It looks like The Cape is done. After struggling in the ratings since it premiered, and NBC cutting the show's episode order from 13 to 10 episodes, the network has decided to run The Cape's final original episode only online sometime later this month.
NBC had planned to air the last two episodes, nine and 10, of the comic-book-inspired series last Monday, after postponing the relaunch of The Event to March 7. However, the network decided instead to air an original Chuck in its normal timeslot and finish off The Cape's on-air run with episode nine, "Razor."
This decision certainly comes about due to the falling ratings The Cape has suffered since the series premiered. On Monday, the show could only manage 4.09 million viewers with 1.2 ratings for adults 18-40. That made it one of the lowest-rated network shows still on the air.
Regarding the move to show the final episode online only, NBC announced on its website, "Flash: The creators of The Cape are prepping an exclusive episode just for online fans! Keep watching this site in the days ahead to see a full-length special episode."
Makes it almost sound like "the creators" planned that all along.
In "Razor," we were left with a major Orwell cliffhanger, and several continuing storylines. However, with one episode to go, it seems unlikely there is any real shot shot at creating any kind of satisfying ending for The Cape.
In an exclusive interview with creator and executive producer Tom Wheeler earlier this season, he gave me a hint at what he planned for the series before he knew NBC would cut The Cape's run short.
"The second half of the season, things definitely take off in a slightly more serialized way," said Wheeler. "A lot of storylines are going to unfold over time. I mean, I love serialized storytelling."
And it's likely we'll never get the real scoop on Summer Glau's character, Orwell. "There will be a huge developments for Orwell's character nearing the end of the first 13," he said.
As far as the Cape himself, "in Fugitive-like fashion, Vince is going to be trying to get back to his family. He'll be learning much more about this criminal underworld of Palm City and how difficult it is going to get back. ... Vince is, in a strange way, becoming a ghost in his own life, and there's a lot of different ways to go there and explore that," said Wheeler.
"There's a lot of big stories that we'll start to plant that would play out in subsequent seasons, and I'm definitely building a mythology around the Cape itself and a sense of destiny that we might not realize at first. But there will be greater connectiveness to things than we initially realize.
"For those who really want to pop on for the long ride, I approach this thing as a novel, and so I think a lot about the end and a lot about where The Cape ends up. I'm imagining a pretty sweeping, epic storyline that still sticks emotionally to its starting point," said Wheeler.
While The Cape hasn't been officially canceled, my crystal ball tells me that we'll never get to see the way Wheeler's vision plays out.
How do you feel about NBC's decision to air the final episode online?