheard of for one to move in with a parent or relative to help with the grieving process and help pick up the pieces of one's life to move on.
      • Probably because Dana thinks it would be harder for Tripp to uproot and move on. Plus, she probably wants to clear her husband's name and protect the rest of Palm City from Arc.
  • Is his son supposed to be developmentally challenged or something? He talks and acts like a boy much younger than he appears to be.
    • Script writers have a notoriously difficult time making children sound realistic and age-appropriate. There's a trope for it somewhere, I'm sure...
  • Why is a cop so friendly with a gang of armed robbers? He's on the run from the bad guys, but the circus is still robbing banks. For that matter, why did a bunch of crooks give their priceless unique artifact (that cloak) to a policeman?
  • Doesn't the lack of a mask under that hood seem a little...dumb? If he wants everyone to keep thinking he's dead, then a simple Domino Mask would help.
    • I initially thought the same, but check out the "Fridge" section for this series; the lack of a mask is not only later rectified, but actually initially due to the fact that the villains had forcibly put him in a mask previously during the traumatic events that led to him being presumed dead and persona non grata...meaning having to wear a mask is a case of Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? for him. He gets over it, though, and spends more of the series' episodes using a mask than he did wearing just the cape without one.

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