Plot: It's the morning after Don Nacho Torres' Zorro-aided escape, and Capitan Monastario hasn't wasted any time. He's had Sergeant Garcia and one of the privates out all morning putting up reward posters. 500 pesos for Torres, 1000 for Zorro, dead or alive. Meanwhile, Monastario is convinced if he can find Zorro, he can find Torres, as he reasons the two must be friends. At the De la Vega hacienda, Bernardo is surprised to see Diego in his room, even though Bernardo slept outside the door last night. Diego reveals a secret passage in the room, one he discovered as a boy. It leads under the house, all the way to a cave, where Diego is keeping Tornado. The cave opens into the end of a box canyon, which is where Bernardo will make sure Tornado gets exercised every day. Having shown his sidekick this place, Diego heads to Padre Felipe's mission, to deliver the books, and to check in on Don Nacho, since this is where Zorro told him to hide. The three are joyously reunited, as Torres asks Diego to let his family know he is well (but not tell them where he is), and reveals his plan to deal with Monastario. He's going to ride to the governor in Monterrey and speak to him directly, hoping the official will recognize he's a patriot and not a traitor. Diego is concerned, but does visit Torres' hacienda and passes the message along to his daughter Elena.
Returning home, Diego finds Monastario waiting for him, with a replica of Zorro's outfit. Monastario is certain he will recognize Zorro once he gets the outfit on the right guy and sees how they handle the sword. Diego, however, is not a suspect, to his faux consternation, and demands the opportunity to clear his name, which he manages with an impressive (if excessive) display of ineptitude. Monastario isn't there for Diego, he's there for a vaquero named Benito, and Garcia has found the man and brought him in. Benito is reluctant to explain where he was last night, since the other workers on the hacienda can't account for him. A young boy named Pepito tries to help, by stating he saw Benito walking under the moonlight with Elena, but considering it was her father Zorro saved, that's not the best move. So the Capitan hauls Benito off to the Torres' place to interrogate Elena. Diego rushes up to the passage to change to Zorro.
By the time Zorro reaches the Torres' hacienda, Monastario has already forced Benito to don the mask and cape, and he's testing him with the sword. Benito's staying alive, mostly by keeping any furniture he can between him and the Capitan. Zorro's able to free Garcia's horse to distract him, sneak in, and enter the fray himself. Monastario, to his credit, doesn't let the fact he was wrong slow him down. Benito was already injured, so he simply shifts attention to the true Zorro. Not that it helps him, and neither can Garcia, as Zorro easily escapes. OK, not entirely easily. He had to make Tornado just a chasm, but it didn't seem too difficult. Diego does only narrowly get back and change in time to answer a shouted summons from Monastario as to whether he's seen an outlaw about.
Quote of the Episode: Zorro - 'I hear you've been looking for me, Comandante!'
Times Zorro marks a "Z": 0 (3 overall).
Other: I'm debating whether to keep count of the use of the word "baboso", seeing as I learned that word from this show. There was one this week, but we'll see if it become an official thing or, a sporadic one like "Shut up, Eberts".
It's interesting to note that Garcia is literate, while the private he was working with is not. I wonder if that's how he made it to Sergeant, because it's kind of hard to picture how a man of his otherwise limited skills could have reached any rank of command. I like Garcia, but he's not especially swift of foot or mind, Zorro humiliated him in a swordfight last week (though Garcia was minus a boot), and he doesn't even have the sort of cruel nature certain commanders might appreciate in a subordinate.
He was definitely right to not make his horse try and jump that chasm. I'm pretty sure the horse would have refused, anyway, but if it hadn't, I don't think it would have gone well.
I doubt they had this in mind, but I like that so far, the flintlock pistols the soldiers carry are fairly useless. Monastario missed Zorro and Torres last week (although that was a long shot from across the compound, at night), and Garcia missed Zorro from the bottom of a staircase when Zorro was at the top. Missed him badly. Seems about right for that sort of firearm.
It's a little odd to me that Monastario would continue to suspect Benito is Zorro, even after seeing his lack of skill with a sword, but completely dismiss Diego. After all, he'd only met Diego once previously, so it isn't as though Diego had that many opportunities to try his "disguise" on the Capitan. Plus, Diego shows up, and then so does Zorro. I guess Monastario is more focused on the fact Zorro's first appearance coincides with Torres being imprisoned, though he didn't know of Benito's connection to Elena until after Pepito told him. Also, I should account for the fact Monastario has probably convinced himself Zorro just got lucky that first time. So he'd see his being able to wound Benito not as a sign that this guy isn't Zorro, but merely as a sign of his superior skill. Blind arrogance at its finest.