Plot: Monastario is on his way to the Rancho Torres, with marriage to the lovely Elena on his mind. He brought along his lancers, because capturing Don Nacho is also on his mind. And sure enough, that idiot went home to say goodbye before heading to Monterey to plead his case to the governor, rather than just riding to Monterey. If Diego and Bernardo hadn't happened to spot Monastario's carriage, they wouldn't have made it in time to warn Torres to hide. As it is, he's stuck down in the wine cellar while Monastario tries to use the hold he has on Torres' life as a lever to finagle a marriage to Elena. She's not happy at the prospect, but willing to do so to save her father, while her mother, Dona Louisa, is set against it. Diego, meanwhile, is down in the cellar with Sergeant Garcia, trying to keep him busy trying the wine instead of searching for Torres. As it is, Don Nacho is the least stealthiest wanted man I've ever seen, and nearly blows it, but with an assist from Diego, Torres is able to escape to the upper floors while Garcia reports to the Capitan.
At that point, Diego, Louisa, and Elena are trying all they can to throw off Monastario, and while Don Nacho remains undiscovered, Monastario keeps his men stationed around the hacienda. There was a horse saddled and ready, so he reasons Don Nacho may be planning to sneak in from somewhere in the surrounding countryside after dark. Diego maneuvers him so Bernardo can drop a flowerpot on him, then explains the situation to Elena and Louisa in such a way Don Nacho (who Diego knows is hiding on the window ledge outside) can realize if he disguises himself as Monastario, he and his family can escape in the Capitan's carriage. It almost works, except that once they get far enough down the road Garcia realizes they aren't heading for Los Angeles, he goes to question the Capitan and realizes it isn't the Capitan. Good thing Bernardo brought along Zorro's gear, so he can ride up, un-horse Garcia, and Torres can make an escape. Then it's a race back to the rancho, Garcia trying to find his Capitan, and an irate Monastario seeking Diego, who he suspects of being Zorro. But by that time, Diego and Bernardo have tied themselves up in the cellar, convincing Monastario once again that de la Vega is no threat.
Quote of the Episode: Diego - 'While rivals in love, we are allies in duty!'
Times Zorro marks a "Z": 1 (5 overall).
Other: 3 "babosos" this week, plus an "estupido", and a plain old "idiot". Rough week for the sergeant. Down in the cellar, he was even trying to stay focused on his job, and that darn Diego kept getting him off task with toasts to the King. Then he gets Garcia up on the barrels (the better to pursue Torres, who is already up there), and Garcia's ends up rolling in a huge mess. He gets chewed out by Monastario, and gets his horse stolen by Zorro. At least the other lancers cared enough about him not to try and rush Zorro while he had a sword at Garcia's chest. Zorro would have looked pretty stupid if they'd called his bluff, since I'm pretty sure Diego wouldn't kill Garcia. He's had chances to kill Monastario himself and hasn't taken them, so he's not going to kill a friend who is (relatively) innocent.
Monastario presented Garcia to the Torres' ladies as his aide, after telling Garcia to act like a gentleman, and to imitate Monastario if he didn't know what to do. I really though they were going to do more with that, maybe have Monastario trip, or catch his cape in a door, and Garcia would try to mimic him. But the only time it came up was when Monastario kissed Elena's hand, Garcia tried to do so as well, as she wrenched her hand out of his. Understandable, but a little rude. That comes up a lot in this series. People who are too scared to act defiant towards Monastario, so they take it out on Garcia, who isn't responsible for any of it, but is a clumsy, generally nice fellow.
Looking over my notes, at one point I described Nacho Torres as being as useless as Ron Moody's character - the greedy former bourgeois - in Mel Brooks' Twelve Chairs. And considering the only thing that guy did correctly in the entire film was fall to the ground and fake seizures, that's pretty damn useless. But Torres really is. He knows Monastario is after him, is willing to torture people to try and get him, but rather than haul ass when he has the opportunity, he has to go home to say goodbye. Give the Padre or Diego a message to deliver! He can't sneak to save his life, he's lousy at hiding, doesn't do a terribly good Monastario impression.
Kind of wish Diego would stop using "dumb" when referring to Bernardo being mute. I can sort of understand it when he's talking to others, and it's part of the act, but not when's he speaking to Bernardo himself. I like alliteration as much as the next person who isn't Stan Lee (because I believe he liked alliteration more than anyone), but maybe don't use "deaf and dumb".