In this week’s The Cape episode “Kozmo,” viewers got an in-depth look at Vince’s “freaky peeps,” Kozmo the Unkillable was reincarnated from Russia with love, and Dana Thompson Faraday proves she has a killer breath spray and isn’t afraid to use it. On top of it all, Vince Faraday faces off with his mirror image when Max’s former protégé comes back to town.
[Warning: Spoilers follow…]
“Kozmo” opens as a Russian prisoner is being checked for contraband before admission into one heck of a nasty looking prison. The warden thinks his prison is inescapable, but the straight-jacketed detainee proves him wrong by not only getting out of his bonds, but also his cell, killing all of his guards, and escaping down a sewer hole that not even a rabbit could fit into. Might our villain be double-jointed? He also signed his name in blood on the wall, which might not be as fulfilling as seeing his name in lights, but it’ll have to do.
Next, the story jumped to Vince Faraday tracking down an ARK Corporation thug named Philips who captured him the night he discovered Peter Fleming was smuggling L-9 explosive into Palm City via children’s toys. Vince demonstrates his growing facility with the cape by tearing off the door of Philips’ car and dangling the man off of a bridge. Faraday’s behavior skirts the edge of justice and, despite Orwell’s warnings, he only narrowly escapes the ARK security force. The stunt costs Orwell her lair and she shows up at Vince’s HQ for 24 hours while she sets up a new place to hide.
“This coffee would taste even better if I was, you know, actually wearing The Cape.”
Meanwhile, a former student of Max’s shows up at the carnival and he turns out to be none other than the Russian prison escapee. Gregor Molotov, a.k.a. Gregor the Great (no shortage of onomatopoeia or ego there), is pissed and he wants his cape back. A curious Vince interrupts, senses the criminal in Gregor, and baits him. When Max refuses to turn over the cape, Gregor storms out. Afterward, Max admits that in a fashion a la Dread Pirate Roberts, the cape has been passed down from master to apprentice with each adopting the name “Kozmo the Unkillable.” Max had at one time trained Gregor to replace him not only in the carnival, but also the carnival crime ring. When the younger man showed the depths of his dark side, however, Max took the cape away. Now Max thinks the cape could be used for good instead of a tool for crime, but he cautions Vince that each owner has to face the question of whether they wear the cape or the cape wears them.
Between the scene on the bridge and the later confrontation with Gregor, Vince seems to be feeling the ego high of the cape’s power and I began to wonder at the potential psychic effects of the garment. Did Gregor start out as an evil dude or did the cape corrupt him? Has the cape already begun to corrupt Vince? I expect we haven’t seen the last of this theme of corruption as it’s often brought up whenever Vince’s old partner Marty is involved.
Vince trails Gregor through seedy streets, but ultimately loses him. He later finds Gregor’s handiwork in the killings of three poker game players who suffered at the hands of a sore loser with a penchant for very sharp playing cards. Rightly suspecting that Gregor murdered the men, Vince finds the man again back at the carnival, where he is terrifying everyone at dinner — including Orwell who has introduced herself as Julia.
Summer Glau is very bendy.
In last week’s recap I wondered if Orwell was actually Peter Fleming’s daughter. “Kozmo” provides some pretty hard hints without stating the connection outright. Early on in the episode, Fleming castigates Marty for not finding Orwell fast enough. Turns out ARK tracked down Orwell’s location, but not before the anonymous blogger escaped and we know that Orwell was indeed almost caught. Later, Gregor reads Orwell/Julia’s palm and announces that she is a “spoiled little rich girl, but not your average princess” and that she has “some real daddy issues.” At one point Max invites Orwell to join his people, but she refuses. Later though, we see her trying out Raia’s ribbon climbing routine and then the scene cuts to Fleming watching a little girl’s music box. As a classically trained ballerina, Summer Glau of course made it look effortless.
Pat, Gregor the Great would like to buy a vowel.
During dinner, Gregor hints at the numerous mysterious origins of the cape: created by Egyptian priests, used by alchemists to uncover and bring to the surface the depths of the soul, worn by Merlin and maybe even Jack the Ripper.
Come to the Dark Side, Orwell. We have cookies!
The cape does indeed seem to have brought to the surface the darker aspects of both Gregor and Vince. Gregor reveals his true desire and steals back the cape, takes over the carnival, then tries to kill Max and his friends. Vince defeats him, but earlier in the episode revealed some of the darker aspects of his personality, possibly brought out by the cape. As Vince takes back the garment, the theme of family comes to the forefront again when he points out that after the rage burns everything away — seemingly aided by the alchemical aspect of the cape — what did Gregor have left? Vince will always have his family as a moral compass and lodestone to remain on the light side of the Force.
The final scenes of “Kozmo” reinforce this theme of the importance of family when Vince sends photos to his wife of ARK thugs, including Philips, corralling up the homeless who might have witnessed Vince’s capture by Chess. This after Dana investigates what one of her public defense clients saw in the rail yards and takes the evidence to Marty. Vince then visits his son again and cautions him about fighting in school. He tells him “Justice takes time” and to remember that his father won medals for valor — for keeping his cool rather than being a hothead.
We also learn of The Cape’s motto: “One man. One fight. One right.” Is this once again pointing to the need for the wearer of the cape to stay on the straight and narrow? Or, is it a warning that the cape will eventually warp its wearer from the inside out? After all, it was made for and used by criminals for generations.